Tag Archives: Humour

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Bookish Memes That Make Me Laugh

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

This week’s theme was “Memes That Remind You of a Favourite Book or Show.” I had so much trouble narrowing down my favourite media to just one show or book that I decided to tweak this topic a little and make it about bookish memes in general instead.

A grumpy orange cat sitting on top of an opened book. The text reads, “that’s not how it was in the book.”

I’m normally pretty forgiving of changes that are made to adaptations of books so long as there are good reasons for them and they blend seamlessly into the character and story development, but this meme still makes me laugh.

 

Aragorn from the film version of Lord of the Rings clasping his thumb and middle finger together in a circle and looking serious. The text reads, “one does not simply return from the library without a book.”

I 100% agree here.

 

A black woman who is grinning and wearing a white tank top as she reads the back cover of a book. The text reads, “when you find the next book of your dreams without even trying.”

It is so amazing when this happens!

 

Merida from Disney’s film “Brave” is sitting at a table and throwing her head back in sadness and annoyance. The text reads “when you get to an exciting part in your book but people keep interrupting you.”

My spouse has an uncanny knack for this. It’s a little irritating in the moment but kind of hilarious the rest of the time. How on Earth do they sense that I’ve reached an incredibly exciting scene so reliably, and can we somehow use this special power to make a lot of money someday? Ha!

 

President Obama making a surprised face. The text reads, “when you have to read a book for English and it actually turns out to be pretty good.”

This is such a great feeling. While I didn’t like everything we were assigned, there were a lot of books I ended up really loving and intentionally read more from those authors because of my positive first experience with them.

 

Photo of a person lying on top of a library bookshelf face down and with a defeated posture. The text reads “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one. - Neil Gaiman”

I couldn’t agree with this one more. Librarians are incredible and deserve so much respect for all of their hard work.

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Something You Believed But Found Out Wasn’t True

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

When I was seven, my parents moved our family a few thousand miles away from where we had previously been living. Since we were homeschooled at the time, my siblings and I didn’t have to say goodbye to classmates or teachers. We couldn’t bring all of our friends and relatives with us, though, so that was still an adjustment.

Cartoon image of a little girl who is holding a green umbrella and yellow satchel and wearing an orange raincoat. The wind is blowing against her so hard that her umbrella has been turned inside out!

Image credit: cromaconceptovisual

After we moved, I thought about my maternal grandmother a lot. In my WWBC karma post last month, I talked about how much everyone loves her.  She was (and still is) the quintessential grandma: gentle, kind, soothing, adores children, and will feed you warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies if you like them.

I was allowed to play or read as I pleased after our daily lessons were finished, so I had a generous amount of time to try to figure life out.

Sometimes when I missed my grandmother terribly and it was windy enough to carry sound* I’d stand on a local hill and yell loving messages to her.** I thought that maybe she could hear the faintest whisper of my words if I yelled loud enough and if the wind was blowing especially fast that day.

I imagined her bent over in her large, friendly garden harvesting corn or picking strawberries only to pause and wonder if she’d really heard her granddaughter yelling her name or if she was just imagining it. Perhaps she’d smile and blow me a kiss or yell back her own message, too.

It took another year or two for me to learn enough from my science textbooks to realize sound doesn’t work that way, but it was a comforting thought while it lasted.

*At that age I thought wind could somehow carry sounds long distances if you made your words strong and loud enough to last the entire journey. Don’t ask me how that was supposed to work!

** I apologize to any neighbours who may have been terribly confused by why a kid was loudly yelling “I love you, Grandma” and “I miss you, Grandma”  over and over again outside. Those messages were intended for her ears only.

(We moved back to her area several years later, so this tale has a happy ending).

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles That Would Make Great Newspaper Headlines


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Thank you to Cathy @ What Cathy Read Next for coming up with this topic. It’s a unique one.

I’d sure want to read all of these newspaper headlines. Many of them could easily appear in a regular newspaper, while others would work best if written by a reporter who lived in a speculative fiction universe.

