Friday, November 25, 2005

Browsing the New Non-Fiction Shelf at BHPL

I just finished Alice Hoffman's The Probable Future, a fairly typical Hoffman quasi-wiccan/feminist tale of a family of eccentric New England women with secret powers that connect them to nature in unusual ways. Not to minimize her talent in one "run-on" sentence, but if you have read her work, you might recognize that as the gist of her philosophy. If you liked her titles - Practical Magic, Second Nature or Here on Earth, as I did, you will also enjoy this one. The book group gave it good reviews except for one member who found the happily tied-up loose endings contrived and unsatisfying. Of course if happy endings aren't a problem for you, go for it. You could say that The Probable Future is a bit improbable but heartwarming.
So anyway, I am now "between books" and resorting to browsing through the subset of non-fiction books described by subject catalogers as "Life Skills - Humor" or "Conduct of Life - Humor" which sounds kind of stuffy. First off, a British best-selling import, described on the fly leaf as hilarious essays by a well-known humor columnist.
Never Hit a Jellyfish with a Spade: How to survive life's smaller challenges by Guy Browning didn't reduce me to a lump of helpless hilarity at first, but as I randomly jumped around this smallish book, I found that the section on politics is pretty funny in a dead-pan, ironic kind of way, so I will keep that on the bed-side table for a while.
Next, A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut's latest, also a collection of essays about politics, which could be cataloged under "Political Satire" but it isn't which should explain why it's so hard to find things in a library.I saw Vonnegut on the Daily Show and he looked exactly the same as always and was bitingly funny, bitter, but funny.

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