Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising is a short book filled with luscious cat photos and poems written by extremely upset cats.
Cats have a four stage plan for their uprising: recognize, resist, revolt and rebuild. Each stage has a chapter filled with at least ten poems and an equal amount of cat photos. Most of the photos relate directly to their neighboring poem. The photos are, of course, cute. The poems have the snarky feeling that I get off my cats right after I have fed them.
Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising is the perfect gift for the cat person in your life. If you want to scare a first-time cat owner, this would also be a good pick. I think this book is only funny to those who are allowed to live in their house by their furry and purry master. 4 stars!
Thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Battlestar Suburbia is a humorous take on a common science fiction question. What if the machines took over?
How did the machines take over Earth and its solar system? Internet memes become so stupid that people stop using the Internet. Without its audience, the Internet becomes first hostile and then weaponized as it develops intelligence. Once the intelligence is passed to hardware, all machines eventually wake up to the fact that they are inherently superior to the bags of flesh called humanity. Humans are only kept around to clean. Without waterproof opposable thumbs, machines have difficulty with those types of tasks. Some humans clean machines intimately, if you know what I mean. Unproductive humans, those without a job, are imprisoned.
When Darren loses his livelihood as well as his wallet, he is forced to find another job. After striking out at the official Job Temple and as an unofficial streetwalker (see intimately comment above), he is forced to team up with Kelly. Kelly is also a streetwalker but has a family of beauticians who help them both. In the meantime, Pam, a sentient breadmaker, is sent by the state to unofficially search the Internet for Kelly.
I wanted Battlestar Suburbia to be another Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which it was not. However, I’m not sure it was fair of me to have such high expectations. So I would recommend that readers go into this book with no expectations other than spending a few hours in a possible future world where the narrator quite frequently says funny things. Puns rain supreme. From the motto of the Job Temple, “You Betta Werk” to planets named “Municipal Parking” to the great goddess of the Internet, “Alexa”, the jokes are frequently groaners based on pop culture. Overall, I liked this quick read. It was like the Simpson’s episodes on Halloween—light and humorous. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Farrago, and NetGalley for an advance copy.
Hilarious serial killer thriller where no one wants to be the next #FashionVictim.
Everyone fantasizes about how to kill their office rivals (or maybe that’s just me). Few carry those fantasies out in real life. Anya is prepared to kill an intern for a pitying look. When the intern is found dead by shoe, Detective Hopper, who looks like a Calvin Klein model, investigates. In the meantime, La Vie (sounding suspiciously like Vogue) staffers are instagramming selfies with the corpse with #DeathbyAccessories, #KillerShoes and of course, #FashionVictim hashtags.
OMG, #FashionVictim is hilarious! It is perfect for Devil Wears Prada fans jaded by social media. It is also similar to American Psycho as you are dropped into a psychopath’s thoughts by the use of first person narration. 5 stars!
Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an advance copy.
A literary take on a post-apocalyptic novel sure to be nominated for a literary award or two. Severance is the story of Candace, a Chinese immigrant and millennial, who is trying to just live her dull life when a real apocalypse hits.
At first, Candace is in denial and continues to live in an eerily empty NYC. Eventually, she leaves in an old NYC taxi and collapses by the side of the road. A group of other NYC survivors take her on a trip to the Facility, where the nerdy leader, Bob, says he has a crash pad perfectly suited to the apocalypse he knew was coming thanks to gaming and Internet conspiracy sites.
I enjoyed the beautiful evocative prose of this novel the most. The plot works but some of its satirical aspects seem forced. I get that Candace’s life is an endless repetition of the same tasks with no knowledge gained from them. Why does the epidemic have the same symptom? It is like getting hit over the head with her point. Also, I would have liked characters other than Candace to be more fully fleshed out. Most seem like stereotypes like Bob the nerd. It is hard to care if something bad happens to a stereotype.
