Check It Out Category: Humor

Cathleen’s Pick: It’s Not Me, It’s You by Mhairi McFarlane

Cathleen Staff Pick photoPopping the question to her boyfriend of ten years was part of Delia’s plan; seeing his panicked text to another woman that same night was…not. It’s Not Me, It’s You is a darkly comic journey of self-discovery through misadventure. Witty, sometimes wacky, but also pointedly real, Mhairi McFarlane’s story is one to cheer.

Have you taken up this summer’s challenge of Reading Takes You Everywhere? Enjoy this book for any one of the following categories:

A. Read a book written by a new-to-you author.
C. Read a book set in a different country. (England)
G. Read a romance. (of sorts)

Denise’s Pick: The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonya Sones

Denise Staff Pick photoThe Hunchback of Neiman Marcus: A Novel about Marriage, Motherhood, and Mayhem by Sonya Sones is referred to as “chick lit” in poetry format by a 50ish-year-old woman going through a tough time. I read this in two hours and had my own epiphany. Life changing? Maybe not for all, but definitely an interesting voice for those in the “sandwich generation.”

Have you taken up this summer’s challenge of Reading Takes You Everywhere? Enjoy this book for either of the following categories:

A. Read a book written by a new-to-you author.
P. Read a collection of poetry.

Kelda’s Pick: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Kelda Staff Pick photoI appreciated the audiobook Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter because it served as a jumping off point for further reading, viewing, and listening. I became interested in reading books about the Golden Age of Hollywood, viewing movies of that era, particularly Cleopatra, and listening to more books read by the actor Edoardo Ballerini.

Cathleen’s Pick: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Wedding Date book coverCathleen of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory:

It may be a meet-cute you’ve seen before, but when Drew and Alexa are stuck in an elevator together, their connection is made with such charm that it becomes entirely fresh.

Drew is a pediatrician on his way to the wedding of his ex and his best friend, so when he finds himself dateless, it isn’t…ideal. When he meets Alexa, the mayor’s chief-of-staff, in the stalled elevator, he’s struck by how smart and funny she is — not to mention quite attractive – so he impulsively invites her to be his plus-one. He’s surprised to hear himself ask, but even more surprised when she agrees! So begins a wedding weekend built on a lie, but the chemistry is undeniable.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory is told in alternating points of view with winning banter and a bit of narrative wink. The warmth and fun with which Drew and Alexa navigate falling for one another is completely charming, and when those inevitable obstacles emerge, you can’t help but hold your breath for the happily-ever-after ending they deserve.

For more entertaining stories of relationships that begin in pretense and become real…

Act Like It book coverAct Like It
by Lucy Parker
A London actor with an image problem is paired with a charity-minded ingénue for a publicity-driven romance that takes them both off guard.
Kiss an Angel book coverKiss an Angel
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Presented with the choice between jail and marrying a stranger, flighty Daisy Devereaux becomes the newest member of a traveling circus beside a husband who is determined to change her uptown ways.

 

Duke and I book coverThe Duke and I
by Julia Quinn
The Duke of Hastings will stop at nothing to keep the matchmakers at bay, even if it means pretending to be engaged to the lovely Miss Bridgerton, but strong feelings on both sides soon complicate the plan.
Yours to Keep book coverYours to Keep
by Shannon Stacey
In preparation for her grandmother’s visit, Emma recruits a recently returned army vet to be her fake fiancé, but when their pretend relationship turns into something real, they must make some difficult decisions.
Tempest book coverTempest
by Beverly Jenkins
When the first meeting of a spirited mail-order bride and a young widowed doctor results in a gunshot wound, the planned marriage of convenience seems to hold promise of more sparks than either expected.

 

Book Discussion Questions: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians book coverTitle:  Crazy Rich Asians
Author:  Kevin Kwan
Page Count: 527 pages
Genre:  Satire, Mainstream Fiction
Tone:  Humorous, High Drama, Witty

Summary:
Envisioning a summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming clan that strongly opposes their son’s relationship with an American girl.

SPOILER WARNING: These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.

