Punxsutawney Phil is fired. Yesterday was the first day of spring, and today's forecast has flurries involved. Spring? Sure. Whatever you say. While I've been longing for hot weather to complain about (just for a change of subject), and have been reading about hot summers in the south to try and get me through these last winter doldrums, sometimes I also need something a bit more amusing to lift my mood. If you're in the same boat these days, here are three to try.
Sick Puppy, by Carl Hiaasen. This was my first introduction to Hiaasen's wild sense of humor, and I still have a very fond place in my heart for it. Millionaire and fanatical eco-terrorist Twilly Spree snaps one day when witnessing a careless litterbug throwing trash out of a car window. Spree decides to begin a sabotage campaign in retaliation, only to find that the litterbug, Palmer Stoat, is also a political fixer of the shadiest order and Spree has just met his match. Hiaasen excels at madcap humor and sharply witty dialog, crafting the perfect tale to distract you from next week's forecast.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman. Perhaps the most accurate description of this novel is also the most popular, that of Steel Magnolias meets The Help. For CeeCee Honeycutt, age 12, life doesn't conform to many norms. For example, she is the caretaker of her mother, Camille, a pretty but unstable former beauty queen. When Camille suddenly dies, CeeCee is swept away by her Great Aunt Tootie and taken to the story-book city of Savannah. Great Aunt Tootie and her friends take care to teach CeeCee a number of life's lessons, not the least among them being that friends help one another in times of need. Laugh-out-loud funny and extremely touching.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple. Bernadette has been many things to many people. Fearless architect, social disgrace, opinionated wife, best friend and mom. She is hilarious, volatile, troubled and increasingly agoraphobic, all at the same time. So when she disappears just before the family is supposed to go on a trip, daughter Bee is the one to piece together all the fragments left behind in order to find her mother. Unique, witty, and very imaginative.
I'll be back with some more recommended reading next week, as well as what I've been reading this month. Happy Reading!