One-Minute Book Reviews

May 21, 2012

Literary Jokes and Quotes From the British Library – Scrambled Eggs and Hamlet

Filed under: Holiday Gift Books,Humor — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 11:17 am
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The book that has the answer to: How many librarians does it take to change a light bulb?

Booklover’s Book of Jokes, Quips & Quotes. Compiled by David Wilkerson. The British Library, 96 pp., $12.95.

By Janice Harayda

Some literary joke books could make you weep. They brim with misquoted, unattributed, or plagiarized lines that seem to mock only copyright laws. This book has a trustworthy provenance: It comes from the British Library and includes the assurance that “every endeavor has been made to correctly attribute or seek permission” to use its material.

The Booklover’s Book of Jokes, Quips & Quotes also transcends geography with many forms of high and low literary comedy: puns; mangled book titles; knock, knock and light bulb jokes; insults from Shakespeare; aphorisms from Oscar Wilde, and much more. It’s a fine host gift for a bookish host who enjoys brain-teasers like: “What is Shakespeare’s favorite meal? Scrambled eggs and Hamlet.” And it’s small enough to fit into the Christmas stocking of anyone who believes that holiday cheer can take many forms, including: “How many librarians does it take to change a light bulb? No idea, but I know where you can look it up!”

Best line: “There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.” Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist 

Worst line: The charms of a page of “Yorkshire humor” may be lost on Americans.

Published: November 2011

Furthermore: Wilkerson is head of retail for the British Library.

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© 2012 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

April 11, 2009

More Good Coupons for Kids in a New Hallmark Gift Book

Filed under: Holiday Gift Books,How to — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 11:29 am
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Just before Christmas, I wrote about a book of tear-out coupons full of good IOUs for children that vanished from stores soon after I found it at CVS. I speculated that the item had been recalled because it contained a coupon that promised a child a lottery ticket when the laws in most states forbid the sale of lottery tickets to anyone under 18.

Now the book is back in slightly different form with a new title, What a Great Kid! Coupon Book: 52 Ways to Tell Kids “You’re Loved” (Hallmark Gift Books, 120 pp., $5.95, paperback), minus the lottery-ticket coupon. As in the earlier version, some coupons would appeal mainly to younger children. (“TRADE THIS IN FOR A ROYAL NIGHT … Good for one evening of being treated like royalty. You’ll be waited on hand and foot, and the entire family will refer to you as ‘your royal highness’ or ‘your majesty.’”) Other coupons might please children of any age, including teenagers. (“Not today! Pick your least favorite chore and SKIP doing it today!”) But the earlier bok disappeared so fast that there’s no telling how long this one will remain in stores, so if you may need a last-minute children’s holiday gift, you might pick one up well before December.

At this writing What a Great Kid! isn’t listed on the Hallmark site. But I found it at a Walgreen’s, and it’s also supposed to be available at Hallmark stores. Watch a video about it here.

© 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

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