In 1979 when Matthew Engel started his journalist career he began to keep a commonplace book in which he has set down any quotes, jokes or facts that made him laugh, smile, sigh, cry or simply raise his eyebrows. Over the next 27 years he completed 35 small red notebooks with the intention that his son, Laurie, who was developing similar tastes, might one day read them. But in 2006 Laurie, aged thirteen, died of a rare and vicious cancer after a two year battle. Seeking solace wherever he could find it, Matthew started re-reading some of the notebooks and thought maybe other people might enjoy them. This selection is a highly engaging and eclectic mix of fascinating, thought provoking and frequently moving excerpts, many saved from oblivion by the author's intelligent eye. The cumulative effect of such stimulating material is to leave the reader with a genuine sense of awe at the stupidity, intelligence, imagination and humour of humanity. The proceeds from The Red Notebooks will go towards the Laurie Engel Fund that is raising money in conjunction with the Teenage Cancer Trust to support the appropriate care of teenage cancer patients.