three silly books

read three silly books of varying quality in the past week (two on my silent retreat, in between the three serious books i read), and one since i’ve been in detroit for the holidays (read the last one on my sweet sony reader).

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Welcome to JesusLand! (Formerly the United States of America): Shocking Tales of Depravity, Sex, and Sin Uncovered by God’s Favorite Church, Landover Baptist .

this was weak. occasionally, i think the bitter folks at landoverbaptist.com can create some biting satire of evangelicalism. but most of the time — and very much so in this book — they just come off as bitter and unfunny. not that there isn’t some funny stuff in here. but it’s a 1 to 10 ratio, at best, of funny to no-so-much. i found myself just feeling sorry for the creators, which would, of course, completely piss them off and cause them to write something unfunny about me.

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SkyMaul: Happy Crap You Can Buy from a Plane.

this book, however, is what parody is all about. anyone who flies has seen the ‘sky mall’ magazine in the seat pocket in front of you. this ‘catalog’ is a parody of that. and, dang, i laughed out loud over and over again. not a book you could leave out in your youth ministry room (be forwarned), but i sure loved it.

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Mountain Man Dance Moves: The McSweeney’s Book of Lists.

if you’ve never seen the mcweeney’s lists, you’re missing out. they are some of the most intelligent, side-splittingly funny stuff ever written. you can go here and read a bunch of ’em. i’ve bookmarked 10 of them from the book, which i’ll post in months to come. here’s a sample:

Vegetarian Alternatives to Bowling.
BY CHRISTOPHER HARRIS AND JOHN PAINTING

– – – –

Squash

Hot potato

Pickleball

Spud

Soy bowling

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