Archive for the 'Humor' Category

Brain

Thoughts brainbydd Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World by Dermot Davis, Expression Unleashed Publishing 2013, 217 pages

Winner of the USA Best Book Award 2013 for Humor.

Recommended by the wonderful blogger at BookFoolery.  Thanks Nancy!

“A delightful, humorous satire that pokes fun at the world of publishing via a flawed character who, in becoming a success for all the wrong reasons, emerges a better person. “

Did this book have any reference to pie?  No, sadly, I do not recall any mention of pie.

Did this book have adventure? Oh yes, or no. Certainly some mind-altering experiences (and I don’t mean drugs.)

Did this book feature books?  and libraries? YES. Who doesn’t love a book about books?

Would this book be about literary ambition? Madcap hilarities?  Satire upon satire?  Yes, yes, yes.

Do you want me to tell you what it’s about or are you comfortable with my vague ramblings?  How about a quick and dirty plot-scape?

Daniel desires to be an author. Of course, he wants to be an adored writer who writes great works and is adored for such. Unfortunately, his plan to be an adored author didn’t work out like he had hoped but starvation and desparation spurs on some motivation. He somehow writes a best-selling self-help book (not his intent) but WHO CARES! It’s selling like hotcakes! Who cares if the adoring fans are a little looney-tunes. Not his problem, right?

Let me tell you this:  The guilt that Daniel suffers is absolutely NOTHING compared to the guilt experienced by our lovers in Zola’s Therese Raquin  Just sayin’. That book is cray-cray in an entirely different way. Actually, opposite in many ways.

Read Nancy’s thoughts on Brain (link above, purple font.) And if you like fun books and feel-good story-telling and insights into the industry of publishing for fickle masses, this book is for you.

Rounding up to four slices of pie! fourpie

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Rosie Project

Thoughts trpbygs The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, Simon & Schuster 2013, 304 pages

Why? Because it was touted as being a pretty entertaining read and I managed to catch a $1.99 Kindle Book Sale…

First Sentence:  “I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem.”

What’s it ABOUT? A college professor who likely could be diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome for his awkward social interaction skills and highly regimented order of thinking decides to create a survey tool to find himself a suitable companion aka “wife”. His boss who is a good friend decides to have a little fun and sends him a possible candidate who obviously 1)  is NOT suitable and 2) wouldn’t take the survey if she knew about it. She comes to the prof with a project of her own.

Of course, assumptions happen. Mayhem ensues.

What’s GOOD: Such fun! The characters you want to root for are well-drawn and never let you down. The cads and scalliwags are believable, as well. Despite what one might call a formulaic* structure, it stays fresh and delightful and surprising.

What’s NOT so good: Um… It all seemed to work for me.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I enjoyed it immensely.

RATING: Five slices of pie.

Other REVIEWS:   Chocolates & Croissants blog calls it ADORABLE, quoting Ti at Book Chatter “it’s a gem!”, and here’s a thoroughly descriptive and enjoyable review at Write Meg!

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* RomCom formula:  boy and girl totally unworkable and at odds, end up falling in love. 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Life Among the Savages

Thoughts  Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson, Academy Chicago 1990 (orig 1948), 241 pages Tradeback offsize

Memoir, Nonfiction

Delightfully charming! You get a sense of how terrific a mom Shirley was by how she truly listens to her kids and encourages their imagination.

It’s been said that these essays of domestic hilarity are what inspired the genre most think of when you say the name Erma Bombeck, but it wouldn’t be something Ms. Jackson would have been too thrilled with, I don’t think. I bet she often thought this audience of her ‘stories’ beneath her contempt. But they sold and sold well. What’s an author to do?

It almost breaks your heart to read this and then right after, read her biography. No wait. It DID break my heart to read the bio right after enjoying these madcap loving little tales.

If you want to immerse yourself into fascinating and extremely talented writings of a complicated artist, study Shirley Jackson. First read her infamous short story The Lottery and then read this or Raising Demons (I haven’t read), then read We’ve Always Lived in the Castle (a favorite of mine; I want to read it again, especially after reading her biography), and then read Oppenheimer’s bio. And then, if you are like me, you’ll seek out everything Jackson ever wrote.

I am in the middle – and I jump around, as always – of her collection Just An Ordinary Day. Then I want to read The Road Through the Wall and then The Bird’s Nest and then…

Which Shirley Jackson book will YOU read next?

BOOK MENAGE scheduled for the week of December 3rd over at Citizen Reader.

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Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Beauty Queens (AudioBook)

Thoughts  Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, Scholastic 2011, 12 discs or 14.5 hours (per Audible)

Whaddya think? Should I add the (AudioBook) words to the title of the post? Helpful? Are you ambivalent? Just curious…  

WHY I read this? Because Laurie’s review turned me from NO-WAY-NOT-MY-KIND-OF-BOOK doubt into GOTTA-READ-NOW!!! fervor. And since she works at one of my local libraries and I would have the chance to stop and say hi to her, I checked out the CDs. Also, I needed something fun after all the horror I’ve read lately.

