This was the first book by David Sedaris that I read, and unfortunately, it now has become the book by which all of his other works are judged. I agreThis was the first book by David Sedaris that I read, and unfortunately, it now has become the book by which all of his other works are judged. I agree with the majority of the reviews that this is probably his best work. Each essay is funnier than the previous and it's easy to fly through half of this book in one sitting because you don't want to stop.
It seems that most people either love Sedaris or don't get his style of humor. The punchlines aren't 'in-your-face' and require a bit of thought in order to appreciate. Put yourself in his shoes and you'll enjoy the essays even more. If you can handle the subjects and language, then essays like You Can't Kill the Rooster, The Youth in Asia, and I'll Eat What He's Wearing will leave you laughing and gasping for air... unless of course, you don't have the awesome sense of humor that you think you do... in which case, you probably won't be able to finish this book.
Several months after reading this, I had the desire to re-read it, but instead bought the audio book, which is read by the author. It's a completely different experience, but hilarious to hear the stories straight from David's mouth. Whether you're reading it or listening to it, there's no wrong way to consume Me Talk Pretty One Day.
If this is your first Sedaris experience, as it was for me, and you're hungry for more, I recommend Holidays on Ice as the follow up....more
This is one of those timeless humor books that holds up just as well today as it did when it was initially released 15 years ago! Dave Barry's masteryThis is one of those timeless humor books that holds up just as well today as it did when it was initially released 15 years ago! Dave Barry's mastery of the written word is at peak performance with this collection of columns. When they stuck the words "GREATEST HITS" on the cover, they were absolutely not lying.
Sure, some of the events and people discussed within these pages may be dated, but if you were alive for those times (or took a history class in school) then you'll still appreciate a fresh and hilarious perspective.
This book contains my all time favorite Barry column titled "Molecular Homicide" which tells the tell of the author having the flu and what happens when he is unable to get out of bed to monitor his young son's activities. This column alone is worth the price of the book. If you enjoy that column then there are plenty more that will tickle your funny bone.
This is a good starting point for anyone getting into Barry for the first time. It's a book that's easy to pick up whenever you have a few minutes and since each column is only 2-3 pages in length you can always come back to it later without having to worry about remembering what you read previously. Though don't be surprised if you find yourself reading some columns numerous times! It's a perfect book to keep in the bathroom for those quick visits, or in the kitchen for when you're microwaving some food.
If you make it through his "Greatest Hits" then I highly recommend "Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need," followed by "Dave Barry is Not Making This Up." You can't go wrong with any of his books, but I found the 3 mentioned to be the funniest....more
This is one of those books that I read in just one or two sittings. It was that good (and that short). Anytime a friend or loved one of mine is goingThis is one of those books that I read in just one or two sittings. It was that good (and that short). Anytime a friend or loved one of mine is going on vacation or traveling for business, I encourage them to read this book prior to their departure. They almost never do, but that's their loss.
Most critics will agree that this is Barry's best book (followed closely by "Greatest Hits"). Of the Barry titles that I have read, I would tend to agree. It's very cohesive and contains illustrations that add a dash of extra hilarity to his writing.
The section where he details every state in the USA (They're Progressive!) is worth the cover price. The way he details foreign countries that he has (and hasn't) visited are hilarious as he tends to play a lot on stereotypes, but I would read the designated section for visiting any of them to see if I agree.
If you've read anything by Dave Barry before, you know what you are going to get. A quick read, a lot of laughs, and a desire for more.
Also recommended: "Dave Barry's Greatest Hits" & "Dave Barry is Not Making this Up."
I wrote this book and therefore could discuss how great and life changing it is, however, I'm opting to let the following reviews from Amazon.com (thI wrote this book and therefore could discuss how great and life changing it is, however, I'm opting to let the following reviews from Amazon.com (that weren't cross-posted to Goodreads) do the talking.
