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Self-Help Humor


Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book (Little Golden Books (Random House))

Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book (Little Golden Books (Random House)) Lowest new price: $4.66
Lowest used price: $1.94
List price: $9.99
Author: Diane E. Muldrow

A humorous "guide to life" for grown-ups! One day, Diane Muldrow, a longtime editor of the iconic Little Golden Books, realized that, despite their whimsical appearance, there was hardly a real-life situation that hadn't been covered in the more than 70-year-old line of children's books—from managing money, to the importance of exercise, to finding contentment in the simplest things. In this age of debt, depression, and diabetes, could we adults use a refresher course in the gentle lessons from these adorable books, she wondered—a "Little Golden guide to life"? Yes, we could! Muldrow's humorous yet practical tips for getting the most out of life ("Don't forget to enjoy your wedding!" "Be a hugger." "Sweatpants are bad for morale."), drawn from more than 60 stories, are paired with delightful images from these best-loved children's books of all time—among them The Poky Little Puppy, Pantaloon, Mister Dog, Nurse Nancy, We Help Mommy, Five Pennies to Spend, and The Little Red Hen. The Golden greats of children's illustration are represented here as well: Richard Scarry, Garth Williams, Eloise Wilkin, J. P. Miller, and Mary Blair, among many others. Sure to bring memories and a smile, this book is a perfect gift for baby boomers, recent grads, lovers of children's literature—or anyone who cherishes the sturdy little books with the shiny cardboard covers and gold foil spines!


 

 

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Fight Club: A Novel

Fight Club: A Novel Lowest new price: $7.99
Lowest used price: $3.10
List price: $14.95
Author: Chuck Palahniuk

The first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club.

In his debut novel, Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation's most visionary satirist. ?Fight Club?'s estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret boxing matches in the basement of bars. There two men fight "as long as they have to." A gloriously original work that exposes what is at the core of our modern world.

The only person who gets called Ballardesque more often than Chuck Palahniuk is, well... J.G. Ballard. So, does Portland, Oregon's "torchbearer for the nihilistic generation" deserve that kind of treatment? Yes and no. There is a resemblance between Fight Club and works such as Crash and Cocaine Nights in that both see the innocuous mundanities of everyday life as nothing more than the severely loosened cap on a seething underworld cauldron of unchecked impulse and social atrocity. Welcome to the present-day U.S. of A. As Ballard's characters get their jollies from staging automobile accidents, Palahniuk's yuppies unwind from a day at the office by organizing bloodsport rings and selling soap to fund anarchist overthrows. Let's just say that neither of these guys are going to be called in to do a Full House script rewrite any time soon.

But while the ingredients are the same, Ballard and Palahniuk bake at completely different temperatures. Unlike his British counterpart, who tends to cast his American protagonists in a chilly light, holding them close enough to dissect but far enough away to eliminate any possibility of kinship, Palahniuk isn't happy unless he's first-person front and center, completely entangled in the whole sordid mess. An intensely psychological novel that never runs the risk of becoming clinical, Fight Club is about both the dangers of loyalty and the dreaded weight of leadership, the desire to band together and the compulsion to head for the hills. In short, it's about the pride and horror of being an American, rendered in lethally swift prose. Fight Club's protagonist might occasionally become foggy about who he truly is (you'll see what I mean), but one thing is for certain: you're not likely to forget the book's author. Never mind Ballardesque. Palahniukian here we come! --Bob Michaels

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The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 5)

The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 5) Lowest new price: $2.48
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $13.95
Author: Jeff Kinney
Brand: Amulet Books

Greg Heffley has always been in a hurry to grow up. But is getting older really all it’s cracked up to be?

 

Greg suddenly finds himself dealing with the pressures of boy-girl parties, increased responsibilities, and even the awkward changes that come with getting older—all without his best friend, Rowley, at his side. Can Greg make it through on his own? Or will he have to face the “ugly truth”?

Features:

  • Used Book in Good Condition

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What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir Lowest new price: $7.30
Lowest used price: $7.34
List price: $14.99
Author: Kristin Newman

A funny, sexy, and ultimately poignant memoir about mastering the art of the "vacationship." 

Kristin Newman spent much of her twenties and thirties buying dresses to wear to her friends' weddings and baby showers. Not ready to settle down and in need of an escape from her fast-paced job as a sitcom writer, Kristin instead traveled the world, often alone, for several weeks each year. In addition to falling madly in love with the planet, Kristin fell for many attractive locals, men who could provide the emotional connection she wanted without costing her the freedom she desperately needed. 
Kristin introduces readers to the Israeli bartenders, Finnish poker players, sexy Bedouins, and Argentinean priests who helped her transform into "Kristin-Adjacent" on the road–a slower, softer, and, yes, sluttier version of herself at home. Equal parts laugh-out-loud storytelling, candid reflection, and wanderlust-inspiring travel tales, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is a compelling debut that will have readers rushing to renew their passports. 