Some weeks I can only come up with four or five answers, so this time I’ll happily be going over the limit to help make up for that.

A black man sitting at a table and reading a newspaper. He has a serious, thoughtful expression on his face and has just looked up to make eye contact with the reader when this shot was taken. He’s sitting bedside a large picture window that has the blinds drawn, but it’s such a sunny day that you can still see lots of light pouring into the room. 1. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

2. 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth and Other Useful Guides by Matthew Inman

3. I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It by Adam Selzer

4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

5. By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

6. The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman

7. The Spiders of Allah: Travels of an Unbeliever on the Frontline of Holy War by James Hider

8. 15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins

9. How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

10. The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
by Lindsey Fitzharris

11. Making Mummies, Shrinking Heads: And Other Useful Skills by Pat Murphy

12. First You Write: The Worst Way to Become an Almost Famous Author And The Best Advice I Got While Doing It by Joni Rodgers

13. Great Gals: Inspired Ideas for Living a Kick-Ass Life by Summer Pierre

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: A Job I Wouldn’t Be Good At

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A neon sign lit up against a black night sky in a city. You can see a skyscraper next to the sign. The words “Peninsula Night Club” are in neon blue on the sign. The word “liquor” is larger than all other words and in neon orange on the sign. The word “dancing” is on the bottom of the sign and in neon pink. If any of you secretly own a nightclub and are looking for people to work late hours and pressure your patrons into buying watered-down alcohol while the DJ blares eardrum-rattling music all night long, I am not a good candidate for the role for the following reasons:

1) I am a morning person who needs an early-ish bedtime and a stable sleep schedule in order to function properly and stave off ugly sleep-deprivation migraines,

2)  Migraines give me horrible noise sensitivity, so I would not be able to  remain in a noisy environment if I’m at any point in the migraine cycle.  I also really don’t want to suffer permanent hearing loss from dangerously noisy work,

3) Sales is not something I’m naturally good at,

4) When I worked roles that involved sales in the past, I only said truthful things to my customers and respected their boundaries if they didn’t want to upgrade to a more expensive model of whatever they were shopping for or add extra items to their order. I  never pressured them to buy anything they weren’t interested in and actually got in trouble sometimes for not selling stuff that my customers never wanted or needed in the first place,

5) I haven’t touched alcohol in years, wouldn’t know what to recommend other than telling everyone to go drink a strawberry margarita*, and would be perfectly honest every time someone asked if the drinks were watered down or otherwise deceptively advertised.

*Back when I did occasionally drink alcohol, it was at most two or three glasses of it per year, and strawberry margaritas were one of the handful of drinks that might entice me. I liked the fruit and the fruit juice in them a thousand times more than the alcohol, though, so now I just ask for a freshly-squeezed orange juice or something for rare celebratory moments instead.

So there it is. You now all know my weaknesses and what sort of job I’d be terrible at. Please make your hiring decisions accordingly. 😉

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A Review of Employment Interview With a Vampire

Book cover for Employment Interview With a Vampire by J Bennett. Image on cover shows a young white woman with dark blond hair that’s tied behind her head in a ponytail. She’s standing in front of a decrepit mansion on an overcast evening and about to walk into the home. She’s wearing an all black outfit. Title: Employment Interview With a Vampire

Author: J Bennett

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: January 8, 2014

Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary

Length: 65 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb:

Deidre finds herself out of a job, out of luck, and out of time. The rent is past due, and the list of her employable skills is smaller than the balance of her checking account. Deidre has one shot at staying out of a fast food restaurant uniform. 
 
A mysterious gentleman with certain “peculiarities” is seeking a housekeeper. 
 
Deidre squeezes into her only nice pair of slacks, tames her wild orange hair, and starts off for the job interview that will either change her life… or end it!

