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Self-Help Humor


The Stranger

The Stranger Lowest new price: $5.38
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List price: $13.95
Author: Albert Camus
Brand: Vintage

Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd." First published in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.

The Stranger is not merely one of the most widely read novels of the 20th century, but one of the books likely to outlive it. Written in 1946, Camus's compelling and troubling tale of a disaffected, apparently amoral young man has earned a durable popularity (and remains a staple of U.S. high school literature courses) in part because it reveals so vividly the anxieties of its time. Alienation, the fear of anonymity, spiritual doubt--all could have been given a purely modern inflection in the hands of a lesser talent than Camus, who won the Nobel Prize in 1957 and was noted for his existentialist aesthetic. The remarkable trick of The Stranger, however, is that it's not mired in period philosophy.

The plot is simple. A young Algerian, Meursault, afflicted with a sort of aimless inertia, becomes embroiled in the petty intrigues of a local pimp and, somewhat inexplicably, ends up killing a man. Once he's imprisoned and eventually brought to trial, his crime, it becomes apparent, is not so much the arguably defensible murder he has committed as it is his deficient character. The trial's proceedings are absurd, a parsing of incidental trivialities--that Meursault, for instance, seemed unmoved by his own mother's death and then attended a comic movie the evening after her funeral are two ostensibly damning facts--so that the eventual sentence the jury issues is both ridiculous and inevitable.

Meursault remains a cipher nearly to the story's end--dispassionate, clinical, disengaged from his own emotions. "She wanted to know if I loved her," he says of his girlfriend. "I answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn't mean anything but that I probably didn't." There's a latent ominousness in such observations, a sense that devotion is nothing more than self-delusion. It's undoubtedly true that Meursault exhibits an extreme of resignation; however, his confrontation with "the gentle indifference of the world" remains as compelling as it was when Camus first recounted it. --Ben Guterson

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  • Vintage

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Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go Lowest new price: $6.68
Lowest used price: $1.49
List price: $16.00
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Brand: Brand: Vintage International

From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and author of the Booker Prize–winning novel The Remains of the Day comes a devastating novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss.
 
As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is modern classic.

Features:

  • Vintage Books USA

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The Pisces: A Novel

The Pisces: A Novel Lowest new price: $11.76
Lowest used price: $16.82
List price: $25.00
Author: Melissa Broder

“Bold, virtuosic, addictive, erotic – there is nothing like The Pisces. I have no idea how Broder does it, but I loved every dark and sublime page of it.” —Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter 
 
Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for nine years when she and her boyfriend break up in a dramatic flameout. After she bottoms out in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika's home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety — not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the foxhound's easy affection.
 
Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy’s understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, THE PISCES is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.

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Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps Lowest new price: $10.47
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Author: Kelly Williams Brown

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING GUIDE, WITH UPDATED MATERIAL AND A NEW FOREWORD

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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The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife

The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife Lowest new price: $14.00
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Author: Lucy Cooke

Mary Roach meets Sam Kean and Bill Bryson in this uproarious tour of the basest instincts and biggest mysteries of the animal world

Humans have gone to the Moon and discovered the Higgs boson, but when it comes to understanding animals, we've still got a long way to go. Whether we're seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins "holding hands," it's hard for us not to project our own values--innocence, fidelity, temperance, hard work--onto animals. So you've probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants lay about. They do--and that's just for starters. In The Truth About Animals, Lucy Cooke takes us on a worldwide journey to meet everyone from a Colombian hippo castrator to a Chinese panda porn peddler, all to lay bare the secret--and often hilarious--habits of the animal kingdom. Charming and at times downright weird, this modern bestiary is perfect for anyone who has ever suspected that virtue might be unnatural.

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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: $3.92
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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:

  • Harry N Abrams

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An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness Lowest new price: $6.50
Lowest used price: $1.64
List price: $16.00
Author: Kay Redfield Jamison
Brand: Vintage

WITH A NEW PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR

In her bestselling classic, An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison changed the way we think about moods and madness.

Dr. Jamison is one of the foremost authorities on manic-depressive (bipolar) illness; she has also experienced it firsthand. For even while she was pursuing her career in academic medicine, Jamison found herself succumbing to the same exhilarating highs and catastrophic depressions that afflicted many of her patients, as her disorder launched her into ruinous spending sprees, episodes of violence, and an attempted suicide.

