Check It Out Category: Humor

What to Read from Home – Staff E-Book Picks

Staff E-book Picks collage

For comfort reads, stories to make you laugh, and books to help you experience a different life, the next in our series of staff picks of what to try through the OverDrive or Hoopla digital services features e-books with little or no wait. Don’t miss parts one and two, and check back twice each week for spotlights of what to read, watch, or listen to. For even more ideas, follow along on Goodreads or contact us for a suggestion that is personalized just for you!

Spies of Shilling Lane book coverLaura recommends
The Spies of Shilling Lane 
by Jennifer Ryan
“drama, suspense, and humor with enjoyable characters”
ebook (also e-audio)
Worst Best Man book coverJenny and Denise recommend
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
The Wedding Planner meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding in this fun, somewhat steamy romp”
ebook (also e-audio)
Little Book of Hygge book coverCathleen recommends
The Little Book of Hygge
by Meik Wiking
“a cozy blanket of a book that inspires better living”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

Storied Life of AJ Fikry book coverNancy recommends
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
“when you want to fall in love with reading again, treat yourself to this bittersweet and quirky story about second chances”
ebook (also e-audio)
Hazel Wood book coverLiz recommends
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
“a character tries to stay a step ahead of a mysterious curse in this compelling contemporary YA fantasy”
ebook (also e-audio)
Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King book coverChelsea recommends
The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King
by Jerome Charyn
“a fun romp featuring Teddy Roosevelt, his upbringing, and his rise to becoming a Rough Rider”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

5 Love Languages book coverDenise recommends
The 5 Love Languages
by Gary Chapman
“partners living in close quarters will find new understanding of each other”
ebook (also e-audio)
Displacement book coverCathleen recommends
Displacement by Lucy Knisley
“themes of cherishing life, laughter, and legacy offer particular resonance in challenging times”
ebook
Chalk Man book coverLaura recommends
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
“creepy chalk figures, murder, and mystery in a small English village”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

Jane Eyre book coverLiz recommends
Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Brontë
“my standby classic comfort read!”
ebook (also e-audio)
Get a Life Chloe Brown book coverChelsea, Denise, and Liz recommend
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert
“charming characters both with their own past life and relationship baggage; a bit on the snarky side, and I want to be Chloe’s new best friend!”
ebook (also e-audio)
Atomic Habits book coverJenny recommends
by James Clear
“digestible yet informative guide on understanding how habits are created and the small steps you can take to form new ones”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

Staff Picks for Digital Reads and Listens

Need a new book to provide comfort, distraction, or insight during this time of social distancing? Our readers’ advisory staff have picked favorites that are available through the OverDrive or Hoopla digital book services with little or no wait! Check back twice each week for fresh digital recommendations of what to read, watch, or listen to, follow along on Goodreads, or contact us for a suggestion that is personalized just for you!

accident book coverLaura recommends
The Accident by Chris Pavone
“a clever and suspenseful conspiracy thriller”
ebook and e-audio
hollywood homicide book coverAl recommends
Hollywood Homicide
by Kellye Garrett
“a fast-paced whodunit”
e-audio
familiars book coverLiz recommends
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
“compelling and delightfully atmospheric”
e-audio

 

i love you so mochi book coverAbby recommends
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
“a sweet YA romance about following your own dreams and reconnecting with friends and family”
 e-audio and ebook
harrys trees book coverDenise recommends
Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen
for fans of A Man Called Ove
ebook and e-audio
book of joy book coverJenny recommends
The Book of Joy
by Dalai Lama XIV & Desmond Tutu
“deep happiness and light humor radiate through this wide-ranging conversation between two individuals who have faced adversity”
e-audio and ebook

 

bel canto book coverNancy recommends
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
“offers escape through fascinating characters and gorgeous writing”
ebook and e-audio
they called us enemy book coverAndrea recommends
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
“really helped to put the discomforts of self-quarantine into perspective”
ebook
spellman files book coverCathleen recommends
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
“crackling narration, interesting twists, and full-throttle hilarity”
e-audio

