Not Quite a Genius

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“Highly recommended reading for those hungry for surprise” (A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author)—a rollicking collection of personal stories and essays on relationships, technology, and contemporary society from the news editor at Funny or Die and former artistic director at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.

This hilarious collection of essays spans a wide variety of topics. There’s the open letter to Charles Manson, a brave archeologist’s journey into a suburban man cave, and a long overdue, sternly worded letter from Leif Erikson to Christopher Columbus. Walt Whitman even teaches a spin class.

Nate Dern’s razor-sharp eye examines modern society and technology, man buns, dating apps, and juicing crazes. Anyone who’s ever scrunched their eyes at WiFi Terms & Conditions, listened to the reasons that led a vegetarian to give up meat, or looked on in horror at the evolving audacity of reality TV will appreciate Dern’s wicked and funny take on modern life. Not Quite a Genius is fun, and funny, “a breath of fresh air that you can eat up bit by bit or all at once” (Abbi Jacobson, cocreator and star of Broad City).
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About the author

Nate Dern grew up in the mountains of Evergreen, Colorado, where he enjoyed running on dirt trails and reading Kurt Vonnegut. Formerly the artistic director at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, Dern is the current news editor at Funny or Die. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their cat, Renly Baratheon. Not Quite a Genius is his first book.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Aug 8, 2017
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781501122224
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Humor / Form / Essays
Humor / Topic / Men, Women & Relationships
Humor / Topic / Politics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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I think it’s really cool to be on a jury. Take the O.J. jury—the people on that jury got book deals, and they got on Nightline, and some of them even got to meet Greta Van Susteren! They were always being written about in the newspapers: “Juror No. 1, a thirty-six-year-old Caucasian male with a master’s degree who works for a high-tech corporation.” Throw in a line about how “he likes to hunt and fish,” and you’ve got The Dating Game.

I wonder what they’d write about me. “Juror No. 4, a fat, bald, old, whiny Caucasian man who dresses like a vagrant and has complained incessantly about the texture of the toilet paper in the jury lavatory.”


I try to diet, but unfortunately I’ve come to the point in life where nearly everything disgusts or disappoints me except food.

And so I eat all day long. If I had a family crest, at this point it would be a man with a chicken breast in one hand, a cheeseburger in the other, and a garland of sour-cream-and-onion potato chips around his head.


Tony Kornheiser is back. The celebrated Washington Post columnist and ESPN radio and TV personality relates his experience as an OnStar user, a proud new owner of the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ, and a “phone-a-friend” on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. And in between, he dishes out political commentary on Monica and Bill and Al and George W.

Read all about his quest to fit into size 36 Dockers and his struggle to buy holiday gifts. And know that in the process you’re handing this Kornheiser guy the dough for these columns twice.


I got into the stock market late. I was deep in my forties and I still had all my money in the bank, earning 2 percent, like it was low-fat milk. My friends laughed at me. Even the people at the bank laughed at me—they had all their money in the market.

So I gave my money to a financial adviser, who promised me he would get me a greater return than the bank.

A baboon could do that, Tony.

Yes, but would a baboon give me steak knives?

—from I’m Back for More Cash
“What caused the American Revolution? This is indeed a rhetorical question that for many years historians have begun chapters with. As well they should. For the American Revolution is without a doubt the single most important historical event to occur in this nation except of course for Super Bowl III (Jets 16. Colts 7. This historian won $35).”

So goes the skewed sensibility, the muddied mind, the bent pen of one of America's funniest writers, Dave Barry. This time his subject is U.S. history, the way it's never been told before. Every single momentous event and crucial moment is covered, including . . . 

• The Birthing Contractions of a Nation
• Kicking Some British Butt
• Barging Westward
• The Forging of a Large, Wasteful Bureaucracy
• Deep Economic Doo-doo
• The Fifties: Peace, Prosperity, Brain Death

. . . and right up through the scintillating Reagan-Bush years, during which, Mr. Barry notes, America is steadfastly Napping Toward Glory.

If you love to laugh, if you love your country, if you are unaware that “the Sixth Amendment states that if you are accused of a crime, you have a right to a trial before a jury of people too stupid to get out of jury duty,” Dave Barry Slept Here is the book you've been waiting for since 1776. Or at least since Super Bowl III.

Praise for Dave Barry Slept Here

“A dazzling performance . . . Barry is brilliant.”—The Washington Post Book World

“[Dave] Barry turns his formidable wit to the subject of American history, with a result reminiscent of the Reduced Shakespeare Company: The better you know the original, the funnier it gets.”—Los Angeles Times

“I fear that Mr. Barry's dream of making millions of dollars through mass sales of his book to a captive audience of innocent schoolchildren will not be realized, and he will have to be content with making readers laugh a lot, as this one did.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth to see it like it is, and tell it like it is.” —Richard Nixon
 
“I believe America is the solution to the world’s problems.” —Rush Limbaugh
 
“SHUT THE F#CK UP.” —D. L. Hughley

The American dream is in dire need of a wake-up call. A f*cked up society is like an addict: if you are in denial, then things are going to keep getting worse until you hit bottom. According to D. L. Hughley, that's the direction in which America is headed.

