Case of the Gilded FlyEdmund Crispin

Crispin is one of those golden-era British mystery authors that is too little known today. His Oxford don, Gervase Fen, is funny, snarky, whitty, absent-minded and brilliant. Whirling from one unlikely event to another, finding clues (and only clues) in the oddest places, Fen and associates solve crimes …

The Bucolic PlagueJosh Kilmer-Purcell

This is one of those books that has me vacillating wildly between seething jealousy and abject horror. When Josh and Brent, overworked Manhattanites, find the perfect old mansion for a song it seems like their dreams have come true. The first months of farming and spending weekends at …

McSweeney's Joke Book of Book JokesMcSweeney’s

Sheer silliness for the well-read and deeply snarky. Entries include

Thirteen Writing Prompts: Imagine if your favorite character form nineteenth-century fiction had been born without thumbs. Then write a short story about them winning the lottery.

Klingon Fairy Tales: There was an old woman who lived in a shoe

Moab is my WashpotStephen Fry

A true Renaissance man, actor and comedian Stephen Fry has written a wonderful biography of his childhood. Mostly set in his childhood of boarding schools, Fry tells about the loneliness of being gay and British, his love of music, family problems and eventual life of crime. Brilliant and …

Stephen Fry in AmericaStephen Fry

British actor and comedian Stephen Fry (Jeeves of Jeeves and Wooster fame) is that rare breed of European – one who actually likes Americans. In his attempt to show his British audiences that we aren’t all a bunch of loud, vulgar, gun-toting religious nuts he undertakes a project …

My Fair LazyJen Lancaster

Not Lancaster’s best memoir to date, but still a hoot. Her realization that she was becoming a moron, wits dulled by reality tv, inspired her to try to improve her mind a la Eliza Doolittle. Lancaster chronicles her attempts at reading literature, going to plays, trying new foods …

Bent ObjectsTerry Border

Using everyday objects, coupled with bent wire, Border creates a whole inner anthropomorphic life for inanimate objects – a kiwi shaves its fuzzy back, a banana lays battered and bruised in the boxing ring, a group of peanuts attend a funeral for a jar of peanut butter. Weird, …

The Urban HermitSam Macdonald

Sam Macdonald was a fat, broke failure. His social life consisted of sitting on a bar-stool all night. His apartment, he noted, was the “brownest” place he had ever lived. Mustering the reserves of a truly desperate man, he decided to go on a starvation diet to loose …

The Guinea Pig DairiesAJ Jacobs

Jacob’s past books have focused on his year-long experiments – reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and living “biblically” (kinda). His My Life as an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself by Living as a Woman, Becoming George Washington, Telling No Lies, and Other Radical Tests (formerly …

The PyratesGeorge McDonald Fraser

Rivaling Terry Pratchett for the king of humorous writing, George McDonald Fraser creates a fictional vision of the pirate life lifted directly from Treasure Island and Basil Rathbone movies with touches of slap-stick (if fruitcart then chase scene). Fraser’s pirates are walking, talking, larger-than-life pirate stereotypes. …

Live Nude Elf Reverend Jen

Not a book for this with rigid morals or no sense of humor, Reverend Jen covers her year as a sex writer for Nerve magazine. While most of her experiments are scary/gross/dangerous they also have a tinge of quirky dorkiness that makes her lovable… in a deranged sort …

TLook at My Striped Shirthe Phat Phree

OMG! IT’S PEOPLE! THAT YOU HATE! This book is a collection of modern soliloquies rendered in the style of some of the most irritating and despicable people we have the misfortune to run into. Charming people like:

I Just Made Some Statements that I Can’t Back