A humour book recommendation: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2n9yZdS.
In the end, “Born a Crime” is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother…
Book description from amazon.com:
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followedNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • Newsday • Esquire • NPR • BooklistTrevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.Born a Crime is 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. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.
The book is rated 4.47/5 at goodreads.com, from 60174 ratings. See 8448 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2nsmYCL.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ntmsEB.

A humour book recommendation: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2wG9Uen.
It could be dull, but instead it’s mesmerizing, like watching spinning chickens. Since many of the things he describes happen in his stories, reading Theft by Finding feels like watching a favorite play from behind the scenes, in the company of a friend who can identify what is absurd and heartbreaking and human about every person on stage.
Book description from Google Books:
One of the most anticipated books of 2017: Boston Globe, New York Times Book Review, New York’s “Vulture”, The Week, Bustle, BookRiotDavid Sedaris tells all in a book that is, literally, a lifetime in the makingFor forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is the story of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can’t fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It’s a potent reminder that when you’re as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, there’s no such thing as a boring day.
The book is rated 4.02/5 at goodreads.com, from 6622 ratings. See 1034 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2tnX6f5.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tnFsIo.

A humour book recommendation: Inside Vogue: A Diary Of My 100th Year by Alexandra Shulman

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2uIZ9Y2.
At one point, she calls Mayfair, decked out for Christmas, “a gilded world of money and privilege”, and the same description easily pertains to the world in which she moves; the book is a who’s who of the fashion world, teeming with celebrity cameos.
Book description from Google Books:
The secret diary of Vogue Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman and the real story behind the BBC TV ABSOLUTELY FASHION documentary. ‘One of the great social diaries of our time . . . should become a classic.’ Sunday Times ‘Eye-popping, brilliantly candid’ Evening Standard What a year for Vogue! Alexandra Shulman reveals the emotional and logistical minefield of producing the 100th anniversary issue (that Duchess of Cambridge cover surprise), organizing the star-studded Vogue 100 Gala, working with designers from Victoria Beckham to Karl Lagerfeld and contributors from David Bailey to Alexa Chung. All under the continual scrutiny of a television documentary crew. But narrowly-contained domestic chaos hovers – spontaneous combustion in the kitchen, a temperamental boiler and having to send bin day reminders all the way from Milan fashion week. For anyone who wants to know what the life of a fashion magazine editor is really like, or for any woman who loves her job, this is a rich, honest and sharply observed account of a year lived at the centre of British fashion and culture.
The book is rated 3.96/5 at goodreads.com, from 340 ratings. See 29 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uISYTN.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2us678g.

A humour book recommendation: Don’t I Know You? by Marni Jackson

A critic review (source Globe and Mail) can be read at: https://tgam.ca/2urp6Qr.
Our relationship with celebrities is a complicated business. We don’t really know them, but we feel like we do because of the way we interact with their art and the way their art interacts with big moments in our lives. Jackson helps to make sense of this by bringing celebrities into the fold of daily life. The result is magic.
Book description from Google Books:
What if some of the artists we feel as if we know—Meryl Streep, Neil Young, Bill Murray—turned up in the course of our daily lives? This is what happens to Rose McEwan, an ordinary woman who keeps having strange encounters with famous people. In this engrossing, original novel-in-stories, we follow her life from age 17, when she takes a summer writing course led by a young John Updike, through her first heartbreak (witnessed by Joni Mitchell) on the island of Crete, through her marriage, divorce, and a canoe trip with Taylor Swift, Leonard Cohen and Karl Ove Knausgaard. (Yes, read on.)With wit and insight, Marni Jackson takes a world obsessed with celebrity and turns it on its head. In Don’t I Know You?, she shows us how fame is just another form of fiction, and how, in the end, the daily dramas of an ordinary woman’s life can be as captivating and poignant as any luminary tell-all.
The book is rated 3.33/5 at goodreads.com, from 212 ratings. See 73 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2urhDRi.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uILXlD.

