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Category Archives: Humor

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler

Okay, so, full disclosure: I am not a huge Chelsea Handler fan. So take what I am going to say with a grain of salt.

This book is…embarrassing. Like, I know her brand of humor is less…sophisticated than TFey’s or Demetri Martin or Ricky Gervais. I knew that going in. But that still didn’t prepare me for the first chapter. It was entirely about Handler’s discovery of how to…self complete, if you catch my drift. And apparently once Handler learned how to, ahem, self complete, she spends all her time doing it. Everywhere. Like in the family den when everyone is watching TV. Or while riding a bike. Or at the family table during Thanksgiving dinner. Erk. ERK, guys. I don’t think that’s funny. That’s the kind of stuff you keep to yourself and pray that everyone else involved forgets about. Amiright?

I always knew that Chelsea Handler’s humor centered on the uncomfortable and playing practical jokes on close friends. And I don’t mind that. Her comments are usually the funniest on those VH1 shows. And a few of the stories on the book are great. Like the one where she convinces her boyfriend she killed a friend’s dog and now they have to attend the dog’s funeral. But then there was the one where she spends the whole day eating hot pockets, drinking alcohol and watching the Sex and the City movie. I mean, that’s just sad. Get it together, woman. You are an adult.

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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Book Reviews, Humor

 

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

When Alice comes to after falling off her exercise bike and hitting her head on the handle bars during her spin class, her first thought is about her unborn child. Is little Sultana (the nickname that Alice and her husband – Nick – came up with for the baby) all right? Her second thought is of Nick. He is going to be so worried about her and the baby. And once he realizes it’s no big D, he’s going to laugh at Alice’s characteristic klutzy-ness.

But it is a big D. And Alice realizes this soon after she gets to the hospital. When her sister – Elizabeth – comes to visit her, Alice can’t help but notice the coldness in her eyes and words. Her mom is also unrecognizable when she comes in. It isn’t until the doctor comes in and begins asking routine questions to check for brain damage that we realize the extent of Alice’s injury. She thinks it’s 1998. It’s really 2008.

Alice forgot everything, ya’ll. This would be bad in the best of circumstances but, you guys! Things. Have. Changed. And Alice realizes this most painfully when she calls her husband, Nick, to explain the ordeal and all she gets back is an angry and profane response accusing her of being a manipulative wretch. A dumbstruck Alice hangs up the phone after the tirade and only then is told by Elizabeth just what she’s forgotten. Alice is not 29, newly married, and expecting her first child. She is 39, has three children, and is in the middle of a divorce and a nasty custody battle.

That sucks.

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The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel

Premise: cousins share a “kid table” at every family occasion (Fourth of July, New Year’s, an adult relative’s bar mitzvah). They enjoy each other’s company – for the most part – but resent the table, scheming of ways to join the adults. This is where we meet our narrator, Ingrid, as she shares the indignity of sitting at the kid table while also resenting the fact that her slightly older cousin – Brianne – somehow managed to make it out.

Ingrid’s relationship with Brianne wasn’t the best to begin with. But when Brianne uses her burgeoning knowledge of Psychology to diagnose Ingrid as psychopath, things go from bad to worse. Now the rest of the family is watching her every move out of the corner of their eyes for confirmation of this diagnosis. Great. And her favorite, Cricket, is looking suspiciously skinny and gets panicky around food. Fantastic. And that really attractive guy (Trevor) who was flirting with her a little earlier? Yea, he’s Brianne’s new college boyfriend. Could get things get any better? Why, of course. Dom is still calling everything “gay” as a way of hinting to his nuclear and extended family that he is same-sex oriented. And Micah can’t seem to keep his clothes on! What is happening?

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?Everyone should go find a copy of this book if for no other reason than just to see the picture of Ms. Kaling as a child. I literally lol’d when I saw it. Aside from the innate hilarity of the picture, it shows just what lengths Mkale is willing to go to in order to make people laugh. And that’s kind of the theme of this book.

