A humour book recommendation: The Golden House: A Novel by Salman Rushdie

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Dqe3IG.
Rushdie has always been an impish myth-manipulator, refusing to accept, as in this novel, that the lives of the emperors can’t be blended with film noir, popular culture and crime caper. On the evidence of The Golden House, he is quite right.
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A modern American epic set against the panorama of contemporary politics and culture–a hurtling, page-turning mystery that is equal parts The Great Gatsby and The Bonfire of the Vanities On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign shores takes up residence in the architectural jewel of “the Gardens,” a cloistered community in New York’s Greenwich Village. The neighborhood is a bubble within a bubble, and the residents are immediately intrigued by the eccentric newcomer and his family. Along with his improbable name, untraceable accent, and unmistakable whiff of danger, Nero Golden has brought along his three adult sons: agoraphobic, alcoholic Petya, a brilliant recluse with a tortured mind; Apu, the flamboyant artist, sexually and spiritually omnivorous, famous on twenty blocks; and D, at twenty-two the baby of the family, harboring an explosive secret even from himself. There is no mother, no wife; at least not until Vasilisa, a sleek Russian expat, snags the septuagenarian Nero, becoming the queen to his king–a queen in want of an heir. Our guide to the Goldens’ world is their neighbor Ren�, an ambitious young filmmaker. Researching a movie about the Goldens, he ingratiates himself into their household. Seduced by their mystique, he is inevitably implicated in their quarrels, their infidelities, and, indeed, their crimes. Meanwhile, like a bad joke, a certain comic-book villain embarks upon a crass presidential run that turns New York upside-down. Set against the strange and exuberant backdrop of current American culture and politics, The Golden House also marks Salman Rushdie’s triumphant and exciting return to realism. The result is a modern epic of love and terrorism, loss and reinvention–a powerful, timely story told with the daring and panache that make Salman Rushdie a force of light in our dark new age. Praise for The Golden House “If you read a lot of fiction, you know that every once in a while you stumble upon a book that transports you, telling a story full of wonder and leaving you marveling at how it ever came out of the author’s head. The Golden House is one of those books. . . . [It] tackles more than a handful of universal truths while feeling wholly original.”–The Associated Press “The Golden House . . . ranks among Rushdie’s most ambitious and provocative books [and] displays the quicksilver wit and playful storytelling of Rushdie’s best work.”–USA Today “[The Golden House] is a recognizably Rushdie novel in its playfulness, its verbal jousting, its audacious bravado, its unapologetic erudition, and its sheer, dazzling brilliance.”–The Boston Globe
The book is rated 3.68/5 at goodreads.com, from 2384 ratings. See 590 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2DrZp3H.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CUVk6M.

A humour book recommendation: Hollow: A Novel by Owen Egerton

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2D45FNn.
Ollie’s voice is one of the most believable I’ve encountered this year, sustained by honesty, realism, and compassion.
Book description from Google Books:
An NPR Best Book of 2017 “With the kind of grace not usually seen in accessible modern fiction, Egerton also invokes many other things with this central metaphor . . . Ollie’s voice is one of the most believable I’ve encountered this year, sustained by honesty, realism, and compassion. In his exile, Ollie has taken stock. His reckoning with the past creates the story’s exquisite tension and makes the final scene bloom with tenderness . . . The core of Hollow is anything but.” —NPR When Oliver Bonds, a revered religious studies professor at the University of Texas, loses his toddler son and undergoes intense legal scrutiny over his involvement, grief engulfs him completely. His life is upended; Oliver loses his wife, home, and faith. Three years after his son’s death, Oliver lives in a shack without electricity and frequents the soup kitchen where he used to volunteer. It’s only when befriended by Lyle, a con artist with a passion for theories of Hollow Earth, that Oliver begins to reengage with the world. Oliver too becomes convinced that the inside of the planet might contain a different realm. Desperate to find a place where he can escape his past, Oliver chases after the most unlikely of miracles. With unforgettable characters, wild imagery, and dark humor, Hollow explores the depths of doubt and hope, stretching past grief and into the space where we truly begin to heal.
The book is rated 4.08/5 at goodreads.com, from 98 ratings. See 23 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2BV6Z63.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2D5khMG.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A humour book recommendation: Rich People Problems: A Novel by Kevin Kwan