Get ready for a very different kind of vampire story… While Deidre’s potential boss possesses a wicked set of fangs and a hankering for a certain ruby refreshment (preferably served fresh and hot), he’s also got a fashion sense that hasn’t been cool since the 1800s. Nathaniel adamantly prefers the telegraph over the telephone, votes for Eisenhower in every election, and isn’t so sure these horseless carriages will catch on.

Can Deidre survive her employment interview with a vampire and somehow convince her potential boss that corsets and petticoats aren’t the fashion of the day?

Oh, and what’s she going to do about that geriatric vampire hunter sneaking around the haunted mansion?

If you’re looking for a fun and funny supernatural story with a relatable (and often exasperated) heroine, then you’ve found it! Welcome to the first funny vampire novella in The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles series!

No one does funny new adult vampire fiction like J Bennett.

Review:

Content Warning: A few mildly sexist comments. A little bit of body shaming involving the style and cut of clothing Deidre was wearing.

No one has been exasperated to death by a vampire yet, but there’s still time to change that.

Deidre was one of those characters that is hard to explain in a few short sentences. Most of the vampire stories I read are fairly violent, so I spend the first few scenes worried that her naivety and stubbornness was about to lead to her untimely and terrible death. Luckily for her, those traits turned out to be assets when dealing with this particular vampire. I appreciate the way the author flirted with the various interpretations of what a vampire is like as well as the reader’s expectations of what a heroine should do in this genre. Deidre sometimes joined in with the gentle fun that was being poked at certain tropes, and that made me like her even more. She understood the absurdity of her situation, and she leaned into it so hard that I can’t imagine how campy and delightful her future adventures might be.

While I understand that this is the introduction to a series, I would have liked to see more conflict included in this tale that didn’t involve Nathaniel making inappropriate comments about Deidre’s clothing and marital prospects. As much as it made sense for someone who was a few hundred years old to say those things, I found them a little repetitive as time wore on and wished the author had included other examples of how wildly out of touch he was with modern times. There were plenty of other things he found baffling about our era, and I would have gone with a full five-star rating if his rants had included a wider range of topics or if some other sort of conflict had been brought up to reveal the many differences between him and Deidre.

With that being said, Nathaniel was a refreshing take on what a vampire might realistically be like. Of course he would struggle to adapt to changing times, especially given how socially isolated vampires must remain in order to avoid the sun and people who want to kill them. Honestly, I could see Nathaniel being much more offensive than he turned out to be, so it was interesting to think about the perspective changes he had made over the years and who might have encouraged him to rethink his expectations of what various types of people ought to do. There is so much more room here to explore, and I’ll be curious to see how his relationship with Deidre evolves over time.

Employment Interview With a Vampire was a clever twist on vampire fiction.

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A Review of The Old Man at the End of the World

Book cover for The Old Man at the End of the World: Bite No. 1 by AK Silversmith. Image on cover shows a lime green silhoutte of a zombie who has a thought bubble above its head that has a human brain in it. The zombie is shambling towards a black silhoutte of a man who is leaning on a black and white can and whose hat is popping off of his head in surprise. Title: The Old Man at the End of the World

Author: AK Silversmith

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: February 15, 2017

Genres: Science Fiction, Horror, Humour, Contemporary

Length: 67 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb:

The end is nigh…. and Gerald Stockwell-Poulter has had quite enough of it already. Pesky business altogether. All this hiding and running about. Makes Brexit look like a doddle.

After 87 largely well-behaved years as a model citizen, less than four hours into the ‘zompocalypse’ and he has already killed a neighbour, rescued a moody millennial drug dealer and forged an unlikely allegiance with a giant ginger Scotsman. And it isn’t even tea time.

Join Gerald as he and his newfound allies navigate the post-apocalyptic English countryside in their hilarious bid to stay off the menu.

Review:

Content Warning: Blood, gore, and (obviously) zombies. I will be discussing these things briefly in my review.

This isn’t the quiet retirement Gerald was hoping for.

