The figures with entries in this encyclopedia not only amuse in their writing, but also aim to enlighten- setting out to expose the foibles and foolishness of society and the individuals who compose it. It is the manner in which these authors try to accomplish this end that determines whether they appear in the volume. Indeed, the book will demonstrate that the best humor has at its base, a ready understanding of human nature.
Sweat dries. Blood clots. Bones heal. Suck it up, buttercup.
After his deployment in Afghanistan, Dan Caddy began swapping great drill sergeant stories by e-mail with other combat veterans—an exchange with friends that would grow into the dedicated Facebook page, “Awesome Sh*t My Drill Sergeant Said.” But what began as a comedic outlet has evolved into a robust online community and support network that conducts fundraisers for and donates to military charities, has helped veterans struggling with PTSD and other issues, and on numerous occasions, literally saved lives.
Now, Caddy shares more great DS stories—most never before seen—in this humorous collection. Often profane, sometimes profound, yet always entertaining, these rants from real life soldiers are interspersed with lively sidebars, Top 10 lists, stories from fans, one-liners, and more.
For anyone who has suffered a hard-ass manager (in uniform or not), Awesome Sh*t My Drill Sergeant Said will add a much needed dose of humor to the day.
From the YouTube superstars and creators of Good Mythical Morning comes the ultimate guide to living a “Mythical” life, featuring stories and photos from their lifelong friendship, as well as awesomely illustrated guides, charts, and activities aimed at laughing more, learning more, and never taking yourself too seriously.
Thanks for reading this description. You’re obviously a curious person, which means you’ve already taken your first step towards achieving Mythicality. Lucky for you, opening this book is even more rewarding than reading about it online. Within its pages, you'll discover twenty ways to fill your life with curiosity, creativity, and tomfoolery, including Eat Something That Scares You, Make a Bold Hair Choice, Say “I Love You” Like It’s Never Been Said, and more. Along the way, you’ll also find:
· Embarrassing stories and photos we'll probably regret sharing
· Character Building: The Board Game
· An important message from the year 2075
· A quiz to help you determine if you should get a dog
· A eulogy you can read at any funeral
· Grownup merit badges to earn
· Contributions from Mythical Beasts, and much more
If you decide to read this book, be warned – there is a high likelihood of increased Mythicality in your life, which means you may soon find yourself laughing more, learning more, and not taking yourself too seriously. This mentality has been known to spread easily to friends and loved ones.
Despite having written twenty-three film scripts and concentrating his recent artistic attention almost exclusively on screenwriting, Pinter’s work for the screen has been paid sparse critical attention over the years. This book leaves little doubt, however, that Harold Pinter has made important contributions to the cinema, not the least of which has to do with the primary characteristics of his screenplays—in almost every case he has produced a script that is a work of art in its own right, one that can stand on its own.
Another installment in Tucker Max’s series of stories about his drunken debauchery and ridiculous antics. What began as a simple sentence on an obscure website, “My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole,” and developed into two infamously genre-defining books, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell and Assholes Finish First, ends here.
But as you should expect from Tucker by now, he is going out with a bang—literally and figuratively. In this book, you’ll learn:
* How to live and work in Cancun, while still enrolled in Law School
* Why Halloween is really awesome
* How to subtly torture a highstrung roommate until he explodes with furious anger over a misplaced condiment
* What really happened when a dirty pageant girl tried to sue Tucker because he told the truth
* Why you should never accept a homemade treat from a hippie with a van
As we’ve come to learn from Tucker, assholes do finish first...but everything comes with a price.
Though he grew up in a large Irish-Catholic family, Jim was satisfied with the nomadic, nocturnal life of a standup comedian, and was content to be "that weird uncle who lives in an apartment by himself in New York that everyone in the family speculates about." But all that changed when he married and found out his wife, Jeannie "is someone who gets pregnant looking at babies."
Five kids later, the comedian whose riffs on everything from Hot Pockets to Jesus have scored millions of hits on YouTube, started to tweet about the mistakes and victories of his life as a dad. Those tweets struck such a chord that he soon passed the million followers mark. But it turns out 140 characters are not enough to express all the joys and horrors of life with five kids, so hes' now sharing it all in Dad Is Fat.
From new parents to empty nesters to Jim's twenty-something fans, everyone will recognize their own families in these hilarious takes on everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to growing up in a big family ("I always assumed my father had six children so he could have a sufficient lawn crew") to changing diapers in the middle of the night ("like The Hurt Locker but much more dangerous") to bedtime (aka "Negotiating with Terrorists").
Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.
What do you do after you write a #1 bestselling book about your drunken, sexual misadventures that makes you rich and famous? Celebrate by getting more drunk and having insane amounts of sex, obviously. And pretty soon you’ve got another bestselling book on your hands.