WHAT’s it about? A plane full of teen Beauty Queens crashes onto a tropical island and they must learn how to survive. But don’t worry, the island isn’t without distractions and diversions. This book attacks everything wrong with modern society and throws in lots of elements to make sure the book is never boring.  We meet pirates and TV celebrities, get commercial breaks, run wild in the jungle and fight evil corporations.

What’s GREAT? The author is the narrator. She nails it. I was forever impressed with her ability to do every different voice and even if we get every stereotypical accent, it is over the top funny and enjoyable. Of course, this is my opinion? But I really enjoyed listening to this one and thought the whole thing great fun.

FINAL thoughts? A perfect way to cleanse my brain after American Psycho.

RATING:  Four slices of coconut pie. With gummy bears sprinkled on the whip cream. 

Don’t forget to weigh in on whether or not I should include the tag AUDIOBOOK in my post title! and if I should say REGULARBOOK in the other post titles?  

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Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

BossyPants

Thoughts  BossyPants by Tina Fey, Hachette Audio? (Can’t figure out from my downloaded files where to find all this information.)

updated: 5 hours and 35 minutes…

AudioBook via Audibles FREE download for 2 wk trial onto my iPad, Nonfiction: memoir, humor.

This was only a bit better than just OK for me. I enjoyed many parts and laughed a lot and admire Ms. Fey for her attitudes and gumptions.

  

Please, for a terrific review, DO visit Trish at Love,Laughter&Insanity or explore the very many reviews found at Fyrefly’s blogosphere search.

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Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry Day

Today is Poetry Day for Lu and Kelly-TheWrittenWorld-Kailana-MyReadingBooks-PseudoKiwiCanadian-@BookishNerd as just one piece of the big celebrate-poetry event they are plotting to get me to read deep things that may or may not rhyme. Clicking on the pretty blue button above will transport you to that other world.

Here’s what I came up with for today:

I baked bread.
Just today, this morning.
very exciting.
I am hoping it is sourdough.
The cookbook index
Does not list sourdough.
It is boule.
Says it sours over days.
(The batter. Batter?
In the refrigerator.)
It smells so good.
Now that it is baked.
So tempting, not to tear into it.
Must let it cool.
Be cool.
Yum, I heart fresh bread.
And I made it myself!
I’m so proud.
Could anything be more basic
goodness?

Well? LOTS going on here, for such a simple poem that doesn’t rhyme. A carefree woman of middle-age who wants to try new things and get healthy – that’s the surface view. Who writes poetry about bread because she doesn’t own any poetry books that feature any poems about bread and that is what she felt compelled to talk about considering that she just crafted a loaf of homemade bread and wanted to share it with the world. But underneath, we glimpse a woman possibly unsure of what she really wants to do with her days and is easily swayed by trends – bake your own bread!write your own poems! I bet she is someone who talks too much about herself. But overall, a good person.

“The people long eagerly for two things -
Bread and circuses.”

- Juvenal (c. 60-140 A.D.)

 

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Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Stone Diaries

Thoughts  The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields, Penguin Books 1995, 361 pages

“Yet wherever she goes, her story marches ahead of her. Announces her. Declares and cancels her true self. Oh, she did so want to be happy, but what choice did she have, stepping to the beat of the that ragbag history of hers?

- p.122

WHAT’s it ABOUT:   I’ve been avoiding the review of this in equal measures with my enthusiasm. I loved this book. It’s funny!  Sly humor, we should say. Short sentences, deep thoughts, a bit of whimsy even. Delightful. You might even think it is a happy story from all my gushing here but that would be a lie.

Daisy Stone Goodwill Hoad Flett is just a witness to her own life. She was born to a big fat woman who didn’t even know she was pregnant and then died! Died in childbirth. Slam bam, cruel cruel world. Daisy ended up being raised by an Aunt who was really a neighbor and well, you’ll just have to read the crazy storyline if I have interested you so far. (No? oh, OK:  aunt dies, she moves with her bio-dad to Indiana from Canada, grows up & goes to school – story glosses over this part, marries but not for long (ha!), needs an adventure and ends up back in Canada married to her ‘uncle’ – yep, the original aunt’s son; has three kids, gets a job, loses job, gets depressed, gets older, moves to Florida of all places, takes a crazy trip to Scotland and and…  I won’t ruin that part – it’s quite astonishing and finally is a witness to her death and a little after.

In an interview at the back of the book – DO READ THIS, I like when I like the afterwords; so refreshing, wouldn’t you agree? Carol Shields says that many women of the generation of Daisy just fail to claim their own lives and thus never get books written about them.  So Ms Shields attempted it and was beautifully successful in writing something wholly entertaining and profound.  There, I said it. It is my opinion.

It’s the writing and the theme and the creativity and the humor that got me. I didn’t rush through this; it wasn’t a fast-paced page-turner. I savored this.

Fraidy, friend of Daisy, was my favorite. It makes me smile just to think of her letters, her words, her attitudes. Oh yes, there are letters and scattered perspectives of Daisy’s life interspersed through the entire book.

I dreaded this review because I don’t really know what to say or how to express what I loved so much. Huh, I’m at 600 words!