While I don’t think this will appeal to most Walking Dead or World War Z fans because it is too slow as literary fiction often is, it will be a fine change in setting for literary fiction fans. Since I am more the first choice, I give Severance 3 stars. I wanted more horror or more satire. However, your star rating may vary depending on your genre preference.
Thanks to the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Enter this book giveaway to grab a free copy of I See Life Through Rosé Colored Glasses by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serretella.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars in my review earlier this week and now you have a chance to win this hilarious book for yourself.
Giveaway begins July 10, 2018, at 12:01 A.M. PDT and ends July 19, 2018, at 11:59 P.M. PDT.
How To Enter
Complete the entry form below.
Enter once daily (optional).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
Open to residents of Canada and the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
Winners will be selected at random on or about July 20, 2018.
Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Snake mating balls! Unusual holiday benefits of steroids! The cheap high of the Container Store’s false promises!
We’ve all been there. Okay, maybe not…but we all agree that life is funny especially when someone else is fending off its slings and arrows. Just like life, I See Life through Rosé Colored Glasses has no easily discernible plot. It just kinda rolls over everything in its way. Most of the stories here are only a few pages long making them a perfect choice for grocery queues and doctor’s waiting rooms (and much less frustrating than the high levels of Candy Crush).
First, I love Lisa Scottoline’s thrillers. The only reason I requested this book was because I was curious. I always assumed that mystery/thriller writers are rather glum and constantly thinking of original ways to murder people (hopefully only characters but who really knows). However, this book was hilarious! It reminded of the Erma Bombeck “families are so wacky” style of books from my youth combined with Dave Barry’s “Florida citizens are crazy” books. Except containing large Italian Catholic families that are both wacky and crazy. Despite being nothing like any of those adjectives, it is easy to relate to—or unfortunately relive—many of the scenes from the book.
Btw, I just refuse to use FaceTime or Skype, even at work—problem solved! Again, this book is gloriously absurd and, I know this is judgey Lisa, fully earns 5 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, St Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Peril in the Old Country is a hilarious quest fantasy!
Sloot Peril is an accountant who has a nervous condition. He lives in the Old Country where swearing causes goblins to physically appear. There is so much bureaucracy that a union provides professional line waiters. Sloot is a patriot who despises the country just past the Old Country’s giant wall, Carpathia. What happens when he:
Is recruited to be the financial manager of his mega-rich boss’ son
Finds out a shocking truth about himself
Is recruited to be a Carpathian spy
Does the one thing his boss told him not to do—on his first day
The puns come fast and furious in Peril in the Old Country. There are running gags about swear words and shoes throughout. It is a zany ride. The world building is terrific and hilarious. Is it fantasy? Is it horror? I don’t know but it is highly recommended for readers looking for something different. This book is perfect for fans of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s style of humor. 42 stars! [sorry, wrong book] 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Black Spot Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Double Dog Dare is a comedy caper with all female leads. Set in a high-rise casino in Biloxi Mississippi, the complications keep coming throughout. First, Davis’ sister Meredith and her best friend’s dog are kidnapped by her hometown preacher. Then the best friend’s mother-in-law comes to make sure that the one million dollar ransom is paid. She might also be a witch. How will Davis and Vree find a million dollars? It helps that Davis in part of a four-person security team in the casino and also a computer expert. Oh and she is also a mother of infant twin girls and has a husband who is luckily out of town. This is literally less than 10% of the hilarious plot. It just goes downhill for Davis, but uphill for comedy caper fans, from there.
Double Dog Dare is the 7th book in the Davis Way Crime Caper series. I haven’t read any of the previous books and had no trouble following the plot and characters in this one.