 

conviction book coverDenise recommends
Conviction by Denise Mina
“delightfully twisty and suspenseful with a dash of humor!”
e-audio and ebook
one more thing book coverJenny recommends
One More Thing by B.J. Novak
“hilarious and smart short stories”
e-audio and ebook
nine women one dress book coverLaura recommends
by Jane L. Rosen
“charming, feel-good story”
ebook and e-audio

 

underground airlines book coverCathleen recommends
Underground Airlines
by Ben H. Winters
“a smart, moody, tantalizing ride”
ebook and e-audio
spin the dawn book coverAbby recommends
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
“for readers who enjoy books by Sarah J. Maas or stories with fairy-tale elements”
ebook and e-audio
yellow house book coverAl recommends
The Yellow House
by Sarah M. Broom
National Book Award winner
New Orleans memoir
ebook

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society cover image
Nancy and Abby recommend
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
“a warm-hearted book with likable characters”
ebook and e-audio
The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleLiz recommends
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton
“the narrator’s voice is superb; you will be immediately immersed in the the world of the story”
e-audio and ebook

 

Book Discussion Questions: Born a Crime

Tborn a crime book coveritle: Born a Crime
Author: Trevor Noah
Page Count: 288 pages
Genre: Memoir, Humor Writing
Tone: Reflective, Engaging, Candid, Witty

Summary: The story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.

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: 2019 Mount Prospect Public Library. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

1. Were you familiar with Trevor Noah before reading this book? Have you seen The Daily Show?
2. Trevor’s experience growing up seemed similar to the experience of people growing up in our country more like 60 years ago than 30 years ago. Does his youth resonate with you in the ways that racism affected him and in the childhood that he had growing up not very long ago?
3. How does language play a role in Trevor’s life and what he observes in human culture?
4. What role does being mixed play in Trevor’s life? How do Americans see him?
5. How did Trevor’s Mom raise him? What were the impacts of her not putting limitations on him and raising him unlike any example she had of how to raise a child? How would you describe Noah? Patricia?
6. What did you think about Trevor’s Mom’s discipline?
7. Where did Trevor fit in? Who accepted him? Why did Trevor always feel like an outsider? How did he cope with that?
8. Do you think Noah had a good childhood? How do you think his childhood is unique from others who grew up in South Africa? What types of danger did Noah face in his childhood?
9. What did you think about Trevor’s relationship with his biological father, Robert? What was Trevor’s father like? How did you view him as a person?
10. How was apartheid similar to American Jim Crow and how was it different?
11. What did you think about the way Trevor’s Mom tried to raised him to treat women, and how does that reconcile with her marrying Abel? Why did she marry Abel when she said she wouldn’t consider marrying Trevor’s father?
12. A lot of what happens in this story is told with humor, even though many things were very dark. Would you consider Trevor an optimist and how did his attitude and views of his own life influence the person he became?
13. Even though he’s only 34, did him sharing his story of his life affect your views on things such as regret and taking chances and the choices that you make?
14. How does this book compare to other memoirs/autobiographies you have read? What do you think of Noah’s writing style? Do you like his voice?
15. What did you think of how he structured the book?
16. Who do you think Noah had in mind as the audience for his memoir?
17. How can this book contribute to understanding current state of race relations in United States?
18. Are there any quotes from book you’d like to share? Any passage or line that was particularly memorable? Favorite chapter?
19. How did you respond to Trevor’s use of humor in telling stories from his youth? How did humor shape his experience growing up?
20. What kind of impact did this book have on you?
21. Did you like the book? What surprised you? Would you recommend it to friends?
22. Do any of his stories / comments challenge your beliefs? Do you think any of his opinions are provocative?
23. Do you think you’ll want to see the upcoming film adaptation? What passages from the book will make good scenes?
24. Noah is reportedly working on a second book, picking up where Born a Crime ends and about his journey as a comedian in South Africa. Will you be interested in reading it?

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

OTHER RESOURCES:

The New York Times Books of the Times
The Guardian review of Born a Crime
Trevor Noah’s official website
NPR interview with Trevor Noah

READALIKES:

Revolution for Dummies book coverRevolution for Dummies
by Bassem Youssef

American on Purpose book coverAmerican on Purpose
by Craig Ferguson

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.