The character development was well done. Gerald’s default emotional range fell somewhere in the vicinity of various shades of grumpiness, and he certainly had a lot to be annoyed about about here when the plot gave him opportunities to express his feelings. I enjoyed contrasting his reaction to the sudden appearance of zombies with how other people reacted, especially since Gerald didn’t pay attention to the news and had no idea what was happening in the first scene. It was amusing to see him essentially shrug his shoulders at such a momentous shift in human history and get on with his life as best as he could.

It would have been helpful to have more plot development. I started this not realizing it was the beginning of a serial, so it came a surprise to me to see how long it took anything to happen and how abruptly everything ended. Yes, serials need to end on an exciting note in order to keep their readers hooked, but in this case the storyline evolved so slowly that I struggled to remain interested even though I was initially thrilled by the thought of describing a zombiepocalypse from the perspective of someone in their 80s.

I chuckled at the dry British humour in this novella. Gerald and his allies were far less afraid of zombies than most characters are in this genre. If anything, it was a nuisance for them to have to run away from such creatures on such a beautiful day when there was so much gardening to do. They often didn’t have strong emotional responses to what was happening to them, and that lighthearted exaggeration of British culture worked nicely with the text. It certainly helped them make logical decisions in the heat of the moment as well.

The Old Man at the End of the World was an intriguing introduction to this series.

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Something Funny That Happened To Me

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

About a half dozen pairs of dress shoes neatly polished and sitting in tidy rows on a wooden surface. They have shoe horns inside of them, too, to help them keep their shape. This is a story that happened when I was about two years old. I don’t personally remember it, and there aren’t any photos from this day so far as I know. Luckily, my parents made sure to tell me all about it once I was old enough to form longterm memories.

When I was a toddler, mom and dad took me on a trip to visit my mom’s younger brother at college. Uncle Joe had a roommate named John and trilingual friend named Sebastian who were both with him that day. From what I’ve been told, they were happy to meet my parents and have a little one around for a few hours.

I was a quiet, calm, and generally well-behaved child. The combination of those personality traits means that you can sometimes get away with things that noisier kids who unwittingly attract adult attention with their shenanigans might not.

So there was baby Lydia quietly looking around in an unfamiliar place when she noticed that Sebastian wasn’t speaking English! I stared at him in amazement as he had a conversation in French. (He speaks Spanish, too, although I don’t think he spoke it that day).

Then little Lydia saw an untidy pile of shoes near the door. She didn’t approve of such nonsense and decided to fix the problem by matching up all of the shoes with their mates and then placing every pair of shoes neatly by the door.

I imagine the grownups noticed what I was doing as they spoke to each other. Since no one intervened, I was able to straighten up every single shoe and be satisfied with a job well done.

Whatever toddler behaviour my uncle might have been expecting from me, this was not it. Everyone was amused by how I’d decided to keep myself busy and useful while the grownups talked. I’d like to think Uncle Joe and his friends placed their shoes neatly by the door a few times after we left just for the fun of remembering the little one who cleaned up after them.

Here’s another funny twist to the tale.  My untidy childhood bedroom sometimes annoyed my poor mother who is naturally good at organizing stuff and keeping everything in its proper place, but I have slowly become better at that skill as an adult. To this day, I still love fiddling around with things and organizing them into various ways even if I’m never quite as tidy as mom is.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Confessions


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Person holding a finger in front of the mouth of a small dog as if to keep him or her from speaking. For today’s freebie post I’m going to be sharing some bookish confessions.

(The dog in the photo isn’t mine. I simply thought it was an amusing illustration for this prompt).

1. Reading graphic novels definitely counts as reading in general, but I personally don’t enjoy that form of storytelling. I’d rather have more words and fewer pictures.

2. I am quick to give up on books I’m not enjoying. Life is too short to read something that doesn’t resonate with me.

3. Vlogging is scary and I never want to do it. Ha!

4. I do not understand people who judge others based on the genres they do (or don’t) read. It’s one thing to say that genre X isn’t your cup of tea and quite another to say that one type of storytelling is inherently better or worse than all others. Honestly, there are gems and duds in every genre.