5/5 Stars - "'Musings' was a great and funny book. The stories we short enough that you can take to work, right before bed, or even in the bathroom. The author's humor is so addictive I caught myself saying, "just one more story..." at the end of EVERY story. I cannot wait to read more from Wes Locher!" - Amazon.com user: J. Charles Jessup
5/5 Stars - "Once in a generation something very special occurs in the literary realm. Often from the far-reaches of our collective imagination, someone's muse finds a way to speak to us all through two identical vowels surrounded by a pair of consonants; one formed on the lips, the other on the palate. Book. Buh-ook. This "book" causes us to completely reconsider WHAT we are, WHO we are, even WHERE we are.... I ABSOLUTELY HATE BOOKS LIKE THAT. Why should I have to change? I'm fine just the way I am. The last thing I need in my life is some clown piping up with unwarranted advice in my already complicated life. It's because of people like this that we have silly things like warning labels, crosswalks, and bridges. Maybe I like having a little excitement in my life? Mr. Locher's collection of short stories and observations will not ask you to change one iota of your precious id or ego. He will simply ask you to accompany him on a meandering journey down his memory lane- which you'll start to notice bears a striking resemblance to your own. At it's worst, this book had me chuckling. At it's best, I cackling like a fool at the ceiling and trying not to wake up the people upstairs. Snag this one for your Kindle or iPhone- the price is a steal!" - Amazon.com user: hornpreux
5/5 Stars - "Just finished Musing on Minutiae Humorous Essays, Anecdotes, & Childhood Memories. I won this book from First Reads on Goodreads! What can I say.......... but I loved it! I was bothering my family with "read this part" or "listen to this one"! Lots of real Laugh Out Loud moments too." Short little musings about all sorts of different things. Like unusual things that happened while growing up (we all can relate to those) being out on your own, having CATS! we all have been there too! Enjoyed them all, my favorites, really liked the dentist one, angry feline and loved grandmas comment! So many funny things I can't write them all down and make this a short review. Loved reading about his family. For a debut book I was really impressed and look forward to read more from Weston Locher in the future! - Amazon.com user: Claudia
5/5 Stars - "What a great way to spend a snowy, desperately long winter's day--enjoying the humor & mental images of funny Wes Locher. This book cures what ails you with laughter by the pagefull. A must-read no matter where you live!" - Amazon.com user: Mutijude
5/5 Stars - "These hilarious short stories are perfect for potty time. Set the book next to the toilet and you will find yourself spending way more time there then you planned!!! So funny, it is addictive. I have already read the book twice!!!" - Amazon.com user: Tami Gingrich
5/5 Stars - "This is the most entertaining collection of writings that I've come across in a long time. Weston's witty way with words, his wry humor, and his wide-ranging choice of topics all make for a memorable and hilarious read. While I love each writing, my personal favorites are "Easter Egg Dyeing," "Saving the Day with Vague Answers," and "Mayonnaise!" I highly recommend this book!" - Amazon.com user: 4katz
5/5 Stars - "Musing on Minutiae made me chuckle, laugh out loud, and question the meaning of life through a cat's eyes. This is definitely a book that I can refer back to for a good laugh. I especially liked the variety in topics from roller skating to buying toothpaste to kids/ewoks! The author really has a way of making just about anything hilarious." - Amazon.com user: Cutiepie Ink
5/5 Stars - "Musings on Minutiae is hilarious! Do yourself a favor and pick up this book, you won't regret it! This is observational humor at it's finest!" - Amazon.com user: Aragog
5/5 Stars - "This book is hilarious! The author has a real gift for storytelling and I found myself laughing so hard, my face hurt. It still hurts. Buy this book!" - Amazon.com user: Whitney Locher
Oh, and by the way... this book is life changing....more
Even though this is one of David Sedaris's earliest offerings, I did not read it first. I came onto Sedaris's sardonic wit through the fantastic essayEven though this is one of David Sedaris's earliest offerings, I did not read it first. I came onto Sedaris's sardonic wit through the fantastic essay collection "Me Talk Pretty One Day." After laughing my way through those 200 plus pages I was hungry for more by the author. Being a completest, I usually read everything I can by authors that I enjoy.
Coming from the high that was "Me Talk Pretty..." I was a little put off by "Barrel Fever," the next title I attempted from the author. Where as "Pretty" contains mostly true stories about Sedaris's life, the first section of Barrel Fever (and the largest chunk of the book) was made up of fictional essays. The essays are still hilarious and after having re-read them since, they hold up as some of the craziest writing that I've read to date. It's clear that the earlier Sedaris was a bit more daring and willing to go for some shock value within his writing.