A humour book recommendation: Testimony by Robbie Robertson

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2lAgql7.
Mr. Robertson, in “Testimony,” occasionally leans too heavily on mythopoeticism. But just as often his writing is wonderfully perceptive.
Book description from amazon.com:
The New York Times BestsellerOn the 40th anniversary of The Band’s legendary The Last Waltz concert, Robbie Robertson finally tells his own spellbinding story of the band that changed music history, his extraordinary personal journey, and his creative friendships with some of the greatest artists of the last half-century.      Robbie Robertson’s singular contributions to popular music have made him one of the most beloved songwriters and guitarists of his time. With songs like “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and “Up on Cripple Creek,” he and his partners in The Band fashioned a music that has endured for decades, influencing countless musicians.      In this captivating memoir, written over five years of reflection, Robbie Robertson employs his unique storyteller’s voice to weave together the journey that led him to some of the most pivotal events in music history. He recounts the adventures of his half-Jewish, half-Mohawk upbringing on the Six Nations Indian Reserve and on the gritty streets of Toronto; his odyssey at sixteen to the Mississippi Delta, the fountainhead of American music; the wild early years on the road with rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks; his unexpected ties to the Cosa Nostra underworld; the gripping trial-by-fire “going electric” with Bob Dylan on his 1966 world tour, and their ensuing celebrated collaborations; the formation of the Band and the forging of their unique sound,  culminating with history’s most famous farewell concert, brought to life for all time in Martin Scorsese’s great movie The Last Waltz.       This is the story of a time and place–the moment when rock ‘n’ roll became life, when legends like Buddy Holly and Bo Diddley criss-crossed the circuit of clubs and roadhouses from Texas to Toronto, when The Beatles, Hendrix, The Stones, and Warhol moved through the same streets and hotel rooms. It’s the story of exciting change as the world tumbled through the ’60s and early 70’s, and a generation came of age, built on music, love and freedom. Above all, it’s the moving story of the profound friendship between five young men who together created a new kind of popular music.     Testimony is Robbie Robertson’s story, lyrical and true, as only he could tell it.
The book is rated 4.13/5 at goodreads.com, from 1199 ratings. See 236 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2l1aXka.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tskZ5n.

A humour book recommendation: The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific by David Bianculli

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2mVwaNH.
More than a mere guidebook, this is Bianculli’s bible of TV — a wise, engaging celebration of a type of entertainment that’s as much of an art form as it is a pastime.
Book description from Google Books:
Television shows have now eclipsed films as the premier form of visual narrative art of our time. This new book by one of our finest critics explains–historically, in depth, and with interviews with the celebrated creators themselves–how the art of must-see/binge-watch television evolved. Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli’s theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way. In tracing the evolutionary history of our progress toward a Platinum Age of Television–our age, the era of The Sopranos and Breaking Bad and Mad Men and The Wire and Homeland and Girls–he focuses on the development of the classic TV genres, among them the sitcom, the crime show, the miniseries, the soap opera, the western, the animated series and the late night talk show. In each genre, he selects five key examples of the form, tracing its continuities and its dramatic departures and drawing on exclusive and in-depth interviews with many of the most famed auteurs in television history. Television has triumphantly come of age artistically; David Bianculli’s book is the first to date to examine, in depth and in detail and with a keen critical and historical sense, how this inspiring development came about.
The book is rated 3.97/5 at goodreads.com, from 156 ratings. See 31 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mVpnUa.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2x3YkNH.

A humour book recommendation: The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2uVTKgo.
Young readers who have ever felt too big or been made to feel small will feel just right in the cheerful glow of Weiner’s contemporary fairy tale.
Book description from Google Books:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Hungry Heart Jennifer Weiner comes a laugh-out-loud funny and painstakingly real tale of friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one. But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs, as they call them—are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star. Alice swears to protect Millie’s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid named Jeremy. And in order to survive, Alice and Millie have to put their trust in each other—and have faith in themselves—above all else.
The book is rated 3.62/5 at goodreads.com, from 995 ratings. See 202 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uDoTtu.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uVL09Q.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A humour book recommendation: Don’t I Know You? by Marni Jackson

