Thursday, September 22, 2011

One Month Anniversary

As of today, I've been blogging every day for a month. Have you been able to keep up? One friend complained that it's "too much." But other than him, people seem to be ok with it. I have enjoyed it, though at times it's not easy. Some days I don't feel like being peppy, and that has been reflected on here a little bit. Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm "allowed" to be more honest and real.

Today for example, I'm in a somewhat tender mood. Not a bad mood, and not a sad mood. And no, I'm not pmsing. I don't know what's going on with me. Just feeling somewhat tender. Like I want someone to wrap me up in a down comforter, give me a mug of warm cocoa and a giant cookie and keep me company for the evening. You know what I mean?

I'm feeling happy though. So much so, that I think I'll give you some more book recommendations! Continued from part one. But I think instead of five, I'll just give three for now. That way I can say a bit more about each of them. Each of these books is a book that makes me laugh. That's the theme for today.

1. How to Talk Minnesotan by Howard Mohr. I have been reading this book since I was sixteen which was.... like.... five years ago?* In fact, see that picture on the right? That's a picture of my copy of the book. I've had to tape up the edges because they are so worn. This book is written to be a guide book for people visiting or moving to Minnesota. It's funny to me because so much of it applies to the Midwest in general. If you buy this book, please tell me so we can laugh hysterically together.

Here's an excerpt from the chapter titled, "Non Sequiturs, Rebuttals, and Gifts."

"Phrase: Yeahbut

One natural response to a controversial statement in Minnesota is to end the discussion by saying that's different. Delivering an apparent non sequitur has the same effect. But there does come a time when you're forced to speak your mind and that's where yeahbut comes in handy.

Pronounced 'ee-ah-but,' yeahbut is the introductory phrase to the majority of Minnesota rebuttals. A Minnesota debate consists of a  controversial statement by one person and a yeahbuttal by another.

ex: 'It's a big country, China, all those people. A guy kinda wonders.'

'Yeahbut they're drinking Coke and Pepsi now, so that's something.'"

2. In Zanesville, by Jo Ann Beard. This is the best book I've read this year. I would highly recommend it. It's about two 14 year old girls growing up in a small town called Zanesville. The author absolutely captured the voice of girls that age, and I experienced extreme nostalgia for that period of my life as a result. The book is hilarious and insightful.

"I'd like to be the kind of person who can do something weird and not become weird because of it, but that's out of reach for me - I am what I do at this point, and if I do this I'm done for."

I chose a short quote because so much of what's funny in this book is the dialogue, which would lose something taken out of context. I would especially recommend this book to my female readers, but men, you might enjoy it too. It gives a little inside glimpse into the young female mind.

3. In the spirit of witty books about young girls, the next book on my list is A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. This book was recommended to me by a friend years ago and is one I often flip through when I need a pick me up. It is Kimmel's true account of her life growing up in a small town and it is as charming as it is funny.

One of my favorite parts is when Haven, aka "Zippy" accidentally cries while reciting the poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" in school. Mortified, she asks her mom later that day why the poem made her cry. Here's an excerpt:

"Mom thought for a moment about how to explain it. 'The best answer I can give is that poetry is all about the effect it has on a reader and Robert Frost was very, very good at that. If you're asking what it means that the line is repeated, I'd have to say I don't know. It's stylistic. But the effect is pretty clear.'

'Doggone right the effect is pretty clear! The effect is I looked like an idiot in front of my whole class and I'm never reading poetry again unless it's by James Whitcomb Riley!' And I went storming out of the house to try to shake off the injury done to me with words."

Those are a few of my favorite funny books, though honorable mentions include My Point and I do Have One, by Ellen Degeneres, and anything written by David Sedaris. What's the funniest book you've ever read?

*ha! Try six! (Humor me.)


Katherine said...

I love all of those books so much! I also like to grad Zippy and read a chapter or two when I need a pick-me-up, and LOVE How to Talk Minnesotan! So many hilarious parts!! Thurber Carnival was also very funny, but I think the three you listed are some of the funniest I've read. Oh, and I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron was pretty funny! I love a good laugh!

Anonymous said...

I hope someone gives you a clean warm comforter and a hot cocoa!

Maybe it is time for a book report field trip?! I recommend a field trip day to Zanesville, Ohio. I used to drive through with my brothers to visit one of their friends. The hills and fields to the Northeast are very enjoyable!!

Elisabeth (Bailey) Jensen

lizzie mc.- said...

I'm in love with The illustrated Texas Dictionary of the English language, there are several volumes, maybe I can send cocoa and a new funny book. I'm sure I'd get a kick out of How to Talk Minnesotan.

Savd said...

Funniest book is "A Walk In The Woods" by Bill Bryson! :)

Liz said...

I actually have a book on how to talk southern. It's very amusing.
A funny book I love is "Bossy Pants" by Tina Fey.