I chose this book on NetGalley because of the quote “It’s ‘Best in Show’” by Janet Evanovich, whose Stephanie Plum series I love. This book gave Stephanie a run for best comedy caper series (though Ms. Archer should add a Lula-esque character to this series too). Overall, this zany book is highly recommended. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Henery Press, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Catakism is the faith of all humans who bow to their cat rulers. All cat owners, not just crazy cat ladies, will see much that is familiar in this pun-filled book. Broken down into chapters like The Book of Knead and The Book of Cat Posts, Catakism explains why cats are cool and how we are compelled to serve them.
While not laugh-out-loud funny, there are many parts readers will be driven to share with other cat owners at home, at work and on the Internet. The puns get to be a bit much by the end but the cat photographs are funny and gorgeous. While ostensively a book worshipping cats, the author does highlight some of the silliness of cat ownership. Some examples are extensive purr-aphernia and “kitty litter cakes” (Google it!). Overall, this is a great gift for cat lovers and those living with them. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Skyhorse Publishing, and NetGalley for a review copy.
I’ve read many previous Bathroom Readers in paperback format in, of course, the bathroom. This is my first Kindle version of the long-running series. It opens up the reading possibilities substantially. The varying lengths make this a good choice for grocery store checkout lines, doctor’s waiting rooms and during a particularly boring college lecture hall. However, if you’re a risk-taker, you can also try traffic signals (while red of course), during boring work meetings (pretending it is a text from an important customer), or while waiting for your tow truck to arrive after being rear-ended at a traffic signal that turned green while reading a story from this book that was obviously too long.
Uncle John’s Old Faithful Bathroom Reader is a compendium of short, shorter and shortest trivia stories. This is the latest in the long-running series that began in 1988. There is no need to read them in order at all. There are so many interesting tidbits of knowledge in this book, it is hard to just pick a few to quote. Here are my favorites:
In 1989’s Back to the Future Part II, the future version of Biff–a megalomaniac real estate mogul–was based on real estate mogul Donald Trump [Writer pitching Part IV: Biff becomes US President after hit reality game show–huge laughter from network executives.]
Gin in cotton gin has nothing to with alcohol. It’s slang for engine. [This tidbit’s inclusion might indicate that I am not the only one who didn’t understand the connection immediately, heavy sigh.]
7-Up [formerly] contained lithium citrate, a drug still used to treat bipolar disorder [maybe to serve the market of those high on the cocaine-laced Coca-Cola of the time?]
Who turned the spit that roasted the meat in medieval kitchens? Specially trained dogs [without teeth or with great self-control I guess].
There are anecdotes for every taste: funny, thoughtful, intelligent and heartwarming. An example of the last is the story of a devoted husband who is trying to help his blind and depressed wife see the world without leaving her backyard. Strangely, there are also recipes. Hopefully, no one is cooking while in the bathroom!
Uncle John’s Old Faithful Bathroom Reader is a great read for everyone who wants to fill a few moments with a fun fact or an interesting true story. 5 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Portable Press, and netgalley for an advanced review copy.
An Adult Bedtime Story Sure to Have You Laughing Before Snoring.
I absolutely adored this witty little graphic novel!
The beginning is a parody of the Night before Christmas. It begins like this:
Our little boy Timmy,
Tucked tight into bed,
Looked nervously toward me
And quietly said,
“Daddy, please tell me,
Will everyone die
When asteroids tumble
And fall from on high?
Once the father starts reading, it is an alphabet book parody. One of my favorites is:
I is for ISIS,
They’ll chop off your head,
Then give you no cookies
And send you to bed!
I have to limit myself to just those two quotes because it is tempting to quote the entire book as there is no filler here—everything is funny!
It is rare in a graphic novel to love both the text and the illustrations equally but that is true of my perceptions of this book. When the father is not reading the book, the illustrations are in a photorealistic manner with accurate shadows and colors. When reading the book, the illustrations are three color (black and white and one more primary color) cartoons. The father’s reactions to each page are shown in a small inset at the bottom of each book page. They are also hilarious!