Or is love something less, something slippery and odorless, a transparent gas riding through the world on the back of a breeze, or else – and this is what he more and more believes – just a word trying to remember another word.

-p.165

Carol Shields has me thinking she would be really fun to hang out with. I can’t wait to read more of her stories to see if she really should be one of my new favorites. If you follow my blog at all, you know I don’t tend to follow an author’s oevure. If she passes the 3 book test (3 books is when I tend to tire of an author’s ‘style’), then a favorite she will be.

WHAT’s GOOD:   Humor. I was ready for a book that made me laugh. Not that this is a funny book!  It is, but I wouldn’t classify it in that section of the library.  It’s funny in that life-is-absurd kind of way.

It is inevitable that each of us will be misunderstood; this, it seems, is part of twentieth-century wisdom.

-p.145

WHAT maybe NOT so good?    Can’t think of a thing.

FINAL THOUGHTS:    [crickets]

RATING:  Five slices of pie.

… the great story she let rise up and swamp her.

- p.125

REVIEWS:   Results of Fyrefly’s Book Blog Search for this title and then the one that first brought this book to my attention:  the Bluestocking Society where she says ‘we glimpse truths about the entire human condition’. Shoutouts to Kailana and Chris of Bookarama (whatdoyouknow! Canadians) for chatting with me about this on Twitter and goodreads.  *smiles*

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Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

An Abundance of Katherines

Thoughts An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, SPEAK an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2006, 229 pages

I so wanted to love this because it has (a bit) of the maths! And it was good… just not my favorite.

Our guy is a child prodigy who desperately wants to be a genius and to ‘matter’. He is even more desperate to be in love; preferably with a(ny) girl named Katherine. He is a very skilled anagrammer. In hopes of getting over a breakup with the 19th of his Katherine lovergirls, he and his best bud go on a road trip. Hijinks ensue? Click on the book cover above to get the synopsis from goodreads.com.

I read this because I adore John Green. I was supposed to read this a few years ago; this was listed to complete a challenge in 2009 – I think it might have been the Dewey Challenge! And this year, I listed it for the SIZE category in the What’s in a Name 4 Challenge. I can finally cross it off the list. John Green now joins the very few and favored authors with the distinction of having more than three books on my done-read list.

Three Slices of Pie.

Trisha at Eclectic-Eccentric also read this book this month (great minds think alike) and since I am attempting to add the link to her post while editing onmy iPad, I don’t know if it will be clean. In the meantime, I just want to drop in the long code: http://www.eclectic-eccentric.com/2011/10/book-review-abundance-of-katherines.html. Or, click on this?…
Or, what abt clicking on this?
Well. DOES this WORK?!?! Will keep tweaking or run upstrs to the laptop..

http://www.eclectic-eccentric.com/2011/10/book-review-abundance-of-katherines.html

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Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Staying at Daisy’s

Thoughts    Staying at Daisy’s by Jill Mansell, ARC SourcebooksLandmark 2010 (orig 2002), 501 pages

A gift from Nancy the Book Fool.  THANKS!!

A predictable lovely romp.    British, so it is chock full of groovy Britisms.    Typical story line of good girl rejecting love because she’s been hurt before and but of course, the gorgeous awesome guy who keeps popping by just HAS to be a jerk so don’t waste the time falling for him.  But, of course, she does and it’s a fun story all the same.

Hijinks and escapades; everything gets wrapped up happily.  And it also has a minor dog character – any dog lover would appreciate this book, too.

RECOMMENDED – good chicklit, travel book, beach read.

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Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Dykes To Watch Out For

Thoughts     Dykes To Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel, Firebrand Books 1986, 78 pages.

MOTIVATION for READING:     I had read so many great reviews of various titles by Alison Bechdel and so was testing my area’s InterLibraryLoan system;  this one popped up.    I reserved it for my GLBT Challenge and my OPEN category in the Twenty in Ten Challenge:  Graphic Novel.     I’m going to say that this book picked me.

Don’t you love books that are SMART FUNNY?   This one is.    And I howled at the 80s references (see the published date of 1986) – so spot on.

I have to admit I was delighted (in hopes of reading 100 books this year and I’m off that mark) at the page count of 77 – I am seriously taking more time to write this review than it did to flip through every panel!      Little humorous vignettes that are obviously about lesbian relationships but have universal themes.     Truly, it is a look at the craziness of relationships, ANY relationships – beginnings, middles, and ends, etc.

One of my favorite things was the smattering of panels for each letter of the alphabet that showcase a type of lesbian.   I love the alphabet!   I love to read books, blog posts, anything that features the alphabet.     And then – surprise!!!    The last pages has “the Amazon’s Bedside Companion:  A Sophisticated Alphabet and Subliminal Picture Quiz” which had me breezing through once again from the beginning!   For example, the Z page featured a Zinnia and I totally missed it.   So clever and fun.

Nymeth recently reviewed one of Bechdel’s latest (as I understand it, an extension/compilation of what she started in the book I’m reviewing here); I must quote her:

“the main appeal of The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For is actually how very universal and how human it is.”

Yes.

RATING:   Four slices of pie.

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Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

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