In fact, upon re-reading Barrel Fever, I find the true stories, which make up the second half of the book to be almost lackluster compared to the zany writing up front.
Overall, a solid collection of stories, but not his strongest work, in my opinion. Will you laugh while reading it? Oh, yes you will. Will you remember these stories after checking out some of his other works? Eh, it's not likely.
If you enjoy the first half of Barrel Fever, then I recommend following this book with Sedaris's "Holidays on Ice" which also contains several essays that are just... well... out there....more
When You Are Engulfed in Flames netted Sedaris the most amount of laughs since I read the stellar, Me Talk Pretty One Day. Most of the essays in theseWhen You Are Engulfed in Flames netted Sedaris the most amount of laughs since I read the stellar, Me Talk Pretty One Day. Most of the essays in these pages were sharp and to the point, and not so meandering as they were in previous books. Some of the chapters, like "Crybaby" were easily to relate to, while others, most of which involved his life in Paris require you to just sit back and go on a journey with him as he dodges child molesters and makes friends with the spiders that live in the window frames of his home.
I find that the most enjoyable stories are the ones about David's family. His creative way with words makes his parents and siblings accessible people who jump out of the pages and you feel like you're there with him as he discusses his father's over-reactive tendencies along with his mother's droll sense of humor. His sisters never cease to make you laugh as they do everything in their power to put David into one awkward situation after another.
The final essay in the book, "The Smoking Section", which makes up the last hundred or so pages is worth the cover price alone. It details his mission to quit smoking, so he takes off to the most logical place to do so... Tokyo, Japan. What follows is a journal kept over the three month period of his stay, and much hilarity ensues.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames covers a wide array of topics, and as usual with Sedaris, you never know exactly what you're going to get or what type of ride he's going to take you on. One thing's for sure though... it's going to be a hilarious ride.
If you read and enjoyed "Me Talk Pretty One Day" then you'll likely enjoy this collection of anecdotes as well....more
If you read the quotes that adorn the front and back covers of Sloane Crosley's "I was Told There'd be Cake" the you can see that she's compared to huIf you read the quotes that adorn the front and back covers of Sloane Crosley's "I was Told There'd be Cake" the you can see that she's compared to humorists Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris. These are dangerous comparisons for some writers as they are high standards to live up to. Does Crosley sit on that same level? Sometimes. When she's on, she's on, but there were also some essays that just missed he mark completely.
Part of this book reads as a love letter to New York City, but for me, someone who has never been and does not live there, references to common locations often went over my head and occasionally made me feel like I wasn't "in the know."She opens strong with a tale about plastic ponies that sets the bizarre and silly tone for the rest of the book, however, the rest of the essays that follow either exceed the first in quality or falter altogether.
I highly enjoyed her tales about suffering through a distant friend's wedding as a bridesmaid, as well as her story about working for a publisher, and laughed my way through the mystery to uncover which of her friends may have poo'ed on her floor one night after a dessert party. Some essays fell flat and I was unable to relate either because I'm not, nor do I ever plan to be a woman, or because I am not a vegetarian. The style in which the essays are delivered are conversational, as if she's a friend telling you the story in person, but there are often quick and confusing cuts between thoughts, and her humor is mainly situational and you have to look for the irony in the situations she gets herself into. Her attempts at straightforward jokes are sparse and often feel forced and out of place.
Overall I found the book amusing and perhaps better suited to a female audience, but I think Sloane has a ton of potential. I've heard that she has a new book on he horizon, and based off of my experience with "Cake," I will more than likely give it a read as I'm sure that she has had more time to find her voice and develop her style a bit more. I look forward to seeing her grow as a writer....more
Once you discover why funny man Barry Parham hates straws, you'll never look at one the same way again. As you get caught up in his offbeat world viewOnce you discover why funny man Barry Parham hates straws, you'll never look at one the same way again. As you get caught up in his offbeat world view you'll also never look at Alaska, Barbies, or Joe Biden the same way either.
This book collects a myriad of Parham's weekly humor columns into a physical tome that looks great on your bedside table. Just beware of the sleep you may start losing if you choose to read passages prior to bedtime. Also beware of your significant other, who may get annoyed with your laughter while she tries to sleep.