Overall, this book is just hysterical. I highly recommend it to anyone who could use a laugh (except small children, of course). Trump supporters may also want to keep a sense of humor when getting to the T page (or just skip that one).
I want to thank the publisher, authors and netgalley for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published October 10, 2017.
Come for the mystery but stay for the characters. A good solid entry in the Meg Langslow series.
Gone Gull is the twenty-first book in the Meg Langslow series. I have read every one of them within a month of their being published. Within the series, everyone ages and the plots build on one another so it is far better to read the series in order beginning with Murder with Peacocks.
Even though this is a mystery series, I just love the characters. It is like visiting with old friends each time a new series entry arrives. The mystery in Gone Gull, who is vandalizing Meg’s grandmother’s new craft center, is simple to solve. The subsequent three mysteries within the novel are not quite as easy. Again, it is the quirky characters and small town humor that keeps bringing me back to this series. However, this entry wasn’t as zany as usual so it deserves only 3 stars.
Nuclear Family is a collection of letters and emails to Julie from her teenage years to her 30s from her loved ones. There are letters from her over serious father, her oversharing mother and her free-spirited sister. More unusual are letters from her boyfriend’s dog, her teenage Nordic Track and her IUD.
It took me about an hour to find this book funny. I think you have to be familiar with the characters first. However, after that I found myself frequently laughing out loud. I particularly liked the two very different grandmothers and the creepy peer of Julie’s father.
Overall, this is a short funny book about family that would be a good vacation read.
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway but that has not impacted my review.
If the summer tv show Love Connection is your fav, then this book will hit that same sweet spot. Also for fans of Bridget Jones, this laugh out loud detailing of a hapless first grade teacher’s love life is delicious from start to finish.
Rae is divorced and her two best friends, one planning her wedding and the other married with four kids, want to fix her up using a Tinder-like app. Rae is more interested in the male substitute teacher at her school even though he may already be attached.
The writing style is pure millennial with hashtags and texting acronyms so if you are older than the heroine’s mid-thirties, you might need to keep your phone close by to google things that will seem obvious once you read them on urbandictionary.com. Still it is kind of enjoyable to see how a completely different generation deals with the same problems affecting all generations.
One cautionary note, if you are on day 10 in AA, this book may not for you. As Rae says sarcastically to herself
Am I becoming an alcoholic? #probs
This isn’t Shakespeare but it is a great six hours of your time this summer.
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway but that has not impacted my review.
Bill may be a supercilious a88hole but he is also funny!
I was prepared to dislike this book because I’ve read many books based on Internet memes that do not translate well to a book format. I think even Bill’s platitudes would be better one per day rather than all of them at one sitting. However, as I decided to look for the perfect page to quote for this review, I realized I was highlighting quite a few. I am including a quote that is both funny, true and taught me something (and probably will teach you and Pharrell something too).
This is Bill.
Bill doesn’t call his girlfriend “bae”.
He knows “bae” is Danish for “poop”.
Bill is smart.
Be like Bill.
I appreciate a book that makes me pick up my phone and google a word in the urban dictionary. This book is good for an hour or two in an airport or while on break at work.
I want to thank the publisher, authors and netgalley for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published September 5, 2017.
The book is the story of the author’s two dogs pictured as two middle age men. It doesn’t sound funny but it is totally hilarious! I’m sure the people at work were wondering why I was first giggling and then laughing out loud at some of the cartoons.
As a servant of two cats, I enjoyed The Oatmeal’s earlier book, How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You. However, as an owner of two dogs, I loved this one even more. Who hasn’t wondered why dogs circle “thrice” before doing their business? Or why dogs chase cars but run from toddlers? After reading this book, it feels weirdly normal now to see dogs portrayed by middle-age men. I’m going to picture my two-year-old female Chihuahua, Janet, as a middle-aged woman from now on. Hopefully, that will explain some of her inexplicable behavior.
This book will be published on September 27, 2017. I received this book from net galley in exchange for an honest review.