Humor

The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes

The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes

High and low culture collide in The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes. The literary journal has collected its humor pieces, featuring all sorts of short essays, lists, and ephemera related to classic literature.

How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman

How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman

Have you ever wanted to become a writer and brave the strange and confusing world of trying to sell your work to the publishing industry? Do you feel you might need a refresher course in creating a marketable thriller or romance novel?  If you are curious about improving your writing technique to make your work more compelling, concise, or appealing to publishers, you may benefit from How Not to Write a Novel, a writing guide from Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman.  This guide is a compilation of examples of common writing mistakes that can make novels confusing, boring, or unappealing to read.  Humorous and well-organized, this book is both a great educational resource and a good comedic read.

Oink-a-doodle-moo

By Jef Czekaj

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In a barnyard, a pig whispers into a rooster's ear, starting a game of "telephone" that goes horribly awry.
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Giggle, giggle, quack

By Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin (Illustrator)

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When Farmer Brown goes on vacation, leaving his brother Bob in charge, Duck makes trouble by changing all his instructions to notes the animals like much better.
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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

Of the eight memoirs I’ve read so far this year, Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is definitely the funniest. Fans of Laurie Notaro and Jen Lancaster will probably adore Lawson’s spirited descriptions of everything from her father’s affection for armadillo racing to her encounter with Stanley, the Magical Talking Squirrel.

Zombies vs. Unicorns

By complied by Holly Black, Justine Larbalestier

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Twelve short stories by a variety of authors seek to answer the question of whether zombies are better than unicorns.
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The English: Portrait of a People

By Jeremy Paxman

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"...a probing, irreverent, and immensely colorful look at the meaning of Englishness.

"Not so long ago, everybody knew who the English were. They were 'polite, unexcitable, reserved, and had hot-water bottles instead of a sex life.' As the dominant culture in a country that dominated an empire that dominated the world, they had little need to examine themselves and ask who they were. But something has happened.

"A new self-confidence seems to have taken hold in Wales and Scotland, while many try to forge a new relationship with Europe. The English are being forced to ask what it is that makes them who they are. Is there such a thing as an English race? What inviolable English traits remain to win the affection of Anglophiles, raise the ire of Anglo-critics, and pique the curiosity of Anglo-watchers here and abroad?

"Witty, surprising, affectionate, and incisive, The English traces the invention of Englishness to its current crisis and concludes that, for all their characteristic gloom about themselves, the English may have developed a form of nationalism for the twenty-first century."

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Notes from a Small Island

By Bill Bryson

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Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain--which is to say, all of it. Every last bit of it, good and bad--old churches, country lanes, people saying 'Mustn't grumble' and 'I'm terribly sorry but,' people apologizing to me when I conk them with a careless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast, haymaking in June, seaside piers, Ordinance Survey maps, tea and crumpets, summer showers and foggy winter evenings--every bit of it.

"After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson, the acclaimed author of such bestsellers as The Mother Tongue and Made in America, decided it was time to move back to the United States for a while. This was partly to let his wife and kids experience life in Bryson's homeland--and partly because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another. It was thus clear to him that his people needed him.

"But before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of modern-day Britain, and to analyze what he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite, zebra crossings, and place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey, and Shellow Bowells."

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The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes

By Tom Parker Bowles

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"Fugu. Dog. Cobra. Bees. Spleen. A 600,000 SCU chili pepper. All considered foods by millions of people around the world. And all objects of great fascination to Tom Parker Bowles, a food journalist who grew up eating his mother's considerably safer roast chicken, shepherd's pie and mushy peas. Intrigued by the food phobias of two friends, Parker Bowles became inspired to examine the cultural divides that make some foods verboten or 'dangerous' in the culture he grew up with while being seen as lip-smacking delicacies in others. So began a year-long odyssey through Asia, Europe and America in search of the world's most thrilling, terrifying and odd foods. Parker Bowles is always witty and sometimes downright hilarious in recounting his quest for envelope-pushing meals, ranging from the potentially lethal to the outright disgusting to the merely gluttonous--and he proves in this book that an open mouth and an open mind are the only passports a man needs to truly discover the world."

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Why I'm Like This: True Stories

By Cynthia Kaplan

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I wonder if there is any way I can tell this story and have it seem like I did it in the name of those dolphins that get caught in the tuna nets.
"Meet Cynthia Kaplan, whose debut collection of personal stories is so much fun to read because of her complete and utter willingness to tell the God's honest truth. And it isn't pretty. Kaplan takes us on a hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking journey through her unique, uncensored world... ."

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