Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: Humor (11-20 of 45)

Doubleday to publish Judy Greer's essay collection: 'I Don't Know What You Know Me From'

You might know her from FX’s animated show Archer as the voice of Cheryl, or if you’re an Arrested Development fan, she’ll always be Kitty Sanchez, but with the upcoming publication of her first book, Judy Greer is proving that in addition to being a comedic actress, she is also a comedic author. Doubleday has recently acquired the rights to Greer’s humorous essay collection, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star.

Greer’s essays cover a variety of topics, from growing up in the Midwest to her career in film and television (often playing a “best friend”) as well as other predicaments, such as a solo trip she once took to Spain. READ FULL STORY

'Hot Guys and Cute Chicks': Shirtless dudes hanging out with baby birds -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Hot-Guys-and-Cute-Chics

Audrey Khuner and Carolyn Newman, the visionaries who brought you Hot Guys and Baby Animals last year have come back with another sexy-adorable (sexdorable?) photo collection, this time starring fuzzy little birds and sometimes-fuzzy men in Hot Guys and Cute Chicks (Feb. 5). Take an early peek at some befeathered and pectacular man-bird duos.

FIRST UP: Brendan and Lulu

Yes, finally! Amy Poehler has a book deal

Amy Poehler continues in her quest to take over your life.

The comedian, actress and aces award show host will write her first book, slated for 2014, according to the Associated Press. The release will be handled by It Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, and is described as an “illustrated, non-linear diary.”

That’s a nice phrase that also tells us basically nothing about what she’s working on. Here are three possibilities:

READ FULL STORY

Hatchet Job of the Year Award nominates the best, most scathing reviews

Scathing book reviews don’t exactly help get readers into bookstores, but they do help us avoid potential stinkers — and mostly, they can be really fun to read. The Omnivore‘s Hatchet Job of the Year Awards dole out honors to the most acid-penned critics and dishonors to the authors on the receiving end of the literary spanking. Last year’s prize went to Adam Mars-Jones for his (in my opinion, completely valid) take-down of By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham. Here are this year’s nominees: READ FULL STORY

Jim Gaffigan's first book coming in 2013

Comedian Jim Gaffigan (also known as The Palest Man Alive) has made us laugh with his musings on fatherhood, fast food, Hot Pockets, and manatees, among other concerns. Now he’s finally putting his funny observations on parenting five children in a book, Dad Is Fat, coming May 7, 2013. The book will offer Gaffigan’s take on toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four-year-olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Gaffigan said in a press release, “I’m not sure if it’s a memoir, a confession, an apology, or a cry for help, but I’m excited to write about things I just touch on in my stand-up act.”

Are you excited for May 7? Will you read the whole thing in Gaffigan’s high-pitched voice?

Follow @EWStephanLee on Twitter.

Read more:
Jim Gaffigan gives you 8 reasons NOT to download Jim Gaffigan’s new stand-up special, ‘Mr. Universe’
Stage Review: That Championship Season

Flow Chart: What hipsters should read

Whether you’re a hipster, read like a hipster, or just enjoy making fun of hipsters, this flow chart by a Goodreads blogger is both instructive and hilarious. Hipsters, who are largely defined by their discerning tastes, have a lot of options here, although it’s completely accurate that any good hipster need go no further if he or she hasn’t read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (which must be one of the books people most often lie about having read). One major flaw, though, would be the omission of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, but this infographic is definitely worth moseying through nevertheless: READ FULL STORY

Gary Shteyngart discusses his upcoming roast, Nabokov, and his sex life

It’s been a decade since the Soviet-born author Gary Shteyngart published his debut novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. (Or, as he likes to call it, The Russian Debutante’s Handjob.) Since then, he’s developed a top-shelf reputation in the publishing world thanks to celebrated novels like 2006′s Absurdistan and 2010′s Super Sad True Love Story, not to mention popular essaysubiquitous book blurbs, and a highly active Twitter account.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of his debut, the Brooklyn Academy of Music will be hosting a roast of Shteyngart tonight, with high-profile guests like Kurt Andersen, Jay McInerney, and Sloane Crosley getting in on the action. In honor of the writer’s imminent shaming, we got the man on the phone and discussed his career, his fears, and the fate of publishing. He even offered to blurb the interview for us: “Not since Gay Talese failed to interview Frank Sinatra has there been an interview of such importance and scope. The best interview I’ve had since my co-op board.”

Read on to find out more about Shteyngart’s thoughts on sheep, American Airlines, and the person whom he’d most like to roast.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, where are you?
GARY SHTEYNGART:
I’m in the countryside above New York. Upstate, as some might say. It’s really nice here. There are trees, and sheep. A lot of sheep.

Are they your sheep?
Nah, they belong to a sheep farm. But I’d love to rent a few just to mow the lawn, because they eat a lot of grass.

But then you’d have to store them somewhere.
That’s the big problem. Where do you put them? And then how do you not eat them? They’re so tasty.

You just have to resist these urges, Gary. Moving on — your roast is coming up. Are you excited about that?
I am excited! I mean, it’s time to get roasted, I think. It’s been ten years of being a whatever, and it’ll be nice to… well, maybe not celebrate [my work], but they’ll at least allude to it.

