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The Reading List: In the April Fools' spirit, pick up one of these funnily titled reads

Posted by Alex Pearlman  March 30, 2012 08:50 AM

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the hunger pains a parody harvard lampoon book cover.jpgBy Tamar Zmora

This Sunday is one of the few days of the year that people might be afraid to step outside their homes. All Fools' Day, commonly referred to as April Fools' Day, marks the annual holiday where good-natured jesters play buffoon-like jokes at their friends' and families' expenses. Friendships are forever destroyed, marriages are annulled, and the banana peel industry sees a drastic upsurge in sales.

Since you'll presumably be cooped up inside, avoiding the aforementioned humorous offenses and downright obscene shenanigans, why not at least get a little bit into the holiday spirit and invest in a book with a funny title? They always say "don't judge a book by its cover" -- but I'm saying that it's totally fine to let the words on the cover entice you.

The Hunger Pains: A Parody (The Harvard Lampoon). In 157 pages, The Lampoon appears to have concisely abridged the basic plot points of the relatively drawn-out original, The Hunger Games. You'll snicker at the modified names of protagonist Kantkiss (Katniss), heartthrob Carol Handsomestein (Gale), and clumsy Pita Malarkey (Peeta), and giggle at the fact that their home, District 12, has now become a telemarketing district. It's also worth mentioning that the Gamekeepers have become "Rainmakers,” though they bear no resemblance to Matt Damon, unfortunately. If you like books infused with pop culture references, this is a title for you.

Go the [Expletive] to Sleep (Adam Mansbach). In what could be considered the more adult sequel to Goodnight Moon, Mansbach relays the parental woes of putting children to bed. Respectfully dedicated to his daughter, Vivien, Mansbach's book leads the reader through the treetops, the simmering jungle, and the rest of the ridiculous travails parents go through to get their kids to...well, you know!

mr g a novel about creation alan lightman book.JPGMr g: A Novel About the Creation (Alan Lightman). Returning to the question famously posed by Joan Osborne (“What if God was one of us?”), Lightman playfully continues along those lines and asks, essentially, "What if God authored a modern day book -- other than a Newer-Than-New Testament?" In this exploration of The Creator’s accomplishments and missteps, Lightman amuses the reader with God’s trial-and-error fallibility and air of infinite potential. When Mr g puts his mind to something, it gets done -- at least, that’s how he remembers creating time after a nap. And with the construct of time comes the concept of space and the beginning of man.

Another [Expletive] Night in Suck City: A Memoir (Nick Flynn). Based on the title, I thought this memoir would be a romping good tale of a reformed hipster recounting lewd misadventures from his early 20s. Instead, I found a book about a father and son’s reconciliation and desperation on the streets of “Suck City” (known to us as Boston). You may reconsider your treatment of the homeless after finishing this book.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) (Mindy Kaling). An addition to the comedic memoir genre, Kaling throws her “disc” -- that's a Frisbee to you non-artsy, non-pretentious folk -- into the field (that’s analogous to throwing your hat in the ring, right?) In her charming, "I want to be your friend" tone, Kaling talks about her struggles with childhood obesity, athletic misadventures, times of unemployment in NYC, and making it big in the entertainment industry. From her days in Matt & Ben, a small, off-Broadway stage show in the East Village that Kaling co-wrote with her best friend, to her time on the set of The Office, the comedienne covers the highs and lows of Kathy Griffinesque celebrity -- basically, being known but not recognized.

'The Reading List' is TNGG Boston's spot for literary recommendations and reviews, written by Tamar Zmora.

About Tamar -- I'm a recent Wellesley College grad with a degree in English and studio art. I grew up in the Midwest and briefly lived in Europe and the Middle East. My name is often mistaken for Tamara from "Sister, Sister." I love exploring coffee shops and am almost always highly caffeinated. I am very interested in films, the arts, theatre, painting, photography -- you name it -- '90s TV shows, and music.

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