Tag Archives: comedy books

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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March Reading List

I can’t believe it’s time to release the March reading list!! 2014 seems to be flying by!

March’s theme is “Month of Women,” so we will be tackling books by women, for women, about women. I chose this theme in honor of the National Women’s History Month which takes place each year in March. I think we have a good selection, and I hope you’ll pick at least one (and hopefully more) to read along with me!

March 2 – 8: The Thirteenth Tale – Dianne Sutterfield

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The Thirteenth Tale came as a recommendation from my great friend Alyssa! The book is our fiction selection for the month, and the book description suggests that there is a mysterious story-within-a-story. The story follows two women authors, and will prove to be an excellent selection for our “Month of Women” theme. I bought this book at the used book store a few months, and have been anxiously waiting to crack it open!

 

March 9 – 15: The Paper Woman – Suzanne Adair

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The Paper Woman is a book I am very excited to read! I was given an ebook copy of the novel personally by the award winning author – Suzanne Adair (hi Suzanne!) – who is a very kind and interesting woman. The novel takes place during the American Revolution, and is the first in a series called the “Mysteries of the American Revolution Trilogy.” Historical fiction is my favorite reading genre, and a good mystery is great way to make history even more interesting! You may have a hard time finding this book, but you can easily get your hands on an ebook copy at Smashwords.

 

March 16 – 22: One for the Money – Janet Evanovich

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This book was given to me years ago by a good friend (who actually shares one character’s name: Joe Morelli). One for the Money is the first of a series about a female bounty hunter – Stephanie Plum – and is written by a bestselling female author – Janet Evanovich. It’s about time I read this novel, which has been sitting pretty on my shelf for over four years!

 

March 23-29: The Red Queen – Philipa Gregory

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The Red Queen is the second of the “Cousin’s Wars” series, the first of which we read in January (see: The White Woman). This is the first time we have read a book that is the second in a series, and I have to admit, I loved Gregory’s writing and story enough to want to pick up the second book! Another bestselling female author, writing historical fiction about a strong female character!

 

March 30 – April 5: Bossypants – Tina Fey

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Bossypants meets the themes for both March and April – it is a book by a woman (Tina Fey), and a comedy novel by a very funny woman (April’s theme is “Month of Humor”). I am a big fan of Tina Fey, and am very much looking forward to being entertained by her again through her book. I would watch anything Fey touches, and will certainly read her book!!

So there you have it, our “Month of Women” reading list! I hope you’ll choose one – or more – of the selections, and join in every week to not only read my reviews, but discuss your opinions and thoughts about the reading!

Happy reading!

 

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Book Review: “Holidays on Ice”

Somehow I managed to get through my three major essays due this week! It was a rough one, but as always, I looked to a book to help motivate me! This week’s reading was perfectly up to that task! Our 14th book of the challenge, this week I picked up Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.

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This book contains a collection of short stories – some truthful, some fictional – from Sedaris about the holidays. The first story, “Santaland,” is uproariously hilarious. I could hardly breathe for laughing so hard, and had a hard time reading out loud to my husband, who got quite the kick out of Sedaris’s story about working as an elf in SantaLand in Macy’s. Sedaris’s honest observations about the obsession with Christmas shows (in a very funny way) how silly we can all be at the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

Listen – this book is a winner! It’s intensely funny! Sedaris has a way of writing from the heart (and the funny bone). His writing style is easy to read, and his observations are astute. I had so much fun reading this book, and could not put it down.

This book would make a great holiday related read for anyone on your list this year – it’s a little bit naughty, and a little bit nice. I dare you to try to read this one out loud without laughing hysterically! I would recommend this book to anyone (over the age of 18) who needs a smile this holiday season, and desperately needs to escape the sugary coating we give to live this time of year!

Did anyone else read Holiday’s on Ice this week (or ever before)? Have you ever read anything by Sedaris before?

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December Reading List

Hello everyone! Sorry for releasing this later than usual, but this one was a little tricky for me to put together. December’s theme for our “one book per week” challenge is “Month of Holidays.” My intention was to find books that would cover all the holidays in the month of December, but it was hard to find books to represent any holiday other than Christmas. I was a little ashamed that the book store had three aisles dedicated to Christian books and Christian fiction, but half a shelf dedicated to Judaism, and perhaps three shelves dedicated to “Eastern Religions.” I checked the comedy section and found plenty of books by Jewish authors, but nothing holiday related. I found tons of books online, but nothing downloadable, and nothing I wanted to pay $25 for.

So… I pieced together a list as best I could, and hope no one feels left out this month!

Dec 1 – 7 – Holidays on Ice – David Sedaris

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I am a big fan of Sedaris, who writes comedic novels about his life. In this book, Sedaris tells short stories about his family holidays in his youth, which will probably be hilarious and exceptionally entertaining! This will be a fun one to read along with, and I hope you can find it at the book store or the library (it has also been made into an audio book, so if you’re busy prepping for the holidays, this one will keep you entertained on your long drives). I’ll be honest – this book is short. I picked it for this week because I have three major essays due this week, and need to be able to spend my time focusing on my finals for my classes, rather than reading for pleasure. This one should be a good relief from the tension of finals week!