The Library is happy to share these original questions for your use. If reproducing, please credit with the following statement: 2017 Mount Prospect Public Library. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

1. What are your thoughts on the title? Did you read it as “Crazy-Rich Asians” or as “Crazy, Rich Asians”?

2. There is an article entitled “A Whole New Wave of Stereotypes”, which discusses the way this book turns some old Asian stereotypes upside down. How do you react to the idea of this book stereotyping?

3. In the Prologue, Reginald Ormsby – GM of a posh London hotel – wouldn’t let Eleanor, Felicity, Alexandra and their families stay at the hotel. What did you think of this opening? This happened in the 80’s; were you surprised by racial implications?

4. What did you think of the characters in this book? Who was your favorite? Who drove you crazy?

5. Were you able to relate to any of the characters? The families? Why or why not?

6. Were you aware of the wealth in Asia before reading this book?

7. As Part Two begins there is a quote from Marco Polo “I did not tell half of what I saw, for no one would have believed me”. Kevin Kwan said in an interview that his editor had him “remove certain parts of Crazy Rich Asians because they were too unbelievable, even though they were grounded in reality”. What did you think of the descriptions of mega wealth in this book?

8. Given the opportunity would you want to live the super rich life style? Do you think it could be stressful?

9. What do you think of the “old money” versus the “new money” divide in this book?

10. Nicholas didn’t feel his money would change his relationship when Rachel found out. What are your thoughts?

11. What do you think of the role women play in this book?

12. Sophie told Rachel, “No matter how advanced we’ve become, there’s still tremendous pressure for girls to get married. Here, it doesn’t matter how successful a woman is professionally. She isn’t considered complete until she is married and has children”. What do you think of this statement and do you think it would ring true in the United States?

13. Do you think any couple in this book has a “good” marriage? Are the relationships different than the average marriage?

14. Rachel goes with Araminta’s friends to her super exclusive bachelorette party, but she does not seem to be accepted by the group. Why do you think that is?

15. What relationship do you think these women have with each other?

16. Was there anything from the bachelorette party that you were fascinated with?

17. What did you think about Colin’s bachelor party?

18. Both Nick and Astrid offered to leave their family for their respective partners. What do you think about this? Can family ever be left behind completely?

19. What did you think about the disclosure of Rachel’s father?

20. How would you characterize Astrid’s friendship with Charlie Wu?

21. Do you think Nick and Rachel get married? Should they?

22. In chapter 16, Dr. Gu, said that Rachel is “a fortunate girl, then, if she marries into this clan”. What do you think about that statement?

23. What did you think about Singapore? Were you curious to learn more?

Want help with your book discussion group? Check out tips, advice, and all the ways the Library can help support your group!

OTHER RESOURCES:

website of author Kevin Kwan
Entertainment Weekly interview with Kevin Kwan
LitLovers discussion guide
Kevin Kwan: Americans Will Embrace ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Movie” via The Washington Post
Singapore’s Multimillionaires: New Wealth Report Busts the Myths” via Forbes
Crazy Rich Asians Presents A Whole New Wave of Asian Stereotypes” via The Guardian

READALIKES:

Rich Kids of Instagram book coverRich Kids of Instagram
by Maya Sloan

Great Gatsby book coverThe Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Nanny Diaries book coverThe Nanny Diaries
by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

Fiction: The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore

To visit Edward Kelsey Moore’s The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, you’ll need to be prepared for steamy, humid weather, raucous laughter, and occasional visits by the ghosts of a couple wise-but-misbehaving women. This is all par for the course for Odette, Clarice, and Barbara, who aren’t about to slow down after sixty-some years of persevering through racial injustice, unfaithful spouses, and unexpected deaths. In fact, they’re just as determined as ever to live life on their own terms. You’ll shed tears of joy and sorrow and laugh heartily as you join this special group of women at their favorite diner.

List: Funny Horror Books

funny horror books

Horror books don’t only have to be eerie, they can be funny too! Books shown below take familiar horror story premises and add a little laugh to the boo.

