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Inside Comedy

- by David Steinberg

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The world of comedy and comedians of the last five decades. By the man the New York Times calls "a comic institution himself," the only comedian (twenty-six years in stand-up) to have made Elie Wiesel laugh, as well as having appeared on The Tonight Show (140 times, second only to Bob Hope, but who's counting). From the director of TV comedy series Mad About You, Seinfeld, Friends, Weeds and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
 
Larry David:  "I'm lucky. I know and love David Steinberg. You don't. Now's your chance. Don't blow it!"
 
"David has always been a comedy hero to me. One of his many gifts is the ability to inspire funny people to be even funnier, as you will discover in this truly hilarious, insightful book." --Martin Short
 


From David Steinberg, a rabbi's son from Winnipeg, Canada, who at age fifteen enrolled at Hebrew Theological College in Chicago (the rabbinate wasn't for him) and four years later, entered the master's program in English literature at the University of Chicago, until he saw Lenny Bruce, the "Blue Boy" of Comedy, the coolest guy Steinberg had ever seen, and joined Chicago's Second City improvisational group, becoming, instead, the comedian's comedian, director, actor, working with, inspired by, teaching, and learning from the most celebrated, admired, complicated comedians, then and now--a funny, moving, provocative, insightful look into the soul, wit, and bite of comedy and comedians--a universe unto itself--of the last half-century.

From the greats: George Burns, Lenny Bruce, Sid Caesar, Lucille Ball, Mel Brooks, and Carl Reiner, et al., to the newer greats: Carol Burnett, Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, Billy Crystal, Bob Newhart, and the man for all comedy, Martin (Marty) Short; to the greats of right now: Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Wanda Sykes; and more . . .

Steinberg, through stories, reminiscences, tales of directing, touring, performing, and, through the comedians themselves talking (from more than 75 interviews), makes clear why he loves comedy and comedians who have been by his side in his work, and in his life, for more than sixty years.

Here are: Will Ferrell, Eric Idle, Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Myers, Groucho himself and the greatest of them all (at least of the last half century), Jonathan Winters . . .

The Geometry of Holding Hands

- by Alexander M. Smith

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Isabel finds herself entangled in some tricky familial and financial situations that will require all of her kindness, charm, and philosophical expertise to navigate.

Just when Isabel and Jamie finally seem to have some time to connect and unwind, a wealthy Edinburgh resident reaches out to Isabel with an unusual request--he would like her to become the executor of his large Highland estate. Though Isabel initially demurs, he presses on. He has only a short time to live, and, without any direct heirs, is struggling to determine which of his three cousins would be the best caretaker. Should it go to the bohemian artist, the savvy city-property developer, or the quiet, unassuming bachelor?

As if this weren't enough to keep Isabel occupied, she's also spending more time helping her niece, Cat, at the deli. Cat, perennially unlucky in love, seems to have finally found her match in the leonine Leo. But Isabel is beginning to suspect that Leo might be interested in more than Cat's charms--namely her access to the family trust. Isabel will need to rely upon remarkable reserves of intelligence and compassion in order to give all parties exactly what they want and deserve--no more and no less.

Dad Up!

- by Steve Patterson

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From one of the country's most beloved comedians and host of CBC Radio's incredibly popular program The Debaters comes a funny, poignant, and at times unexpectedly wise look at what it means to be a dad in this day and age.

Steve Patterson has been thinking about dad-dom for quite a while. In Dad Up! he gives his all to be the best father possible to two young girls while imparting his hard-won wisdom and insights to readers everywhere.

The youngest of five boys growing up in an Irish Catholic household, Patterson mines his childhood for any sage advice he might have picked up from his own dad. He talks with candour about the difficulty he and his wife, Nancy, had conceiving, finding humour in their experiences with the fertility clinic's automated phone calls (which Patterson calls "RoboPimp") informing them when Nancy was ovulating. He chronicles the disappointment of failing to get pregnant, only to have the miracle conception take place in Regina during Grey Cup Week, under the guiding spirit of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and comedian Brent Butt (don't ask).

From that point on, Steve Patterson assumes full dad-mode, riffing on the biohazard that is changing a diaper, the absolute futility of stuffed animals, becoming a public breastfeeding warrior in the most unexpected of places, and how growing up a little boy in no way prepares you to being a father to little girls.

