There are several new books about which you should be aware. Most have just published and one is forthcoming but they are all likely to be of interest to 'reeders' of this blog. And so:
How To Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
Several years ago, while I was promoting a book entitled Your Negro Tour Guide, I had the good fortune to meet Baratunde, at the time a self-published author, stand-up comic and political blogger. He continues to blog and perform stand-up but he has gotten bigger, especially since becoming digital director of The Onion and making himself a presence on Twitter, on campuses, on TV and all over the Web. Imagine how thrilled I was to hear him interviewed on Fresh Air this week to discuss How To Be Black from bigfamouspublisher, Harper Collins.
(Listen here: http://goo.gl/ILnMu)
His history is an amazing amalgam of culture clashes--raised in DC during the heyday of crack by a crunchy, pan-Afrikan mother, his father killed in a drug deal, Baratunde attended the tony Sidwell Friends school and later Harvard. Needless to say, he is smart and insightful and, best of all, funny. I so look forward to reading the book in its entirety. The author photo alone is worth the price of the book.
Honey Badger Don't Care: Randall's Guide to Crazy, Nastyass Animals
YouTube phenom Randall has had millions of hits since last spring with the hilarious Honey Badger video. Now comes the inevitable, cross-platform book. Dangerous waters here since how is a video with narration going to succeed as a book?
Voice, baby. That distinctive Randall voice. You can almost hear the lisping, dramatic Randall describing the assemblage of strange creatures through words and color photos. It's funny and informative and a great gift for the legion of Honey Badger devotees. (Thanks to the good folks at NetGalley and publisher Andrews McMeel for online access to the book)
I love Joe Meno and you should, too. He writes with an honesty and a sadness I find remarkable. Office Girl won't be out until this summer but check out his other work in the meantime, especially The Boy Detective Fails. The good folks at Akashic Books will be glad to help you out.