Thursday, September 12, 2013

QUIRKY BOOKS: UNCOMMONLY FUNNY READING



 When thinking about quirky books, two recent titles come to mind.  But first, what exactly makes a book quirky?  There's no real dictionary definition, but generally a book in that category has unconventional and eccentric characters and a plot that brings a crooked smile to the face of the reader. 
 
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple has received rave reviews for its totally outside-of-the-box story of a now non-practicing Avant garde architect and stay-at-home-mom who is married to a Seattle Microsoft techie.  When not acting as a general thorn in the side of others, Bernadette pursues life in the most screwball of ways.  And, when that life gets to be too much, she simply disappears.  The hunt for Bernadette is a topsy-turvy literary ride.  The book is a hilarious look at modern manners and all that contemporary society finds important.


Chosen as one of the New York Times best book of the year, Swamplandia by Karen Russell is about a Florida family that owns an alligator amusement park.  Eccentric does not even begin to describe the Bigtree family (the mother wrestles alligators and daughter Osceola loves ghosts).  When Mother Bigtree dies, the family is thrown into a tailspin and each wanders off to pursue some different path. Youngest daughter Ava takes it upon herself to save her family and their beloved park.  Although not a funny ha-ha book, readers will be struck by the author’s originality and the quirky characters and storyline.

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