Stuffed full of ridiculous stories of bad decisions, debauchery, and sexual recklessness, Assholes Finish First starts where I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell left off, then proceeds to “some next-level shit.”
You already know how women react to confidence, game, and vodka, but what happens when you add money and fame to the mix? You get answers to the hard questions you've never thought of asking:
• What’s it like to have sex with a midget? What about two midgets?
• What does it do to a man to watch a nineteen-year-old do wind sprints to sober up, so that she can have sex with you before her twin sister does?
• At what number of virgins does deflowering them stop being fun and start feeling like a job?
• When a girl you met three hours ago decides to tattoo your name on her body, what is the appropriate reaction?
The answers are inside, they are absurd and hilarious, and they are the product of one man's experiences:
His name is Tucker Max, and he is still an asshole.
Most people might not get angry at someone for going the speed limit. Or for liking coleslaw or cantaloupe. Or for someone not responding to a ridiculously hilarious text message. Or reality show recaps. But lucky for you, Rachel Ballinger is not most people. She will yell at people and inanimate objects. Why? Because that person or thing Pissed. Her. Off.
101 Things That Piss Me Off is a quick-witted and comical collection based on Rachel's hit Youtube series "You Know What Pisses Me Off", featuring never-before-heard rants, along with photographs and illustrations to help demonstrate. Using light-hearted anger, Rachel aims to show that being heated, passionate and expressive about things we care for is important. And fun.
GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD WINNER FOR BEST MEMOIR/AUTOBIOGRAPHY
FORBES TOP 5 BREAKTHROUGH BOOK OF 2015
In this intimate memoir of life beyond the camera, Connor Franta shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from small-town boy to Internet sensation—so far. Here, Connor offers a look at his Midwestern upbringing as one of four children in the home and one of five in the classroom; his struggles with identity, body image, and sexuality in his teen years; and his decision to finally pursue his creative and artistic passions in his early twenties, setting up his thrilling career as a YouTube personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and tastemaker.
Exploring his past with insight and humor, his present with humility, and his future with hope, Connor reveals his private struggles while providing heartfelt words of wisdom for young adults. His words will resonate with anyone coming of age in the digital era, but at the core is a timeless message for people of all ages: don’t be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.
This full-color collection includes photography and childhood clippings provided by Connor and is a must-have for anyone inspired by his journey.
From the writer and director of Knocked Up and the producer of Freaks and Geeks comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years—including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Roseanne Barr, Harold Ramis, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.
Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club—just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island—a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day and Steve Allen had already invented everything).
Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd—and he’s still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do.
Sick in the Head gathers Apatow’s most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime’s worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh.
Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal (and borderline-obsessive) book is Judd Apatow’s gift to comedy nerds everywhere.
Praise for Sick in the Head
“I can’t stop reading it. . . . I don’t want this book to end.”—Jimmy Fallon
“An essential for any comedy geek.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Fascinating . . . a collection of interviews with many of the great figures of comedy in the latter half of the twentieth century.”—The Washington Post
“Open this book anywhere, and you’re bound to find some interesting nugget from someone who has had you in stitches many, many times.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“An amazing read, full of insights and connections both creative and interpersonal.”—The New Yorker
“Fascinating and revelatory.”—Chicago Tribune
“Anyone even remotely interested in comedy or humanity should own this book.”—Will Ferrell
Bacon. McDonalds. Cinnabon. Hot Pockets. Kale. Stand-up comedian and author Jim Gaffigan has made his career rhapsodizing over the most treasured dishes of the American diet (“choking on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover”) and decrying the worst offenders (“kale is the early morning of foods”). Fans flocked to his New York Times bestselling book Dad is Fat to hear him riff on fatherhood but now, in his second book, he will give them what they really crave—hundreds of pages of his thoughts on all things culinary(ish). Insights such as: why he believes coconut water was invented to get people to stop drinking coconut water, why pretzel bread is #3 on his most important inventions of humankind (behind the wheel and the computer), and the answer to the age-old question “which animal is more delicious: the pig, the cow, or the bacon cheeseburger?”
It's no lie: Chelsea Handler loves to smoke out "dumbassness," the condition people suffer from that allows them to fall prey to her brand of complete and utter nonsense. Friends, family, co-workers--they've all been tricked by Chelsea into believing stories of total foolishness and into behaving like total fools. Luckily, they've lived to tell the tales and, for the very first time, write about them.
Jacob Tomsky never intended to go into the hotel business. As a new college graduate, armed only with a philosophy degree and a singular lack of career direction, he became a valet parker for a large luxury hotel in New Orleans. Yet, rising fast through the ranks, he ended up working in “hospitality” for more than a decade, doing everything from supervising the housekeeping department to manning the front desk at an upscale Manhattan hotel. He’s checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room-service meals, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late checkout, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your minibar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. In Heads in Beds he pulls back the curtain to expose the crazy and compelling reality of a multi-billion-dollar industry we think we know.