5. Audiobooks work best as rereads for me. When I get distracted by my workout or cleaning, I like being able to immediately figure out what I missed in the last scene or two.

6. Some classic novels have passed their expiration dates (at least for me). I’ve loved some of them but been completely bored and confused by others.

7. As much as I love reading, I relish my reading breaks when the weather is nice enough for me to spend tons of time outside every day.

8. I don’t follow as many book bloggers as I used to. I felt slightly guilty for unfollowing them, but I simply don’t have time to keep up with as many of them as in the past.

9. Horror novels are best read in the middle of the day, not right before bed. Feel free to guess how many nightmares I had before I figured this one out.

10. I’m quietly suspicious of people who think fiction is a waste of time. While I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule, the folks I’ve met who think that way tend to be less empathetic than average and really struggle to see the world from other points of view. Fiction can teach us to appreciate the many shades of grey in a conflict (or  character, or real human being, or an issue), and it confuses me to meet folks who have such black and white thinking they can’t even enjoy a simple story.

What are your bookish confessions?

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A Review of Reading Breaks

Title: Reading Breaks

Author: Everyone

Publisher: Evolution or the deity or deities of your choice.

Publication Date: Right this second

Genres: Non-Fiction, Humour

Length: Variable

Source: My imagination.

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb:

Reading breaks are the hot new trend for the end of the year when everyone’s brains are tired and many of us don’t have the energy to read or write anything new. 

Review:

If you’re worn out as the year comes to a close, keep reading. Have I got a proposition for you!

Do not read that book. Do not write that review. I promise they will still be here in January. Do not listen to them whispering to you as you walk past your writing nook. Turn your head away and keep walking. They may whine a little, but they’ll soon adjust. Books, notepads, and laptops need breaks, too, even if they think they must always be attached to someone.

Go do something that energizes you instead. Maybe it’s a hike in a snowy woods with seventeen of your closest friends? Playing a new video game and not talking to anyone at all? Baking your family’s favorite recipes? Building something? Spoiling your dog, cat, rabbit, or other animal friend with petting and treats?  Taking a nap? Arguing with strangers on the Internet who are 100% wrong and desperately need you to remind them of that? The options are limitless.

If you’re still feeling guilty, think of the ideas you might find if you step out of your routine and try something new. Or maybe you’ll find no inspiration but simply come back refreshed and ready to work again in January.

You are not a machine. (Well, at least not most of you). The trees are dormant now and the bears are sleeping in their cozy dens. Surely you deserve to rest, too.

(In conclusion, reading and writing breaks can be necessary parts of the creative process. I’ll be back next week with a genuine book review. Thank you all for reading my silliness today, and Happy New Year if we don’t speak again for a while!)

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Top Ten Tuesday: Hilarious Book Titles


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Two women laughing while reading books. One has a book on top of her head. This is one of those topics I could talk about forever! Isn’t it wonderful to chuckle when you read the title of a book?

I like to collect hilarious book titles as I search for new books to read.

There are some quite clever ones out there. The more you find, the easier it is to discover even more of them in my experience.

Here are just a few of the ones I’ve discovered. Yes, I’m sure a couple of them are probably repeats from previous TTT topics, but why not giggle at them again?

The only one I’ve read so far is How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming. It was an informative, interesting, and sometimes funny read.

1. How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain

2. Everything I Needed to Know about Women I Learned by Reading Twilight: A Vampire’s Guide to Eternal Love by Jim Lee

3. You Don’t Have to Be Evil to Work Here, But it Helps (J. W. Wells & Co., #4) by Tom Holt

4. This book cover and title have nothing to do with this book. by Jarod Kintz

5. How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

6. Hello Kitty Must Die by Angela S. Choi

7. Nibbled to Death by Ducks by Robert Wright Campbell

8. My Ass Is Haunted By The Gay Unicorn Colonel by Chuck Tingle

9. How to Defeat Your Own Clone and Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution by Kyle Kurpinski

10. Surviving Your Stupid Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School by Adam Ruben

 

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