Most importantly, Dad Up! charts the awesome experience of watching tiny infants that you somehow had a hand in creating evolve into confident and crafty little people, and the lessons that they teach along the way.

Shakespeare for Squirrels

- by Christopher Moore

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New York Times Bestseller!

Shakespeare meets Dashiell Hammett in this wildly entertaining murder mystery from New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore--an uproarious, hardboiled take on the Bard's most performed play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, featuring Pocket, the hero of Fool and The Serpent of Venice, along with his sidekick, Drool, and pet monkey, Jeff.

Set adrift by his pirate crew, Pocket of Dog Snogging--last seen in The Serpent of Venice--washes up on the sun-bleached shores of Greece, where he hopes to dazzle the Duke with his comedic brilliance and become his trusted fool.

But the island is in turmoil. Egeus, the Duke's minister, is furious that his daughter Hermia is determined to marry Demetrius, instead of Lysander, the man he has chosen for her. The Duke decrees that if, by the time of the wedding, Hermia still refuses to marry Lysander, she shall be executed . . . or consigned to a nunnery. Pocket, being Pocket, cannot help but point out that this decree is complete bollocks, and that the Duke is an egregious weasel for having even suggested it. Irritated by the fool's impudence, the Duke orders his death. With the Duke's guards in pursuit, Pocket makes a daring escape.

He soon stumbles into the wooded realm of the fairy king Oberon, who, as luck would have it, IS short a fool. His jester Robin Goodfellow--the mischievous sprite better known as Puck--was found dead. Murdered. Oberon makes Pocket an offer he can't refuse: he will make Pocket his fool and have his death sentence lifted if Pocket finds out who killed Robin Goodfellow. But as anyone who is even vaguely aware of the Bard's most performed play ever will know, nearly every character has a motive for wanting the mischievous sprite dead.

With too many suspects and too little time, Pocket must work his own kind of magic to find the truth, save his neck, and ensure that all ends well.

A rollicking tale of love, magic, madness, and murder, Shakespeare for Squirrels is a Midsummer Night's noir--a wicked and brilliantly funny good time conjured by the singular imagination of Christopher Moore.

The Many Lives of Pusheen the Cat

- by Claire Belton

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A delightful new collection of comics from Pusheen in all of her adorable forms--from the classic gray tabby you know and love, to her unicorn, dragon, alien, mermaid, dinosaur, and even dog alter egos--Pusheen always lives life to the fullest!

We all know Pusheen, the pleasantly plump cat who has warmed hearts and tickled funny bones of millions worldwide with her signature animated bops, bounces, and tail wiggles. Now you can learn what makes her purr and find out why so many have already fallen in love with her. This delightful collection of comics and illustrations features some of the most popular and purr-fectly adorable Pusheen comics you know and love, plus a healthy serving of never-before-seen material. The Many Lives of Pusheen the Cat is a treat for cat lovers and comics fans alike.

Barely Functional Adult

- by Meichi Ng

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"Funny, introspective, and touching. . . . The lessons Meichi gently shares with us through delightful stories are full of wisdom for people at any life stage who need a reminder they're not alone." --Mari Andrew, author of Am I There Yet?


From the creator of Barely Functional Adult, a painfully relatable webcomic with over 130k followers on Instagram, comes a never-before-seen collection of incriminating short stories about exes, murder, friendship, therapy, anxiety, Hufflepuff, sucking at things, freaking out about things, calming down momentarily, melodrama, wrinkles, pettiness, and other wonderful delights.

Wielding her trademark balance of artful humor, levity, and heartbreaking introspection, Meichi Ng's indisputably relatable collection of short stories holds a mirror to our past, present, and future selves. Featuring a swaddled Barely Functional Adult as its protagonist who says all the things we think but dare not say, this book is equal parts humorous and heartbreaking as it spans a spectrum of topics from imposter syndrome, therapy, friendships, first loves, letting go of exes, to just trying to find your purpose in the world. Prepare to excitedly shove this book in your friend's face with little decorum as you shout, "THIS IS SO US!"

In this beautiful, four-color collection compiled completely of never-before-seen content, Meichi perfectly captures the best and worst of us in every short story, allowing us to weep with pleasure at our own fallibility. Hilarious, relatable, and heart-wrenchingly honest, Barely Functional Adult will have you laughing and crying in the same breath, while taking solace in the fact that we're anything but alone in this world.

