LOL: Funny Books, Aug. 20. 2019 | Book Pulse

NPR picks 100 Favorite Funny books, plus this year's summer reading poll. Doxology by Nell Zink is the book of the day. Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi are teaming up on Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning.

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LOL: NPR and Funny Books







NPR picks 100 Favorite Funny books; this year's summer reading poll. The list is broken into categories: Memoirs, Essays, Comics & Cartoons, Novels, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nonfiction, Kids Books & YA, Poetry, Short Stories, and both Classics and Deep Thoughts (those last two anchor links currently do not work on the NPR site, but you can scroll through all 100 titles). As a reminder, here are the judges.

Want chills rather than chuckles?  NPR focued on Horror novels last year. Graphic novels was the focus of 2017. Here is the archive of all past topics.

Reviews and a Book of the Day

The book of the day is Doxology by Nell Zink (Ecco: Harper). The NYT writes “it’s superb.” The Washington Post says “It feels like a quirky genius trying her best to behave at the dinner table.” Topping it off, Vanity Fair has an interview with Zink.

In other reviews, The Washington Post writes about Finding Zsa Zsa: The Gabors behind the Legend by Sam Staggs (Kensington: Random House): “freewheeling.”

USA Today reviews The World Doesn't Require You: Stories by Rion Amilcar Scott (Liveright: W.W. Norton), giving it 3.5 stars and writing its stories “stun and challenge.”

Entertainment Weekly reviews Going Dutch by James Gregor (S. & S.), giving it a B+ and writing “It’s a book of deceptive ambitions, a breezy page-turner that, every few pages, slides in an observation that inspires some combination of laughter, mortification, and admiration.”

The NYT reviews The World Doesn't Require You: Stories by Rion Amilcar Scott (Liveright: W.W. Norton): “It is a dizzying collage of tones and styles that Scott pulls together with mastery and confidence.” Also, A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves: One Family and Migration in the 21st Century by Jason DeParle (Viking: Penguin; LJ starred review): “a sweeping, deeply reported tale of international migration that hopscotches from the Philippines through the Middle East, Europe and eventually the United States.” The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan (Doubleday: Random House): “unique and chilling.” The paper also has a dual review of books that address “Two Views of the Tumult on American Campuses.” Lastly, the “New & Noteworthy” column gathers poetry.

Briefly Noted

NPR picks “3 Romances To Get You Through Summer's Homestretch.”

Bustle has “21 New Rom-Coms Out In Fall 2019 To Give You Warm And Fuzzy Feelings All Season Long.”

LitHub issues its Fall Nonfiction preview, with essays and with memoirs.’s great idea of the day is a list that takes readers “Around the World in 28 Alternative Cities.”

CrimeReads picks “10 Great Books That Defy All Genre Labels.”

Barbara Hoffert posts new Prepub Alert articles in LJ, helping collection development and RA librarians through to March 2020.

Entertainment Weekly writes “LGBTQ books are being censored in middle schools. Authors are speaking out.”

The judges for the Kirkus prizes have been announced. The finalists in the three award categoires will be announced on Sept. 17. The winners are announced on Oct. 24.

Entertainment Weekly interviews Philippa Gregory, Tidelands (Atria Books: S. & S.; LJ starred review).

The Guardian interviews Philippe Besson, Lie With Me (Scribner: S. & S.).

NYT has a profile on cookbook author and chef Jamie Oliver.

In forthcoming comics news, Time reports that Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi are teaming up on Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Hachette). In more news, Something Is Killing the Children by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera is getting an ongoing series, after its 5-issue miniseries sold out before its release. Early days yet for a collected volume, but keep an eye out, as will we. The Hollywood Reporter has details. excerpts The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring (Imprint: Macmillan).

Vulture excerpts Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era by Saul Austerlitz (Dutton: Penguin).

Entertainment Weekly excerpts Anthony Bourdain: The Last Interview by Helen Rosner (Melville House).

Sophie Mackintosh has a new short story in Granta, “The Last Rite of the Body.”

InsideHook writes about “the Growing Influence of Barack Obama, Literary Tastemaker.”

Electric Lit writes about “The Great Clarice Lispector Revival.”

The Guardian considers “How John Steinbeck ‘opened up’ The Grapes of Wrath's readers.”

Paste features The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down by Abigail Pesta (Seal Press: Hachette; LJ starred review).

The Guardian writes about Maya Angelou and her cookbooks, also the time she hosted a very special dinner for Toni Morrison.

Myrna Katz Frommer has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

NPR interviews Jill Heinerth, Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver (Ecco: Harper). It is soaring on Amazon.

Also getting a big boost in sales is Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon by Greg Laurie, with Marshall Terrill (Salem Books: Regnery), thanks to a push on Fox News.

Dani Shapiro, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love (Knopf), featured on the Today show yesterday.

NPR’s Fresh Air digs into the literary connections of The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware (Gallery/Scout Press: S. & S.; LJ starred review) and Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman (William Morrow: Harper).

Vulture considers “Where’d You Go, Bernadette: The Biggest Changes From the Book to the Movie.”

The Rules of Magic and Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman are the basis for a new HBO MAX show, The Rules of Magic. Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, the authors of The Home Edit, are getting an unscripted series via Reese Witherspoon’s production company. Deadline Hollywood reports.

Town & Country has a rundown of The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman and based on You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz.

Shadow and Act has first look images and an original short film on Raising Dion.

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