Heads in Beds is a funny, authentic, and irreverent chronicle of the highs and lows of hotel life, told by a keenly observant insider who’s seen it all. Prepare to be amused, shocked, and amazed as he spills the unwritten code of the bellhops, the antics that go on in the valet parking garage, the housekeeping department’s dirty little secrets—not to mention the shameless activities of the guests, who are rarely on their best behavior. Prepare to be moved, too, by his candor about what it’s like to toil in a highly demanding service industry at the luxury level, where people expect to get what they pay for (and often a whole lot more). Employees are poorly paid and frequently abused by coworkers and guests alike, and maintaining a semblance of sanity is a daily challenge.
Along his journey Tomsky also reveals the secrets of the industry, offering easy ways to get what you need from your hotel without any hassle. This book (and a timely proffered twenty-dollar bill) will help you score late checkouts and upgrades, get free stuff galore, and make that pay-per-view charge magically disappear. Thanks to him you’ll know how to get the very best service from any business that makes its money from putting heads in beds. Or, at the very least, you will keep the bellmen from taking your luggage into the camera-free back office and bashing it against the wall repeatedly.
Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based-life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born to New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.
Choose correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a hideous death by piranhas. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song. Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, and make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!
After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star.
When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend's bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey—one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in Kanye West Owes Me $300, Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as "Hot Karl," the most famous white rapper you've never heard of.
On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shares his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that "rap is for black people," and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio contest “The Roll Call”—a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early ‘00s. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and will.i.am. Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory.
Full of rollicking stories from his close brush with fame, Karp’s hilarious memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion—trying to crack the rap game—despite what everyone else says. It’s 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.
From the Hardcover edition.
Have you started to write your book, but weren't able to finish?
Are you ready to learn how to get a book published?
Discover inside secrets to:
- Writing a book fast
- Where and how to start writing your book
- Finding the time in your busy life to write and finish a book
Publishing a book the easy way
Achieving real and practical writing results
This book is for those of us who want to write regardless of what others say about our ability to write. It is for those of us who want a step-by-step guide to the process and strategies to finishing and publishing a book. The book is specially formulated to be a tool to support your success. If you want to avoid mistakes and prevent costly pitfalls, whether those pitfalls be measured in time and/or money wasted, then this book is for you. This book is all about achieving real and practical writing results.
You will only become a writer/author through the act of writing. This is your golden opportunity to stop talking about writing a book and actually do it. Only when your book is finished will you truly understand the authority and respect authorship demands and how the title of "author' can open up new channels of achievement and profit.
Learn How to Write a Book Outline
In Garrett Pierson's book "How to Write a Book ASAP" you'll find the system to creating a book outline that guarantees your success. Writing a book outline is essential to your book writing and publishing success and the process that Garrett lays out is by far the best for any author to follow.
Need to Write Your Book Fast?
Whether you want to write a book in a weekend or you desire to learn how to write a book in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days or even two years, this book will show you the exact steps to finishing your book fast. You will find all the right ingredients to get started, why you shouldn't start writing until you're ready, detailed strategies to organization and self-control, a crash course in the basic writing process, clear steps to finishing your book fast and staying laser focused, traditional publishing vs. Self-publishing and what is right for you, how to become the authority in your market when your book is finished, plus much more!
When reading this book you'll also discover:
How everyday people just like you and I, have finished and published their book in record time...
The ONE skill you need to master ... To leapfrog confusing details, and get started FAST...
How to craft a proven time management system to create all the time you need to write your book...
How you can finish your book in as little as 30 days using a 7-step system that really works...
5 roadblocks that 97% of writers encounter and how to overcome them immediately...
The BIGGEST MYTH of writing a book flattened and debunked instantly...
A multi-channel market positioning technique that can skyrocket you from no one to famous in no time at all...
And Much More...
You've waited long enough. Let's get started, you'll be glad you did!
Learn how to write a book ASAP. Click the buy button today.
Whoopi Goldberg has been an electrifying, envelope-pushing public figure of many stripes: acclaimed actor, comedienne, singer, songwriter, author, political activist and talk show host. Now, Whoopi will speak openly about why marriage isn't for everyone, how being alone can be satisfying, and how what's most important is understanding who you are and what makes you happy. Wise, funny, and conversation-starting, Whoopi's message is sure to resonate with the millions of people who struggle with relationships every day.
Goldberg says: "I get to hear from a lot of different people about relationships and this got me trying to figure out why the divorce rate is SO high. It occurred to me that as one who has done it badly often, I might have some insight. It's hard to really know the other person's agenda, but if someone says 'you complete me'...RUN!!!"
How does a betch make that happen?
Here are some highlights:
DON’T BE EASY.
DON’T BE POOR.
DON’T BE UGLY.