 

Dec. 8 – 14 – ‘Twas the Night After Christmas – Sabrina Jeffries

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I came across this one during a late night visit to Target with my husband. The store had put out their Christmas books, and I don’t think I’ve ever really paid attention before, but… there were shelves and shelves of trashy paperback Christmas books!! We had fun picking up the ones with the most ridiculous titles and reading excerpts aloud in the store, and we decided ‘Twas the Night After Christmas had the best potential to induce both giggles and blushing. I am not a huge fan of trashy paperback novels (oh, I’m sorry… “paperback romances”…) but I am doing this challenge to expand my horizons, and pick up books I never would have before. The cover alone was reason enough to know this was a winner (the most skin showing in Target’s aisles). I hope you can find it at the library or used book store – if not, you can get it on sale at Target or Walmart.

 

Dec. 15 – 21 – Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul – Arielle Ford

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Like I said before, I had a hard time finding books to represent other religions at this time of year, and this one was one way I could do that. This book takes short stories from people of all walks of life – different religions, backgrounds and countries – who have had experiences with angels, miracles and healings. I always find this time of year to be very magical, and I think a cup of hot chocolate is a great way to support our mystical souls during the holidays! This one might be a total dud, but it also might be enlightening and inspiring! I found it for $2.50 at the used book store, so … extra bonus!

 

Dec. 22 – 28 – A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

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Well, I couldn’t get through the holiday season without picking up this classic! I have never read it before – although I have seen about 100,000 movie adaptations (slight exaggeration). The week of Christmas is the best time to read this book, and I look forward to reading Dickens’s classic novel! I hope you’ll read along with me this week!

 

Dec. 29 – Jan. 4 – I Am Regina – Sally M. Keehn

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This one isn’t really holiday related, but I added it because, well, I am Regina! My birthday is December 31 and falls in the middle of this week, so I wanted to take the chance to read a book with my name in the title! This historical fiction novel is technically for children, but involves some pretty adult themes (a young girl’s family is killed by Native Americans, she is kidnapped and forced to live among them). I’m really looking forward to reading this one, and finishing out 2013 with a good book!

So there you have it – December’s “Month of Holidays” reading list! I hope you have time to get your books from the library or used book store (or download your ebook), and will join me for at least one book this month!

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Book Review: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

This week we tackled the second of our November’s “Month of Travel” reading, and this week we picked up Douglas Adams’ sci-fi comedy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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To my friends who have been recommending this book to me for years on end – my greatest apologies that it took a book challenge for me to believe you. What an amazingly funny book!!!! I have always been a fan of British humor (and a huge fan of British sci-fi… as in “Doctor Who”), so I don’t why it’s taken so long for me to give in and pick this one up. Adams writes with such dry humor and an overabundance of wit, and I found myself literally laughing out loud while reading this. My poor husband was subjected to totally out of context aloud readings of things he couldn’t possibly understand, while trying to decipher what I was saying through all the giggles.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy follows three main characters – Arthur Dent (England Native and Earthling), Ford Prefect (Galactic Hitchhiker and content editor of the book), and the book, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which contains tips and tricks for galactic hitchhikers wanting to see the galaxy while spending very little money. The guide makes appearances by offering hilarious entries about various locations around the galaxy, including Earth’s entry… “Mostly Harmless.” Ford Prefect has been stranded on Earth for 15 years, and at the moment of its destruction, grabs a pint at the pub, and rescues poor Arthur Dent. Arthur witnesses the destruction of his planet with little emotion, and joins Ford on a dangerous trip hitching rides across the galaxy.

To avoid any spoilers, I’ll just say Ford and Arthur run into some very strange creatures, some familiar (to us Earthlings), and some impossible! Adams creates a great cast of comedic characters, from the flighty Ford, to the adaptable Arthur, a few alien races, and even the manic depressive robot, Marvin. Arthur experiences a very improbable few days throughout the book, one that promises to keep you entertained (and possibly exhausted, if you’re Arthur). This book is smartly written, full of laughs, and endlessly exciting!

This book was a much welcome break after the tedium of Letters From Amelia last week. The book kept me laughing, but I was a little disappointed at how abruptly it ended. I guess that’s why there’s four more stories, which possibly (?) follow Arthur and Ford, and the Guide, as they make their way across the galaxy. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to fit the second book into my reading challenge, but I might just need to play catch up next September when my challenge ends.

I hope you read along with me this week! I couldn’t stop laughing out loud, and had a hard time putting this one down. It’s tough not to move onto the next book, but I have both homework and housework to catch up on! What did you think about this book?!

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

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