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Da0mMF.
Kwan is funny, and his characters are satirical parodies. The Crazy Rich Asians series is enjoyable not despite all this but perhaps because of this.
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians (soon to be a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Gemma Chan) and China Rich Girlfriend, is back with an uproarious new novel of a family riven by fortune, an ex-wife driven psychotic with jealousy, a battle royal fought through couture gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia’s greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance. When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside–but he’s not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch’s massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park–a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore–Nicholas’s childhood home turns into a hotbed of speculation and sabotage. As her relatives fight over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by her ex-husband–a man hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to China’s second richest man, billionaire Jack Bing, still feels second best next to her new step-daughter, famous fashionista Colette Bing. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a kidnapping at Hong Kong’s most elite private school to a surprise marriage proposal at an Indian palace, caught on camera by the telephoto lenses of paparazzi, Kevin Kwan’s hilarious, gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets of Asia’s most privileged families and their rich people problems.
The book is rated 3.94/5 at goodreads.com, from 15696 ratings. See 1620 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2Dbntqa.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2C1groi.

A humour book recommendation: Piggy Handsome: Guinea Pig Destined for Stardom! by Pip Jones

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CNwFlC.
There’s really nothing sweet or saccharine about Piggy and therein lies his charm; a modern animal hero with plenty of bite.
Book description from Google Books:
Piggy Handsome is a very confident Guinea pig with a hugely inflated ego – he hails from a long line of very famous Guinea pigs. But sadly Handsome hasn’t yet achieved world renown. With the help of gruff talking Jeffry the budgie and the inadvertent efforts of two dastardly villains Dick and Dolly, Handsome might realise his dream, get in the papers and save the day – without even realising. All in one day trip to the seaside!
The book is rated 4.00/5 at goodreads.com, from 6 ratings. See 1 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2ClPGu6.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CMFax0.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A humour book recommendation: Who Is Rich?: A Novel by Matthew Klam

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CvR6Cz.
Who Is Rich? is a cautionary tale perhaps on mining life for one’s art. And of giving one’s fantasies too much free rein.
Book description from Google Books:
A provocative satire of love, sex, money, and politics that unfolds over four wild days in so-called “paradise”–the long-awaited first novel from the acclaimed author of Sam the Cat “I seriously, deeply love this book.”–Michael Cunningham A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK Every summer, a once-sort-of-famous cartoonist named Rich Fischer leaves his wife and two kids behind to teach a class at a weeklong arts conference in a charming New England beachside town. It’s a place where, every year, students–nature poets and driftwood sculptors, widowed seniors, teenagers away from home for the first time–show up to study with an esteemed faculty made up of prizewinning playwrights, actors, and historians; drunkards and perverts; members of the cultural elite; unknown nobodies, midlist somebodies, and legitimate stars–a place where drum circles happen on the beach at midnight, clothing optional. Once more, Rich finds himself, in this seaside paradise, worrying about his family’s nights without him and trying not to think about his book, now out of print, or his future as an illustrator at a glossy magazine about to go under, or his back taxes, or the shameless shenanigans of his colleagues at this summer make-out festival. He can’t decide whether his own very real desire for love and human contact is going to rescue or destroy him. A warped and exhilarating tale of love and lust, Who Is Rich? goes far beyond to address deeper questions: of family, monogamy, the intoxicating beauty of children, and the challenging interdependence of two soulful, sensitive creatures in a confusing domestic alliance. Praise for Who Is Rich? “Who Is Rich? is a gem within the canon of infidelity literature [with] a wonderful narrator, lacerating and gentle. . . . Comic, wondrous, and sad.”–The New Yorker “Like all great humorists, Klam is a sharp observer and he skewers his targets here with specificity and brio.”–Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air “A brilliant rumination on the trap of cannibalizing one’s life for art.”–The Washington Post “One of those novels with the rare power to mesmerize. It’s a dazzling meditation . . . told by an adulterous middle-aged schlub, full of sound and fury, and signifying, well, pretty much everything.”–The Boston Globe
The book is rated 3.01/5 at goodreads.com, from 746 ratings. See 214 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CtWTsd.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CZcgK6.