We didn’t come up with these life lessons. We’re just the ones who wrote it all down. This is not self-help. Self-help is for fat people and divorcées. This is how to deal with your problems when you have no problems. You’re welcome.
--San Francisco Examiner
For thousands of years, women have asked themselves: What is the deal with guys, anyway? What are they thinking? The answer, of course, is: virtually nothing. Deep down inside, guys are extremely shallow.
But that has not stopped Dave Barry from writing an entire book about them. If you're a guy--or if you're attempting to share a remote control with one--you need this book, because it deals frankly and semi-thoroughly with such important guy issues as:
The role of guys in world history, including the heretofore-unknown relationship between the discovery of North America and golf
Why the average guy can remember who won the 1960 World Series, but not necessarily the names of all his children
The Noogie Gene
Why guys cannot simultaneously think and look at breasts
Secret guy orgasm-delaying techniques, including the Margaret Thatcher Method
Why guys prefer to believe that there is no such thing as a prostate
And much, much more
"Whether you're a guy--or attempting to share a bathroom with one--Barry has some wacky words of wisdom for you."
From the Trade Paperback edition.
As edited by Dan Wakefield, this book reads like a narrative in the unique voice that made Vonnegut a hero to readers of all ages. At times hilarious, razor-sharp, freewheeling, and deeply serious, these reflections are ideal for anyone undergoing what Vonnegut would call their "long-delayed puberty ceremony"-marking the passage from student to full-time adult.
This book makes the perfect gift for high school or college graduates-or for parents and grandparents who remember Vonnegut fondly and want to connect with him in a new context.
An engaging no-holds-barred memoir that reveals Howie Mandel’s ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD—and how it has shaped his life
Howie Mandel is one of the most recognizable names in entertainment. But there are aspects of his personal and professional life he’s never talked about publicly—until now. Twelve years ago, Mandel first told the world about his “germophobia.” He’s recently started discussing his adult ADHD as well. Now, for the first time, he reveals the details of his struggle with these challenging disorders. He speaks candidly about the ways his condition has affected his personal life—as a son, husband, and father of three. Along the way, the versatile performer reveals “the deal” behind his remarkable rise through the show-business ranks, sharing never-before-told anecdotes about his career.
As heartfelt as it is hilarious, Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me is the story of one man’s effort to draw comic inspiration out of his darkest, most vulnerable places.
ON HER KILLER BOOBS:
I was on vacation with my family in the Catskills when out of nowhere, this bat flies right into my chest and then falls splat on the ground. Turned out, he died on impact.
ON FAMILY TRADITIONS:
Every Sunday, we do a feast for fifteen to twenty-five people. Last week, we went through seventy-five meatballs. Even by my family’s standards, that’s a lot of balls.
Swearing off lasagna to lose weight? You might fit into smaller jeans. But you’re still the same person— except hungrier and bitchier.
Would I rather cook for people or have sex? No hard-and-fast rule there. But I will say this: Cooking is always satisfying.
Not everyone has to be dragged kicking and screaming through adulthood. Dave Barry will help through this process—with his hilarious takes on parenting, changing self-image, the battle of the sexes, technology, health care, celebrityhood, and even vampires!
The emergency room is a cauldron of human emotions. The anguish, fear, need, and gore is wearing. As the protective layer of the self is weakened, the pain seeps through and begins to stain the soul. The protective layer grows thicker. But the patients’ needs call out to a sensitive heart, and a balance is struck. Survival in this place requires a deep kindness nestled in a very dark sense of humor, and a strong faith tempered with cynicism. The people who work in this place refer to it as the Pit.
What follows is a collection of true stories from all over the country about what the ER doors bring. These stories are irreverent, funny, horrifying, and heartbreaking. They will buffet you.
These stories are presented randomly, not neatly categorized as one might desire but in the disorderly manner in which the doors might bring them. They are written not by writers and reporters but in the words of the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who were there.—From the Introduction
In this valuable guide, Dennis O’Neil, a living legend in the comics industry, reveals his insider tricks and no-fail techniques for comic storytelling. Readers will discover the various methods of writing scripts (full script vs. plot first), as well as procedures for developing a story structure, building subplots, creating well-rounded characters, and much more. O’Neil also explains the many diverse formats for comic books, including graphic novels, maxi-series, mega-series, and adaptation. Of course, there are also dozens of guidelines for writing proposals to editors that command attention and get results.
In the age of Tinder, Hinge, or any other dating app that matches you with randos, the dating game has grown complex and confusing. Cue the Betches—first, we helped you win at basically everything, and now we’re going to help you win the most important battle a betch can face: dating.
Maybe you’re a Delusional Dater who needs to get in touch with reality (seriously, he’s just NOT that f***ing into you) or perhaps you’re a TGF who needs to stop being so desperate and start playing the game. Or maybe you’re just tired of swiping left and ready for the pro of your dreams to put a 15-karat diamond ring on it so you can stop pretending to do work. Either way, we’ve got you covered.
