The Little Book Of Kaz Cooke
Kaz Cooke, author, broadcaster, cartoonist and bon vivant, is the author of many books, one novel, a CD-ROM and other bits and pieces, most of which we possess here at Gusworld. For the sake of brevity, this site is devoted to just one of Kaz's projects: the ongoing series of 'Little Books' parodying those oh-so-annoying midget life advice books you find on the counters at even the best booksellers. Or, as Kaz herself put it in the introduction to The Little Book Of Stress: "I don't know about you, but all those little books of deadly-serious, one-thought-per-page, calm-down-this-second, hippy-drippy nonsense make me really tense".

Each book features Kaz' cartoon heroine, Hermoine The Modern Girl, although generally only in illustrations. All the Kaz Little Books are widely available in booksellers and online for around $5.95 (GST oh so inclusive). However you get them, we recommend them.

  The Little Books In Full  
  The Little Book Of Stress The Little Book Of Stress
ISBN: 0140266208

Handy tips to create stress, if you can stop laughing long enough. The first Kaz Little Book, published in 1996.

Favourite tip: Try to be the centre of attention at all times. If necessary, break the furniture.

  The Little Book Of Crap
ISBN: 0140276793

Co-author Simon Weaselpantz (actually Michael Callaghan) may have been responsible for the oddly capitalised aphorisms which occupy about half the book. First published in 1998, and actively promoted as a sequel to The Little Book Of Crap.

Favourite tip: People are like sausages: It's what's under the skin that's important. So poke them with a fork periodically.

The Little Book Of Crap  
  The Little Book Of Dumb Feng Shui The Little Book Of Dumb Fung Shui
ISBN: 0140290714

Feng Shui taken for a ride by Kaz in this 1999 volume, whose "research was severely hampered by her refusal to finish reading the section about 'your uncluttered colon' in Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston". Note the parody Penguin on the cover.

Favourite tip: Having a good room is genial feng shui. Buy yourself a 45-room mansion overlooking a major Jamaican harbour.

  The Little Book Of Household Madness
ISBN: 0140295453

Or: Martha Stewart through a Kaz filter. As she puts it: "It sometimes occurs to us in the odd nanosecond of lullishness that what we need is more TIME. Piffle. What we need is ANOTHER PROJECT." Published in 2000.

Favourite tip: Prevent that yucky stain forming on men's shirt collars by varnishing the man's neck before he leaves for work.

The Little Book Of Household Madness  
  The Little Book Of Beauty The Little Book Of Beauty
ISBN: 0140299106

Having already skewered pretentious beauty advice in Real Gorgeous, this Christmas 2000 volume seemed long overdue. In Kaz's words: "The Little Book of Beauty won't necessarily make you more attractive - but hey, if you can't have a face like a supermodel's, you may as well laugh your head off." Also includes a Hint for Blokes section ("if you wear that cravat, nobody will ever have sex with you again").

Favourite tip: If a shoe is comfortable and you can walk with dignity, it's no good.

  The Little Book Of Diet & Exercise
ISBN: 0141000848

This time, it's Jane Fonda and her ilk up for a skewering. Again, the back cover says it all: "You've read a lot of absolute nonsense about diet and exercise over the years -- now try this." Includes useless diet tips for every star sign. Published in August 2001.

Favourite tip: If you're really hungry, why not cut out magazine photos of food and eat them?

The Little Book Of Diet & Exercise  
  The Little Book Of Excuses The Little Book Of Excuses
ISBN: 0143001671

After a long break, the Little Books returned in April 2003. As Kaz notes: "Yes, I know I said I'd never write another Little Book, but . . ".

Favourite excuse: I thought you were dead.


Other useful sites

  • Kaz Cooke's official site
    Details on all Kaz's many and varied projects, though actual Little Books info is a bit variable in quantity.

  • Penguin's Kaz Cooke site
    Info on new releases, bio and other handy details.

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