Barry's columns touch on classic themes but remain relevant by challenging current happenings in the worlds of pop culture and politics with smart humor and clever wordplay. His delivery is so slick and his punchlines so accessible that if this book doesn't make you laugh hysterically then you should check your pulse immediately.
Parham has mastered the art of the humorous list and proves that he really only needs one sentence to bring you to tears with laughter. If this is only his debut book, then bachelor (or is it single guy?) Barry Parham has one of the brightest futures in humor writing.
I highly recommend this book for people who enjoy a good laugh... and to sad clowns....more
Because I had a book that was soon to be published, I starting picking up and consuming as much information as I could regarding book marketing. ThisBecause I had a book that was soon to be published, I starting picking up and consuming as much information as I could regarding book marketing. This was the first book I grabbed (on a long list) and read the majority of it during a flight.
Now, don't get me wrong, there is some good information in these pages and I picked up a couple of good tips, however, this book makes a dangerous assumption: It assumes that you know over a thousand people that you can easily tell about your book, and thus they will buy it, and you will become a best-seller. Don't know 1,000 people? You might be in a predicament.
On the positive side, there is a website companion to this book that has all sorts of good book marketing ideas supplied by the authors of the book, along with many writers who have read the volume and give feedback on how their campaigns worked out. They also include feedback on the techniques discussed in this book, both good and bad.
I can see myself re-reading this at some point in the future when I'm a bit more knowledgeable, however, this may have not been the best place to start when attempting to learn about marketing with little to no previous experience....more
Rob "Diesel" Kroese can make anything funny. If you read his blog, Mattress Police, then you already know this. For those unfamiliar with his past andRob "Diesel" Kroese can make anything funny. If you read his blog, Mattress Police, then you already know this. For those unfamiliar with his past and first experiencing him through Mercury Falls, then you are seeing a man at the top of his writing game.
There's a reason that people are ranting, raving, and leaving 5 star reviews for this book all over the web: It's so entertaining that you can't put it down, and once you finish the final chapter, you head right to Google to find out when the movie is slated for release. As of right now, there is no movie, but Hollywood should take note of this great work of fiction and realize it's potential as a hit.
Being a longtime reader of Kroese's blog, I was a little put off when the cover image was released and I found myself faced with a classic angel painting. Knowing that the book focused on the Apocalypse I worried that due to my lack of religious knowledge that I might be missing out on key ingredients vital to the story. I'm happy to report that this is not the case! Rob foresaw this problem so he filled in the biblical verses for the readers where they were necessary.
The character development was great in Mercury Falls and you grow to know and feel for the main characters. Mercury himself is a character worthy of many books to come. I spent a lot of time wondering Karl was based on anyone Robert knows.
Overall, the book kept me entertained, kept me laughing, and there were days when I couldn't wait to get home to read it. I look forward to more novels from Kroese whether or not the characters remain the same. Above all, the message of this book was a great one, and rang through loud and clear: Don't follow blindly, make your own decisions in life, and don't hesitate to question everything.
Being the author of a newly released book and desperately seeking information on how to promote the title once it had been released, I found FrancineBeing the author of a newly released book and desperately seeking information on how to promote the title once it had been released, I found Francine Silverman's Book Marketing from A-Z and immediately ordered a copy.
I wanted to like it. I really did. Out of the many book marketing tomes that I read, this was my the least useful to my promotion campaign planning. I read numerous reviews before picking up my copy and one of the highlights was that it advertised tips from every genre. Being an author in a smaller niche, I was excited to find advice from other authors in my area. In the end, there was only one tip pertaining to my genre, and it was nothing ground breaking that I hadn't thought of on my own. Obviously, tips for any genre can be applied to your own, so I still made sure that I kept an open mind as I read other author's experiences.
If you are a romance author, this book has tons to offer you and I highly suggest you pick it up.
Time might be this book's greatest enemy. Various Weblinks suggested in the book have since become extinct and this can become frustrating as you try to do additional research after reading it. The second biggest enemy is the format of the book. There are many spelling errors and font sizes don't seem entirely consistent and sometimes it's not completely clear where one section leaves off and the next begins. Formatting the topics from A-Z is nice, but an index in the back of any other research book provides the equivalent.