Here Jamison examines bipolar illness from the dual perspectives of the healer and the healed, revealing both its terrors and the cruel allure that at times prompted her to resist taking medication. An Unquiet Mind is a memoir of enormous candor, vividness, and wisdom—a deeply powerful book that has both transformed and saved lives.

In Touched with Fire, Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychiatrist, turned a mirror on the creativity so often associated with mental illness. In this book she turns that mirror on herself. With breathtaking honesty she tells of her own manic depression, the bitter costs of her illness, and its paradoxical benefits: "There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness and terror involved in this kind of madness.... It will never end, for madness carves its own reality." This is one of the best scientific autobiographies ever written, a combination of clarity, truth, and insight into human character. "We are all, as Byron put it, differently organized," Jamison writes. "We each move within the restraints of our temperament and live up only partially to its possibilities." Jamison's ability to live fully within her limitations is an inspiration to her fellow mortals, whatever our particular burdens may be. --Mary Ellen Curtin

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  • Great product!

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Zen as F*ck: A Journal for Practicing the Mindful Art of Not Giving a Sh*t

Zen as F*ck: A Journal for Practicing the Mindful Art of Not Giving a Sh*t Lowest new price: $9.76
Lowest used price: $9.86
List price: $14.99
Author: Monica Sweeney

A beautiful, uplifting guided journal for when you just don't give a f*ck

The road to serenity is ahead, and it’s paved with a f*ck-ton of profanity. When quiet meditation and peaceful mantras aren’t enough to cut through the bullsh*t and brighten your day―hold close the pages of Zen as F*ck. On each and every page, you can give the good around you a warm f*cking hug and kick the bad on its ass. Journal your way through positive affirmations and cathartic-as-f*ck activities on your liberating journey toward something pretty close to happiness.

Sprinkle, scatter, or set off a glitter-bomb of happy vibes onto your trail of tranquility with Zen as F*ck!

• Start sparkling like the f*cking gem you are
• Learn how to rise, shine, and kick ass
• Cast your soul-shining light on others and spread some f*cking beauty

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The Big Redhead Book: Inside the Secret Society of Red Hair

The Big Redhead Book: Inside the Secret Society of Red Hair Lowest new price: $14.26
Lowest used price: $13.04
List price: $22.99
Author: Erin La Rosa
Brand: Saint Martin s Press Inc

The Big Redhead Book: Inside the Secret Society of Red Hair is an inside look into one of the most elite societies in the world―the real two percent. Well, you know, the two percent of the world's population that are natural redheads, at least. This book has equal parts pop culture, ginger facts, and humorous stories about what it's like to actually have red hair. It's loaded with everything you'd ever want to know about us reds; how we're scientifically different from the norms (non-redheads), how we've been stereotyped in pop culture, and the do's and don'ts of having a red in your life, among other things!
Whether you are a redhead, know a redhead, or are just an enthusiast, this book explores the realities, the myths, and where red hair actually originates (it’s not Ireland). Author Erin La Rosa not only delivers the facts, statistics, and undeniable realities of being a ginger, but she also weaves in her own personal and hilarious stories about being red. Being a redhead is not just a hair color, it’s a lifestyle―and this book is your own exclusive peek into that fabulous world.
Some surprising facts about redheads that you will discover include:
- The association between redheads and humor came from redheaded slaves in ancient Greece
- There are over 30 leading or recurring redhead characters in Disney and Pixar films... that's a lot when you remember we're only two percent of the world's population!
- Redhead women allegedly have more sex, more threesomes, and more orgasms than other women... or do they? Let's find out!
- Some Egyptian rulers dyed their hair red to assert their power (looking at you, Cleopatra)
- And redheads need more anesthesia at the dentist, because they're not going down without a fight

Features:

  • Saint Martin s Press Inc

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Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage Lowest new price: $7.21
Lowest used price: $1.44
List price: $15.99
Author: Kevin Leman
Brand: Tyndale House Publishers

With his characteristic warmth and humor, Dr. Kevin Leman offers a practical guide to sex according to God's plan. This frank and practical book is a perfect resource for married and engaged couples. Dr. Leman addresses a wide spectrum of people, from those with no sexual experiences to those with past sexual problems or even abuse. Using frank descriptions, this book has a warm and friendly tone that will help couples overcome awkwardness in discussing an issue important to all married couples.

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  • Tyndale House Publishers

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