I care about the English Royal Family not one jot -- but I still devoured Heather Cocks' and Jessica Morgan's "The Royal We" like I was starving and iI care about the English Royal Family not one jot -- but I still devoured Heather Cocks' and Jessica Morgan's "The Royal We" like I was starving and it was a perfect plate of fish and chips. (I actually care about fish and chips a great deal.) Cocks and Morgan are the creators of the perennially hilarious Go Fug Yourself blog, where aside from keeping me fashionable and entertained for something like 10 years, they have also taught me what little I do know about the Royal Family -- mostly that they have a penchant for large, silly hats. I gleaned my rudimentary knowledge of the Prince William/Kate Middleton romance and wedding through the GFY site -- a story which, in The Royal We, Cocks and Morgan reinvent as a pitch-perfect romantic comedy. While studying abroad at Oxford, American Rebecca "Bex" Porter meets her housemate, Nick -- without immediately realizing he's more commonly known as Nicholas, Prince of Wales. Despite the fairy tale setup, the narrative is surprisingly grounded, thanks in large part to Bex herself, who's one of the best romcom heroines I've encountered in a long time: she's adorable, but her flaws aren't; she's a true, realistic everywoman, yet still uniquely herself. I fell in love with Nick through her eyes, then raced through the book, desperate to see if they'd get their happy ending. The journey is wonderfully complicated, and totally dishy, but never trashy, fun. This is the perfect comfort read -- ideal for bed, beach, or plane....more
Reading this book was sort of like eating a doughnut. Do you ever have that moment halfway through a Krispy Kreme or those old-fashioneds they sell foReading this book was sort of like eating a doughnut. Do you ever have that moment halfway through a Krispy Kreme or those old-fashioneds they sell for $1.40 at Starbucks where all of a sudden you're like, "Why am I eating this?" And then another part of your brain—probably more directly connected to your sugar centers (that's totally a real medical term)—goes, "Uh, because it's in your MOUTH? It's a DOUGHNUT? Whatever. Chew, bitch, chew!" So you do, and later you're like, "Well. I did THAT" and you tell yourself it's fine, just you can't have any ice cream after dinner.
This book was like that. It was at least mildly amusing most of the time, and it was pretty easy to just keep turning the pages without having to think very much. Many hypothetical acts of violence were threatened, but no one was actually tortured or killed, which, compared to some other things I've read lately, was a major plus.
Did this book have any real effect on me at all? No. Well, it made me less bored on the bus, but so does this Lady Gaga/Journey mashup I can't stop listening to. But it was fine. Still. Maybe no more humor books for a while.
By the way, I am eating cinnamon babka right now and it is delicious....more
Samantha Bee has never been my favorite Daily Show correspondent, or even probably in my top five. I picked this up because it was free I like The DaiSamantha Bee has never been my favorite Daily Show correspondent, or even probably in my top five. I picked this up because it was free I like The Daily Show as a whole enough to be interested in almost anything its people put out; I expected it to be vaguely amusing at best. To my surprise and delight, Bee’s book is actually really funny, a deeply amusing comedic memoir about growing up strange and Canadian (a combination I most enjoy). I literally LOL’d at several points—not something that is common for me, as I have perfected a fairly stable Reading In Public face. Also, the parts about Bee and her fellow Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones are really cute; I think I kind of ship them now. Which is convenient, because they are married.
This is definitely a humor section standout, and if you were hesitating for any reason—like the fact that there are a billion similar-looking books by minor comedic figures, and any of them can put on a bee costume for their book cover, but that doesn’t mean said book will be funny—hesitate no more. Bee costumes are only the beginning....more
Confession: I don’t find jokes funny. Not really. Witticisms, yes. Humorous stories, indeed. But jokes—setup: punchline jokes—not so much. Possibly thConfession: I don’t find jokes funny. Not really. Witticisms, yes. Humorous stories, indeed. But jokes—setup: punchline jokes—not so much. Possibly there is something wrong with me.
I liked this book, though. It’s short—not much more than a glorified magazine article—but the history is fascinating and the philosophy digestible. I loved the examples of jokes from ancient times: they were hilarious, in the sense that they were hilariously bad. I especially enjoyed the discussion of Poggio Bracciolini, who with his 15th Century Liber Facetiarum, became the author of the first joke book published in Europe. This despite his, as Holt puts it, “regrettable tendency to preempt the punchline.” For example: “The abbot of Septimo, an extremely corpulent man, was traveling toward Florence one evening. On the road he asked a peasant, ‘Do you think I’ll be able to make it through the city gate?’ He was talking about whether he would be able to make it to the city before the gates were closed. The peasant, jesting on the abbot’s fatness, said, ‘Why, if a cart of hay can make it through, you can, too!’”
Correction: I seem to like jokes that are really badly told.
(All right, for the record, there was one joke in this book that did make me laugh in the traditional manner. From page 106:
A Jewish grandmother is watching her grandchild playing on the beach when a huge wave comes and takes him out to sea. She pleads, “Please, God, save my only grandson! Bring him back.” And a big wave comes and washes the boy back onto the beach, good as new. She looks up at heaven and says, “He had a hat!”
One of the funnier blog-related books I’ve read/flipped through, I think because Gasteier finds sufficient different ways to approach his subject—thosOne of the funnier blog-related books I’ve read/flipped through, I think because Gasteier finds sufficient different ways to approach his subject—those goddamn manipulative cute animals—and thus keeps the humor from becoming one note. Plus I just find his angry/exasperated tone to be amusing. Is there something Mishaish about it? POSSIBLY....more
Laugh-out-loud comedic sketches by a guy who is a) younger than me, and b) weirdly, the son of Frank Rich. But don’t think about that stuff: concentraLaugh-out-loud comedic sketches by a guy who is a) younger than me, and b) weirdly, the son of Frank Rich. But don’t think about that stuff: concentrate on the funny. I particularly liked “A Conversation Between the People Who Hid in My Closet Every Night When I Was Seven.”
Rather than try to be funny about this book, I think I will leave it at that and just let Rich be funny on his own. He is more than capable, after all....more
How I Met Your Mother tie-in book. HIMYM is my favorite show currently on the air; I found the book disappointing. Mostly it just recounts a bunch ofHow I Met Your Mother tie-in book. HIMYM is my favorite show currently on the air; I found the book disappointing. Mostly it just recounts a bunch of stupid guy clichés, and a bunch of guys’ stupid clichés about women. For the most part, except for when it’s cribbing concepts directly from the show, it lacks Barney’s wonderful weirdness—I mean, he’s not some dull frat boy, which is what this book sounds like; his rules and schemes are much stranger, are always slightly off-kilter. Barney is a unique specimen; this book is depressingly average.
Oh well. I bet it’s a lot funnier in audiobook form. NPH makes everything better....more