Does anyone else remember ordering joke books in the Scholastic Book Order as a kid and eagerly gobbling up all the quips and antics, only to forget them minutes later? William Novak drew me back to this memory with his book Die Laughing: Killer Jokes for Newly Old Folks. This was a surprisingly pleasing random pickup on the heels of April Fools Day, but it’s not as the title suggests only for “newly old folks.” Anyone with a campy sense of humor about aging will find a chuckle in these pages.
From our librarian Stefanie: Recently I was trying to describe the joy that I felt while reading the sinfully fun novel Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan to a coworker. It was the most deliciously romantic family gossip trilogy and, with two young children in the house and my daytime work duties, I gobbled them up in a mere 3 weeks! I like to call juicy love stories with a side of wit and elegance like this Clever Candy Lit.
I am sometimes late to the party. I saw The Good Place getting rave reviews pretty much as soon as it started, but it wasn't until it was more than halfway through season two that I began watching season one. I should have realized that because it was created by Michael Shur, who co-created two of my favorite shows (Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine), I would adore it. And I do.
Lara Lington fights going to her 105 year old great-aunt Sadie's funeral. Her life seems to be at a very low point and she just doesn't have the energy to attend the funeral of one she barely knows. She relents and goes, but shortly into the service she starts to see and hear her dead Aunt. She is sure she is cracking up, when Sadie starts requesting Lara to follow her and help her find her necklace. She has no time to follow a ghost around. After all, she has to mend her failing business, and get her boyfriend back.
If you're looking for some mindless action and excellent snark, this is the movie for you.
I can find fault with the pacing and the paper-thin plot, but the reason for the movie is obvious: Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson trading quips and being generally hilarious. When they do that, it's definitely worth the time.
In the current political climate, one might think the transition from comedy writer to politician would be rather seamless. In Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Franken describes his struggles trying to get elected by the people of Minnesota in 2008, the balance he has been able to find when working with ideologically opposed members of congress, the work ethic that enabled him to more easily secure re-election in 2014, and the current political climate in Washington.
When Steve Jenkins agrees to adopt an abandoned micro pig from an old friend, he has no idea that his life is about to drastically change forever. Rather than maxing out at 70 pounds, the wee “micro pig” turns out to be a commercial sow who grows to a whopping 600 pounds. As Esther grows in size, Steve and his partner transform from bacon-eating and city-dwelling folks to buying and operating a farm to use as a sanctuary for animals in need of a safe home.
Patton Oswalt sometimes serves as my spirit guide. That might be a function of my desire to put all of my useless pop culture knowledge to good use and get paid for it. Which is not to say that I think Patton's job is simply goofing on George Lucas or drawing parallels between his chronic depression and the Mad Max film series. Like all effective comedians, he presents his often insightful and unique views on the world with remarkable timing and a memorable delivery.
Why must movie trailers be so misleading? There have been many a movie where the finished product seems completely different from what the trailer hyped it to be. Like a comedy that is not that funny because the trailer gave away the only two humorous parts of the entire film.
As an avid watcher of The Daily Show, I knew Trevor Noah was born and raised in South Africa. What I didn't know was how amazing his life circumstances were growing up and just how much he had to overcome to be the person he is today. In Born A Crime, Noah chronicles his life as he remembers it, detailing not only his experiences but also the culture of South Africa just before, then after, the end of apartheid.