In I Want You to Shut the F*ck Up, D.L. explains how we've become a nation of fat sissies playing Chicken Little, but in reverse: The sky is falling, but we're supposed to act like everything's fine. D.L. just points out the sobering facts: there is no standard of living by which we are the best. In terms of life expectancy, we're 36th--tied with Cuba; in terms of literacy, we're 20th--behind Kazakhstan. We sit here laughing at Borat, but the Kazakhs are sitting in their country reading.

Things are bad now and they're only going to get worse. Unless, of course, you sit down, shut the f*ck up, and listen to what D. L. Hughley has to say. I Want You to Shut the F*ck Up is a slap to the political senses, a much needed ass-kicking of the American sense of entitlement.  In these pages, D. L. Hughley calls it like he sees it, offering his hilarious yet insightful thoughts on:

- Our supposedly post-racial society
- The similarities between America the superpower and the drunk idiot at the bar
- Why Bill Clinton is more a product of a black upbringing than Barack Obama
- That apologizing is not the answer to controversy, especially when you meant what you said 
- Why civil rights leaders are largely to blame for black people not being represented on television
- Why getting your ghetto pass revoked should be seen as a good thing, not something to be ashamed of 
- And how hard it is to be married to a black woman
Behind every awful, dangerous decision lurks one evil beast: the Cool.  
 
From politics to the personal, from fashion to food, from the campus to the locker room, the desire to be cool has infected  all aspects of our lives. At its most harmless, it is annoying. At its worst, it is deadly, on a massive scale.  The Cool are the termites of life, infiltrating every nook and cranny and destroying it from within. The Cool report the news, write the scripts, teach our children, run our government—and each day they pass judgment on those who don’t worship at the altar of their coolness.  The cool fawn over terrorists, mock the military, and denigrate employers. They are, in short, awful people. 

From what we wear and what we eat, to what we smoke and who we poke, pop culture is crafted and manipulated by the cool and, to Greg Gutfeld, that's Not Cool. 

How do the cool enslave you? By convincing you that: 
- If you don't agree with them no one will like you. 
- If you don't follow them you will miss out on life. 
- If you don't listen to them you will die a lonely loser

How do you vanquish the cool and discover your own true self? Read this book. 
 
In  Not Cool,  Greg Gutfeld, bestselling author of The Joy Of Hate, lays out the battle plan for reclaiming the real American ideal of cool--building businesses, protecting freedom at home and abroad, taking responsibility for your actions, and leaving other people alone to live as they damn well please.  Not Cool fights back against the culture of phonies, elitists, and creeps who want your soul. It’s not a book, it’s a weapon—and one should be armed with it at all times.
The Fountain of Humor for Seniors available as an eBook and in Audio files is a collection of jokes and stories targeted to seniors 50]. These jokes can be read and listened to by the senior him- or herself or read and/or played to them by the people who live, work or love them. The material is helpful to mind and body. It is funny, tasteful and likely to make most seniors laugh out loud.
It's all about feeling good, feeling much better, reducing sad feelings, healing mind and body. All anyone needs to do is to laugh loud and long to feel good and better. Yes, it works. It's not a cure-all for aging and not a Fountain of Youth . . . simply a Fountain of Humora?[ for seniors. It is a supply of funny jokes and stories that really helps, for a while, to reduce the depression about aging, the loss of loved ones, chronic illness, loss of sight, sound and mobility.
Our jokes and stories are provided through our unique process of selection, customization and cleansing by our "Joke-Jury." This combined publication of text and audio has been designed so that:
A blind or partially blind person can hear the jokes and laugh.
A deaf or partially deaf person can see the jokes and laugh.
A healthy person can see and hear the jokes and laugh.
Even the dying find something to laugh about for a moment in time and will ask for more jokes.
My father-in-law, terminally ill with cancer, called often in his last year asking my wife and me to read a joke or two to him. Hearing him laugh from miles away also opened the door to comforting conversation and made it easier for all of us. This is mighty important for all of us.
An 85-year-old, losing her mental capacities, repeatedly asked for our jokes to be read to her. It comforted her right up to her passing.
A professional woman purchased the set for "signing" to groups of deaf people. She works with them as the audio version plays the jokes for her.
Instructions are provided on how to read them to diverse senior audiences in institutional settings or families or to their friends.
We believe that the elderly, infirmed, families or just two people enjoy the togetherness and communal feeling that laughter brings. People love having jokes read to them. That "legitimizes" laughing out loud. Everyone wants to laugh, whether they are kids age 1 or 100.
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