A Wealth of Pigeons

- by Steve Martin

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER o WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER o WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER o LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER

"I've always looked upon cartooning as comedy's last frontier. I have done stand-up, sketches, movies, monologues, awards show introductions, sound bites, blurbs, talk show appearances, and tweets, but the idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me. I felt like, yeah, sometimes I'm funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny. You can understand that I was deeply suspicious of these people who are actually funny."

So writes the multitalented comedian Steve Martin in his introduction to A Wealth of Pigeons: A Cartoon Collection. In order to venture into this lauded territory of cartooning, he partnered with the heralded New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss. Steve shared caption and cartoon ideas, Harry provided impeccable artwork, and together they created this collection of humorous cartoons and comic strips, with amusing commentary about their collaboration throughout. The result: this gorgeous, funny, singular book, perfect to give as a gift or to buy for yourself.

Is This Anything?

- by Jerry Seinfeld

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The first book in twenty-five years from Jerry Seinfeld features his best work across five decades in comedy.

Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub "Catch a Rising Star" as a twenty-one-year-old college student in fall of 1975, Jerry Seinfeld has written his own material and saved everything. "Whenever I came up with a funny bit, whether it happened on a stage, in a conversation, or working it out on my preferred canvas, the big yellow legal pad, I kept it in one of those old school accordion folders," Seinfeld writes. "So I have everything I thought was worth saving from forty-five years of hacking away at this for all I was worth."

For this book, Jerry Seinfeld has selected his favorite material, organized decade by decade. In page after hilarious page, one brilliantly crafted observation after another, readers will witness the evolution of one of the great comedians of our time and gain new insights into the thrilling but unforgiving art of writing stand-up comedy.

Indians on Vacation

- by Thomas King

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A #1 Indie bestseller and a Canadian bestseller for 22 weeks, the brilliant latest novel from one of Canada's foremost authors

Inspired by a handful of postcards sent nearly a hundred years ago, Bird and Mimi attempt to trace long-lost uncle Leroy and the family medicine bundle he took with him to Europe.


"I'm sweaty and sticky. My ears are still popping from the descent into Vaclav Havel. My sinuses ache. My stomach is upset. My mouth is a sewer. I roll over and bury my face in a pillow. Mimi snuggles down beside me with no regard for my distress.


'My god,' she whispers, 'can it get any better?'"


 By turns witty, sly and poignant, this is the unforgettable tale of one couple's holiday in Europe, where their wanderings through its famous capitals reveal a complicated history, both personal and political.   

Awkward Pause

- by Ryan Harby

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Awkward Pause is an anthology collection curated from Ryan Harby's popular online comic series Honey Dill. A love letter to odd humour, Awkward Pause is a mix of joy and sorrow, both soft and sharp. The book includes over 50 comics, which range in topic from mental health to time travel, murder, and butts. Absurd and strange in ways that will warm even the coldest of hearts.

Solutions and Other Problems

- by Allie Brosh

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For the first time in seven years, Allie Brosh--beloved author and artist of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller Hyperbole and a Half--returns with a new collection of comedic, autobiographical, and illustrated essays.

Solutions and Other Problems includes humorous stories from Allie Brosh's childhood; the adventures of her very bad animals; merciless dissection of her own character flaws; incisive essays on grief, loneliness, and powerlessness; as well as reflections on the absurdity of modern life.

This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features all-new material with more than 1,600 pieces of art. Solutions and Other Problems marks the return of a beloved American humorist who has "the observational skills of a scientist, the creativity of an artist, and the wit of a comedian" (Bill Gates).

Praise for Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half:
"Imagine if David Sedaris could draw....Enchanting." --People
"One of the best things I've ever read in my life." --Marc Maron
"Will make you laugh until you sob, even when Brosh describes her struggle with depression." --Entertainment Weekly
"I would gladly pay to sit in a room full of people reading this book, merely to share the laughter." --The Philadelphia Inquirer
"In a culture that encourages people to carry mental illness as a secret burden....Brosh's bracing honesty is a gift." --Chicago Tribune

Going Dutch

- by James Gregor

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ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S 10 BEST DEBUT NOVELS OF THE YEAR

"A charming, well-observed debut," (NPR) featuring a gay male graduate student who falls for his brilliant female classmate, "you'll tear through this tale of a thoroughly modern love triangle" (Entertainment Weekly).

