My last book of 2009 was really emotionally heavy and I needed the equivalent of literary tabloids to cleanse my mind. So, I was very excited when I came upon Kathy Griffin’s new book, “Official Book Club Selection” at the library. Exactly what I needed. I laughed out loud quite a few times, and was smiling through most of the rest of it. (I say “most of the rest of it” because she does cover some sadder stuff – the deaths of family members and friends, and her divorce, for example.)
Some of the highlights of the book include her childhood as an unpopular kid, her struggle to stardom, what some well-known celebrities really act like, and her own botched liposuction which almost killed her, (including photos). Which, now that I say all that out loud, it sounds like a real downer of a book, but Kathy Griffin can make anything funny.
If you like Kathy Griffin and/or celebrity gossip, you won’t be disappointed. (By the way, I love the title. She doesn’t beat around the bush. Hey, Oprah! Hurry up and get this girl on your show. What else does she have to do to get your attention?!)
You wouldn’t know it from the title or the cover, but “Into the Beautiful North” is weird and hilarious.
The beginning was a little slow for me but after the action picked up, I enjoyed it immensely. We start off in a small Mexican town in the state of Sinaloa called “Tres Camarones”, (Three shrimps). The town’s residents are mostly women and children because all the men long ago went north to the United States for work.
Our main characters are a trio of teenage girls, Nayeli, Yolo and Veronica, who mostly goes by the nickname “la vampira”, (the vampire) since she’s goth… (Told you, it’s weird. If you’re expecting the stereotypical Mexican characters in the stereotypical Mexican setting, this book is not for you!)
The three girls have one more friend, a teenage boy named “Tacho”, (my favorite character), who happens to be gay. His run in with the Border Patrol still has me giggling when I think of it.
Well, because of the lack of men in the town, it is under threat of being taken over by narcos, (drug traffickers). Nayeli hatches a plan to go to the United States and bring back Mexican men to defend their town. (With the dual purpose of finding her father who sent a post card from Illinois years ago and never came back.)
Luis Alberto Urrea weaves a fun and unique tale with one-of-a-kind characters, laugh-out-loud humor, and some surprisingly gorgeous analogies while still giving us a glimpse of real border life. I really loved this story and I look forward to reading Urrea’s other works. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Mexico, the Spanish language or immigration who is looking for something different and funny in the genre.
President Obama plans to read 5 books on his week long vacation. According to the White House, those books are:
“The Way Home” by George Pelecanos
“Hot, Flat, and Crowded” by Thomas Friedman
“Lush Life” by Richard Price
“Plainsong” by Kent Haruf
“John Adams” by David McCullough
I discovered this hilarious blog just today when it was featured on WordPress.
Awful Library Books is a pretty self explanatory blog title but here is what the blog writers say about their site:
This site is a collection of public library holdings that we find amusing and maybe questionable for public libraries trying to maintain a current and relevant collection. Contained in this site are actual library holdings. No libraries are specifically mentioned to protect our submitters who might disagree with a particular collection policy. (A good librarian would probably be able to track down the holding libraries without too much trouble anyway…)
Your “awful” librarians for this site are Mary and Holly. We are public librarians in a medium sized public library in Michigan and the opinions expressed are totally our own. We do tend to articulate our particular library’s collection objectives when making comments. Our criteria for inclusion of titles are simply anything that amuses us. None of the books presented are particularly awful (okay, maybe some are). These books are just odd, outdated or maybe should be reconsidered under a current interpretation of collection policies. In no way should the opinions of Mary and Holly be interpreted as a standard for every library. We just want to have a few chuckles and talk about library collections.
Comments are welcome, but we do ask everyone to “be nice” and use your library voice.
We would love submissions. Feel free to email us any scans of covers: firstname.lastname@example.org
They take submissions! I think I just found a new hobby.
This is one of my favorite Sesame Street videos of all time. I showed it to my kids and they were cracking up. Some things are timeless :)
Obama’s Blackberry by Kasper Hauser is a hilarious quick read that gives us an inside look at what our President’s messages going back and forth might look like.
The authors have everyone’s personalities pegged and President Obama’s (ficticious) messages back and forth with Hillary, Bill, Michelle, Biden, Bush, his daughters and various world leaders, staff and celebrities will have you laughing out loud. The usernames alone are worth it.
This is definitely one of the funniest things I’ve read this year.
BidenMyTime: Hey U, whatcha doin?
BARACKO: M rly busy
BidenMyTime: Right :( Can I lv at 4:45?
Comedian Carol Leifer shares wise and witty lessons about life in her autobiographical new book, When you Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win: Reflections on Looking in the Mirror.
Leifer talks about everything from sweet, loving memories of her father and growing old gracefully, to an obsession with dog adoption and a mid-life surprise team switch to lesbianism.
If you’re Jewish or have Jewish relatives, (particularly with roots in New York), you’ll especially appreciate some of the humor that seems to be part of our blood.
Leifer comes across as the real deal – a genuine person who has come to fully appreciate everything in life and is generous enough to pass on her wisdom.