All posts filed under: April

Great, Just Not for Me…

I’m sure the title of this post made you say “WHAT?!” And I don’t blame you. Let me start by saying I’m the wrong person to review this book. Why? I’m not a short story person. I enjoy the occasional short horror story and I have a slightly higher tolerance for personal essays or memoir-based short stories a la David Sedaris. But fictional short stories are just not my jam, and they honestly never have been. Generally, when I see those words on the cover of a book, the book goes back on the shelf. I give you this information so you understand my biases before you read any further. Let me start with the positive. This is a smart read. I was consistently and repeatedly impressed with how intelligently written all of B.J. Novak’s stories were. They are all based in that intellectual, thought-provoking humor that manages to still be just a little silly and a little absurd. I really enjoyed it. It’s also an incredibly fast read. I have a Kindle, and after …

Great Reads

After the rollercoaster that was Betrayal, One More Thing was just the book I needed. I guess you could say it restored my faith in the good. It was short, sweet, and, let’s be honest, you could just skip whichever stories you weren’t in the mood for. The stories range from one sentence, at most, 20 pages. Each story is a nice little package with interest all its own.  So it was easy to hop from story to story, making it a very fast read. Granted I read most of it on a plane, but I finished it in only a day and a half. I’d definitely recommend this as an entertaining, thought-provoking, laugh-out-loud book for anyone and everyone. I think my favorite part was how a few of the stories connected to each other (the ambulance driver and the girl who gives the best advice, and the missed connections red shirt post). Of course I had my favorites, and my not-so-favorites: Love it : Missed Connection: Grocery spill at 21st and 6th 2:30pm on Wednesday The longest missed connection post …

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

Quick, Quirky, and Quiet

As someone who didn’t watch “The Office” (I know, shame on me), I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, I just wanted it to be funny. And it was! I found myself chuckling out loud a couple of times, causing my husband to inquire about what I was reading (and then adding it to his own TBR pile). Full of humor and insight on the absurdity of life, these stories vary in length and subject. Most are relatively short, making this a super quick read that I was able to finish in under 24 hours. A couple of my favorite stories: when an elderly man makes it to heaven and can’t wait to reunite with his grandmother… and her reaction isn’t what he expects; when a Frosted Flakes-prize winner sets out to claim his winnings only to uncover a big secret; and a man who wears a red t-shirt every day in hopes of finding female companions. A collection of stories that find humor in both the ordinary and the extreme, they also quietly …

April Book

Images ©Knopf Doubleday In the mood for a good laugh after last month’s read? Phew! Us too. So, in honor of April (the month of foolish pranks) we’re reading One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak; “the wonderfully cockeyed, consistently hilarious debut.” You probably recognize the name B.J. Novak. He’s a writer and actor widely known for his work on the acclaimed comedy series “The Office” as an actor, writer, and executive producer. Now, Novak is expanding his scope beyond the walls of Dunder Mifflin. In One More Thing he takes on a range of human experience in this quirky new story collection.   “Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, One More Thing has at its heart the most human of phenomena: love, fear, hope, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element just that might make a person complete.”   Published in 2014, Novak’s One More Thing joins a growing list of celebrated books published by comedic actors/writers (Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, etc.). Although unlike others who have written autobiographical …

Humility, Humor, and Hyperbole

Right around the time this book was coming out, I heard an interview with Allie Brosh on NPR. Not being familiar with her blog or her story at the time, I was intrigued and enjoyed the personality she conveyed in the interview. I intended to pick up her book, but never got around to it. So when we picked this book as our April read, I was eager to get my hands on a copy, especially because the format she chose is a new one for me. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I found her sense of humor both endearing and relatable, often laughing out loud or reading certain snippets to my husband. My favorite stories were by far “The God of Cake” and “Motivation,” mostly because I found myself nodding my head in solidarity. My two weakness: sweets and my tendency to procrastinate. “I had tasted the cake and there was no going back” and “Most people can motivate themselves to do things simply by knowing that those things need to be done. But …