A critic review (source Globe and Mail) can be read at: https://tgam.ca/2urp6Qr.
Our relationship with celebrities is a complicated business. We don’t really know them, but we feel like we do because of the way we interact with their art and the way their art interacts with big moments in our lives. Jackson helps to make sense of this by bringing celebrities into the fold of daily life. The result is magic.
Book description from Google Books:
What if some of the artists we feel as if we know—Meryl Streep, Neil Young, Bill Murray—turned up in the course of our daily lives? This is what happens to Rose McEwan, an ordinary woman who keeps having strange encounters with famous people. In this engrossing, original novel-in-stories, we follow her life from age 17, when she takes a summer writing course led by a young John Updike, through her first heartbreak (witnessed by Joni Mitchell) on the island of Crete, through her marriage, divorce, and a canoe trip with Taylor Swift, Leonard Cohen and Karl Ove Knausgaard. (Yes, read on.)With wit and insight, Marni Jackson takes a world obsessed with celebrity and turns it on its head. In Don’t I Know You?, she shows us how fame is just another form of fiction, and how, in the end, the daily dramas of an ordinary woman’s life can be as captivating and poignant as any luminary tell-all.
The book is rated 3.34/5 at goodreads.com, from 211 ratings. See 73 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2urhDRi.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uILXlD.

A humour book recommendation: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2uEOphU.
While you probably won’t pack their hefty and beautiful new hardcover book (titled, of course, “Atlas Obscura”) in your travel bag, you will surely get lost in the nearly 500 pages of skillful storytelling and photographs.
Book description from Google Books:
It’s time to get off the beaten path. Inspiring equal parts wonder and wanderlust, Atlas Obscura celebrates over 700 of the strangest and most curious places in the world. Talk about a bucket list: here are natural wonders–the dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa that’s so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably. Architectural marvels, including the M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia, Turkmenistan’s 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell, a graveyard for decommissioned ships on the coast of Bangladesh, eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England. Created by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, ATLAS OBSCURA revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book to enter anywhere, and will be as appealing to the armchair traveler as the die-hard adventurer. Anyone can be a tourist. ATLAS OBSCURA is for the explorer.
The book is rated 4.24/5 at goodreads.com, from 1742 ratings. See 270 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uXgKvv.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uWQdyj.

A humour book recommendation: She Made Me Laugh: My Friend Nora Ephron by Richard Cohen

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2uw9B9Q.
If judged simply as a book, as it should be, and not along a friendship continuum: whoosh. It’s juicy, opinionated, indiscreet, immodest, not terribly well organized or fact-checked. (Elvis was not, in the late 1960s, “a regional performer.”)
Book description from Google Books:
“A portrait that’s both complex and moving…Nora would be pleased.” —People (Book of the Week) Nora Ephron, one of the most famous writers, film makers, and personalities of her time is captured by her long-time and dear friend in a hilarious, blunt, raucous, and poignant recollection of their decades-long friendship.Nora Ephron (1941–2012) was a phenomenal personality, journalist, essayist, novelist, playwright, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, and movie director (Sleepless in Seattle; You’ve Got Mail; When Harry Met Sally; Heartburn; Julie & Julia). She wrote a slew of bestsellers (I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman; I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections; Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media; Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women). She was celebrated by Hollywood, embraced by literary New York, and adored by legions of fans throughout the world. Award-winning journalist Richard Cohen, wrote this about his “third-person memoir”: “I call this book a third-person memoir. It is about my closest friend, Nora Ephron, and the lives we lived together and how her life got to be bigger until, finally, she wrote her last work, the play, Lucky Guy, about a newspaper columnist dying of cancer while she herself was dying of cancer. I have interviewed many of her other friends—Mike Nichols, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Arianna Huffington—but the book is not a name-dropping star turn, but an attempt to capture a remarkable woman who meant so much to so many other women.”
The book is rated 3.67/5 at goodreads.com, from 263 ratings. See 76 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uNPEqA.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2wwg3Ke.
Google Books preview available in full post.