What's So Funny


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What's So Funny

  1. 1. What’s So Funny?: Humor in Books for Kids and Not-So-Grown-Ups The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Alexie, Sherman, 0316013684 Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all- white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island by Greenlaw, Linda, 0786866772 The author details her return to Isle au Haut, a tiny Maine island with a population of seventy year-round residents, many of whom are her relatives, to describe small-town life in a lobster-fishing village. Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland Indiana by Kimmel, Haven, 0385499825 The author offers a chronicle of growing up in a small town in America's heartland, offering portraits of her family and her encounters with the complexities of the adult world, romance, and small-town life during the 1960s and 1970s. She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana A continuation of the memoir "A Girl Named Zippy" follows the story of her mother, Delonda, who reinvents her life by returning to college and losing fifty pounds, while Zippy continues to work out the dynamic of their nuclear family. The Gallery of Regrettable Food and Gastroanomalies by James Lileks Ketchup Pistachio Cake. Meat Pie with Meat Crust. Baked Peppers with Creamy Marshmallow Sauce. Daring readers will come face to face with these and worse in this excellent book that's bursting with photographs, recipes, and bits of text and "tips" taken from mainstream American cookbooks of the 1940s-70s, when "the only spice permitted in excess [was] fat." Fascinating and valuable in their own right as cultural artifacts of the era, the entries are irresistible when accompanied by Lileks's hilarious running commentary. Jell-O gets its own chapter, and deservedly so; other sections include "Horrors from the Briny Deep" and "Cooking for a MAN: Tested Recipes to Please HIM!" Readers already familiar with the author's popular Web site "The Institute of Official Cheer" (www.lileks.com) will be thrilled to see that the book is just as wonderfully designed as the site. Those encountering Lileks for the first time are in for an even bigger treat than the "foamy prune whip with cherry gel" found within. Portuguese Irregular Verbs by McCall Smith, Alexander, 1400077087 Professor Dr von Igelfeld learns to play tennis, and forces a college chum to enter into a duel that results in a nipped nose. He also takes a field trip to Ireland where he becomes acquainted with the rich world of archaic Irishisms, and he develops an aching infatuation with a Dentist fatale. Along the way, he takes two ill-fated Italian sojourns, the first merely uncomfortable, the second definitely dangerous. The Finer Points Of Sausage Dogs by McCall Smith, Alexander, 1400095085 When Professor Dr. Mortiz-Maria von Igelfeld of The Institute of Romance Philology is mistaken for a veterinarian, he ends up practicing veterinary medicine without a license, operating on a friend's dachshund with unfortunate results; transports relics for a Coptic prelate; and is pursued by lovesick widows on a Mediterranean cruise ship. Being dead is not excuse: the Southern Ladies’ guide to hosting the perfect funeral, by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays Metcalfe, a lifelong Southerner who's been hiding out in the social circles of Greenville, Miss., exposes the culinary and cultural last rites of the deep South in a fashion that is as sidesplitting as it is politically incorrect, as sincere as it is backstabbingly brutal. She is capably aided by Hays, a "recovering gossip columnist" from Washington, D.C. A lengthy discourse on "The Methodist Ladies vs. the Episcopal Ladies" is laugh-out-loud funny in its contrast of customs and cuisines and its consideration of the consolation of a "nice, stiff cocktail." And many Greenville residents, alive and deceased, drop by for a howdy, including poor Maribell Wilson, who made the mistake of driving her daddy's ashes home with the windows down.
  2. 2. Somebody Is Going to Die If Lilly Beth Doesn't Catch That Bouquet : The Official Southern Ladies' Guide to Hosting the Perfect Wedding, by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays In the Mississippi Delta, funerals bring out the best in people, while weddings, which are supposed to be happy occasions, bring out the worst." So say Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays, authors of the bestseller Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies’ Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral, who turn their keen eyes and sharp wit from the end of the life cycle to the all-important midpoint. For anyone planning, participating in, or attending a wedding (Southern or not), this book will amuse, entertain, and provide advice for marital bliss, including: --It’s OK to peek at an etiquette book, but if you rely too heavily on it, people will think that you are not fully acquainted with what is right and wrong. --Anything that was not done in the past doesn’t need to be done now -- consider this before ordering a groom’s cake, especially one featuring a fishing-tackle or golfing theme. Some Day You'll Thank Me for This: The Official Southern Ladies' Guide to Being a Perfect Mother As official daughters of Southern mothers (DSMs, for short), the authors enlist their memories and those of friends and acquaintances in compiling these touchingly witty anecdotes about their mothers, underscoring such time-honored Delta traits as fondness for monogramming and beautification, diplomatic double-speak, discretion and decorum, and not letting studying get in the way of their daughters' social schedule. The grandes dames earn some gentle, charming digs ("How could I be overdrawn?" the Southern mother expresses her financial wisdom in a nutshell. "I still have three checks"). The recipes included are truly precious antebellum throwbacks. With holiday cheese balls, homemade mayonnaise, stuffed eggs and plenty of bourbon, these authors good-naturedly