Mindy Kaling loves comedy. Like, seriously. When we were spending our times watching inane cartoons, collecting stickers, playing video games/sports, or ogling the guys in the latest issue of Seventeen, Kaling was putting on skits that she co-wrote with her weekend-friend (Oh, it’s a thing. Read the book.) for her family.

There are two chapters in the book that I absolutely loved. The first one is titled, “Chubby for Life,” where Kaling discusses her weight. According to her, she’s always been chubby except for two periods in her life: 1) when a middle school classmate embarrassed her into eating less and 2) when she exercised regularly in college with the help of an incredibly generous friend who seemed to have a lot of time on her hands. Otherwise, Mindy Kaling = Chubby. And she’s okay with that. Really. The point of this chapter is to show how unsupportive Hollywood is. I know what you’re thinking: duh. But Kaling explains it like this: in Hollywood, it’s okay for people to be skinny or fat. But if you are somewhere in between, you’re frustrating. Stylists don’t know how to dress you and people have a hard time casting you. Mindy gets around this problem by writing her own characters (e.g. Kelly Kapoor in The Office).

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Party Wolves in My Skull by Michael Allen Rose

You probably haven’t heard of Bizarro Fiction. I know I hadn’t.

As an established genre, Bizarro is a relatively new concept, though the form and ideas have been around for a long time. As the official Bizarro website states, ‘Bizarro, simply put, is the genre of the weird.’ Combining logic of the absurd with twisted, occasionally pornographic, and always macabre themes, it brings to mind the writings of Christopher Moore, Franz Kafka, and even Lewis Carroll, just to name a few.

Since it is such a new genre, Bizarro is always looking to further the art form and release new talent on an unsuspecting world. One of the eight books released this year by the New Bizarro Author Series, Party Wolves in My Skull by Michael Allen Rose is a shining example of what it means to be shelved in the Bizarro section.

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Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach, illustrated by Ricardo Cortés

Go the F**k to SleepA friend and loyal reader of our blog requested that I review this book, and what a great suggestion that was.  Timely and certainly a fun book to review!  Her reasoning was:  “Because if you like it, I’m buying it for all my friends who have kids.”

With that kind of endorsement, who could resist?  That is what we’re here for, after all.

If you live under a rock and haven’t heard about this new picture book, it started as a joke.  Author Adam Mansbach posted the following status update on his Facebook profile one night: “Look out for my forthcoming children’s book, ‘Go the F**k to Sleep.’”  It received an overwhelming response, so he began to draft some actual verses.  Originally scheduled to be released in October, the release date was moved up several times due to demand and insane levels of pre-ordering.  It was finally released June 14th.  And it gets better: Samuel L. Jackson narrated the audio version, which is available for free on Audible.

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The Practical Napper by Jennifer Eyre White

The Practical Napper

The Practical Napper

Napping is one of the finest pleasures in life.  The idea of stopping everything in the middle of the day and crawling into bed, or onto the couch, or perhaps just putting your head down on the steering wheel for a few moments, is intoxicating.  So many napping possibilities, so few napping hours in the day.  Yes, I am decidedly pro-nap.

Now there is a book to support nap enthusiasts like myself: The Practical Napper (available on Tuesday, June 7th).  This volume is a hardcover, but its small, gift-book size ensures that you will not sustain blunt force trauma from dropping it on your face when you doze off in the middle.  (Beware the corners, though – those are still sharp and pointy.  I added foam padding to mine.)

Each page contains a quotation, fact, illustration, or anecdote, all revolving around the ancient art of napping.  Take this one, for instance: “A nap makes a fine Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift for your weary spouse, the beloved parent of your young children.  Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like letting your partner check out for awhile and forget all about the life the two of you have built together.” (120)  That’s some sound advice right there.

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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Book Reviews, Humor

 

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