Saturday, February 21, 2015

Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry


 I'm a voracious reader, but, despite my innate human desire to laugh, I rarely find myself reading humorous books. Comedy is a subjective thing, and it's usually best served by watching/hearing the potentially funny subject matter. It's hard to make me laugh at the printed word. It's not unheard of, but it's a pretty rare thing to see me sitting there with a book, laughing.

 I used to read Dave Barry's column when I was a teenager in New York's Daily News, and while I must have liked it well enough (I don't remember much about it, but I do remember reading it each week....), I really wasn't expecting much when I started reading Barry's newest book, LIVE RIGHT AND FIND HAPPINESS (ALTHOUGH BEER IS MUCH FASTER): LIFE LESSONS AND OTHER RAVINGS FROM DAVE BARRY.

 I was happily surprised to find that I must have grown into the target audience for Barry's humor. (I'm 44) Although Barry is older than me, I immediately connected with his essay about how parents today worry about so many things that they find themselves unable to enjoy life the way their parents and grandparents did. I appreciated the way he worried about his daughter learning how to drive, and I was touched by the letter to his newborn grandson that closes out the book. And, on more than one occasion, I found myself laughing out loud. (At the very least, each page had at least one part that brought a smile to my face.) As a totally clueless homeowner, I especially appreciated Barry's essay on Do-it-yourself projects, and the sage wisdom that he received on the subject from Johnny Carson during an appearance on The Tonight Show. There are also some truly insightful points that Barry makes, as well as a few (Shudder....!) educational moments. Barry's writing style makes for a quick, fun read, and this was a nice break from some of the heavier subjects that I've been reading about lately. Good stuff.

Putnam provided a review copy.