Wednesday, January 24, 2007


After the last few posts: war, slavery, and all that, I'd say it's time to lighten up a bit and have some fun. Here's a few books that are easy and awfully enjoyable. Have at it...

The rating system is based on how difficult a book is to read, not how good it is. All the books at Hansisgreat come highly recommended.

* <-----------> ** <-----------> *** <-----------> **** <----------> *****
Easy - - Pretty Easy - - Moderate - - Pretty Challenging - - Challenging

Skipping Towards Gomorrah, by Dan Savage
$15.00 at ISBN: 0452284163
** (pretty easy)
Dan is beloved worldwide for his controversial, sometimes distasteful, yet always funny newspaper column Savage Love. In this book he writes about each of the seven deadly sins: greed, anger, pride, lust, envy, gluttony, and sloth. He experiences each of these vices in some interesting way (visiting a fat-acceptance convention, casino gambling, shooting off rounds at a firing range) and then shares the experience. Dan is an easy-going, often comical writer whose short chapters and hilarious themes will engage even readers with the shortest of attention spans. In my favorite chapter he visits a swingers' club: ordinary people who want to have sex with total strangers. It's sinful and wrong, sure, but still within our basic freedoms (in the US, at least). Fans of Mr. Savage's work will especially enjoy it. If you're unfamiliar, check out his column at Savage Love at the Onion AV Club.
You Suck
, by Christopher Moore
$15.36 at ISBN: 0060590297
** (pretty easy)
Two young vampires enjoy a hot teenage romance while being chased by a band of vampire hunters. Unbelievably funny, set in the wild town of San Francisco. Our two heroes, Tommy and Jody, are as lovable as two kids can be despite sucking blood every night. And, surprisingly enough, it's also loaded with plenty of hot vampire sex-scenes. I didn't realize the un-dead could even do that. The adventure they have every night on the run is entertaining enough on its own to sell this as a "horror" novel. But the constant jokes, mostly adolescent low-brow humor, are what made the sale for me. This book just came out this week, so you can still be the first person on your block to have read it. Being dead can really suck sometimes.
Barrel Fever, by David Sedaris
$12.55 at ISBN: 0316779423
** (pretty easy)
Sedaris, as I believe I've mentioned before, is a national treasure. This is a collection of his short stories and essays. Most famous among them is Holidays on Ice, in which the author works as an elf in Santaland at Macy's in Herald Square. A must-read for anyone who's worked in customer service that'll have you laughing out loud and rolling on the floor. A lot of his other stories are treats as well: Don's Story is an off-the-wall Academy Awards speech given by a deadbeat who lives in his parents' attic. Firestone involves a nearly retarded man who works at a filling station. In Jamboree a teenage boy steals a baby from his psychotic family. There are a lot of gems in this book, and short stories loaded with Sedaris' wry humor will keep even the most reading-resistant engaged. If you don't enjoy it, I'll personally refund you the $12.55 plus shipping. Seriously.

1 comment:

Carter said...

David Sedaris autographed my copy of Barrel Fever "To Carter. I'm so happy you're alive. David Sedaris"

It's my favorite autograph ever.