June 2010 reading

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June 2010 reading

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1LitClique
Giu 2, 2010, 8:49am

Anyone knee-deep is something hilarious right now?

2CarolO
Giu 7, 2010, 12:42am

I wish! I'm reading Focault's Pendulum right now for a group read on another thread...it could really use a sense of humor. I did get some amusement from the proposed title of a book: Urban Planning for Gypsies...but that was many, many pages ago.

However, next up is Tales of the Truly Unpleasant which is a collection of humour columns by Steve Johnston - a local Seattle writer. I'm really looking forward to it.

Sorry, don't know why but the touchstone won't finish loading.

3carpenterdj
Modificato: Giu 7, 2010, 1:45am

Try Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James.

4VenusofUrbino
Giu 7, 2010, 8:30am

Just started Strip Tease by Carl Hiaasen. Still waiting for the funny.

5CarolO
Giu 7, 2010, 12:27pm

>4 VenusofUrbino: Is this your first Carl Hiaasen? If so, please give him another chance. I think Lucky You and Skinny Dip are the best of what I have read so far.

But, then again, his writing just might not be your cup of tea since his humor is always mixed in with politics and some absurd kind of violence.

6VenusofUrbino
Giu 7, 2010, 3:25pm

It is my first one, CarolO. I like the politics part, and it is a great read, but so far the "funny as hell" blurb on the cover isn't quite on the money. ;-)

7CarolO
Giu 7, 2010, 11:20pm

Yeah, try Lucky You, I thought it was pretty amusing.

8bookmonk8888
Modificato: Giu 8, 2010, 5:06am

>4 VenusofUrbino: IMHO I think "Sick Puppy" is his best although I thoroughly enjoyed "Strip Tease". However, the movie is terrible, leaving out much of the main themes e.g. the pollution caused by the the sugar cane growers.

I almost always enjoy Hiasson but he has some weak novels. He is almost too prolific. I wish he spent more time revising.

>1 LitClique: You ask about hilarious novels. I'm currently reading "Polyglots" by Gerhardie. While not mostly "laugh-out-loud", it is extremely funny. If you're into satire which I regard as a subset of humor there is always Vonnegut. (Hiasson is mostly satire). Some of his work (Vonnegut) is "laugh-out-loud".

If you like Irish lit, Roddy Doyle is extremely funny.

9mstrust
Giu 8, 2010, 2:58pm

I've just finished Bizarre Books which has some memorable titles I'll be looking for, like "The Romance of Proctology", "How To Avoid Work" and "The Abuse of Elderly People: A Handbook for Professionals".

10VenusofUrbino
Giu 9, 2010, 4:52pm

Has anyone read Stiff by Mary Roach? You wouldn't think that a book about cadavers would be LOLable, but it was!!! Really!

11marguax
Giu 9, 2010, 10:11pm

Foop! by Chris Genoa so funny. Its definitely the most I've ever laughed out loud while reading. Too bad he doesn't have any other books out yet.

12bookmonk8888
Giu 9, 2010, 11:51pm

#11 Isn't the title "Swell Swoop"? Also Amazon says it's his 25th book.

13qforce
Giu 10, 2010, 11:54pm

#12: The book you refer to is Swell Foop by Piers Anthony and yes, it's the 25th in the Xanth series.

14bookmonk8888
Giu 11, 2010, 12:15am

#12 I notice you have a lot of humor in your library. Perhaps you can help me with a question I've asked on this site and others but got no response. Are there many contemporary satirists and who are they? (I consider satire as a subset of humor which uses ridicule, parody, burlesque etc to effect social change.) Vonnegut and Hiasson come to mind but surely there are emerging talented satirists.
I would greatly appreciate help in this area.

15CarolO
Giu 11, 2010, 3:22am

bookmonk8888, not sure who you were asking but I'll jump in...

I would consider Tom Holt, Michael Moore, Terry Pratchett, and even Garrison Keillor to be contemporary satirists. Yes, definately Carl Hiaasen...and I've GOT to eventually get around to reading Vonnegut but since I haven't yet I can't offer any opinion there.

16bookmonk8888
Modificato: Giu 11, 2010, 4:54am

Thanks a lot, Carol.

I was asking the person in message #13 since I noticed his library had a lot of humor books but I greatly appreciate your helpful response.

Vonnegut is great - possibly the greatest satirist of modern times. I recommend you begin with his "Slaughterhouse-five'. It's short but, I believe, satire at it's best. He has the ability of writing about very dark subjects, displaying "man's inhumanity to man". His Slaughterhouse-five, for instance, is about the fire-bombing of Dresden which he experienced but he can make you laugh amidst such a dreadful thing. The overall impression is "how could such a terrible thing happen".