Apocalypse Cow book coverApocalypse Cow
by Michael Logan
It starts with one cow that won’t die… and spreads… and spreads… until the world has a problem they never imagined they would have to deal with: zombie animals.
Carpe Demon book coverCarpe Demon
by Julie Kenner
Between taking care of her kids and supporting her husband’s political career, Kate doesn’t have time to hunt demons too, but there’s only one woman for the job and that’s her!
Gil's All Fright Diner book coverGil’s All Fright Diner
by A. Lee Martinez
Duke, a werewolf, and Earl, a vampire, stop at diner and are enlisted to help the owner’s zombie problem, however, zombies aren’t the only problems the owner has.

 

John Dies at the End book coverJohn Dies at the End
by David Wong
A concoction called Soy Sauce opens a can of worms, but thanks to David’s and John’s video game knowledge they may have a chance of protecting their loved ones.
Paul is Undead
by Alan Goldsher
The Beatles are gearing up to take over the world like no other rock stars have ever done before!
bloodlite book coverBlood Lite III: Aftertaste
by various authors
All-star authors such as Jim Butcher and Kelley Armstrong unite to bring forth a collection of some hilarious good short horror stories.

 

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Movies and TV: Sound of Noise

Sound of Noise DVD coverCall this the Drums of Anarchy. A group of brilliant percussionists conspire to unleash a masterpiece of performance art on an unsuspecting public. “Music for One City and Six Drummers” is comprised of four movements, each carried out as a comic caper in a different venue. First, they invade a hospital operating theater, then a bank. Taking the space hostage, they create carefully-coordinated rhythms using whatever is at hand, be it a paper shredder, a bulldozer, or a celebrity patient, and then exit in a quick getaway. Their hallmark at each scene is an old-school metronome, and the inspector assigned to bring order to their chaos is taunted over and over again.

A Swedish film entry (and prizewinner) at multiple festivals, Sound of Noise is audacious fun to the beat of a shockingly unique set of drums.

Staff Pick: 50/50

Janine from Circulation suggests the movie 50/50

50/50 cover imageJoseph Gordon Levitt stars as Adam, a normal 27-year-old, aside from the fact that he just found out he has a rare spinal cancer. His odds of survival are 50-50. While that all sounds pretty dire, the journey the viewer takes with Adam will have them laughing out loud.  Between Adam’s loyal but lewd best friend (Seth Rogen), his unreliable girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), overbearing mother (Anjelica Houston), and young, inexperienced therapist (Anna Kendrick), there are plenty of laughs to be had along the way.

That’s not to say the entire movie is all fun and games. The movie strikes a delicate balance between sharing the gravity of his illness and all that comes with it. As Adam’s therapist, Katherine, tells him, “You can’t change your situation. The only thing that you can change is how you choose to deal with it.” 50/50 is the story of how he deals with it, and the story is achingly honest, heart-breaking and hilarious in equal measure.

For more humorous stories with heart, try…

The Night Before dvd cover

 

The Night Before (DVD): Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt team up again, this time with Anthony Mackie joining them. The three friends spend a hilarious Christmas Eve roaming New York City in search of a Christmas party they’ll never forget.

 

 

Juno dvd cover

 

Juno (DVD): Juno MacGuff is 16, pregnant, and knows keeping the baby isn’t an option. This quirky, heartwarming movie is one you won’t soon forget.

 

 

 

Silver Linings Playbook dvd cover

 

Silver Linings Playbook (DVD): Bradley Cooper plays a bipolar man who befriends a similarly unstable woman while living at home with his parents in this story about family, and learning to love yourself and others, flaws and all.

 

 

Where'd You Go Bernadette book cover

 

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (Book): A funny book about an unforgettable woman named Bernadette, who disappears, leaving her daughter to find her any way she can.

 

 

 

Picture of Tig


Live
by Tig Notaro (Audiobook): Comedian Tig Notaro’s groundbreaking stand-up performance is kicked off by announcing to the audience that she had cancer. Oh, and that was just after her mother unexpectedly died and she went through a terrible breakup. Raw, funny, and honest.

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