As I mentioned earlier, if Romance is your genre, pick this one up, but if you've already read other marketing/promotion books, this won't teach you anything you don't already know.
The book reviewed is a collection of submissions from other authors on what has and has not worked for them while promoting their books. It should be noted that Francine Silverman runs a book promotion newsletter that you can subscribe to online. It's an invaluable resource that I recommend all authors look into. ...more
Carolyn Howard-Johnson knows a thing or two about book promotion. Having published many books, columns, and articles across many genres, she tends toCarolyn Howard-Johnson knows a thing or two about book promotion. Having published many books, columns, and articles across many genres, she tends to know what she's talking about. Even though some of the information and website links are now dated, the number one thing I loved about this book was that it didn't talk down to you.
While in the process of publishing my humor book, I read as many self-marketing resources as I could get my hands on. I kept running across positive reviews of The Frugal Book Promoter so I knew I had to pick it up.
It's not one of those books that tells you to go out and find an agent and promises you all the success in the world. It tells you the steps that you can take all by yourself in order to achieve the success you desire... you just have to be willing to do the hard work. Sure, it gives you the knowledge to find an agent who might help you reach your goals, but doesn't recognize it as the only option.
I tabbed sections of this book as I went along so that after finishing it I could easily go back and find techniques that I wanted to try. By the time I finished the book, I easily had over 50 tabs stuffed into the pages. I've been working my way back through and putting some of her ideas into practice. While I haven't made a million dollars and I'm not yet rubbing elbows with Oprah, I have seen some promotional campaigns turn into book sales.
There were a couple of other marketing/promotion books that I read prior to this one and in retrospect, I wish this had been the first thing I read since some of those other books assume you are working in a particular genre, or assume that you have a couple thousand dollars to drop on making posters and bookmarks. This book is completely focused on how to save money and requires no previous knowledge or experience.
If you're serious about your book's future, then you won't regret picking up Carolyn's book. She wants to help you. She wants you to succeed. She doesn't see you as competition. She knows we're all in this together....more
This volume of hilarity collects Dave Barry columns that are either inspired by ideas sent in by his readers, answers their questions, or invoked someThis volume of hilarity collects Dave Barry columns that are either inspired by ideas sent in by his readers, answers their questions, or invoked some kind of big response.
If you're a fan of Barry then you already know what you're getting: 800 words of funny per column. We watch him tackle subjects ranging from his dogs, to the giant Florida spiders that live around his house, to his own personal airline, as well as his bid to run in the 1996 Presidential election.
Barry never ceases to leave you laughing and proves over the course of another 50+ columns why he is not only the best humor columnist of our time, but also why he has been dubbed "The funniest man in America."...more
Darwyn Cooke has put together something really special with Parker: The Hunter. The hardcover edition is absolutely beautiful. The pages are thick andDarwyn Cooke has put together something really special with Parker: The Hunter. The hardcover edition is absolutely beautiful. The pages are thick and heavy and Darwyn's art jumps off the page at you. I'm a big fan of crime fiction/noir comics, and this is one of the better ones I've read since Brubaker's Criminal.
The tone is dark as Parker tracks down thug after thug who has wronged him. Cooke utilizes mostly whites, blues, an blacks for all of the art to help you feel the mindset of a man who is out to get his money back and will stop at nothing to do so. The cover is full color and completely stunning.
I was unfamiliar with Richard Stark prior to this book. After reading which movies that his books had spawned, I started to get an appreciation for the man realizing that I really like those movies, so I'm anxious to check out his prose versions somewhere down the line, though I've heard that Darwyn will adapt another Parker story to be released in mid-2010.
Though over 100 pages, this book is fast paced and action packed, spurred on by Cooke not using traditional frames within the book, leaving each panel open as a fluid transition into the next. I would have loved for it to take longer to read, but truth be told, I just couldn't put it down. Before I knew it, I was on the fourth chapter, nearing the climax and I forced myself to set it down for the night, though I finished it immediately the following morning. If you're a fan of Brubaker or Bendis's crime work, this ranks right up there with the best.
Darwyn Cooke is one of those special talents who can write (or in this case adapt) a comic and do all of the art for it. It's obvious that he put a lot of heart into this adaptation and greatly respects Richard Stark. Always a pleasure to read a book from someone who has so much love for sequential storytelling....more