Laugh Your Way Through the Pages of a Book

April is Humor month at BCPL and staff members share the novels that make them laugh their way through the pages of the book.

Chelsea Swinford, Youth Services Associate, tells how she came to love humor books. “Once in high school I was reading in the bleachers during gym class (yes, I was that kid), tearing up over Dave Pelzer’s personal tragedy, when a friend of mine asked me why I always read such depressing books. I offered up some pretentious response about how serious literature had to be, well, serious. The next day, he came to class and handed me his copy of Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. The novel is difficult to synopsize, but it was more Robbins’ style than the plot that made me re-examine my views on humorous literature.”  Chelsea thinks the author himself puts it best: “I write playfully, but I write to change people’s lives. I can come to no other conclusion but that playfulness is a form of wisdom and not of frivolity.”

 

Kelly Bilz, Local History Associate, recommends her favorite humor book, Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood.  It’s a memoir about growing up as the daughter of a Catholic priest (her father was a Lutheran preacher before he converted), and it had me laughing out loud as I was reading it. For part of her life, Lockwood lived in Hebron, Kentucky, so it was exciting to read about her exploits in places I knew, like the Purple People Bridge or Newport on the Levee!

 

 

Suzanne Yowler, Circulation Assistant, finds the early novels of Jennifer Weiner to be among her favorite humorous books. While they frequently deal with serious subjects, there are still plenty of laughs. Good In Bed, Certain Girls, Little Earthquakes and Goodnight Nobody are, in my opinion, her best.

 

 

 

Kathleen Piercefield, Circulation Assistant, recommends Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series beginning with The Eyre Affair.  The Eyre Affair, and the rest of the series, is set in an alternate-reality Great Britain where the Crimean War is still being fought, dodos (cloned and back from extinction) are a common household pet, mammoths run amok through cities in their annual migrations, and time travel is a regular occurrence.  Thursday Next, the main character, works for the special division of law enforcement engaged in preventing literary crimes — such as entering a fictional narrative and murdering one of the characters.  The humor is sly, sometimes dark, and always delightful, especially for readers who pick up all the literary references peppered throughout.

 

 

Jenn Ritter, Page, has always enjoyed Can’t Wait to get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg. Her writing style makes the characters come alive from the page. You wish these people were your neighbors!

 

 

 

 

Deanna Pina, Teen Librarian, recommends The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by Clint McElroy.  It is an amazingly funny graphic novel that follows a Dungeons & Dragons adventure from The Adventure Zone podcast. The story follows three brothers and their dad as they try, and fail, to be epic heroes. The humor is incredibly sarcastic and the art perfectly illuminates how awful these characters are.

 

Top picks for Romance novels by BCPL staff

February is the month of love and Boone County Public Library staff members share their favorite Romance novels.

 

Kathleen Piercefield, Circulation Assistant, recommends Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (which she read long before it was made into a television series).  It not only has a wonderfully romantic love story, but also the romance of historical events, a remote and beautiful landscape, fascinating characters  … and time travel!  Who could ask for more?

 

 

 

Julie Bockstiegel, Collection Services, recommends One Day in December by Josie Silver.  A recent popular read, this title was written up in several reviews toward the end of 2018.  Despite the mention of December, it is not really a “Christmas” story.  The plot deals with a woman who briefly sees a guy at a bus stop, and for some reason she has a jolt that he could be “the one”. She looks for him and months later finally meets him – as the new boyfriend of her best friend!  Years go by, and people come and go in their lives.  But rest assured, there is a happy ending.

 

 

Julie also recommends A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer.  As a widow makes preparations to get married again; there are romantic complications among her grown daughters and future step children. The story has appealing characters and keeps you interested in who they will end up with and how they will resolve their problems.

 

 

Carrie Herrmann, Director, recommends Montana Sky by Nora Roberts.  Jack Mercy has died, leaving his ranch to his three daughters.  In order to inherit the ranch, the three sisters must live together on the ranch for one year.  Each daughter has a different mother and are as different as three women can be ranging from one living on the ranch, one escaping an abusive relationship and one with a job in Hollywood.  It’s a story about the three women learning to be a family while dealing with love-of-their-life relationships as well as a serial killer that is wreaking havoc in the small community. It is a wonderful mix of romance, mystery and women’s fiction.

 

 

Karen Helmle, Page Supervisor, occasionally enjoys reading a romance novel, but ends up feeling as if it was formulaic. However, every now and then a romance novel comes along that really grabs her. Ransom by Julie Garwood was one of those novels. There is humor, mystery, and the main character was brave and strong.  She didn’t try to prove herself and there wasn’t created conflict for the sake of making the story more dramatic. This historical romance was so much fun.

 

Caron Ward recommends Precious Bane by English author Mary Webb. Featured in a Masterpiece Theatre presentation, Precious Bane is set in the 18th century countryside of Shropshire. In a time when people were superstitious, being born with a disfigurement could cause a lifetime of judgement. Prue, who wants to be loved and has more character than most women of her time, is pursued by Kester Woodsheaves, an itinerant weaver whose intellect and character are immense enough to be the perfect match for Prue.

 

Jennifer Cheek, Public Relations Specialist, is not much of a Romance reader, but says everyone should read the children’s picture book The Ballad of Valentine by Alison Jackson and illustrated by Tricia Tusa.  The story is written to the rhythm of Clementine about a man who goes to great lengths to ask a lady to be his Valentine.  The illustrations show that the lady continuously misses the signs from her admirer as everyday tasks keep her too busy to notice.  The book is hilarious, a great read for all ages and impossible to read without singing to the tune.  Jennifer’s favorite line from the book is “Now you’re my –al–n–ine.”