in which the author discusses five books he’d read, if time permitted.
1. I Found This Funny: My Favorite Pieces of Humor and Some That May Not Be Funny At All, edited by Judd Apatow. Did you ever see The 40-Year Old Virgin? No? What about Funny People or I Love You, Man? Doesn’t ring a bell? OK, what about Pineapple Express? That was pretty cool. James Franco was in it. Hmmm. Or Forgetting Sarah Marshall with that really tall dude? Or Year One with that simperingly cute dude? The same dude that was in Superbad? Or Get Him to the Greek with that unhealthy looking fat dude? All right. So you’re not a movie-goer. Are you a fan of stand-up comedy? Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Cosby, Sam Kinison, Robin Williams, Gallagher, Judy Tenuta? Did you ever wear an electric purple suit with a pink tie to a comedy club in Toronto in the 1980s? No? So you’re not familiar with “riffing,” or “punchlines,” or “timing,” or “going blue?” How about the comedy improvisation of Steve Carell? Nada? Well, then I guess this fuckin’ book isn’t for you then.
2. Philadelphia Noir, edited by Carlin Romano. It’s about time Philadelphia got its own nihilistic anthology of murder/crime-oriented short stories. Eagles fans need something to cheer them up.
3. Full Dark, No Stars, by Stephen King. Goddamn. It must be effin’ November because here comes Stephen King with another m-effin’ Stephen King book! Cocaine and a near-fatal van crash have nothing on this dude! That’s gotta be like, what—-50 or 60 books by now? I think he’s written at least 1,000 since I started writing this column last week. Just another novella collection, it seems. Ho hum. Just a few more longish stories to add to the 55,000,000 novella collections he’s already published that will result in the production of 67,000,000,000 to 215,000,000,000,000 more films and the generation of $789,000,000,000,000,000 to $234,600,000,000,000,000,000 of additional revenue for his vast empire of publishers, editors, studios, agents, key grips, caterers, and Dunbar armed security guards who drive a mountain of money to his mansion in Bangor every morning. If you think about it, Stephen King is a lot like Scrooge McDuck, but instead of swimming in a pool of gold coins, he’s swimming in a pool of gold coins and publishable copy. Except he’s not an animated duck with bifocals from Scotland, but an actual guy with bifocals from New England.
4. Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, by Matt Taibbi. There’s been about 50,000,000 books about the financial crisis (some of them no doubt edited, authored, or co-authored by Stephen King), but this one’s by a fella who works o’er there at that craaazy Rolling Stone magazine with Jann Wenner and all them craaazy ol’ hippies, so it’s probably way more interesting than a book about the financial crisis by some dude who works at The Economist or some other boring magazine that will never name Neil Young the 7th greatest guitarist of all time.
5. Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, by Portia de Rossi. Today, I’m going to go light on the jokes about eating disorders. Light. Get it? Is this thing on?