I still feel like Burroughs is a poor man's David Sedaris- neurotic gay guy writes short stories about his neuroses, his weird family, strange episode...moreI still feel like Burroughs is a poor man's David Sedaris- neurotic gay guy writes short stories about his neuroses, his weird family, strange episodes from his childhood, and how he came to be a semi-functional member of society- but that probably isn't such a bad thing to be. Even though this isn't quite as hilarious as Sedaris's books, there are still plenty of terrifically funny stories. I loved reading about his psychotic cleaning lady, his classes at the Barbizon Modeling School, his relationship with Raoul the seemingly-perfect guy, and his introduction to opossums.
A few of his anecdotes made me sad, or angry, or slightly queasy, but in general I really enjoyed this. There is something R-rated in almost every chapter, and most of the funniest stories are a little bit mean, but if you don't mind you humor dark and dirty, you should pick up a copy of this book.
What a fun book! Really nerdy (zombies and werewolves and dwarves, oh my!) but also really clever. This is my first Pratchett book (except Good Omens,...moreWhat a fun book! Really nerdy (zombies and werewolves and dwarves, oh my!) but also really clever. This is my first Pratchett book (except Good Omens, which was a collaboration), but I'm interested in reading more.(less)
A funny take on what it takes to throw a proper funeral in the deep South. The chapters all have cute names like 'There is a Balm in Campbell's Soup,'...moreA funny take on what it takes to throw a proper funeral in the deep South. The chapters all have cute names like 'There is a Balm in Campbell's Soup,' and 'I Was So Embarrassed I Liketa Died.' Each starts with advice about things like choosing proper flowers and making ladylike tea sandwiches, and has plenty of cute anecdotes about bad behavior-- drunken friends, pushy neighbors, and tacky relatives. Recipes make up the second part of the chapters. There are 3 recipes for devilled eggs, 6 recipes for pimiento cheese, and loads of dips, cakes, and casseroles.
I'm not so sure about some of the recipes-- pineapple casserole? Condensed soup in EVERYTHING? But there's something to be said for gooey, mayonnaise-y comfort food.(less)
This wasn't my favorite David Sedaris book, but it does have his 'Stadium Pal' piece, which (especially when read aloud) might be the funniest thing e...moreThis wasn't my favorite David Sedaris book, but it does have his 'Stadium Pal' piece, which (especially when read aloud) might be the funniest thing ever. The first two-thirds of the book is short stories about his family, Hugh, and his life in France. The final section talks about his experiences with smoking- why he started, how he quit, what it was like afterward. Of course he makes it all sound very odd and very funny. (less)
This is the second of Moore's books that I've read. I liked it a lot, and I want to read more. The cover art mirrors the flavor of the book perfectly-...moreThis is the second of Moore's books that I've read. I liked it a lot, and I want to read more. The cover art mirrors the flavor of the book perfectly-- both are equal parts funny & macabre. If you look at the tiny grim reaper in the stroller and start giggling, chances are you'll enjoy the book.
When the story begins, Charlie Asher, a thrift store owner in San Francisco, has just become a father, then a widower. On top of all this, he starts seeing glowing objects, waking up with strange names written on the notepad by his bed, and hearing voices coming from storm drains. Before long, Charlie realizes that he has been recruited to be one of a group of 'santa's helpers' for death. He collects objects that contain people's souls, then passes them on to their new owners. In addition to being 'a death,' Charlie must also contend with a group of demons living in the sewers, who want to keep him from doing his job so that they can take over the world.
This was a great book with a funny story, cool characters, and some interesting historical/mythological tidbits thrown in for fun. It isn't for everyone, but it should be great for anyone who enjoys absurdist humor and doesn't mind a little bit of darkness.(less)
What happens to people's bodies after they die? This sounds like the premise for grim book, but somehow, when Roach writes about the uses that the liv...moreWhat happens to people's bodies after they die? This sounds like the premise for grim book, but somehow, when Roach writes about the uses that the living have found for the dead through history, it isn't grim at all-- it fact, it's really funny.
Roach talks about how cadavers have helped us learn anatomy, made cars safer, aided in solving murders, and saved the lives of sick people. She also describes some truly bizarre things that have been done to cadavers (Trying to determine whether the Shroud of Turin is real? Examining the feasibility of human head transplants?? Macerating martyrs in honey for 100 years and then EATING them???)
Despite the grisly subject matter, the book is often funny and rarely gruesome. If you're squeamish you might want to avoid the chapter on UT's body farm and the section on 'water reduction' and human composting, but the disturbing sections really were infrequent. In all, I though this was interesting, enlightening, funny and surprisingly respectful of the dead. It might upset particularly ardent respect-for-the-dead types, or people who are especially squeamish, but I think most other people would really enjoy it.(less)
I wish I could have been friends with MFK Fisher. This book is full of her strong opinions, down-to-earth suggestions, and fantastic dry wit. Good stu...moreI wish I could have been friends with MFK Fisher. This book is full of her strong opinions, down-to-earth suggestions, and fantastic dry wit. Good stuff.
The book was originally written as a practical how-to for people who had to cook during the shortages and food-rationing of World War II. This edition was updated after the war, in 1951. Now, you may think that sounds like the set-up for a particularly grim book, but you'd be wrong. She is generally undaunted by the limitations that war-time cooks faced. She stays cheerful and even makes jokes about what must have been a very bad situation. In her revisions, she admits that some of her suggestions aren't at all appetizing, but this just makes the book more interesting.
The book has chapters on all the normal cook-book-ish things (breads, soups, poultry, fish, desserts). It also covers less common topics like how to stay alive and relatively healthy when money and good food are extremely limited, how to feed your pets most economically, to how to prepare REALLY extravagent meals when food isn't so hard to come by.
I like to read cookbooks, but I think this book would also be good for people who aren't that interested in food. It is interesting as a historical document, and it is interesting because of Fisher's wonderful writing style.
It took me a really long time to finish this one, and I'm not really sure why. It was interesting-- to someone who's interested in cycling, anyway-- a...moreIt took me a really long time to finish this one, and I'm not really sure why. It was interesting-- to someone who's interested in cycling, anyway-- and Hutchinson tells his story in a very amusing way. I often think that non-fiction books get a little boring and repetitive by the end, but this is one that held my interest quite well (I usually find myself thinking 'Yes, I GET IT!' at least a few times in every non-fiction book I read. I'm lowbrow. And I have a short attention-span).
The premise of the book is simple: Hutchinson is a low-level professional cyclist in Britain. One day he decides to make an attempt at the hour record (ride your bike as fast as you can for one hour; see how far you went). The book covers his training, his gear, and his fears and neuroses about the project, as well as the history of the record and some general cycling history. His attempt comes at the very end of the book, so there's a lot of suspense about whether he'll set a new record. A good book for cyclists and those who love them. (less)