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Suggested Reading

Humor & Satire

Suggested Readings by Category

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day

David Sedaris

i picked this up off our shelf at home one morning after having finished some other political rag, needing something for the 45 minute train ride to work. my wife said it was funny, and i'd always liked Amy Sedaris on Strangers with Candy. i figured if this is her brother, it can't be too bad. (you may be asking yourself, doesn't this moron realize that Sedaris is a regular-type NPR guy? i live in a vacuum, okay? doesn't my reference to a cancelled Comedy Central show tip you off to this fact?)

the book started off funny enough, recounting tales of his grade school years and trying to work out a lisp, which as Sedaris tells it, is an obvious, early sign of homosexuality. (make a note of that, girls and boys. you'll thank yourself come time to find a prom date). from...

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Scoop

Scoop

Evelyn Waugh

First published 1938, this irreverent novel about Fleet Street and its hectic pursuit of hot news figures among so many astute readers' favorite novels, I have no hesitation listing it as mine. Waugh strikes to heart of tabloid journalism, so this gem reads as hilariously relevant today as when it first took literary London by storm.

Shy William Boot writes the Lush Places country column for the Daily Beast, ruled over by the terrifying Lord Copper whose word none of his employees dares even cast doubt on: when Copper is right, the response is "Definitely, Lord Copper", when wrong ("What's the capital of Japan? Yokohama, isn't it?"), it's "Up to a point, Lord Copper."

Boot's style is distinctly bucolic - "Feather-footed through the plushy fen passes the questing vole .." - so it's a bit of a shock when a case of mistaken identity has him chosen...

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How to Be Good

How to Be Good

Nick Hornby

Because I crave to write like Nick Hornby, I tend to denigrate him as a heavy-weight writer, but I have to admit that he taps eternal verites in me. Katie Carr wants to be "good" - cares about Third World debt and homelessness, struggles to raise her children with a conscience. She also tries to put up with her husband, self-styled Angriest Man in Holloway, and (in my vanity) all too accurate a mirror of me. When Katie sleeps with another man, it starts what I suppose one'd call a "spiritual journey" (ugh). Whatever it is, it provoked me to thought and renewed effort to keep my own relationship(s) in better order. It's generally acknowledged that humor is difficult, written or on-stage, and yet we rarely celebrate the successes. When did a Lodge or Bradbury or Hornby win any significant prize? A story like this, that can...
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Politically Correct, the Ultimate Storybook: Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, Once upon a More Enlightened Time, and Politically Correct Holiday Stories

Politically Correct, the Ultimate Storybook: Politically Correct Bedtime...

James Finn Garner

This excellent volume was a Father's Day gift from my Texas-born elder daughter in a last-ditch bid to save her British dad from that new rung to Inferno reserved for Il Incorrectibile.

Subtitled "Modern Tales for Our Life & Times", this may not be a book I'd wrest from the fires, but I suspect it would prove a God-send to read aloud to fend off those ghastly proponents of political correctitude that are such a pain and growing stronger under the garden gnome, Bush.

A witty intro by author James Finn Garner and a generous 13 refurbs of beloved tales from Little Red Riding Hood, The Emperor's Clothing (relevant!), The Three co-dependent goats gruff, and Cinderella, to Goldilocks, Show White, The Frog Prince, and The Pied Piper.

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