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Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck

Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck Lowest new price: $7.52
Lowest used price: $8.47
List price: $14.99
Author: Amy Alkon

"Miss Manners with Fangs." —LA Weekly

We live in a world that’s very different from the one in which Emily Post came of age. Many of us who are nice (but who also sometimes say "f*ck") are frequently at a loss for guidelines about how to be a good person who deals effectively with the increasing onslaught of rudeness we all encounter.
To lead us out of the miasma of modern mannerlessness, science-based and bitingly funny syndicated advice columnist Amy Alkon rips the doily off the manners genre and gives us a new set of rules for our twenty-first century lives.
With wit, style, and a dash of snark, Alkon explains that we now live in societies too big for our brains, lacking the constraints on bad behavior that we had in the small bands we evolved in. Alkon shows us how we can reimpose those constraints, how we can avoid being one of the rude, and how to stand up to those who are.
Foregoing prissy advice on which utensil to use, Alkon answers the twenty-first century’s most burning questions about manners, including:

* Why do many people, especially those under forty, now find spontaneous phone calls rude?

* What can you tape to your mailbox to stop dog walkers from letting their pooch violate your lawn?

* How do you shut up the guy in the pharmacy line with his cellphone on speaker?

* What small gift to your new neighbors might make them think twice about playing Metallica at 3 a.m.?

Combining science with more than a touch of humor, Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck is destined to give good old Emily a shove off the etiquette shelf (if that’s not too rude to say).

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Nice Is Just a Place in France: How to Win at Basically Everything

Nice Is Just a Place in France: How to Win at Basically Everything Lowest new price: $8.51
Lowest used price: $8.47
List price: $16.00
Author: The Betches

LOOK, MAYBE YOU’RE A NICE GIRL, but we’re guessing you’re more like us or you probably wouldn’t have picked up this book. Not that we have a problem with girls who are nice people. But being nice is just not the way to get what you want. And this book is about getting what you want. Not in like a finding happiness, giving back to the world, being grateful for what you have sort of way. But in a ruling your world, being the most desired, powerful badass in the room way, so you can come out on top of any situation: guys, career, friends, enemies, whatever.

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.

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Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace Lowest new price: $1.53
Lowest used price: $1.56
List price: $23.00
Author: Gordon MacKenzie

Creativity is crucial to business success. But too often, even the most innovative organization quickly becomes a "giant hairball"--a tangled, impenetrable mass of rules, traditions, and systems, all based on what worked in the past--that exercises an inexorable pull into mediocrity. Gordon McKenzie worked at Hallmark Cards for thirty years, many of which he spent inspiring his colleagues to slip the bonds of Corporate Normalcy and rise to orbit--to a mode of dreaming, daring and doing above and beyond the rubber-stamp confines of the administrative mind-set. In his deeply funny book, exuberantly illustrated in full color, he shares the story of his own professional evolution, together with lessons on awakening and fostering creative genius.

Originally self-published and already a business "cult classic", this personally empowering and entertaining look at the intersection between human creativity and the bottom line is now widely available to bookstores. It will be a must-read for any manager looking for new ways to invigorate employees, and any professional who wants to achieve his or her best, most self-expressive, most creative and fulfilling work.

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Take My Advice: Letters to the Next Generation from People Who Know a Thing or Two

Take My Advice: Letters to the Next Generation from People Who Know a Thing or Two Lowest new price: $12.35
Lowest used price: $15.47
List price: $17.95
Brand: Brand: Simon Schuster

Take Their Advice:

Camille Paglia • Wayne Koestenbaum • Jonathan Ames • Jennifer Belle • Howard Zinn • Joe Dallesandro • Bruce LaBruce • Dr. Laura Schlessinger • Tom Robbins • Judith Butler • Martha Nussbaum Horst • William S. Burroughs • Larry Niven • Veruschka • Lydia Lunch • Spalding Gray • Eileen Myles • Roger Scruton • Ken Kesey Mary Gaitskill • Richard Powers • Mark Dery • Florence King • Mark Simpson • Bob Shacochis • Joanna Scott • Quentin Crisp • Carolyn Chute • Michael Thomas Ford • Alexander Theroux • George Saunders • Charles Baxter • Ian Shoales • Fay Weldon • Bruce Benderson • Scott Russell Sanders • John Shirley • Dr. John Money • Cindy Sherman • Richard Meltzer • Gene Wolfe • Abbie Hoffman • Diane Wakowski • Richard Taylor • Bette Davis • Arthur Nersesian • Jim Harrison • Martha Gellhorn • Lucius Shepard • Dan Jenkins • Steve Stern • Murray Bookchin • John Zerzan • Maurice Vellekoop • Joel-Peter Witkin • Stewart Home • Maxx Ardman • Katharine Hepburn • Bret Lott • Lynda Barry • Alain de Botton • Mary McCarthy • Hakim Bey • Anita O'Day • Chris Kraus • R. U. Sirius • C. D. Payne W. V. Quine • Rita Dove • Robert Creeley • Valerie Martin • Paul Krassner • Alphonso Lingis • Mark Helprin • John Rechy • Ram Dass • William T. Vollmann • and Bettie Page