Exhausted by dead-end forays in the gay dating scene, surrounded constantly by friends but deeply lonely in New York City, and drifting into academic abyss, twenty-something graduate student Richard has plenty of sources of anxiety. But at the forefront is his crippling writer's block, which threatens daily to derail his graduate funding and leave Richard poor, directionless, and desperately single.

Enter Anne: his brilliant classmate who offers to "help" Richard write his papers in exchange for his company, despite Richard's fairly obvious sexual orientation. Still, he needs her help, and it doesn't hurt that Anne has folded Richard into her abundant lifestyle. What begins as an initially transactional relationship blooms gradually into something more complex.

But then a one-swipe-stand with an attractive, successful lawyer named Blake becomes serious, and Richard suddenly finds himself unable to detach from Anne, entangled in her web of privilege, brilliance, and, oddly, her unabashed acceptance of Richard's flaws. As the two relationships reach points of serious commitment, Richard soon finds himself on a romantic and existential collision course--one that brings about surprising revelations.

"Intelligent, entertaining and elegantly written" (Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.) Going Dutch is an incisive portrait of relationships in an age of digital romantic abundance, but it's also a heartfelt and humorous exploration of love and sexuality, and a poignant meditation on the things emotionally ravenous people seek from and do to each other. "This marvelously witty take on dating in New York City and the blurry nature of desire announces Gregor as a fresh, electric new voice" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

If I Never Met You

- by Mhairi Mcfarlane

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Bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane returns with another heartfelt romantic comedy perfect for fans of Josie Silver, Sophie Kinsella, or Sally Thorne.

One of Shondaland's 5 Must-Read Books for March and a Best Romance of 2020 by Amazon, OprahMag, Insider, Buzzfeed, Bustle, Cosmo, PopSugar, and BookPage.

If faking love is this easy... how do you know when it's real?

When her partner of over a decade suddenly ends things, Laurie is left reeling--not only because they work at the same law firm and she has to see him every day. Her once perfect life is in shambles and the thought of dating again in the age of Tinder is nothing short of horrifying. When news of her ex's pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, taking the humiliation lying down is not an option. Then a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility.

Jamie Carter doesn't believe in love, but he needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. Laurie wants a hot new man to give the rumor mill something else to talk about. It's the perfect proposition: a fauxmance played out on social media, with strategically staged photographs and a specific end date in mind. With the plan hatched, Laurie and Jamie begin to flaunt their new couple status, to the astonishment--and jealousy--of their friends and colleagues. But there's a fine line between pretending to be in love and actually falling for your charming, handsome fake boyfriend...

Stranger Planet

- by Nathan Pyle

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New York Times Bestseller

The sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon Strange Planet, featuring more hilarious and poignant adventures from the fascinating inhabitants of Nathan W. Pyle's colorful world.

In this eagerly awaited sequel, Nathan takes us back to his charming and instantly recognizable planet colored in bright pinks, blues, greens, and purples, providing more escapades, jokes, and p h r a s e s.

Nathan mixes his most popular Instagram comics with more than thirty original works created exclusively for this second volume to explore four major topics: traditions, nature, emotions, and knowledge. He inducts new and longtime fans into a strangely familiar world and its culture, from "cohesion" (marriage) to "mild poison" (alcohol) to the full lyrics to "The Small Eight-Legged Creature" (sung to the tune of The Itsy-Bitsy Spider).

Bright, colorful, and whimsical--yet charmingly familiar--Stranger Planet is out-of-this-world fun.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

- by Gail Honeyman

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A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

USA Today's top 100 books to read while stuck at home social distancing 


A Penguin Book Club Pick
"Beautifully written and incredibly funny. . . I fell in love with Eleanor; I think you will fall in love, too!" --Reese Witherspoon


Smart, warm, uplifting, the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open her heart.

No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
     Eleanor Oliphant is, well, a bit of an oddball--albeit a loveable one. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking . . . and that, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, a tendency to wear the same clothes year after year), means that Eleanor has become a bit of a loner. But for Eleanor, nothing really important is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding perplexing social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, Glen's Vodka, and phone chats with "Mummy." 
     But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and sweet IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repairing her own damaged one.
    Smart, warm, and uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever--if she can bear to confront the secrets she has avoided all her life. But if she does, she'll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship--and even love--after all, if only she can learn to open her heart.