A Girl I Can Relate to…

I’ve been reading Allie’s blog since June 2010. A friend sent her post, “This Is Why I’ll Never Be an Adult” to me and I think I snorted water out of my nose and exclaimed, “THIS IS SO TRUE!” I followed her blog regularly after that and was disappointed when it seemed to stop. When she returned with the post on depression, I was so taken with how honest and how self-aware she was. Needless to say, I was excited to read Hyperbole and a Half and wasn’t entirely sure why I didn’t already own it. It was great to revisit some of my favorite stories and wonderful to read some of the new ones. I continue to be impressed with how self-aware Allie is and how well she can describe her life, feelings, and situations. These stories are all so relatable. Even if you haven’t lived through what she’s describing, you understand where she’s coming from. She makes her life accessible and that’s not necessarily an easy thing to do. Of course, her illustrations are …

The Joys of Exploring Your Inner Nerd

We are an exhausting generation full of instagrams, facebook posts, and selfies (don’t you dare tell me that I’m too old for selfies…I would like to reserve the opportunity to “selfie” should I fancy…but I digress).  There is a brilliant article by Tim Urban from a while back entitled “Why Generation Yuppies are Unhappy.”  It basically describes how our delusional expectations are on a crash course with far less awesome reality. The net effect is that we are an entire generation of bummed out, woulda, coulda-ers with a serious case of FOMO.  Now, while this is somewhat drastic, a lot of the article rings true. The people who truly succeed in this always plugged-in and turned-on generation, or at least so says I, are those who can look above the haze and proudly proclaim “holy cow, I’m a nerd.”  Do not fall into the rabbit hole – the bottom of which is littered with people with selfie sticks who have lost track of themselves. Self awareness is a characteristic lost on far too many these days. …

Fast and Fun!

Motivation… a fickle beast. In Allie’s case it was a Blockbuster rental (sigh, I miss those). In my case it’s that pile of clean clothes that taunts me from my bedroom floor, “fold me, please!” No matter how much I bargain, guilt, or abuse my subconscious, those clothes just sit there. On the floor. FOREVER. So many of Allie Brosh’s stories in were so relatable and funny. Hyperbole and a Half did not disappoint. And it was a SUPER fast read. If I’d had a few uninterrupted hours one afternoon I could have finished it in one sitting. But interruptions aplenty, it still took less than a week reading only during my 15 minute subway commute. Brosh’s sense of humor is self-deprecating and silly. She finds the humor in everyday shenanigans. And the combination of text and illustrations adds to her anecdotes. Her drawing style might be juvenile, but it does a great job of getting the point across. Every bend of an eyebrow and down-turn of the mouth give her characters the perfect expression. I’d be reading along, and …

Illustrating Adventures

Since this month we’re reading a graphic novel of sorts (Hyperbole and a Half ), we thought it’d be a great time to learn more about the genre. And who better to learn from than an illustrator and comic book author? Introducing, Dan Hood! Read on to learn about his Illustrating Adventures, comic books, and be one of the first to see Dan’s latest comic, The Green Bowl…   Tell us a little about yourself and your work… I grew up drawing, creating, doodling. It’s really the only thing that never gets boring to me and is definitely a driving force in my life. I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in comic books, which is funny to tell people. I enjoy making comics, but I also enjoy animation and painting as well. What do you love about graphic novels and comics? The way story and art are in harmony achieving something more than what they can accomplish individually! It’s a very beautiful thing. What are some facts people might not know about this genre? Great question! The …

Bookly Recommends {Humor}

Are you already finished with Hyperbole and a Half and looking for another read that will tickle your funny bone? Here are a few recommendations from the Bookly Club that will keeping you laughing all the way through the month of April. Yes Please! by Amy Poehler: A quick read, Amy’s journey and career so far are full of laughs. Though on more than one occasion the story might not make her sound so great, you have to respect the fact that she keeps it real. Bossypants by Tina Fey: If you’re a fan of Tina Fey’s writing (SNL, 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), you’ll be a fan of this book. If you’re not a fan of Tina Fey’s writing, then, well, we are very different. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling: Mindy is a girl’s girl and she wrote a book for girls. She says things you might be afraid to say, and she’s got her finger on the pulse of what it’s like to be a young …