Every Day is a Holiday
By George Mahood
What's on the cover?
What happens when you discover that today is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, tomorrow is National Curmudgeon Day, and the day after that is Inane Answering Machine Message Day? Well, you decide to celebrate them, that’s what!
At least, that’s what George Mahood did. He had a nice, comfortable life, with a job, a wife, and three young children. But he felt like he was missing out on a lot of what the world had to offer. The calendar is full of these quirky, weird and wonderful events, and George realised that somebody somewhere had created these holidays, believing that they were important enough to warrant their own official day. Surely he should therefore be more appreciative of their existence? He decided to try and celebrate them all, in the hope that it would turn him into a happier, more intelligent and more content person.
Follow George on his hilarious, life changing adventure as tries to balance his normal life with a wealth of new experiences, people, facts and bizarre situations. It’s a rip-roaring, life-affirming, roller-coaster of a ride, where every day is a holiday.
I bought this on a whim, having seen a forwarded tweet from George Mahood. He was already pretty well known, although somehow I had missed the accolades for his first book. But it was certainly better late than never, as I am delighted to have discovered this author.
I really enjoyed this book. The premise might seem off-putting: every day is a “world day” or “national day” of something, such as Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (28 January) (depicted on the cover), Fill Your Staplers Day (11 March) and National Two Different Coloured Shoes Day (3 May), and George Mahood decided to spend six months celebrating as many as possible in an appropriate way.
Not many people could pull off creating a book about such mundane activities as punching holes in paper (Dimpled Chad Day, 4 January) and throwing out old pens (Ball Point Pen Day, 10 June), but George Mahood writes with an understated humour about his take on these “holidays” and other people’s (in particular his long-suffering wife’s and children’s) reactions to them that makes you keep on reading, and enjoying. Intermingled with the holidays, are witty descriptions of little challenges that George sets himself, such as Man versus Can: opening a lableless can and making a dinner out of whatever he finds inside, for thirty days running.
The book is written in a diary format, so it is easy to pick up for five minutes and read a section if you haven’t got time to settle down with a beer to devour it in one or two sittings. And the good news is that this book is January to June; there is a sequel for July to December. George’s love of his family and his life is apparent throughout, and it is a heartwarming and fun read.
Editorial Input & Design
There are no off-putting errors, but a professional copy-edit/proofread would have made a good book better: there is a little clunky text, a few spelling mistakes and some misplaced punctuation. A proofreader would have made sure all quote marks and apostrophes are curly, all dashes are en-dashes, reduced the instances of words in all capitals, and made headings and paragraphs start at the margin where appropriate.
I haven’t seen the print version, but an Amazon preview suggests the spacing oddities are in that too, and there appears to be no running heads. All these things shout “self-published”, and although probably most readers won’t notice or care, it is a shame for good writing to be let down by unprofessional layout – it’s not bad, but if someone were to pick up the book knowing nothing about it, I think they may subconsciously associate the unconventional layout with amateur writing and put it down again.
Cover: A simple and clear cover that gives ample hints of what to expect from the text. (The cover pictured is for the version I bought; there is now a new cover.)
Internal design: I read this on an early Kindle. The text flows well and the photographs are clear enough. There is some odd spacing and justification is erratic, but these don’t detract from the “story”.
Book Clubs & Reviews
I would say this would make a good (light) book club choice. It would be an easy read and discussion could revolve around particular “holidays”: favourite, bizarre, nominating a new day of celebration; also: family life, living with an “eccentric”, bringing some fun into your life.
The theme for the meeting could be based on that day’s “holiday”. Nibbles could be something out of a can; or buy some appropriate tinned foods, remove the labels and get members to choose a can each and then make a snack out of them.
What others are saying: Amazon UK readers give it 4.5 stars (129 reviewers). Amazon US readers give it 4.5 stars (86 reviewers). Goodreads readers give it 4.36 stars (78 ratings).