Tag Archives: wit

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

alexie

by Sherman Alexie
Art by Ellen Forney

Rating:  ◊◊◊◊♦ 5 stars

Junior, 14 years old and living on a reservation, attends an all-white school in a neighboring town.
Imagine the issues!

I howled with laughter at the cartoons. This is a quick read.  For me, the cartoons tell the story and the words fill in the gaps. The cartoons bumped my rating from 4 to 5 stars.

Employing wit and imagination, Alexie touches on bullying, racism, poverty, etc. – without belaboring it. The point isn’t to immerse the reader in the problems, but to follow Junior through them to his next challenge.

This is the only Alexie book I have read, and probably the only one I will read. But I will almost certainly read this one several times.

If you like this book, you may also enjoy Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt and Rez Road Follies by Jim Northrup.

Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy

Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy
Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals

by Dinty W. Moore
Ten Speed Press (c) 2015
Nonfiction (Adult)

Rating: * * * *

What a riot! The questions sent to Mister Essay Writer Guy are giggle-worthy, the responses are snort-worthy, and the essays that follow leave me laughing long after I’ve finished (re-)reading them.

In the vein of Ben Franklin’s infamous letter to his (former) friend Mr. Strahan which was signed,
You are now my enemy, –
And I am, –
Yours.
B. Franklin
.

This is the kind of book to pick up in a durable format, the better to stand up to frequent use.

Thank you to Ten Speed Press and NetGalley for the Advance Reader Copy I received in exchange for an honest review.

Going Commando

Going Commando by Mark Time

Going Commando

Going Commando

February 2014, Troubador Publishing

Rating: * * * *

Hilarious, absurd, and impossible to put down!

Thank you, author Mark Time, for recommending this selection.

Superior Justice

Superior Justice, a Lake Superior Mystery
by Tom Hilpert
(c) 2008 Tom Hilpert

Rating: * * * *

Daniel Spooner died on a Tuesday in early May, just as the lunch hour was ending in Grand Lake.

The lunch hour part made me chuckle and ensured I would continue reading. And what a fun read this is!

Meet Rev. Jonah Borden, Lutheran pastor in a small town on Minnesota’s North Shore, who fuels his day with copious amounts of coffee and gourmet food and listens to rock music and goes fishing as often as time permits.

Jonah cracks wise as he tries to help clear a man he knows to be innocent of a vigilante murder, only to find himself charged with murder. And other unscrupulous dealings.

Superior Justice is thoroughly entertaining and a quick read.

Quiet Magic

Quiet Magic by Sam Cook, with illustrations by Bob Cary

University of Minnesota Press

This book is exactly what it promises: quiet and magical.  It’s a collection of stories and essays the author wrote for the Duluth News-Tribune, grouped by season.  Each piece is 2-4 pages in the book: a nice little morsel.

Each piece is 2-4 pages of observations and experiences related to the north country, the people to be found there, hunting and fishing, canoeing, etc.  Cook’s gentle humor and perception make for a delightful few minutes of reading per story.

I find myself continually returning to Loomis Lips for the chuckle factor.  Without spoiling it, I’ll just note that it’s about human nature.  Oh, and fish.

Guilt by Degrees

Guilt by Degrees (Rachel Knight #2) by Marcia Clark
Copyright 4/30/13
Mulholland Books
Rating: * * *

What I like…The snark:  Rachel and her ‘tude are a hoot.  The dialogue is reasonably believable.  The story moves right along and there’s always more than meets the eye, lots of twists and turns and realizations and re-examinations of the evidence.

What I don’t like…The length:  the book is 450 pages.  The constant name-dropping of L.A. restaurants/eateries/bars, expensive vodkas, etc.  If the book were shorter and had fewer details about lunch and drink orders, I would rate it 4 stars.

The long and short of it…I enjoy the Rachel Knight series, at least books 1 and 2 (I haven’t read the others yet).  The office politics in the district attorney’s office, as well as the interplay between the police and the D.A.’s office, make for good reading, especially when enlivened by Knight’s brand of sarcastic wit.

Thank you to Mulholland Books and NetGalley for the copy I received in exchange for a review.

Of Course I Talk To Myself

Of Course I Talk To Myself. Sometimes I Need Expert Advice.

Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast

Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast by Bill Richardson

Rating:  * * * * *

Bachelor twins Hector and Virgil run a bed and breakfast visited by bookworms.  At once utterly practical and blithely imaginative (in a fashion that only the truly independent can manage), the brothers describe their haven, their community, their observations and insights.  Guests also offer tidbits.

This book tickles my sense of the ridiculous!  Sometimes so breathtakingly odd I burst into helpless laughter.  My favorite description is of the cemetery/golf course (read that again:  cemetery/golf course):  “There is no fence, hedge, or other line of demarcation to indicate where a hole in one ends and one in a hole begins.”

I have read this book several times and always find it delightful.

Lucky Stiff

Lucky Stiff (Lucky O’Toole Vegas Adventure Series #2) by Deborah Coonts, read by Renee Raudman

Rating:  * * * *

We begin with the buzz of a tractor-trailer load of honeybees overturning on the Vegas Strip.  Then the really bizarre things start happening!

Lucky, head of customer service at a glitzy Vegas casino/hotel, handily deals with the honeybee crisis, then moves on to save hunky P.I. Jeremy Whitlock from a murder rap when local bookmaker Numbers Neidermeyer is discovered in the shark tank.

Blessed with an abundance of eye-pleasing men in her life, Lucky has also earned the friendship, loyalty, and cooperation of a number of colorful characters including her cross-dressing (but only when on stage) boyfriend; flamboyant and effervescent mother, a brothel madam; a local mob boss; and The Big Boss at her own casino, who is currently dating her mother.

Renee Raudman’s narrative style and voice are uniquely suited to stories such as this:  quirky, off-beat, over-the-top, full of backhanded wit.  Few readers could bring this story to colorful life the way she can, exactly what I would have pictured were I reading the written word.

Heartburn

Heartburn by Nora Ephron, read by Meryl Streep

Rating:  * * * *

This is a laugh-out-loud story of surviving the breakup of a marriage.

I highly recommend this recording just to hear Meryl Streep bring it to life.  I wouldn’t have found the story half as funny had I read it in print:  Streep’s inflections and timing bring out humor I would certainly have missed from the cast of self-indulgent characters.

Ephron penned many popular screenplays, including Sleepless in Seattle.  The first print edition of Heartburn was published in 1983.  This audio recording was released in 2013.

If you like this, you may also like Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen.

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