So put away the Ben & Jerry’s fro-yo (just because it’s low fat doesn’t mean it’s okay to eat the whole tub) and start dating like a winner.
Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins is Kathy’s funny, juicy index of all of the celebrities she has met during her many years in show business, bursting with never-before-told stories. Starting with Woody Allen and ending with Warren Zevon, Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins is a who’s who of pop culture: Leonardo DiCaprio, Nick Jonas, Kendall Jenner, Anna Kendrick, Lily Tomlin, Suge Knight, Barbra Streisand, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Maria Shriver, Jared Leto, Selena Gomez, Meghan Trainor, Macklemore, Bruno Mars, Aaron Paul, Pink, Pitbull, Sia, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera, and many more. Who would imagine that Kathy was an extra in a Michael Jackson commercial (guess which one)? That she and Salman Rushdie trade celebrity stories? That Donald Trump once drove Kathy and Liza Minelli around on a golf cart? That Sidney Poitier has a wicked sense of humor? That Demi Lovato has none? That David Letterman is still scared of Cher? That Channing Tatum is as polite as they come, and Tom Hanks might have the best perspective on fame of anyone? Kathy, that’s who. Kathy has met everyone, and after reading this book, you will feel as if you have, too.
Kathy Griffin has seen it all. Shocking and sidesplitting, Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins is an indispensable guide to the stars from one of our most beloved comedians. Can you handle it?
Today’s writers need more spunk than Strunk: whether it's the Great American e-mail, Madison Avenue advertising, or Grammy Award-winning rap lyrics, memorable writing must jump off the page. Copy veteran Constance Hale is on a mission to make creative communication, both the lyrical and the unlawful, an option for everyone.
With its crisp, witty tone, Sin and Syntax covers grammar’s ground rules while revealing countless unconventional syntax secrets (such as how to use—Gasp!—interjections or when to pepper your prose with slang) that make for sinfully good writing. Discover how to:
*Distinguish between words that are “pearls” and words that are “potatoes”
* Avoid “couch potato thinking” and “commitment phobia” when choosing verbs
* Use literary devices such as onomatopoeia, alliteration, and metaphor (and understand what you're doing)
Everyone needs to know how to write stylish prose—students, professionals, and seasoned writers alike. Whether you’re writing to sell, shock, or just sing, Sin and Syntax is the guide you need to improve your command of the English language.
You will find one of the great unspoken secrets of craftsmanship in Chapter 5, called "Markers: The Key to Swift Characterization." In Chapter 7, Stein reveals for he first time in print the wonderful system for creating instant conflict developed in the Playwrights Group of the Actors Studio, of which he was a founder. In "Secrets of Good Dialogue," the premier teacher of dialogue gives you the instantly useable techniques that not only make verbal exchanges exciting but that move the story forward immediately. You won't need to struggle with flashbacks or background material after you've read Chapter 14, which shows you how to bring background into the foreground.
Writers of both fiction and nonfiction will relish the amphetamines for speeding up pace, and the many ways to liposuction flab, as well as how to tap originality and recognize what successful titles have in common. You'll discover literary values that enhance writing, providing depth and resonance. You'll bless the day you read Chapters 32 and 33 and discover why revising by starting at page one can be a serious mistake, and how to revise without growing cold on your manuscript.
In the pages of this book, nonfiction writers will find a passport to the new revolution in journalism and a guide to using the techniques of fiction to enhance nonfiction. Fresh, useful, informative, and fun to read and reread, Stein on Writing is a book you will mark up, dog-ear, and cherish.
How did the movie The Shawshank Redemption fail at the box office but go on to gross more than $100 million as a cult classic?
How did The 48 Laws of Power miss the bestseller lists for more than a decade and still sell more than a million copies?
How is Iron Maiden still filling stadiums worldwide without radio or TV exposure forty years after the band was founded?
Bestselling author and marketer Ryan Holiday calls such works and artists perennial sellers. How do they endure and thrive while most books, movies, songs, video games, and pieces of art disappear quickly after initial success? How can we create and market creative works that achieve longevity?
Holiday explores this mystery by drawing on his extensive experience working with businesses and creators such as Google, American Apparel, and the author John Grisham, as well as his interviews with the minds behind some of the greatest perennial sellers of our time. His fascinating examples include:
• Rick Rubin, producer for Adele, Jay-Z, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who teaches his artists to push past short-term thinking and root their work in long-term inspiration.
• Tim Ferriss, whose books have sold millions of copies, in part because he rigorously tests every element of his work to see what generates the strongest response.
• Seinfeld, which managed to capture both the essence of the nineties and timeless themes to become a modern classic.
• Harper Lee, who transformed a muddled manuscript into To Kill a Mockingbird with the help of the right editor and feedback.
