Self Help Book Review: Parsnips, Buttered by Joe Lycett

When I heard Joe Lycett, my favourite British comedian, describe his book Parnsips, Buttered as “a self help book that is not actually helpful, quite like all self help books” I knew I had to get my hands on it.


Once upon a time, I had a day off an decided to watch all the Live At The Apollo videos YouTube has to offer (afternoon well spent). I laughed hard at all the comedians, because British comedians are just fantastic, but Joe Lycett has had a special place in my heart ever since. Click here to watch. I can also recommend watching this, and this, and this.

You’re welcome, and sorry for messing up your productivity. Oh, and there’s a compilation.

Joe Lycett, also known as ‘The Duchess’ is amazing.

Naturally, I was thrilled to see Joe Lycett was on a Foot Note episode of my Dad Wrote A Porno, another gem from British soil.

He mentioned his book Parsnips, Buttered (title loosely based on this expression) in the episode and I needed it in my life ASAP.

I bought myself the Kindle version, which was 16$ (mysteriously), but you can also buy the ebook on for 13 euros*.

(Oh hey look an ad**)


In his book, Joe Lycett writes chapter after chapter about his life, the various emails he has sent under all sorts of aliases, and how he outweirds the people who try to scam him or ask him to do ridiculous things.

In his words: “I’ve been a mischief for pretty much my entire life. Ive found that it actually is one of the most consistently effective ways to respond to the ridiculous rules and regulations that are so prevalent in modern living.” 

Via hilarious but never aggressive comedy, he vents or gets even…and even gets his point across occasionally.

His commitment to mischief is oddly inspiring, and honestly seems like a pretty healthy thing to do.


Not in the traditional spiritual sense, but I gotta be honest: Threatening a casino to hire hundred dwarfs to stand in front of the entrance screaming they were tall before they lost everything to the casino? Pretty fucking weird.


How to behave in the office: “Every other week or so I’ll have a different company name, a different company picture and an advertisement for something. I’ll also change my wifi name to something stupid like ‘Poo’ or ‘Heroin4U’.

How to stop Donald Trump, for obvious reasons.

How to survive in the wild: “One of my pals invited some bore called Damion who enjoyed telling us how ‘no one has the skills to survive I the wild anymore’ and ‘we’re too reliant on manufactured human products.” Well, excuse me for enjoying this delicious quinoa and goat’s cheese saad in a comfortable and relaxed restaurant: let me take my clothes off, go out into the street, carve a crude spear from a twig and hunt for my lunch around Central London instead.

‘What did I have for lunch today, you ask? Half a pigeon, which I captured with my fists. I only ate half because most of it tasted like batteries.'”

How to deal with real estate agents: “Everyone hates estate agents. Even stage agents hate estate agents. It’s not ‘accessible’ – it’s a bungalow. It doesn’t ‘have character’-it has damp. It’s not ‘open-plan communal living’-it’s a prison.”

Self Help Hipster Stamp of Approval:

Yes. It’s not a self help book, but laughing is good the soul and the way Joe Lycett doesn’t take stupid things seriously is uplifting and inspiring.

Oh, and go listen to my Dad Wrote A Porno on iTunes. If laughing is good for the soul, this podcast will honestly help you more than all the self-help books in the world.


* & links are affiliate links. If you purchase books through that link, without it affecting what you pay, we get a small commission for referring you. Thank you! 

**I either get no revenue through Amazon, which is fine, but I can’t decipher if it’s actually that nobody uses Kindle or Amazon or because I’m doing something wrong. That’s why I’m trying the ad instead of the link to see if that makes a difference. 

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  1. Holy shit dankjewel voor My Dad Wrote a Porno!!! Loop al de hele dag lachend over straat en ben zo benieuwd hoe het verder zal gaan met Belinda. Made my day

    1. Jaaaaa!!!

      Goed he?

      Ik ben er echt van overtuigd dat al dat lachen dat ik door die podcast doe bijdraagt aan mijn goede stemming!