Monday, December 6, 2010

In Praise of Bathroom Books

The perfect bathroom books are 1 1/2 to 2 pages per story, all of which are self-contained when they end. Here are a couple of examples:

"Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog" by Lisa Scottoline St. Martin's Press 288 pages $21.99

I was surprised to see her as the author of a humor book as her previous 17 books have been feminist-tinged murder mysteries. She writes particularly of a female lawyer (Bennie Rosato) and her office full of women attorneys.

In this book she refers to two previous marriage partners as Thing One and Thing Two. Her daughter Francine has written a couple of chapters in the book, presenting a younger woman's opinions on various. Francine is 21; Scottoline is 45. Not a whole helluva lot of difference there other than world experiences.

"I'll Mature When I'm Dead" by Dave Barry G.P. Putnam's Sons 254 pages $24.95

Although Barry is now 63, according to my calculations, no one would ever peg his age at much more than 14.

In this volume of 18 new pieces (i.e. not cobbled together from previous newspaper columns) he offers his advice to first-time Dads, describes his son's wedding and explains to women why men do the things they are accused of doing and addresses other weighty issues.

Both have short chapters; each chapter begins and ends decisively. Doesn't get much better than that for a bathroom book.

Shameless plug: my book "Dispatches From a Born-Again CYNIC" is another one.

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