Staff Picks: Ho, Ho, Ha! – Danielle’s Picks

Picture of green elf shoes and stripped socks from the knee down.I do not like re-reading books or re-watching movies. Usually, once is good enough for me, and I don’t like familiarity or predictability in books that I read. However, overriding my inner curmudgeon, is my desire — every once in a while — to laugh.  So, for the past several years I have re-read my favorite holiday book, Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.  Some people like Christmas carols, but I prefer to listen to the stories of Sedaris’s experiences working as an a department store elf during the holiday.  Many readers may recognize Sedaris as a regular contributor to the NPR radio show,This American Life. Sedaris’s sardonic wit has me regularly laughing so loud at night that I wake sleeping children that were nestled all snug in their beds, disturbing the visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.

Sedaris has more NPR contributions you can listen to on the NPR website, read by the author himself. I have neglected to mention the pleasure of listening to Sedaris read his own material. NLS narrators are great, but  I can think of no better time I have had listening to an author, than when when I listen to Sedaris read his essays and short stories. We have one commercial version of the author reading his own book, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (DB   58825, available for download) in the TBP collection. Please visit the link to NPR web site below to listen to him tell his stories himself, including recent contributions: http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/lists/sedaris/ , or call us to order

HOLIDAYS ON ICE by Sedaris, David (1997)

Six short Christmas tales by humorist, playwright, and National Public Radio commentator. Sedaris relives his stint as a department store elf in “SantaLand Diaries.” In “Seasons Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!,” a housewife facing homicide charges updates loved ones in her annual holiday newsletter. Bestseller. 1997.

BR   15182,  DB   68134,  RC   68134,

If you enjoy Holidays on Ice, he has several other books in our collection that will make make you laugh just as much. Two other books I have recently enjoyed are by women in comedy TV, Tina Fey and Mindy KalingThese women prove exactly why they are queens of comedy TV in these light, smart, and funny books.

IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? AND OTHER CONCERNS by Kaling, Mindy (2011)

Known for her role as Kelly Kapoor on television’s The Office–and her Emmy-nominated writing for the show–Kaling expands on her blog and tweets with tidbits about sitcom life, her “normal American woman” body type, fashion faux pas, and her eleven favorite moments in comedy. Some strong language. Bestseller.  2011.

DB   74046      

BOSSYPANTS  by Fey, Tina (2011)

Creator and star of the sitcom 30 Rock uses humor to describe her home life and career. Discusses her training in improv; celebrating her chubby phase; working on Saturday Night Live as a writer, actor, and Sarah Palin impersonator;  and dealing with breast-feeding fanatics. Strong language. Bestseller.  2011.

DB   72819   17    

Eat, Drink, and Be … Frugal?

The holidays are here. It’s the season for eating, drinking, being merry and exchanging gifts with friends and loved ones. Unfortunately it’s also the season for overspending. Money magazine recently interviewed two experts on the pitfalls of holiday shopping:  “Blame it on heightened emotional vulnerability, says psychology professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. ‘There’s a lot of guilt and social comparison in holiday shopping,’ she explains, adding that people often compensate by exercising their purchasing muscles. What’s more, ‘if you see everyone out having fun while spending, you mimic the behavior,’ says Mary Gresham, a psychologist specializing in financial issues.”

Is the siren-song of your credit cards too seductive? Is your spending way too jolly?  Does your blood pressure go up just thinking about the bills you’ll receive in January? Read one of these great titles about keeping your debt under control and you out of trouble all year long.

CLARK HOWARD’S LIVING LARGE IN LEAN TIMES: TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY-PLUS WAYS TO BUY SMARTER, SPEND SMARTER, AND SAVE MONEY

By Clark Howard. 2011   DB   73952

Television and radio consumer advocate’s guide to saving money offers advice on range of topics from cars to homes to travel. The first   chapter covers changes that could have immediate effects on personal finances. Other chapters include tips for buying utilities, insurance, mortgages, health care, and education. Bestseller.

CHEAPSKATE NEXT DOOR: THE SURPRISING SECRETS OF AMERICANS LIVING HAPPILY BELOW THEIR MEANS

By Jeff Yeager 2010         DB   72384

Provides practical advice and tips on ways to live on less than you earn. Suggests a change in attitude about money, possessions, and life.

BUYOLOGY: TRUTH AND LIES ABOUT WHY WE BUY

By Martin Lindstrom 2008             DB   68128             RC   68128

Marketing expert explains “buyology,” his term for the subconscious thoughts, feelings, and desires that drive consumer decisions.  Discusses findings from a three-year, multimillion-dollar neuromarketing experiment that gauged responses to products and advertisements and tried to determine the ways sex, religion, subliminal messages, and bodily senses influence purchasing.

ABC’S OF GETTING OUT OF DEBT: TURN BAD DEBT INTO GOOD DEBT AND BAD CREDIT INTO GOOD CREDIT

by Garrett Sutton. 2004.    DB 60539  DLD   DX 60539   RC 60539

Advice on using debt wisely. Author describes the difference between good debt and bad debt, explains credit scores and reports, and     suggests ways to repair one’s finances and avoid scams. Includes case-studies, sample letters, credit reports, and resources.

CONSUMER REPORTS (monthly publication)

In-depth articles that rate consumer products tested for quality, durability, and safety; also contains general-interest articles on such topics as health and money management.

Money (monthly publication)

Articles on money management, consumer, and family issues; includes regular columns with news and advice on jobs, taxes, Social Security, investments, products, and services.