• Winston Churchill, Stefan Zweig, and Lady Gaga, who each learned the essential tenets of building a platform of loyal, dedicated supporters.
Holiday reveals that the key to success for many perennial sellers is that their creators don’t distinguish between the making and the marketing. The product’s purpose and audience are in the creator’s mind from day one. By thinking holistically about the relationship between their audience and their work, creators of all kinds improve the chances that their offerings will stand the test of time.
No one can teach talent, but the practical skills of the professional writer's craft can certainly be taught. The correct and imaginative use of these kills can shorten any beginner's apprenticeship by years.
This is the book for writers who want to turn rejection slips into cashable checks.
Ted L. Nancy's first book, Letters from a Nut, with an introduction by Jerry Seinfeld, now has more than 225,000 copies in print. In More Letters From a Nut, master-prankster Nancy shares even more sidesplittingly funny letters he has written and the unbelievable true responses he has received.
Your girlfriend dumped you, your car broke down, your boss passed you up for the big promotion. Life’s not fair, but there is one sure-fire way to ease your pain–laughing at someone else who had an even worse day than you did.
Enter the devastatingly funny world of F My Life, where calamity is comedy. Covering every disastrous pratfall in love, work, family-life, and more, F My Life proffers other people’s ruinous, real-life happenings to brighten your gloomiest day: someone getting dumped through a greeting card, ignored at their birthday party, or insulted by their own grandmother. Spanning everything from ironic twists of fate to down-right shameful moments, F My Life’s squirm-inducing stories are schadenfreude at its finest. So today, take solace in knowing that at least you’re not that guy. There now, don’t you feel better?
Today, my boyfriend broke up with me. I cried and told him that I loved him. He gave me a quarter and told me to call someone who cared. I threw the quarter in his face and ran. I waited for the bus, but when I got on, I realized I was 25 cents short of the fare. I walked home in the rain.
Today, my mom walked in on me looking at a 1978 Playboy. She asked if I found it in the basement. I said yes. Then I realized she was the centerfold.
Today, I got in line at the grocery store. The woman in front of me looked right at me, turned to her friend, and said “That reminds me, I forgot to get acne cream.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
FACT: The use of maggots to clean wounds has proven to be effective for patients who don't respond to traditional treatments.
FACT: The Icelandic dish hákarl is beheaded basking shark that is buried in the ground for six to 12 weeks to putrefy before it is eaten.
FACT: Used during the Dutch Revolt, rat torture involved trapping rodents under a bowl on a prisoner's stomach then heating the bowl's exterior so the animals would eat through the victim's flesh to try to escape.
FACT: The average person picks his nose five times every hour, occasionally eating what he picks.
The world is a scary place, and it gets scarier every day. From the creator of the bestselling 1,001 Facts That Will Scare The S#*t Out Of You comes this new collection of 1,004 (count 'em!) truly horrifying and horrifyingly true facts about the world around us.
From ancient medical practices to doomsday scenarios, to disgusting food from around the world and the entire terrifying state of Florida, the facts in Are You Sh*tting Me? are sure to entertain and disturb you at once. Unless of course you are already disturbed, in which case this is the book for you!
The talents he nurtured were known worldwide: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and numerous others. But Maxwell Perkins remained a mystery, a backstage presence who served these authors not only as editor but also as critic, career manager, moneylender, psychoanalyst, father-confessor, and friend.
This outstanding biography, a winner of the National Book Award, is the first to explore the fascinating life of this genius editor extraordinare—in both the professional and personal domains. It tells not only of Perkins’s stormy marriage, endearing eccentricities, and secret twenty-five-year romance with Elizabeth Lemmon, but also of his intensely intimate relationships with the leading literary lights of the twentieth century. It is, in the words of Newsweek, “an admirable biography of a wholly admirable man.”
The basis for the Major Motion Picture Genius, Starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Jude Law.
• The slower-than-deceased-livestock left-lane drivers who apparently believe that the right lane is sacred and must never come in direct contact with tires
• The parent-misery quotient of last-minute school science fair projects
• Day trading and other careers that never require you to take off your bathrobe
• The plague of the low-flow toilets, which is so bad that even in Miami, where you can buy drugs just by opening your front door and yelling “Hey! I want some crack,” you can’t even sell your first born to get a normal-flushing toilet
Dave Barry is not taking any of this sitting down. He’s going to stand up for the rights of all Americans against ridiculously named specialty “–chino” coffees and the IRS. Just as soon as he gets the darn toilet flushed.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In Dave's world, amazing but true adventures occur every day, as the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist investigates a ground-breaking anti-flatulence product recommended to him by a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; the ecologically dangerous shellfish attacking women's undergarments; and the epidemic of snakes and woodland creatures currently appearing in people's toilets. Dave's bad song contest required him to read thousands of entries from people like you; now, people like you could have the pleasure of being badgered all the bad songs that badger Dave.
