Title: Hairstyles of the Damned
Author: Joe Meno
Rating: Okay. Nothing overly special, but not bad.
Length: Not any longer than it needs to be.
Reading Speed: Quicker than you’d think.
Basic Plot: Brian Oswald is your run of the mill teenager trying to find himself while living in the suburbs of Chicago in the 90s. He really likes music and he really likes this girl Gretchen. Adolescent angst and antics ensue.
Read if you: enjoy or know anything about 90s music (because I did not know pretty much any of the songs or artists this book talked about, and I felt like whole chapters just flew over my very naive head), or if you’re looking to read a book about a teenager having an identity crisis.
Title: The Time Machine
Author: H. G. Wells
Rating: Interesting. Not exactly attention-grabbing though.
Length: SHORT. Like, whoa. Really short.
Reading Speed: Not as quick as you’d hope. But, still fairly quick. Give it three hours. Maybe less.
Basic Plot: There’s this time traveler and he…travels through time (big shocker!). He goes to the future and runs around there for a while. He sees how everything we do today will eventually affect our species and our world. Basically, we’re fucked. Hooray!
Read if you: Like dystopian novels (this is one of the very first ones, so that’s cool), are looking for a quick read that will make you think, or just really like H.G. Wells.
Fun Fact: I mistakenly referred to H.G. Wells as ‘she’ while talking about this book the other day because of Warehouse 13. I was only ashamed for about two minutes, then I got over it. Because, really, if you don’t watch this show, you really need to start. Right now. Go. I mean it.
H.G. Wells and her time machine. It's badass. We know.
Title: Enchanted, Inc.
Author: Shanna Swendson
Rating: Fairly unimpressive.
Length: Fairly short.
Reading Speed: Fairly quick.
Basic Plot: Katie Chandler is ordinary. So incredibly ordinary that she is recruited by the magicians of New York City to help solve the case of an evil warlock gone amok using unheard of things like corporate law and marketing.
Similar to: it’s chick lit with magic, so if you’re into that kind of thing, it’s similar to pretty much everything. Especially all those guilty pleasure Mary Sue fanfictions you secretly read under your covers at night.
Read if you: are looking for a mindless beach read, have nothing else to read, or are just itching to read a book about a muggle.
Title: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
Author: Christopher Moore
Rating: Ten points for the awesome idea. Minus seven points for the execution of the idea.
Length: So much longer than I thought it was. It’s almost 500 pages, which, for this book, is about 150 pages too long.
Reading Speed: So. Slow. Embarrassingly slow. Slower than should ever be allowed.
Basic Plot: Biff is the sassy best friend of Jesus (or, as he was known back then, Joshua) and has been since they were just kids. Biff accompanies Joshua on all his travels, and gives smart-mouthed commentary as the two of them go along they merry, and sometimes not-so-merry, way.
Read if you: are very familiar with the New Testament (or the Old Testament, for that matter) and are looking for some way to spice it up a little, enjoy reading very long books that are based on an interesting idea, or are a fan of Christopher Moore. (Apparently he’s a bestselling author, so he’s bound to have a lot of fans. After finishing this book, I have discovered that I am not one of them, though.)
Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Rating: Quietly shocking, but heartwarming in a surprising way.
Reading Speed: Faster than average. The beginning is a little slow moving, but it picks up towards the middle.
Basic Plot: It’s the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi and, congratulations, you guessed it, the division between white people and colored people is a hot button topic. When the ambitious, likable, and white Skeeter Phelan teams up with two maids, wise old Aibileen and smart-mouth Minny, to record stories of what it’s like to be colored woman working for a white woman, things get crazy and sh*t hits the fan.
Similar to: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (only a bit more fun and with higher stakes since it’s not told from the point of view of a little kid).
Read if you: are looking for something substantial, eye-opening, entertaining, and just a little bit mushy. Or, if you’re planning to see the movie.
PS: Everyone should be planning to see this movie. It looks totally awesome. Trailer Here.
Author: Tina Fey
Rating: Hilarious and Honest. The most fun I’ve had reading a book in a long time.
Length: Just right.
Reading Speed: This book reads just like a roller coaster. As you read, you will say to yourself, “Just one more chapter. Oh, the next one’s little, I’ll read that one too! I can do it! Oh, look a chapter that’s a list! I like that title! I can’t put it down now…Oh, it’s finished? Crap. But, man, that was awesome. AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN.”
Basic Plot: Tina Fey makes you laugh as she wows you with her life and gives you a counter-argument for all those crazies that say there’s no such thing as a good female role model on television.
Read if you: Love SNL, love 30 Rock, love Mean Girls, love Tina Fey, enjoy entertaining rants, are overly neurotic and like to laugh about being overly neurotic, or are just looking for a good, hearty laugh.
Bonus: This book is also great for beach reading and is the perfect thing to get every female member of your family for her next birthday.
PS: Dear God, if you’re reading this, would you mind letting me grow up to be as cool, down-to-earth, and crazy-awesome as Tina Fey? I’d appreciate it a lot. Thanks! xo Lillia.
In my last interlude, I introduced you all to my favorite non-profit online bookseller, BetterWorldBooks.com (which you should check out ASAP if you haven’t already). Then it got real mushy as we confessed our undying love for each other.
But now, to keep up with the theme of better books, I‘d like you all to meet one of my favorite forms of procrastination and book-related-hilarity, Betterbooktitles.com.
Every weekday, the brilliant man behind this website posts a new no-nonsense, you-know-you-were-thinking-it re-titled book.
For example, to the right we have Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. If you know anything about Youtube’s Sassy Gay Friend, you know he’s famous for saving classic damsels in suicidal distress, including Juliet and Ophelia, and we all know that Anna could definitely use a little positive life-coaching.
There are pages and pages of witty, crass, and all-too-true re-titled books, ranging from children’s classics to chick lit to bestselling autobiographies. If you’ve read it, it’s probably got a better book title. And if it doesn’t have a better book title yet, there’s even a submit button!!
So, here’s my sincerest thanks to this website for providing me with hours and hours of laughter and productive procrastination.
Hopefully it will do the same for you!
(All images taken without any sort of permission whatsoever from Betterbooktitles.com. I don’t claim ownership; I’m nowhere near this funny.)
PS – Just one more =)