Monthly Archives: April 2014

Book Review: “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim”

We’re underway with our “Month of Humor” reading for April. For our first week of humorous reading, we picked up David Sedaris’s comedic book, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

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This is the second of Sedaris’s books we’ve read on this challenge. During December’s “Month of Holiday” reading, we read his holiday-themed book, Holidays on Ice. I really enjoyed Holidays on Ice, so I was really thrilled to have an excuse to pick up another of this author’s books. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim did not disappoint.

Dress Your Family… was a collection of short stories, telling stories about Sedaris and his family. His observational humor, and complete honesty about touchy subjects, left me laughing many times. Sedaris’s style is full of dark humor. In this book, he introduces some pretty serious topic, and approaches them with a “such is life” attitude that is refreshing if it is not always funny. Mostly, his book is funny because it is relatable – it is full of stories that almost anyone can relate to, from childhood vacations at the beach, to being a struggling 20-something, to sibling rivalry.

This book might not be for everyone. Sedaris talks about some pretty touchy things (sexual harassment, infant deaths, drug use, to name a few), and it’s a little cringe-worthy to read jokes about these touchy subjects. If you can swallow that pill, this book is a win! Sedaris is uproariously funny, exceptionally dry, and creative in his storytelling.

So how about you? Have you read Dress Your Family… or any of Sedaris’s books? What do you like (or not like) about Sedaris?

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April Reading List

We’re cruising right along in this book challenge (and in 2014). It’s hard to believe we’re into April already. The theme for April’s reading is “Month of Humor” (thanks to April 1 being April Fool’s Day). For this month, we’re reading funny books by funny people – which should prove to be a welcome break from some of the heavier selections we’ve picked up recently (I mean, The Red Queen was excellent, but not very funny). We’re already well into the month, finishing up our last selection for March and first for April, Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

So here’s the list! I hope you’ll pick one (or more) and read along with me, and join in each week for my review, and a book discussion in the comments!

April 6 – 12: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim – David Sedaris

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We’ve already tackled a book by Sedaris during this book challenge (see: Holidays on Ice in December’s “Month of Holidays” readying). Sedaris has already proved to me that he can be not only funny, but slightly dark, sometimes twisted, and very sentimental. I’m looking forward to tackling another of Sedaris’s books. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is a collection of short stories, so prepare for a bunch of laughs!

 

April 13 – 19: Dad is Fat  – Jim Gaffigan

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I LOVE JIM GAFFIGAN. I can’t express this fact enough. He is so funny. I have watched all his specials. I love that his comedy is about realistic things – family issues, food, home births. When I found out he wrote a book (and titled it Dad is Fat… hilarious!), I knew I had to read it. April’s “Month of Humor” theme was a great time to work this book into my reading schedule. If it’s half as funny as Gaffigan’s comedy specials, it’ll prove to be an excellent choice.

 

April 20 – 27: Two for the Dough – Janet Evanovich

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Our favorite bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, is making a second appearance on our reading list. Last month we read One for the Money, and I was pleasantly surprised by how downright funny Evanovich’s novel was. Stephanie is a really funny leading lady, and reading about her (mostly failed) attempts in bounty hunting is non-stop entertainment. This book will fit wonderfully into our “Month of Humor” theme, and will be the second time in the entire book challenge that we’ve picked up a book that is a second in a series. If you haven’t read One for the Money yet, I recommend picking that up this week, and catching up with Two for the Dough at a later date.

 

April 28 – May 4: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adams

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Speaking of tackling a “second book in a series”… We’re doing to wrap up our “Month of Humor” and segue into May’s “Month of the Apocalypse” reading by tackling The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. This book is the second in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. We read the first book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, back in November, when our theme was “Month of Travel” (you know… travel the galaxy). How does this fit in with the “Apocalypse?” Well, the Earth literally ends in the first book, so we’re going to find out what happens next, while hopefully laughing our butts off.

So there you have it – our very carefully selected books for April’s “Month of Humor” themed reading. I hope you’ll pick one (or more), follow along, and tell me your thoughts in our “book-club-like discussion” at the end of each week.

Happy Reading!

 

 

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Book Review: “Bossypants”

Well, I missed my introduction post again – I am not doing too well keeping you all updated with the reading of the week! Sorry! This week we segued from March’s “Month of Women” into April’s “Month of Humor,” so to meet both requirements, I picked up a book by a woman (Tina Fey), about a woman (Tina Fey), which promised to be pretty hilarious (because… you know… Tina Fey).

This week’s read was Bossypants by (you guessed it) Tina Fey.

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I have been a Tina Fey fan for over 10 years, when I realized she was the writer of Mean Girls. As much as we all hate to admit it in 2014, the 2004 film was comedy gold – especially if you were a high school senior like I was. I am also a diehard fan of 30 Rock, Fey’s NBC show in which she acted, produced, and wrote. There’s also the little fact that she was a writer and actor on Saturday Night Live. So when I needed to find a “humor” book by a female author, Bossypants was the obvious choice.

Man, am I happy I picked this book. Fey is nothing short of hilarious. Her book serves as a sort of autobiography, riddled with entertaining stories from her childhood, through adolescence (there’s quite the story about how her mom handled her getting her first period), through her “starving artist” days, into a successful career, and up to parenthood. She touches on everything from being a woman in a stereotypically man’s world (comedy), to body issues, to parenting a toddler… all three things I can relate to (being a woman in a man’s world through the military, not through comedy… obviously). Fey writes honestly, and says the things most of us are thinking but refuse to say out loud.

I literally laughed out loud at least once per page while reading this book – which, if you ask my husband, is really annoying because I like to read at night when he’s trying to sleep. I was up until 1:30 a.m. last night (this morning? is it morning if you haven’t slept yet?), trying to laugh quietly and not disturb my poor husband who’s alarm would go off 3 1/2 hours later.

Bossypants was a great way to kick off our “Month of Humor” reading. It was uproariously funny, sweet and sentimental, and Fey is really someone I can (and I’m sure many of you can) relate to. She’s not afraid to make fun of herself, and clearly she’s very successful at doing just that. I would enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read, an exhausted stay-at-home mom needing a mental break, an exhausted working mom needing a mental break, or anyone who wants something to laugh at with a glass of wine (or a beer, or a milkshake).

So how about you? Have you read Bossypants? What are your thoughts? Are you a fan of Tina Fey? Does this book sound like a “must read” or a “total dud” to you?

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