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The Great Oscar Nominee Book Swap

Like this movie? Try reading this...

Who doesn’t love a great story? Whether it’s told on the page or on the screen, there’s nothing quite like curling up under a fuzzy blanket, popping some popcorn and falling into a well-told tale. Or sharing an epic cinematic experience in a dark movie theater. The best movies can inspire a fervent passion for similar storytelling and luckily, this year’s most buzzworthy films have plenty of read-alikes out there, whether you’re craving more guerrilla journalism, World War II heroism, or the awkward bumblings of life and love as a teenager.

The Joy Luck Club

Join the Club

Novels Centered Around Clubs and Groups

The literary premise of a themed or activity-based club is a surprisingly diverse sub-genre. Modern classics such as The Joy Luck Club and Fight Club not only became critically and commercially popular books but also gained popularity for their film adaptations. The plot device of “the club” can bring a diverse group of individuals together. It not only impacts their daily lives but also allows the reader to learn about each character and their backstory.

Spending the holidays with people I want to punch in the throat: yuletide yahoos, ho-ho-humblebraggers, and other seasonal scourges

Absurd Christmas Reads

...because what's more absurd than the holidays?

I love Christmas. Last year I made a Christmas list (pun intended) called Scary Christmas to All which covered holiday ghosts, murder and, um, werewolves. I decided to do another reading list this year, but to focus on the funny and/or absurd side of the holidays instead. Family can be stressful. Escape, and come with me to the dark side.

Ella Minnow Pea

FUNomenal Wordplay

Novels for Wordplay Lovers

For most of my life I've been fond of zany wordplay, such as palindromes, anagrams, puns, lipograms, pangrams, oxymorons, and alliteration. I have discovered some novelists who share a similar fascination and whimsically employ wordplay in their fiction, even as they also explore deeper themes. If you too are a wordplay enthusiast, check out the children's and adult novels below.

Cover of the book Going Postal

It's Not Funny if I Have to Explain It

"Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show." -  Going Postal

Naked by Sedaris

Reading for the Laughs

Laughter is a difficult thing to draw from a page. Humor is subjective, fickle, cultural and not always timeless. It follows trends - is it fashionable to be sarcastic, dry, satirical, or crass? Is it bound to a certain language or a particular moment in history? Below you will find a list of books and stories that showcase a range of types humor and are at times side-splittingly funny.

The Weirdness

The Devil and His Pets

In many stories about the Devil, a pet helps him with his mischief, like a witch's familiar.  After all, being the ultimate evil in the world must be tiring, lonely work. Or perhaps the Devil is just a misunderstood character. Whichever the case may be, sometimes he needs the comfort and help that only a pet can bring. I originally wanted this list to be all about the Devil's cat, but I could only find a couple of examples, so I expanded the parameters to include other pets. 

razor girl

Swamp Justice, Florida-Style

Carl Hiaasen Read-A-Likes

Eco-terrorists are not your average dedicated environmentalists.  In Carl Hiaasen’s novels, they can be downright dangerous and emotionally unstable. They say “write what you know” and Hiaasen knows Florida and the politics of the Sunshine State’s real estate developments. As a longtime investigative reporter and columnist for the Miami Herald, Hiaasen spent most of his career in journalism ranting against real estate moguls and politicians responsible for altering the unique landscape of Southern Florida. 

"One More Thing" by BJ Novak

Adult Book Club

"One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories" by B.J. Novak

Join us to discuss July's book club selection, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak, Emmy Award-winning comedy writer, director, and producer, on Thursday, July 28th at 6:30 p.m.

evil librarian book cover

Dangerous Libraries

Libraries. Not just for books anymore.

When most people think of libraries, they imagine a quiet, boring place where librarians shush people for even sneezing. In reality, libraries aren't like that at all. Sometimes they're...DANGEROUS! Being a place for the public, you never know who will walk through those doors. And what exactly does a librarian do? Below I have compiled a list of books set in unusual libraries and about the crazy librarians that run them. Enjoy!

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