Aug 31, 2012

Three Fiction Books Worth Your Time

Since some in my circle—a very small one, alas—asked what I have been reading this summer, I thought it would be good to recommend my favorite three fiction books from the summer of 2012. Two have been re-reads; the other completely new to me.

The first book I would recommend is for those who enjoy wackiness. That is to say, if you can abide the humor of Monty Python, you will love the book A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Many of us have been keeping New Orleans in our prayers this week and, as luck would have it, this book is set in that great old city which has so much character. Speaking of character, this book is about a weird guy, named Ignatius J. Reilly, who sells hot dogs. The whole book, from beginning to end, is about the misadventure of Ignatius, who gets involved with characters nearly as vibrant as he is. A Confederacy of Dunces, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, will make you laugh, as will my second recommendation.

T. R. Pearson’s A Short History of a Small Place is a short and funny novel about a mythical town in North Carolina called Neely. A narrator tells the story of the town’s zany and entertaining Miss Myra Angelique Pettigrew. She is always full of surprises and my favorite part concerns her pet monkey—who is always full of inventive surprises. I bought about ten copies of the book, but always give them all away. This book is a laugh a minute!

For the reader who likes humor, the third and last book I will recommend is Puddenhead Wilson, which some have called Mark Twain's latest novel. This story of a black child and white child switched at birth and the funny things that happen to them, is also Twain’s social commentary on American life in the 1890s. Set in a Mississippi town in the days of slavery, with a mystery and crime thrown, this book forces readers to look at their attitudes toward many social conventions in the light of pretentious humor.

If you have some time and need some good laughs, any of these three books will fill the bill.


Debbie said...

I read the Confederacy of Dunces for a book club several years ago. It was certainly wacky!

Thanks for the other recommendations.

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