A Square-Peg People Book Review
Wildly Funny Books
The first is Jill Connor Browne's The Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love, subtitled: "A Fallen Southern Belle's Look at Love, Life, Men, Marriage, and Being Prepared".
This book, as one Texas-born friend of mine used to say, "is a real hoot".
Reading a few of the chapter headings will give you some idea about this book - there's: "What To Eat When Tragedy Strikes, or Just for Entertainment" ~ "The Five Men You Must Have in Your Life at All Times" ~ "Men Who May Need Killing, Quite Frankly". And it's even got recipees for things like "Chocolate Stuff" and "Fat Mama's Knock You Naked Margarita's"!
My favorite quote from the book is (strangely) the only non-funny thing in the book - a piece of wisdom that the author tells us she gave her young daughter: "In life, I tell her, it's vitally important that you buy your own crown and declare yourself Queen, and then spend the rest of your life living into that."
The book starts out with the author explaining who the Sweet Potato Queen's are and how they got their start. In short, the idea was the author's, who - with a few friends -- got costumed, wigged and tiarred and became part of a yearly parade (initially throwing sweet potatos out to the crowd - ouch!).
Browne describes how her sister-in-law put the first costumes together: "We bought a basic swimsuit pattern in about a size 24, sort of one-size-fits-all, you know? She made the basic size 24 suit, stuffed the top and the butt with enough batting to make fifteen good-sized teddy bears, and then took up the waistline to fit each Queen...The result was mesmerizing."
After the initial introduction to the Queen's the author gives us non-stop wickedly hilarious advice on...well, on just about everything.
Laughing is supposed to be good for us. You've heard that, right? I can tell you that every time I pick up The Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love up I wind up laughing - and that leaves me feeling pretty good.
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I was in the bathtub the other night when I read the second wildly funny book that I want to tell you about. I was guffawing - there's no other way to describe my reaction. I don't even want to ask my family what they thought I was up to.
This woman is funny! She is also the author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, which even made grammar funny. In this book though, she tackles our lack of manners, courtesy and the like.
It's hard to pin myself down to one favorite part of this book - but the one that took me most by surprise and had me nearly choking with laughter was after Truss had written a bit about "unspoken courtesy words":
"As for the demise of 'please', you may overhear a child demanding in a supermarket at the top of its voice, 'I want THAT ONE!' Hope briefly flares when the harassed mother bellows back, 'You want that one, WHAT?' But you might have known how this would turn out. 'I want that one, YOU EFFING BITCH!' shouts the kid in response."
At the end of the book - after describing (with wild humor) all sorts of insults to common decency, Truss offers us an idea for "a tiny flame of hope" - I hope you'll find yourself a copy of Talk to the Hand and look for her hopeful idea. I bet you'll laugh yourself into a good mood all the way through.
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