A humour book recommendation: The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life by Karin Roffman

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2DvCWRX.
“The Songs We Know Best” offers up a feast of new details, documents and colorful anecdotes that will be foundational for any future understanding of Ashbery.
Book description from Google Books:
The first biography of an American masterThe Songs We Know Best, the first comprehensive biography of the early life of John Ashbery—the winner of nearly every major American literary award—reveals the unusual ways he drew on the details of his youth to populate the poems that made him one of the most original and unpredictable forces of the last century in arts and letters.Drawing on unpublished correspondence, juvenilia, and childhood diaries as well as more than one hundred hours of conversation with the poet, Karin Roffman offers an insightful portrayal of Ashbery during the twenty-eight years that led up to his stunning debut, Some Trees, chosen by W. H. Auden for the 1955 Yale Younger Poets Prize. Roffman shows how Ashbery’s poetry arose from his early lessons both on the family farm and in 1950s New York City—a bohemian existence that teemed with artistic fervor and radical innovations inspired by Dada and surrealism as well as lifelong friendships with painters and writers such as Frank O’Hara, Jane Freilicher, Nell Blaine, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, and Willem de Kooning. Ashbery has a reputation for being enigmatic and playfully elusive, but Roffman’s biography reveals his deft mining of his early life for the flint and tinder from which his provocative later poems grew, producing a body of work that he calls “the experience of experience,” an intertwining of life and art in extraordinarily intimate ways.
The book is rated 4.41/5 at goodreads.com, from 27 ratings. See 6 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2Du9RGm.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CjF27V.

A humour book recommendation: This Zoo is Not for You by Ross Collins

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Cbkqhn.
There’s a touch of Tim Minchin about Collins, who has worked on more than 100 children’s books and won several awards: his tone is funny but heartfelt and a little bit rock’n’roll.
Book description from Google Books:
When a small platypus applies for a vacancy at the zoo, he is taken on a rigorous interview process. But he’s far too bland for the chameleons, not nearly graceful enough for the flamingos, and his tricks, quite frankly, will never impress the monkeys. So, disappointed, he leaves. But soon the animals regret being so unkind and join together to welcome him to the zoo. Leading to a very fun party on his Platybus!
The book is rated 3.75/5 at goodreads.com, from 4 ratings. See 1 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CaVTsQ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2C9R7fe.

A humour book recommendation: High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic by Glenn Frankel

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CsFtwd.
Some books are interesting but not entertaining, while other books are just the opposite. But every once in a while a book comes along that it is both entertaining and interesting. Glenn Frankel’s “High Noon” is such a book.
Book description from Google Books:
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Searchers, the revelatory story behind the classic movie High Noon and the toxic political climate in which it was created. It’s one of the most revered movies of Hollywood’s golden era. Starring screen legend Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in her first significant film role, High Noon was shot on a lean budget over just thirty-two days but achieved instant box-office and critical success. It won four Academy Awards in 1953, including a best actor win for Cooper. And it became a cultural touchstone, often cited by politicians as a favorite film, celebrating moral fortitude.Yet what has been often overlooked is that High Noon was made during the height of the Hollywood blacklist, a time of political inquisition and personal betrayal. In the middle of the film shoot, screenwriter Carl Foreman was forced to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his former membership in the Communist Party. Refusing to name names, he was eventually blacklisted and fled the United States. (His co-authored screenplay for another classic, The Bridge on the River Kwai, went uncredited in 1957.) Examined in light of Foreman’s testimony, High Noon’s emphasis on courage and loyalty takes on deeper meaning and importance.In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel tells the story of the making of a great American Western, exploring how Carl Foreman’s concept of High Noon evolved from idea to first draft to final script, taking on allegorical weight. Both the classic film and its turbulent political times emerge newly illuminated.
The book is rated 4.14/5 at goodreads.com, from 368 ratings. See 82 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CXNiuU.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CsFu3f.