Dave also participates in real-life form of investigative journalism that actually require him to leave the house: marching with the Lawn Rangers precision lawnmower drill team of Arcola, Illinois; playing lead guitar in an extremely mediocre rock band with Stephen King and other literary lights; and taking his little boat Buster from its happy berth in the Barry garage onto Miami's high seas, only to run it aground. He's even appeared in an episode of "Dave's World," the CBS television show based on his real life -- only taller -- in which he bids for an air conditioner.
Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up includes longer feature pieces by Dave in which many of the featured facts happen to be accurate. Now you can read Dave Barry on UFO thrillseekers and the Elvis lovers who hang out at Graceland -- all articles that show Dave at his best and smartest. Complete with illustrations by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jeff MacNelly, Dave Barry is Not Making This Up brings you straight into the truly twisted center of Dave's world.
On Buying His Son Sneakers: The salesperson's tone of voice carried the clear implication that he was going to call the Child Abuse Hotline if I didn't care enough, as a parent, to take out a second mortgage so I could purchase sufficient sneakerage for my son.... We need Congress to pass a law requiring the sneaker industry to return to the system we had when I was growing up, under which there was only one kind of sneakers, namely U.S. Keds, which were made from Army surplus tents and which cost about $10, or roughly $1 per pound.
On Being Left-Handed: According to the researchers, left-handers die sooner than right-handers because they have more accidents. I know why this is: We read books backward...This saves us a lot of time with murder mysteries, but it's a bad habit when we're reading, say, the instructions for operating a barbecue grill, and we begin with "Step 147: Ignite Gas."
On The Uses Of Exploding Pop-Tarts: When we detected incoming missiles, we'd simply hold the toaster levers down via some method (possibly involving Tom and Roseanne Arnold) and within a few minutes Whoom the country would be surrounded by a protective wall of flames, and the missiles would either burn up or get knocked off course and detonate harmlessly in some place like New Jersey.
On Readers' Reaction To The Bad Song Contest: Sometimes the voters were so angry that they weren't even sure of the name of the song they hated. There were votes against "These Boots Are Made for Stomping"; the Beach Boys' classic "Carolina Girls"; "I'm Nothing But a Hound Dog"; and "Ain't No Woman Like the One-Eyed Gott."
From the Hardcover edition.
Sit back and enjoy a collection of verbatim exchanges from the halls of justice, where defendants and plaintiffs, lawyers and witnesses, juries and judges, collide to produce memorably insane comedy.
A: You mumbled on the first part of that and I couldn't understand what you were saying. Could you repeat the question?
Q: I mumbled, did I? Well, we'll just ask the court reporter to read back what I said. She didn't indicate any problem understanding what I said, so obviously she understood every word. We'll just have her read my question back and find out if there was any mumbling going on. Madam reporter, would you be so kind?
Court Reporter: Mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble.
Good Prose is an inspiring book about writing—about the creation of good prose—and the record of a warm and productive literary friendship. The story begins in 1973, in the offices of The Atlantic Monthly, in Boston, where a young freelance writer named Tracy Kidder came looking for an assignment. Richard Todd was the editor who encouraged him. From that article grew a lifelong association. Before long, Kidder’s The Soul of a New Machine, the first book the two worked on together, had won the Pulitzer Prize. It was a heady moment, but for Kidder and Todd it was only the beginning of an education in the art of nonfiction.
Good Prose explores three major nonfiction forms: narratives, essays, and memoirs. Kidder and Todd draw candidly, sometimes comically, on their own experience—their mistakes as well as accomplishments—to demonstrate the pragmatic ways in which creative problems get solved. They also turn to the works of a wide range of writers, novelists as well as nonfiction writers, for models and instruction. They talk about narrative strategies (and about how to find a story, sometimes in surprising places), about the ethical challenges of nonfiction, and about the realities of making a living as a writer. They offer some tart and emphatic opinions on the current state of language. And they take a clear stand against playing loose with the facts. Their advice is always grounded in the practical world of writing and publishing.
Good Prose—like Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style—is a succinct, authoritative, and entertaining arbiter of standards in contemporary writing, offering guidance for the professional writer and the beginner alike. This wise and useful book is the perfect companion for anyone who loves to read good books and longs to write one.
Praise for Good Prose
“Smart, lucid, and entertaining.”—The Boston Globe
“You are in such good company—congenial, ironic, a bit old-school—that you’re happy to follow [Kidder and Todd] where they lead you.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] well-structured, to-the-point, genuinely useful, and fun-to-read guide to writing narrative nonfiction, essays, and memoir . . . Crisp, informative, and mind-expanding.”—Booklist
“A gem . . . The finer points of creative nonfiction are molded into an inspiring read that will affect the would-be writer as much as Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird or Stephen King’s On Writing. . . . This is a must read for nonfiction writers.”—Library Journal
“As approachable and applicable as any writing manual available.”—Associated Press
From the Hardcover edition.
