Body Humor

I will always pick novels to read that have provocative titles such as The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death by Laurie Notaro. I am sure that the author intended to punch the reading audience with such a wake-up title and then, to make sure they paid attention, Notaro followed with an explanation of what the novel is about: Reflections on Revenge, Germophobia, and Laser Hair Removal. The novel is listed as non-fiction which I can accept as far as the situations written about. The humorous asides and comparisons in description border on the absurd and take the reader into the world of fiction. Most of the novel is laugh-out-loud humor but there are segments, such as in the life of blind dog Bella, that will be emotional for readers.

Because this is non-fiction, we can know many things about the author from her Amazon Author page. Reading this novel, I can guess that she is a mature woman (not old) who continues to look forward to life’s adventures. Not afraid of trying new things, she is also (cliché alert) the hero of her own story. Reading of her colorful younger years in the several community colleges she attended will make parents of daughters shudder with the thought “I hope my daughter doesn’t turn out like that.” From this account, I believe that is what Laurie’s mother says frequently.

Read For Fun Or Challenge

Ultimate Brainbusters Part I by Jonathan Smith has this intriguing blurb on its cover. “Twenty-one short stories within 250 words with incredible plot twists.” I was alerted to the existence of this publication by an email from the author. On Amazon, it sells for USD 0.99 and I bought it with the original intention of reading for entertainment. Then I decided to make it a something-to-do project. My challenge to myself was to read each story and come up with a first impression takeaway line. The emphasis is on “first impression,” something like a reaction word or phrase on a Rorschach inkblot test. The further challenge is: The instant impression cannot be a spoiler, retaining the “incredible” in the plot twist for other readers.

Dorky Behavior?

Photo by Oliver Cole on Unsplash

Dork Diaries 1: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell is written for readers age 9-13 which covers grades 4-8. So what is an OWG (Old White Guy) doing reading this book? First, it is very good entertainment. I don’t generally read this genre and the only thing I have to compare it to is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I found this written with more of a sense of enthusiasm for life than I found in Wimpy Kid. My fascination with this read extended beyond this singular work. I found thirteen books in this series alone. The author is an industry unto herself. There are activity books, translations in French, Spanish, and Italian (and probably more but I got tired of the search). There are books outside this series with equally engaging characters. Although I was entertained by the story itself, through it I found a different resource for reading material at low cost.

Holmes in Wonderland

This book can be confusing from cover to 59% of the short story. The title is probably Deadly Curse by John Pirillo. The cover indicates it is a Sherlock Holmes mystery but that is only true in the loosest sense of what most people think Sherlock Holmes mysteries are. This is closer to a parody but not only of Sherlock Holmes. Imagine an environment in which Sherlock Holmes, Watson, and Harry Houdini are working together to solve a mystery involving William Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll. The victims are all characters from Alice in Wonderland. Not to ponder too long, John Pirillo explains his constructs in an author note. Think of this as a break from overly serious reading. A short break.

Murderously Funny

Murder Feels Awful by Bill Alive is Book One of a series called An Empath Detective Mystery. This first novel has three distinct approaches to a story which make it different from a run of the mill mystery novel that the cover suggests. Yes, there is murder, the story starts with one murder followed by characters who start dropping like flies, literally, as in out of the sky. The second approach is the story of an empath, someone who can feel the experiences, both painful and pleasant of those around him. The third approach is a type of quirky humor demonstrated in the dialogue between two almost-detectives. The combination makes for a surprisingly good entertaining read. Why surprisingly? The cover suggests something different. It looks like a very conservative, dry mystery set in wartime England. This novel remained on my TBR shelf longer than necessary in favor of more interesting looking stuff to read. So I do judge a book by its cover. I recommend the author repackage the novel to make a more engaging presentation.

58 Horror Short Stories, Something to Offend Everyone

Other than the obviously provocative title of 50 Shades of Purple and Other Horror Stories by P. F. McGrail, a reader might expect fifty stories in this short story collection. Nope, there are fifty-eight stories. In a foreword, McGrail tells readers how he did this. It is not like the Muse camped on his doorstep for a few weeks or months.

McGrail notes in the foreword that there are bound to be a few stories that will offend someone. There might be as many as ten that are over the top. I have tried to note them below but, really, would you buy a book with the intention of skipping three or four of the stories because they might offend? I would not skip the stories marked offensive, but I would not read anything more by the author. That situation did not occur with this collection and I will read more by this author.

This is available on Kindle Unlimited. The variety of stories in the collection supports a five-star rating

Pizza Toppings and Murder

Side Hustle by A.J. Lape has the confusing subtitle “Season 1, Episode 1.” I am reading a book on Kindle wondering how this would play out as a television series. Throughout the reading experience, I imagine who might play Darcy. Her physical descriptions of the creepy people she met were well done and provoked instant images of eccentric, crazy, weird, and perverted characters. As an example: “I knocked on his door with my elbow, dodging raindrops the size of butterflies. After a six-beat, Packer creaked his door wide, clad in pink women’s underwear and wearing a neon-green wig that hit him at the thigh. Packer was tall and thin with a mesh infinity scarf wound around his neck and an overbite that looked Cro-Magnon. Flipping his hair around like Cher, he flashed me a hairy butt cheek complements of a G-string that was along the scale of a shoe string. In Cincinnati, he would’ve been dragged in for public indecency. In LA, it was par for the course.” (Kindle locations 52-56).

Celebrities and Cons

It is 1961 in the world of Leroy and Kate as Duane Lindsay describes the couple’s latest adventure in Scotch Before Breakfast, Pearls Before Swine. Before getting to 1961, Lindsay explains that in 1954 Leroy went back to his first wife Adele, a woman he had accidentally impregnated sometime before he met his soulmate, Kate. Leroy’s interest in visiting Adele is to visit his sick son, George, the product of the accidental coupling. During the visit, there is another accidental meeting between Adele that will result in a third child. The reader is left to wonder about the existence of a second child. And where did the fourth one come from? The reader will be as confused as Leroy.

Bullwinkle Reflects

This is short story number four in the Meantime Stories series by Svingen and Pedersen. What does the series title…

Grifting for Social Justice

By its title, The Grifter’s Daughter by Duane Lindsay implies that I will discover some cool relationship between the daughter, Dani, and the father, Pops Logan. Further, both Dani and Logan will be grifters. (The following is not a spoiler). The reader will learn very little about the father in this novel. Lindsay only describes Logan’s character in passing. This novel is part of a series so perhaps we will learn more about Logan in later parts of the series. The novel has a subtitle: “The Dani Silver Comic Thriller #1.” I found the humor quirky and lighthearted. This is a pleasant read about elaborate schemes perpetrated in the name of social justice. The only people to lose money are those that cheated other people for financial gain. Dani and her crew have a lot of fun while following deceptive, if not illegal, actions. I received this book through a combination of Instafreebie and the author’s website. There was no obligation in any way to submit a review.