A humour book recommendation: Gainsborough: A Portrait by James Hamilton

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CCQpbt.
Hamilton has too much integrity to upend this argument simply to make a splash. But what he does suggest in this astute yet generous book is that there is a third element to the painter’s life that explains why he continued with a branch of art that he maintained bored him.
Book description from Google Books:
** BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week ** ‘Compulsively readable – the pages seem to turn themselves’ John Carey, Sunday Times ‘Brings one of the very greatest [artists] vividly to life’ Literary Review Thomas Gainsborough lived as if electricity shot through his sinews and crackled at his finger ends. He was a gentle and empathetic family man, but had a volatility that could lead him to slash his paintings, and a loose libidinous way of speaking, writing and behaving that shocked many deeply. He would be dynamite in polite society today.In this exhilarating new biography – the first in decades – James Hamilton reveals Gainsborough in his many contexts: the easy-going Suffolk lad, transported to the heights of fashion by a natural talent; the rake-on-the-make in London, learning his art in the shadow of Hogarth; falling on his feet when he married a duke’s daughter with a handsome private income; the top society-portrait painter in Bath and London who earned huge sums by bringing the right people into his studio; the charming and amusing friend of George III and Queen Charlotte who nevertheless kept clear of the aristocratic embrace.There has been much art history written about this chameleon of art, but with fresh insights into original sources, Gainsborough: A Portrait transforms our understanding of this fascinating man, and enlightens the century that bore him.
The book is rated 3.50/5 at goodreads.com, from 8 ratings. See 1 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CdckVL.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CCQzzB.

A humour book recommendation: Who Is Rich?: A Novel by Matthew Klam

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CvR6Cz.
Who Is Rich? is a cautionary tale perhaps on mining life for one’s art. And of giving one’s fantasies too much free rein.
Book description from Google Books:
A provocative satire of love, sex, money, and politics that unfolds over four wild days in so-called “paradise”–the long-awaited first novel from the acclaimed author of Sam the Cat “I seriously, deeply love this book.”–Michael Cunningham A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK Every summer, a once-sort-of-famous cartoonist named Rich Fischer leaves his wife and two kids behind to teach a class at a weeklong arts conference in a charming New England beachside town. It’s a place where, every year, students–nature poets and driftwood sculptors, widowed seniors, teenagers away from home for the first time–show up to study with an esteemed faculty made up of prizewinning playwrights, actors, and historians; drunkards and perverts; members of the cultural elite; unknown nobodies, midlist somebodies, and legitimate stars–a place where drum circles happen on the beach at midnight, clothing optional. Once more, Rich finds himself, in this seaside paradise, worrying about his family’s nights without him and trying not to think about his book, now out of print, or his future as an illustrator at a glossy magazine about to go under, or his back taxes, or the shameless shenanigans of his colleagues at this summer make-out festival. He can’t decide whether his own very real desire for love and human contact is going to rescue or destroy him. A warped and exhilarating tale of love and lust, Who Is Rich? goes far beyond to address deeper questions: of family, monogamy, the intoxicating beauty of children, and the challenging interdependence of two soulful, sensitive creatures in a confusing domestic alliance. Praise for Who Is Rich? “Who Is Rich? is a gem within the canon of infidelity literature [with] a wonderful narrator, lacerating and gentle. . . . Comic, wondrous, and sad.”–The New Yorker “Like all great humorists, Klam is a sharp observer and he skewers his targets here with specificity and brio.”–Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air “A brilliant rumination on the trap of cannibalizing one’s life for art.”–The Washington Post “One of those novels with the rare power to mesmerize. It’s a dazzling meditation . . . told by an adulterous middle-aged schlub, full of sound and fury, and signifying, well, pretty much everything.”–The Boston Globe
The book is rated 3.00/5 at goodreads.com, from 733 ratings. See 211 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CtWTsd.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CZcgK6.