toast their Southern mothers, as they recognize, not ungratefully, that they are also becoming them. The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, by Moore, Christopher, 0060842350 A humorous tale of what happens when a none-too-clever angel overhears a little boy, who, having witnessed Santa taking a shovel to the head, prays for Santa to return from the dead. Letters from a nut, by Ted L. Nancy Sometimes, a book’s title can be misleading. “Trout Fishing in America” is not much good as a how-to manual and “Catcher in the Rye” deals with neither baseball nor grain production. “Letters from a nut”, however, is described with one-hundred percent accuracy. The mysterious Mr. Nancy (he has been identified as Jerry Seinfeld, one of Jerry Seinfeld’s best friends, or someone who has almost nothing to do with Jerry Seinfeld) has published a series of books which feature the demented letters he writes to actual businesses and individuals. They deal with absurd situations like a lost bag of otter hair or a bladder costume he wishes to wear at a convention, but are written in a very earnest tone. The responses from his “victims” are often as funny as the original letters. It is only fair to warn potential readers that you do not want to attempt reading this book, or any of Nancy’s other work, while drinking liquid, recovering from abdominal surgery or trying to keep quiet in public. S Popular Music from Vittula: A Novel, by Niemi, Mikael, 1583225234 Looks at life in a small Swedish village during the 1960s and its colorful inhabitants, including an African missionary, a German tourist who happens to be an ex-Nazi, and a music teacher who has no fingers on his right hand. Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging (book 1 of the Georgia Nicholson series), by Louise Rennison British writer Rennison's subject matter may be the stuff of Bridget Jones's Diary, but the wit and bite of her delivery shares more in common with Monty Python. In a spectacular debut , the author creates a winning protagonist in the persona of 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson, whose wry observations and self- deprecating humor covers everything from prudish parents and bed-wetting three-year-old siblings to errant cat behavior and kissing (aka snogging) lessons. Rennison exquisitely captures the fine art of the adolescent
  3. 3. ability to turn chaos into stand-up comedy. Written as diary entries, the novel flouts the conceit, as when Georgia reports on a tennis match that she's playing concurrently ("I fall to my knees like McEnroe and the crowd is going mad"). This series has proven to be just as popular with adults as it ever was with teens, which proves that Rennison is gifted at capturing the essence of the female coming-of-age experience. Meet Wild Boars, by Rosoff, Meg, 0805074880 It is very hard to be friends with wild boars because they are dirty and smelly, bad-tempered, and rude. Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World by Rothbart, Davy, 0743251148 Found II: More of the Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World by Rothbart, Davy, 1435288416 Reproduces notes, signs, homework assignments, break-up letters, photographs, drawings, and other abandoned items ranging from heartbreaking to hilarous that offer a look into the everyday lives of ordinary people. Me Talk Pretty One Day by Sedaris, David, 0316777722 In a collection of essays, observations, and commentaries, the humorist describes his recent move to Paris, life as an American in Paris, his struggle to learn French, his family, and restaurant meals. Squids Will Be Squids by Scieszka, Jon, 067088135X Contemporary fables with tongue-in-cheek morals address such topics as homework, curfews, and television commercials. The Adrian Mole Diaries by Townsend, Sue, 0394552989 Shares the observations of Adrian Mole, a thirteen-year-old budding intellectual beset with worries about his complexion, his untried sexuality, and his parents's unsteady marriage. The “Chester” series, by Melanie Watt This sidesplitting metafiction offers further proof of Watt's extravagantly fresh, cheeky voice. Here, the exasperated author-illustrator engages in a literary tug-of-war with the eponymous marmalade puss, who has a figure like Nero Wolfe and an outsize ego to match. Chester is determined to thwart Watt's attempts to write a nice little book about a winsome country mouse; using a red magic marker, he writes, "Then Mouse packed his bags and went on a trip very, very far away and we never saw him ever again!" underneath Watt's opening sentence and attempts to make himself the star of the show. (Publisher’s Weekly). Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Willems, Mo, 078681988X When the bus driver decides to take a break from driving, a wild and wacky pigeon pleads and begs to take his place, capturing the antics of a preschooler's temper tantrum. The Elephant and Piggie series, by Mo Willems Graphic-novel influences have reached into most areas of children's book publishing; here, they crop up in a classic genre--the friendship-duo easy reader--and chalk up yet another success for two-time Caldecott Honor winner Willems. The basic approach is familiar from Willems' previous books, especially Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2003). It's as if each page were one frame of a comic strip: characters zip in and out of white space, proffer speech-bubble remarks, and express emotion through spot-on body language. Around our branch, the library staff looks forward to each new book in this series as much as, or perhaps a little more than, our younger customers. Tadpole's Promise by Willis, Jeanne, 0689865244 Madly in love, the tadpole and the caterpillar make a pledge to one another to never change, but when their promises can't be kept, an unexpected event takes place when they reunite in their transformed sta Prepared by Lisa Voss and Vicki Wood, for the NLA/NEMA Convention, October 14 &15, 2010. All ISBNs are ISBN 10. Some annotations (the short ones) are from Baker and Taylor’s Title Source III.