Bring a little laughter into your world with these humorous novels.
Sue Ellen Wright has what she thinks is a close to perfect life. A terrific career as a classics professor, a loving husband, and a son who is just about to leave the nest. But then disaster strikes. She learns that her husband is cheating and that her son has made a complete mess of his life. So, when the opportunity to take her family to a Greek island for a month presents itself, she jumps at the chance. Perhaps Sue Ellen’s past will provide the key to her and her family’s salvation.
In the summer of 2003, Troy Augustus Loudermilk (fair-haired, statuesque, charismatic) and his companion Harry Rego (definitely none of those things) are at The Seminars, America’s most prestigious creative writing program, to which Loudermilk has recently been accepted for his excellence in poetry. However, Loudermilk has never written a poem in his life. For all Loudermilk is–and, in the eyes of his fellow students and instructors, he is many things: a cipher to be solved, a hero to be championed, a rival to be disgraced–a poet he most certainly is not.
Beginning with his sickly childhood and concluding with McKinley’s assassination in 1901, Jerome Charyn recreates the voice of Theodore Roosevelt through his derring-do adventures as New York City police commissioner, Rough Rider, and soon-to-be twenty-sixth president. With an operatic cast including “Bamie,” his handicapped older sister, Eleanor, his gawky little niece, as well as the devoted Rough Riders, the novel memorably features the lovable mountain lion Josephine, who helped train Roosevelt for his “crowded hour,” the charge up San Juan Hill.
Louie Hake is 43, and teaches architectural history at a third-rate college in Michigan. His second marriage is collapsing and he’s facing a potentially disastrous medical diagnosis. In an attempt to fend off what has become a soul-crushing existential crisis, he decides to treat himself to a tour of the world’s most breathtaking architectural sites. Perhaps not surprisingly, Louie gets waylaid on his very first stop in Rome, ludicrously, spectacularly so, and fails to reach most of his other destinations.
Stibbe’s charming latest chronicles how 18-year-old Lizzie Vogel navigates young adulthood while working at a dental practice in 1980s Leicester, England. With some nursing experience under her belt and a way with words, Lizzie finds a job as a dental assistant for the intolerant and often thoughtless JP Wintergreen.
When June Bloom, an assistant on the late-night comedy show, Stay Up with Hugo Best, runs into Hugo himself at an open mic following his unexpected retirement, she finds herself fielding a surprising invitation. Hugo asks June to come to his mansion in Greenwich for the long Memorial Day weekend. “No funny business,” he insists. June, in need of a job and money, but harboring the remains of a childhood crush on the charming older comedian and former role model, is confident she can handle herself. She accepts. As the weekend unfolds and the enigmatic Hugo gradually reveals appealingly vulnerable facets to his personality, their dynamic proves to be much more complicated and less predictable than June imagined.
Mona is 26 and cleans houses for a living in Taos, New Mexico. She moved there mostly because of a bad boyfriend, a junkie named Mr. Disgusting. Her efforts to restart her life since haven’t exactly gone as planned. For one thing, she’s got another bad boyfriend. This one she calls Dark, and he happens to be married to one of Mona’s clients. Dark and his wife aren’t the only complicated clients on Mona’s roster, either. As she tries to get over the heartache of her affair and the pains of her youth, Mona winds up on an eccentric, moving journey of self-discovery that takes her back to her beginnings where she attempts to unlock the key to having a sense of home in the future.
From the acclaimed author of The Red Car, a comic novel of race, money, sex, liberalism, and bad behavior in our post-Obama era, featuring a wealthy Connecticut divorcee, her college-age daughter, and the famous Pakistani-American novelist who seduces them both