Thursday, May 12, 2011

Top 5 books I've read this week that were perfect for my morning bus rides to work

List by Tosca

"Humor is reason gone mad."
- Groucho Marx

I'm constantly on the lookout for books that make great morning bus ride material. I'm not talking epic reads. Those have their place. I just find that I get easily distracted on a bus so serious reads are a no-no for me then. I'm also not a morning person. (Or an afternoon person or a night person if I'm honest). That morning read can sometimes set the tone for my day. (It's also a great way for me to tune out any co-passengers who feel a burning desire to kickstart my work day with their explicit rap with the rest of us on their oh-so-bad-audio-quality-phones (minus headphones)). I want something that is funny, short, not too serious and yet gives me a different perspective on things and/or makes me reassess my complacency about 'stuff.' By 'stuff' I mean 'God, man, the universe, romance novels, the meaning of life' etc. You know, the small things. And then I want the moon in my pocket, please *pulls a face* This post is little more than my top 5 pick of books that have made me giggle, snort and choke with laughter on my morning bus rides over the last week and a half.

Creepiosity : a hilarious guide to the unintentionally creepy / David Bickel
After gathering photographs of various subjects that, whatever the intent when they were first taken, strike the observer as in some way unsettling, Bickel then offers a humorous explanation of just what makes each one "creepy."

An example of Bickel-creepiosity: "Band-aids that were once affixed to someone's body but now aren't: you see someone with a Band-Aid and you barely think it - that's part of life. But how about this scenario: You're at Walmart or the library or the "adult novelty" store and you look down on the floor and you see a used Band-Aid. Usually with a hint of blood on the cotton part, maybe some hair on the sticky part. If you're a normal person, you react exactly how an elephant in cartoons would if he saw a mouse. You may shriek. You may cower, you may even run.

And it's seventeen times as bad if you see the used Band-Aid in a water fountain."

Tosca's comment: As hilarious guides to the unintentionally creepy go (the subtitle of this book) there are definitely some valid creepiosities listed (like hairless cats which I find incredibly creepy) but there are also some quite disturbing examples and some that left me unmoved altogether (which is a reminder that humour is wholly subjective). You'll find yourself genuinely laughing out loud at some examples, and probably laughing in a guilty way at others.

Porn for women / from the Cambridge Women's Pornography Cooperative ; photographs by Susan Anderson
Witness page after page of studly men and truly sensitive guys as Porn for women fulfills all your real fantasies.

Example of Porn for women humour: "You look stressed. Let me make you some tea and we can talk about it. Chamomile ok?" an earnest young man asks while gazing soulfully into the camera.

Tosca's comment: Pictures of good looking men saying sensitive things that I've heard women say that they want to hear. It's totally goofball. I feel like I should make it clear that although the word 'porn' is in the title, there isn't, in fact, any porn whatsoever. And yes, I did know that when requesting it.

Porn for new moms / from the Cambridge Women's Pornography Cooperative ; photographs by Susan Anderson
Enjoy page after page of these sexy men and even sexier sentiments. Oh daddy!

Example of Porn for new moms humour: "Hey, the guys are coming over. They want to help me take the baby to the park!"

Tosca's comment: The synopsis is not mine. I want to make that clear from the outset. It's from the book itself and, really, I was at a bit of a loss as to how to describe it and that seemed as good a way as any. Even if it did make me wince. I'm not a mum, new or otherwise, so I have no idea if they really want to be told these things by some ridiculously handsome man with a tea towel. Maybe...? Most of my laughing was of the, 'Oh noes!' kind.

Twitterature : the world's greatest books in twenty tweets or less / Alexander Aciman and Emmett Rensin
"Perhaps while reading Shakespeare you've asked yourself, What exactly is Hamlet trying to tell me? Why must he mince words and muse in lyricism and, in short, whack about the shrub? But if the Prince of Denmark had a Twitter account and an iPhone, he could tell his story in real time--and concisely! Hence the genius of Twitterature. Hatched in a dorm room at the brain trust that is the University of Chicago, Twitterature is a hilarious and irreverent re-imagining of the classics as a series of 140-character tweets from the protagonist. Providing a crash course in more than eighty of the world's best-known books, from Homer to Harry Potter, Virgil to Voltaire, Tolstoy to Twilight and Dante to The Da Vinci Code. It's the ultimate Cliffs Notes. Because as great as the classics are, who has time to read those big, long books anymore?" -- Publisher description.

Example of Twitterature humour: Watchmen by Alan Moore
* A comedian died tonight. He was all about the lulz. No one laughed.

Tosca's comment: This is not going to be everybody's cup of tea, (I have a habit lately of stating the obvious). I, however, enjoyed it. I'd like to point out, though, that if you're not familiar with a lot of the stories then some of the humour is going to fall flat. It's a lighthearted and irreverent look at some well known tales that, at times, gave me a different insight into characters I'd labelled and forgotten about years ago. A warning, it does contain swear words. And I'd like to make it known that I disagree with the part of the blurb that reads " great as the classics are, who has the time to read those big, long books anymore?" Umm ME! I do! I heart them!

Twitter wit : brillance in 140 characters or less / edited by Nick Douglas
Twitter wit is the first ever compilation of Twitter aphorisms and witticisms, celebrating a medium that has enabled millions of users to broadcast their lies and quips within Twitter's 140-character limit, thus reinventing wordplay in the tradition of Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde. This collection includes hundreds of the most memorable and hilarious tweets to date, demonstrating that inside every moment is a joke waiting to be written. -- Back cover.

Example of Twitter wit humour: "Hail making scratching sounds on the windows. I told the kids snowmen were trying to get into the house. Sleep tight, kids." @badbanana

Tosca's comment: Warning: this title contains much hilarity! Twitter is not for everyone. I feel like that should go without saying...and yet I stated it anyway. Just in case. The good thing about this book is that you don't have to be a Twitter-user to understand the jokes. If you like your humour in small doses (i.e. 140 characters or less) or possess the attention span of a goldfish (much like me) then this is ideal. Contains swear words. (Am now beginning to wonder about my sense of humour because almost everything I've listed here contains swear words).

1 comment:

Madhamster said...

Twitter wit now on my waiting list. Thanks Tosca!