I bought Mustn’t Grumble by Graham Lawton when Waterstones had a half price hardback sale just after Christmas. I’ll admit I wouldn’t have given it a second glance if it had been full price, but I liked the cover, so I picked it up. Then I didn’t read it for six months. There was always something else I wanted to read more urgently. But Covid isolation gave me the perfect opportunity to finally read it.
Mustn’t Grumble is a humorous, easy to read science/ medical book on minor ailments. It is supposed to be funny, but you do also learn something from it. There’s no cancer or heart disease in here, it’s things like the common cold, hiccups, sports injuries, hangovers and itching. In total, there are around 100 of these minor ailments. It even covers hypochondria!
I’m not a big non-fiction reader and I definitely have to be in the right frame of mind to read a non-fiction book, but I tend to read two or three a year (this is actually my fourth to date this year!). I really enjoyed Mustn’t Grumble because of the writing style. It does give the science behind the ailments and even explains things like the latin names etc, but it is never boring or complicated.
In fact, it relies heavily on words like ‘arse’ and ‘shit’. And anything using those words has to be funny, right?
The book is a mix of history, science, medicine and anecdote and does also include some practical information about how to deal with the particular ailments. Even though it’s not a proper medical book, I will definitely keep it as a resource to check when we have minor ailments.
If you’re looking for a read that’s a bit different, I would definitely recommend Mustn’t Grumble. I’m going to try to persuade my son to read it before he goes off to university to study medicine. It won’t be on his reading list, but it is definitely an interesting insight!