Your dog Felix seems to be a little more nervous than you are. Are there any secrets that you or Felix fear will come out during the roast?
Oh, I think they’ll all come out. I mean, people know that I’m illiterate – that’s not a big secret. But there’s so many other dark things. The sheep, for example. My links to Petraeus. I mean, it’s all very dark.

What’s your darkest secret?
That I sometimes dance. There are pictures. Apparently my upper body doesn’t move, it’s just — I’m all legs.

So, Felix — how often does he write, and what kind of stuff usually?
You know, Felix is a very experimental writer. So he’s not exactly the kind of writer I thought he could be. But it’s all this kind of meta-universe where, you know, he can talk. It’s complicated. He went to Iowa. Which is funny, because I didn’t get into Iowa, but my dachshund did. So he’s a proud graduate. And he’s doing a Ph. D in Comp Lit at Yale now, which is annoying, because he’s always gone. He’s always traveling to New Haven. And he’s editing the canine edition of Granta.

If you could roast any writer living or dead, who would it be?
I’d like to roast Nabokov. Wouldn’t that be great? Because you know, he’d blast us, and you wouldn’t imagine he’d permit himself to be roasted. And then I would just invite the things that he feared the most in his life — like the Red Army Choir, maybe. And then I would have all the members of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute show up and serenade him. That could be great.

Did you get to pick who would be roasting you, or was it beyond your control?
Everything’s beyond my control. You think I just woke up one day and said, hey, roast me? They said, look, you have to do this, because that’s how publicity works these days. Anything that’s happening, you have to do it. I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook, I’m on — just, help. Help!

When you Google “gary shteyngart,” some of the first autofill results are “gary shteyngart married” and “gary shteyngart girlfriend.” Any thoughts?
Wow! That’s really shocking. I mean, have you seen me lately? Well, I guess shaving part of my beard worked? I didn’t realize I was going to get this kind of adulation. The first book that I wrote, The Russian Debutante’s Handjob, was written just because I wanted someone to share a bed with me. And I guess with these Google results, it’s worked out. But that’s my life. That’s life as a successful contemporary author: they don’t even mention your novels. It’s all about your sex life. And your tweeting. READ FULL STORY

'Girls' star Lena Dunham heading toward a huge, $3.6 million book deal

If Hannah Horvath got a monster book deal as quickly as Lena Dunham, the 26-year-old woman who created and portrays her on Girls, Girls as a TV series would come to a screeching halt. Where would our broke, semi-motivated aspiring essayist have left to go? There would be no need for roommates or crappy jobs.

According to Deadline, the bids for Dunham’s future advice-book-slash-essay-collection — tentatively titled Not That Kind of Girl — have climbed to a whopping $3.6 million and could go even higher as Dunham and literary agent Kim Witherspoon continue to meet with publishers. The negotiations began at $1 million.

To put things in context, if the deal happens, Dunham’s book would rake in more than Dick Cheney did for In My Time, which went for $2 million — and it would fall a bit short of Amanda Knox’s upcoming memoir ($4 million) and more than a million short of Tina Fey’s Bossypants ($5 million), although Fey had well more than a decade of fodder on Dunham.

Do you think Dunham’s writing is worth the big bucks? Will you look at Hannah Horvath differently when you watch season 2 of Girls?

Follow @EWStephanLee on Twitter.

Read more:
Lena Dunham shopping advice book — What do you want to see in it?
Mindy Kaling: An in-depth interview about her book, childhood, shoes, and homemade sashimi
Rita Wilson says no to nudity on ‘Girls’. What other actresses have no-nudity contracts?

John Hodgman's 'That Is All' audiobook: Hear the first 10 minutes, guest starring Paul Rudd -- EXCLUSIVE

THAT-IS-ALL

Today sees the release of the paperback and audiobook edition of John Hodgman’s That Is All. It’s the final entry in the writer and Daily Show contributor’s whimsical Complete World Knowledge trilogy, a series that also includes the best-sellers The Areas of My Expertise and More Information That You Require.

Like all of Hodgman’s work, it’s fantastically dense, bitingly witty, and gut-bustingly hilarious. The audiobook is particularly fun, as it features not only Hodgman but guest stars like Jon Hamm, Rachel Maddow, Patton Oswalt, Brooke Shields, Wyatt Cenac, Stephen Fry, and musicians John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats) and John Roderick (The Long Winters).

Check out the exclusive premiere of the first 10 minutes of the audio edition of That Is All, which features a fantastic appearance by Paul Rudd.

READ FULL STORY

Neil Patrick Harris announces memoir: 'My plan is to reprint Tina Fey's Bossypants'

Neil Patrick Harris has signed a deal to write a memoir.

Crown Archetype — of Random House’s Crown Publishing Group — has acquired the How I Met Your Mother star’s forthcoming book, which is expected to be published in spring 2014.

The book will chronicle Harris’ exciting life in a “nonlinear reading experience that breaks the boundaries of conventional memoir.”

“I’m excited to be writing a book of the observations and stories of my life,” Harris said of the news. “I read with great fondness Tina Fey’s Bossypants, so my plan is just to reprint those exact stories but change the names to people that I knew. What editor would take issue with that?” READ FULL STORY

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