Terry Pratchett's fortieth Discworld novel tackles many of the author's favorite themes, the heart of which can be found in one of his quotations: "It was funny how people were people everywhere you went, even if the people concerned weren't the people the people who made up the phrase 'people are people everywhere' had traditionally thought of as people." Part of what makes Pratchett a great writer is how well he does people: human people, dwarf people, troll people, goblin people, golem people...they're all people. They're all frightened-clever-ambitious-earnest-conniving-brave-opportun
Something Real gives us a deliciously inside look at the truth behind “reality” shows. It reminded me of The Truman Show, except that the people being filmed are aware that millions are watching their private lives unfold. So many people in today’s world seek out their 15 minutes of fame. Would so many desire fame if that fame came with a price—everyone you meet knows every embarrassing, bumbling, horrifying experience of your life?
Delia Ephron has written an entertaining group of personal essays that range from the deeply touching to the absurdly humorous in Sister Mother Husband Dog, (etc.) The first essay in the book is a tribute to her late sister, the writer Nora Ephron. The two sisters worked together writing screenplays for several popular movies, including You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. Certainly she writes of her sister in a loving way, but she also shares with us the humanness of the relationship – the jealousy and the competition.
I read Dad is Fat for my book club and, as a group, we reached several conclusions.
- If you have children, Gaffigan is really funny.
- If you don’t have children, he’s just “meh."
- While reading the book is okay, listening to Gaffigan read his work is much better. If you can, choose the audio.
British television is fashionable nowadays. Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Doctor Who exemplify the latest trend in Trans-Atlantic entertainment. But before BBC America went gangbusters, there were several British comedies from the late 90s and early 00s that have since either created American spin-offs (The Office) or spawned solid film careers for British actors and writers. The latter is true for Simon Pegg, one of the creators and actors of the show Spaced.
Life was good for Bad Kitty when it was just her at home with her human parents. Then one day they adopt a stupid, disgusting dog. Bad Kitty eventually learns to tolerate the dog. Then, Bad Kitty’s human parents bring home another horrible, retched creature. Bad Kitty assumes it’s another dog, but the neighborhood cats think it’s another cat. They decide to enter this new creature into The Kitty Olympics to see how she competes. Bad Kitty finally learns that this creature is not a cat or a dog: it’s a human baby. Now what's she supposed to do?
Kids really do say the darnedest things, but so do parents! From the eye of the storm, comedian Jim Gaffigan reports on the trials of raising five young children and celebrates the absurdities, embarrassments, and joys. He begins by reflecting on his early perceptions of being abducted by aliens (aka, babies) and then recounts his own recent adventures in sleep deprivation, family vacations, juggling schedules, and the power of ice cream. Gaffigan pokes at his own fathering foibles and sings the praises of his wife’s mothering and family management, even if there is some comedic friction
When This Is Spinal Tap was released in theaters in 1984, many audience members were convinced they were seeing a documentary of an actual British rock group, Spinal Tap, fumbling its way through one last tour across America despite the fact they hadn’t had a hit song in nearly two decades. In reality, the film is a mockumentary directed by the great Rob Reiner, and Spinal Tap is a fake band made up of three brilliant American actors. Christopher Guest, who went on to direct and star in other hilarious mockumentaries such as Waiting for Guffman, Be
Duck! Rabbit! is a funny Easy Fiction story that challenges you to see images in a different way, similar to an optical illusion, it is a great way to involve everyone in the story. A wonderful childrens' librarian once used American Sign Language signs for "duck" & "rabbit" which allows everyone to participate in the story and extends their experience. This is one of my favorite books because it is fun, silly and a nice ongoing discussion about whether it is a duck or a rabbit.
Don’t be fooled, you’ll learn nothing about diabetes or owls here, but the random suggestion makes it all the more entertaining. Shortly before this book was released, I had the privilege of attending “An Evening with David Sedaris” in Kansas City, where I got a preview of some of the hilarious treasures to come in Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Sedaris likes to test his pieces with various live audiences, tweaking them along the way until they are primed for publishing, and