Mook of the Month
If you are into strange humor and B.J. Novack’s work, you may find this collection of short stories entertaining. I liked his original idea for the kids’ book he wrote, so I decided to try his short stories. There is definitely humor in them but some of them even seem incomplete. I don’t know if that is what he is trying to do on purpose, or if he thinks that is all there is to say. Some of the stories even have connections to each other and others really are quite fun but for the most part, I couldn’t grasp the point of them. That said, they are still good because his ideas are different yet almost expected—if you think along the lines of Saturday Night Live. You’ll be able to follow the majority of them easily because they are simple and not too long. Some even have certain morals or messages to think about.
HisLit title read-alikes:
If you liked this collection of stories, you may like the following books:
Ecstatic Cahoots: Fifty Short Stories by Stuart Dybek
Mere Anarchy by Woody Allen
The Farmer’s Daughter by Jim Harrison
HisLit author read-alikes:
If you like B.J. Novak’s style then you will probably like the authors below:
-Ian Frazier (Although B. J. Novak writes short stories and Ian Frazier prefers essays, their humor shares a strong sense of the ridiculous and the absurd. Both their work has a strong underpinning of empathy and pathos that forces you to think while you’re laughing. Start with: Humor Me: An Anthology of Funny Contemporary Writing.)
-David Sedaris (B. J. Novak and David Sedaris share a strong sense of the ridiculous. Taking their cues from family, popular culture, and random absurdity, they detail the humor of existence in nimble short stories that are alternately funny and touching. Start with: Me Talk Pretty One Day.)
-Woody Allen (Silliness, absurdity, and farce are the common currency of B. J. Novak and Woody Allen. Whether writing about popular culture or their own foibles, both Novak’s and Allen’s humor possesses a sharp intelligence and an unpretentious playfulness. Start with: The Insanity Defense.)
The good thing about short stories is that you can put the book down and not be lost the next time you continue! It is a bonus if you are able to get a good laugh from them.