Hiasson is doing a great service, not only to Floridians but to Americans in general. As you probably know, he is an investigative journalist for The Miami Herald and has a great knowledge of the corruption that goes on in the "Sunshine State". I live here and detest how much corruption goes on.

If you have time, I would appreciate how you can make a link to a book e.g. your reference to Tom Holt.

17CarolO
Giu 11, 2010, 12:55pm

bookmonk8888

I use touchstones but they work better for book titles then they do for authors. The next time you post a message - look to the right and there is a brief description of how to use touchstones, basically it is single brackets for works and double brackets for authors.

There is one tricky bit, sometimes the title or author is not the same one that you want and you have to click on the 'others' and scroll through the list and pick the correct one.

18marguax
Modificato: Giu 12, 2010, 5:49am

I recently read The Portable Door by Tom Holt and really liked it. Christopher Brookmyre is similiar to Hiassen. Hiasson is getting a little repetitive for me. Foop! seemed to fit in the satirical genre.

19bookmonk8888
Giu 12, 2010, 5:48am

18 Yes, Hiasson is almost too prolific. He pumps out novel after novel. While he has some really good ones, others could do with some revision.

20qforce
Modificato: Giu 12, 2010, 10:38pm

#14: There are as many shades of humour as the colors of the rainbow. I do have some books on the subject (thank you for mentioning it), but few on contemporary satirists.

I do like the ones mentioned by CarolO but like to add David Sedaris and Chuck Palahniuk. And of course, G. B. Trudeau for his Doonesbury series.

21bookmonk8888
Giu 12, 2010, 11:09pm

#20 Thank you for your help, gforce. I appreciate it.

BTW, I notice on your profile that you say "I have stopped buying fictional novels for a year now,- - - " Aren't all novels fictional?

22qforce
Giu 13, 2010, 12:04am

#21: You got me there :). I meant all fictional works, not just novels. Nevertheless, the statement is no longer true since I couldn't resist the urge to buy for too long. Thanks for pointing out.

Btw, Vonnegut is one of my favorites, along with Douglas Adams.

23LitClique
Giu 13, 2010, 12:08am

21>Aren't all novels fictional?

Doesn't In Cold Blood get popular credit for ruining that rule?

24bookmonk8888
Modificato: Giu 13, 2010, 12:32am

#23 I don't believe "In Cold Blood" is a novel. It is usually described as "creative non-fiction" although it reads like a novel.

25bookmonk8888
Giu 13, 2010, 12:35am

#23 And very many novels are based on non-fictional events e.g. biography, autobiography, murder -- the list goes one.

26bookmonk8888
Giu 23, 2010, 7:35pm

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

27normcowie
Giu 26, 2010, 10:21pm

I read a Vonnegut book, but must have a bad one. It wasn't very good. Dave Barry's fiction books (Big Trouble and ... um... something) were awesome.

Norm

(and, at the risk of blatant self promoting, check out my books, The Adventures of Guy and The Next Adventures of Guy. Excerpts are www.normcowie.com)

28bookmonk8888
Giu 28, 2010, 8:41pm

>4 VenusofUrbino: (VenusofUrbino)

You don't think the congressman getting caught in a strip joint funny, especially in light of so many Congress members getting exposed recently? Of course, humor is very personal. What might be funny to one person is blah to others. (Many people groan at my jokes!)

Hiasson is on the satire end of the humor spectrum - maybe satire isn't your thing. One definition of satire is "the use of ridicule and humor to effect social change". And sometimes satire is quite serious, lacking any humor.

I think Hiasson has made many enemies. As an investigative journalist for the Miami Herald, he knows S. Florida very well, especially all the corruption and crime that's there.

29VenusofUrbino
Giu 29, 2010, 12:03pm

>28 bookmonk8888:
I find it not very original (especially after so many being exposed). It's cute. But not "funny as hell."

30quartzite
Giu 29, 2010, 12:14pm

Gave Wake Up, Sir by Jonathan Ames a try--it was advertised as hilarious, and while well-written and witty, somehow failed to hit my funny-bone. For me, it was falling on the wrong side of the fine line between funny and sad.

31LitClique
Lug 2, 2010, 9:49am

I'm getting close to finishing Satiristas!. It's long and interviews go over the same ground with the same conclusions repeatedly, but nonetheless quite inspiring.