Light & Funny
For when you need a happy little distraction.
- by Nick Offerman
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A humorous and rousing set of literal and figurative sojourns as well as a mission statement about comprehending, protecting, and truly experiencing the outdoors, fueled by three journeys undertaken by actor, humorist, and New York Times bestselling author Nick Offerman
Nick Offerman has always felt a particular affection for the Land of the Free--not just for the people and their purported ideals but to the actual land itself: the bedrock, the topsoil, and everything in between that generates the health of your local watershed. In his new book, Nick takes a humorous, inspiring, and elucidating trip to America's trails, farms, and frontier to examine the people who inhabit the land, what that has meant to them and us, and to the land itself, both historically and currently.
In 2018, Wendell Berry posed a question to Nick, a query that planted the seed of this book, sending Nick on two memorable journeys with pals--a hiking trip to Glacier National Park with his friends Jeff Tweedy and George Saunders, as well as an extended visit to his friend James Rebanks, the author of The Shepherd's Life and English Pastoral. He followed that up with an excursion that could only have come about in 2020--Nick and his wife, Megan Mullally, bought an Airstream trailer to drive across (several of) the United States. These three quests inspired some "deep-ish" thinking from Nick, about the history and philosophy of our relationship with nature in our national parks, in our farming, and in our backyards; what we mean when we talk about conservation; and the importance of outdoor recreation, all subjects very close to Nick's heart.
With witty, heartwarming stories and a keen insight into the human problems we all confront, this is both a ramble through and celebration of the land we all love.
- by Stuart Mclean
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From Canada's much-missed, nationally bestselling storyteller, a must-have collection featuring ten never-before-published stories and ten classic favourites, perfect for old fans and Vinyl Cafe newcomers alike.
From the unforgettable Christmas classic "Dave Cooks the Turkey" to the tender tribute to ice-cream-loving, potato-sitting Arthur the dog in "Morte d'Arthur"; from the joys and challenges of marriage in "The Canoe Trip" to the celebration of childhood adventure in "The Waterslide."
From the beginning of life (the hilarious "Labour Pains") to the end (the touching "Love Never Ends") and all the moments--big and small--in between, these stories remind us that there are occasions to celebrate every day.
For more than two decades, Stuart McLean entered the hearts and homes of Canadians via The Vinyl Cafe radio show, his many tours across the country, and multiple nationally bestselling books. His charming, humane, and side-splitting stories brought the trials and triumphs of Dave, Morley, Sam, and Stephanie to life, and made their memorable circle of friends, family, and neighbours as real as our own.
This collection is both timely and timeless, a rich celebration of Stuart McLean's inimitable voice, and of the importance of love, community, kindness, and the healing power of laughter.
- by David Sedaris
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There's no right way to keep a diary, but if there's an entertaining way, David Sedaris seems to have mastered it.
If it's navel-gazing you're after, you've come to the wrong place; ditto treacly self-examination. Rather, his observations turn outward: a fight between two men on a bus, a fight between two men on the street, pedestrians being whacked over the head or gathering to watch as a man considers leaping to his death. There's a dirty joke shared at a book signing, then a dirtier one told at a dinner party--lots of jokes here. Plenty of laughs.
These diaries remind you that you once really hated George W. Bush, and that not too long ago, Donald Trump was just a harmless laughingstock, at least on French TV. Time marches on, and Sedaris, at his desk or on planes, in hotel dining rooms and odd Japanese inns, records it. The entries here reflect an ever-changing background--new administrations, new restrictions on speech and conduct. What you can say at the start of the book, you can't by the end. At its best, A Carnival of Snackery is a sort of sampler: the bitter and the sweet. Some entries are just what you wanted. Others you might want to spit discreetly into a napkin.
- by Ron James
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Canada's most verbally virtuosic comic makes his literary debut--and he's just as richly, uproariously funny on the page as on stage.
His legion of fans--the ones who ensure his every show the length and breadth of Canada is sold out--recognize Ron James as one of the great stand-ups of his generation. His seemingly improvisational flights of fancy--no two shows are ever the same--are crammed with inventive phrase-making, feature a vocabulary Donald Trump could only fantasize about and put every word into the service of uproarious comedy.
He sounds like a man born to write a great book--and now at last he has. But this is a book he has been writing for most of his life, in his head, in his car, while driving from gig to gig.