Honoring those who improve our gene pool by inadvertently removing themselves fromit, The Darwin Awards III includes more than one hundred brand new, hilariously macabre mishaps and misadventures.
From a sheriff who inadvertently shot himself twice, to the insurance defrauder who amputated his leg with a chainsaw; from a farmer who avoided bee stings by sealing his head in a plastic bag to the man crushed by the branch he just trimmed, The Darwin Awards III proves again that when it comes to stupidity, no species does it like we do.
Featuring scientific and safety discussions and filled with illustrations depicting inspiring examples of evolution in action, The Darwin Awards III shows once more how uncommon common sense still is.
Black pulls no punches in this hilariously honest memoir, a follow-up to the acclaimed You’re Not Doing It Right. When Michael’s mother receives a harrowing medical diagnosis, Michael begins a laugh-out-loud examination of health, happiness, and the human body from the perspective of a settled (and sedentary) husband and father of two. With the trademark wit that has made Michael’s other books popular favorites, Navel Gazing is a heartfelt and poignant memoir about coming to terms with growing older and the inevitability of death. It is also a self-deprecating and deliciously frank remembrance of exercise failures, finding out he is part Neanderthal, and almost throwing down with fellow author Tucker Max.
Michael Ian Black may not have the perfect body. Or be the perfect father. Or husband. Or son. But you will laugh as you recognize yourself in his attempts to do better. And, inevitably, falling short. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll call your mom.
This remarkably inexpensive volume gathers together hundreds of Twain's most memorable quips and comments on life, love, history, culture, travel, and a diversity of other topics that occupied his thoughts over 50 years of writing and lecturing.
An invaluable, ready reference for writers, speakers, and others in search of amusing and insightful quotes, this entertaining and thought-provoking compilation is also an ideal introduction to Twain's inimitable style and thought.
— Entertainment Weekly
"I’m British, so I’m medically dead inside, but even I can’t help but open up whenever I talk to Marc. He uses his honestly like a scalpel, cutting himself open in front of anyone he’s talking to, and in doing so, invites you to do the same."
From the beloved and wildly popular podcast WTF with Marc Maron comes a book of intimate, hilarious and life changing conversations with some of the funniest, and most important people in the world like you’ve never heard them before. Waiting for the Punch features the stories and thoughts of such luminaries as Amy Schumer, Mel Brooks, Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Sir Ian McKellen, Lorne Michels, Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham, Jimmy Fallon, RuPaul, Louis CK, David Sedaris, Bruce Springsteen, and President Obama.
This book is not simply a collection of these interviews, but instead something more wondrous: a running narrative of the world’s most recognizable names working through the problems, doubts, joys, triumphs, and failures we all experience. With each chapter covering a different topic: parenting, childhood, relationships, sexuality, success, failures and others, Punch becomes a sort of everyman’s guide to life. Barack Obama candidly discusses the challenges of the presidency, and the bittersweet moments of seeing your children grow up. Amy Schumer recounts the pain of her parents’ divorce. Molly Shannon uproariously remembers the time she and her best friend hopped a plane from Ohio to New York City when they were twelve on a dare. Amy Poehler dishes on why just because you become a parent doesn’t mean you have to like anybody else’s kids but your own. Bruce Springsteen expounds on the dual nature of desperation to both motivate and devastate.
Full of stories that are at once laugh-out loud funny, heartbreakingly honest, joyous, tragic and powerful, Waiting for the Punch is a book to be read from cover to cover, but it is also one to return to again and again.
If you think the wildest, wackiest stories that Carl Hiaasen can tell have all made it into his hilarious, bestselling novels, think again. Dance of the Reptiles collects the best of Hiaasen’s Miami Herald columns, which lay bare the stories--large and small--that demonstrate anew that truth is far stranger than fiction.
Hiaasen offers his commentary—indignant, disbelieving, sometimes righteously angry, and frequently hilarious—on burning issues like animal welfare, polluted rivers, and the broken criminal justice system as well as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Bernie Madoff's trial, and the shenanigans of the recent presidential elections. Whether or not you have read Carl Hiaasen before, you are in for a wild ride.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Secrets of a Freelance Writer has long been the authoritative guide to making big money as a commercial freelance writer. In this new edition, you'll find out how to make $100,000 a year—or much more—writing ads, annual reports, brochures, catalogs, newsletters, direct mail, Web pages, CD-ROMs, press releases, and other projects for corporations, small businesses, associations, nonprofit organizations, the government, and other commercial clients.
You'll also learn how to start out as a freelancer, market yourself to clients, create a successful personal Web site to cull more sales leads, follow up on potential customers to build your practice, and run your business on a day-to-day basis.
Secrets of a Freelance Writer is the definitive guide to building a successful and lucrative freelance writing practice.