I was listening to a segment on NPR recently called You Must Read This. The lady who wrote the piece recommended Last Exit to Brooklyn. That’s a book I tried to read and failed to finish because it was unrelentingly brutal.
I’m not saying it’s not a good book. I read plenty of books about trying times or featuring anti-heroes. This book was just too much for me. I would not say it is a Must Read book.
In January, it’s cold and dark outside and I want something to smile about. If I were to recommend things that You Must Read, it would certainly be something funny. Here are some of my choices.
Anything by Celia Rivenbark.
Celia Rivenbark is like a mean and slightly tipsy Erma Bombeck. I love it, even though she sometimes makes me squirm a little. She can be a little PG-13 and I prefer my mommy humor more gentle and G-rated. Still, she’s got the funny.
Speaking of Erma Bombeck, although her books are thirty-plus years old, they are still worth reading. I remember reading my aunt’s copies and laughing my head off.
I was twelve and visiting my aunt and uncle for a few weeks in the summer. I loved raiding my aunt’s bookshelf for the next Erma book. The earliest ones were my favorite.
I was about twelve when I was reading The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic tank. There’s a section where the son is going through puberty. I’d never heard that word before, so I asked my aunt what POO-ber-tee was. I think she’s still laughing.
She said if I couldn’t say it, I must not be in it. Still waiting.
Erma is still the gold standard for Mommy humor. I want a little bracelet that says “WWED” for “What Would Erma Do?”
I have one of her paperbacks on my bedside table right now. I need all the help I can get getting through the darkest and coldest part of winter.
Is there anything you think people Must Read? A favorite book of humor? I’d love to hear about it.
Make me smile,