In All Over the Map, Ron has brilliantly captured the voice that has enthralled millions on stage and screen. He also lets up a little on the usually relentless laughs (though there are still plenty of those) to reveal a new dimension to his beloved showbiz character. His hilarious reminsences of growing up in Nova Scotia and his early struggles as an aspiring comic, his reveries on such topics as family, country, celebrity and lessons learned from myriad chance encounters will deepen our appreciation for this great comic and win him many new fans in his new role as author.
- by Ian Doescher
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Assemble, Ye Avengers! All four Avengers films are presented as Shakespearean plays in this must-have for Marvel fans.
What if the most epic cinematic franchise of all time had been penned by the greatest playwright of all time? Wonder no more! In William Shakespeare's Avengers, the best-selling author of the William Shakespeare's Star Wars series has reimagined the Avengers films as plays penned by the Bard himself, including:
o Assemble, Ye Avengers
o Lo, The Age of Ultron
o Infinity War's Tale
o The Endgame's Afoot
Authentic meter and verse, stage directions, and clever Easter eggs will delight fans of the Avengers and Shakespeare alike. Readers will experience their favorite scenes, characters, and lines in a fresh--yet fully faithful--way, through soliloquies and dialogue by everyone from Captain America to Groot ("'Tis I!").
The lavish two-column format recalls Shakespeare's folios, and dozens of vibrant illustrations capture all the iconic movie moments. This franchise bible elevates and celebrates the films and is a must-have for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Avengers.
- by Mark Critch
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The heartfelt and hilarious story of beloved Canadian comedian Mark Critch's journey from Newfoundland to the national stage--and back home again.
One of Mark Critch's earliest acting gigs was in a Newfoundland tourist production alongside a cast of displaced fishery workers. Since, he's found increasing opportunities to take his show on the road. In An Embarrassment of Critch's, the star of CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes revisits some of his career's--and the country's--biggest moments, revealing all the things you might not know happened along the way: A wishful rumour spread by Mark's father results in his big break; two bottles of Scotch nearly get him kicked out of a secret Canadian airbase in the United Arab Emirates; and for anyone wondering how to get an interview with the Prime Minister and Bono (yes, that Bono) on the same evening, Critch might recommend a journey to the 2003 Liberal Convention.
Critch's top-secret access to all of the funniest behind-the-scenes moments involve many of the charismatic and notorious politicians we love to see blush, including fearless leaders Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, Paul Martin, and Jean Chrétien, celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Robin Williams, and other colourful figures he's met over years of pulling off daring skits at home and abroad. Remember when MP Carolyn Parrish took her boot to George W. Bush's head in an interview? Or when Critch asked Justin Trudeau where the best place to smoke pot on Parliament Hill was before pulling out a joint for them to share? There's more to each of those stories than you know. Though Critch has spent years crisscrossing the country--and the globe--with the explicit aim of causing trouble everywhere he goes, like the best journeys, this one takes him right back home.
- by Terry Fallis
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From bestselling author Terry Fallis comes the long-awaited follow-up to The Best Laid Plans and The High Road--a comic spy story that heralds the return of Angus McLintock.
Angus McLintock, accidental Member of Parliament, has won re-election and is now the Minister of State for International Relations--or, in other words, he's the junior global affairs minister. In this new post, he and his trusty Chief of Staff, Daniel Addison, are in London to meet with their international counterparts to discuss the upcoming G8 Summit in Washington. Unfortunately, Angus is not in charge of Canada's involvement in the summit--that task falls to the actual Global Affairs Minister, not the junior one. What Angus is responsible for is planning a brief post-summit meeting in Ottawa between the Prime Minister and the President of Russia, the former head of the KGB.
The London meetings are all going to plan until Daniel receives a cryptic, late-night text, from a burner phone, directing him to a pub around the corner from their hotel. There is important information he needs to know, the mysterious texter says--but he must keep the meeting a secret, and must come alone. Naturally, he immediately tells Angus, who of course tags along to the pub--just as reinforcement. The soon-to-be-retired MI6 agent who is waiting for Daniel is not pleased, but there are more pressing matters at hand: Chechen separatists are plotting to assassinate the Russian President--and it's going to happen when he's in Ottawa to meet with the Prime Minister, just weeks away. Angus and Daniel have to put a stop to it before it's too late. Naturally, no one in Ottawa will take them, or their top-secret intelligence, seriously, so they're on their own.
In an instant, they are thrown into a race against the clock to uncover the Chechen sleeper cell, thwart their plans, and ultimately save the Russian President. Along the way, in classic Angus and Daniel style, they have to dodge bitter rivals, enraged protestors, and even a runaway Cessna. This is a madcap cloak-and-dagger adventure with humour and heart that will delight and entertain readers until the very last page.
- 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 . . .
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.