Features:

  • Used Book in Good Condition

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Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps Lowest new price: $7.72
Lowest used price: $7.51
List price: $15.00
Author: Kelly Williams Brown
Brand: Brand: Grand Central Publishing

If you graduated from college but still feel like a student . . . if you wear a business suit to job interviews but pajamas to the grocery store . . . if you have your own apartment but no idea how to cook or clean . . . it's OK. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Just because you don't feel like an adult doesn't mean you can't act like one. And it all begins with this funny, wise, and useful book. Based on Kelly Williams Brown's popular blog, ADULTING makes the scary, confusing "real world" approachable, manageable-and even conquerable. This guide will help you to navigate the stormy Sea of Adulthood so that you may find safe harbor in Not Running Out of Toilet Paper Bay, and along the way you will learn:

  • What to check for when renting a new apartment-Not just the nearby bars, but the faucets and stove, among other things.
  • When a busy person can find time to learn more about the world- It involves the intersection of NPR and hair-straightening.
  • How to avoid hooking up with anyone in your office -- Imagine your coworkers having plastic, featureless doll crotches. It helps.
  • The secret to finding a mechanic you love-Or, more realistically, one that will not rob you blind.
From breaking up with frenemies to fixing your toilet, this way fun comprehensive handbook is the answer for aspiring grown-ups of all ages.

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  • Used Book in Good Condition

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The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture Lowest new price: $4.61
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $21.99
Author: Randy Pausch
Brand: PowerbookMedic

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." --Randy Pausch

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
--Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

Questions for Randy Pausch

We were shy about barging in on Randy Pausch's valuable time to ask him a few questions about his expansion of his famous Last Lecture into the book by the same name, but he was gracious enough to take a moment to answer. (See Randy to the right with his kids, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe.) As anyone who has watched the lecture or read the book will understand, the really crucial question is the last one, and we weren't surprised to learn that the "secret" to winning giant stuffed animals on the midway, like most anything else, is sheer persistence.

Amazon.com: I apologize for asking a question you must get far more often than you'd like, but how are you feeling?

Pausch: The tumors are not yet large enough to affect my health, so all the problems are related to the chemotherapy. I have neuropathy (numbness in fingers and toes), and varying degrees of GI discomfort, mild nausea, and fatigue. Occasionally I have an unusually bad reaction to a chemo infusion (last week, I spiked a 103 fever), but all of this is a small price to pay for walkin' around.

Amazon.com: Your lecture at Carnegie Mellon has reached millions of people, but even with the short time you apparently have, you wanted to write a book. What did you want to say in a book that you weren't able to say in the lecture?

Pausch: Well, the lecture was written quickly--in under a week. And it was time-limited. I had a great six-hour lecture I could give, but I suspect it would have been less popular at that length ;-).

A book allows me to cover many, many more stories from my life and the attendant lessons I hope my kids can take from them. Also, much of my lecture at Carnegie Mellon focused on the professional side of my life--my students, colleagues and career. The book is a far more personal look at my childhood dreams and all the lessons I've learned. Putting words on paper, I've found, was a better way for me to share all the yearnings I have regarding my wife, children and other loved ones. I knew I couldn't have gone into those subjects on stage without getting emotional.

Amazon.com: You talk about the importance--and the possibility!--of following your childhood dreams, and of keeping that childlike sense of wonder. But are there things you didn't learn until you were a grownup that helped you do that?

Pausch: That's a great question. I think the most important thing I learned as I grew older was that you can't get anywhere without help. That means people have to want to help you, and that begs the question: What kind of person do other people seem to want to help? That strikes me as a pretty good operational answer to the existential question: "What kind of person should you try to be?"

Amazon.com: One of the things that struck me most about your talk was how many other people you talked about. You made me want to meet them and work with them--and believe me, I wouldn't make much of a computer scientist. Do you think the people you've brought together will be your legacy as well?

Pausch: Like any teacher, my students are my biggest professional legacy. I'd like to think that the people I've crossed paths with have learned something from me, and I know I learned a great deal from them, for which I am very grateful. Certainly, I've dedicated a lot of my teaching to helping young folks realize how they need to be able to work with other people--especially other people who are very different from themselves.

Amazon.com: And last, the most important question: What's the secret for knocking down those milk bottles on the midway?

Pausch: Two-part answer:
     1) long arms
     2) discretionary income / persistence

Actually, I was never good at the milk bottles. I'm more of a ring toss and softball-in-milk-can guy, myself. More seriously, though, most people try these games once, don't win immediately, and then give up. I've won *lots* of midway stuffed animals, but I don't ever recall winning one on the very first try. Nor did I expect to. That's why I think midway games are a great metaphor for life.

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  • Lecture

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