Chicago’s Second City is known for its amazing improv, quirky takes on current events and for launching the careers of such luminaries as Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert. But a lesser known aspect of its mission has been its work with teaching creativity and emotional intelligence to corporate clients over the past two decades via improv techniques. By embracing authenticity and the freedom to fail, they teach how to become a more compelling leader and a more collaborative follower. But aside from all that serious stuff, this is a fun read, full of interesting anecdotes, artful insights and humor.
Following the death of her father, Autumn, her brother, and her mother move down to Aventura, Florida, to help take care of her grandmother. Fortunately, on her first day of school Autumn becomes friends with a quirky group of kids who take her under their wing, and sparks also fly between her and school quarterback Sean. Unfortunately, at the same time she draws the wrath of one of the most popular girls in school, Reenzie, because Reenzie and Sean have been friends for years.
In this hilarious take on literary favorites, Mallory Ortberg holds imaginary and hilarious conversations via text message with everyone’s favorite characters and writers. From Achilles to Hamlet, Jessica Wakefield to Hermione Granger, Ortberg perfectly captures them in texts. This is a must read for literature lovers, English majors, and anyone who ever wanted to be best friends with a fictional character.
Humor ORTBERG, M.
Even if you’ve never heard of the hit HBO show “Girls” or its creator & star, Lena Dunham, there is much to enjoy in this collection of biographical essays. Focusing on sex, love, friendship, and work, Dunham happily shares all the details of her privileged NYC upbringing, awkward sexual encounters & her lifelong struggle with her body image. Some of the most enjoyable stories are about her mother, a well-known artist who may or may not have invented the selfie.
It’s the last day of summer, which means the last day of fun! Mr. Pants has his heart set on playing laser tag but Grommy, his little sister, has chosen to go to the “Fairy Princess Dream Factory" (UGH!) Mom has promised that if Mr. Pants doesn’t complain during Grommy’s fun time, then they can go play laser tag. Foot Foot, Mr. Pants other sister, does not make it easy for him to be patient and get along with his siblings. Go along with Mr. Pants and his cat family to see if he gets to play laser tag!
Eliza Boom (inventor-in-training) wants to be just like her dad and become a spy-gadget inventor. She won’t become an inventor or a spy if she can’t get her father’s top-secret film back from the class bully, Zoe Wakefield. Unfortunately Zoe is using the film as a hair bow. Eliza and her two assistants Einstein (her dog) and new friend Amy need to get it back before enemy spies can get their hands on it.Can these three would-be 007s get the film, stop the spies, and get revenge on the class bully?
A private school is opening in Horsemouth, N.H.: Kaboom Academy Middle School. The information meeting attracts the attention of the parents of every child in Horsemouth that has had difficulty in the public school, and they all sign their kids up. Kaboom Academy, under the direction of the mysterious Dr. Kaboom, is an unusual place with unusual teachers.
Food plays a very special role in Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s gently satiric sketch comedy Portlandia. In this spin-off, various characters from the show share their recipes (and yes, they are real recipes) from cult-raised chicken and Stu’s stews to pickled veggies and foraged green salads. Imagine an issue of Cook’s Illustrated edited by Patton Oswalt, and maybe you’ll get an idea of the flannel wearing flavor of Portlandia. And yes, there is much more to it than just “Put an egg on it!”
If only all food memoirs were this funny and truly heartwarming! An ode to her childhood and her relationship with food, Kathleen Flinn (author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry) gives loving and hilarious family memories that ring true to those who’ve grown up appreciating the art of food. In 1960s rural Michigan, her family’s struggles to make ends meet on a farm with five constantly famished children strikes a chord of familiarity with many of her Midwestern readers.
Henry Lambert planned a summer vacation filled with lazy days and plenty of video games. Sadly, his father doesn’t agree and makes his own plans for Henry. He thinks that two weeks at the Strongwoods Survival Camp is just what Henry needs to change him from a nerdy geek to a manly man. The only saving grace is that Henry’s best friend, Randy, has also signed on for two weeks in the bowels of wilderness hell with him.