Saturday, December 26, 2009

Read it and Weep with Laughter

The casually brilliant and funny Jonathan Tropper returns with the often side-splitting, mostly heartbreaking, This Is Where I Leave You , which is about a man’s inability to recover from heartbreak.

When asked how he could write such sad but funny books, Tropper replied, “It wouldn't occur to me to write it any other way. I don't do it with great consciousness. No matter what you're writing about--death, divorce--in every situation that involves more than one human being, there's going to be an element of comedy. Irony is everywhere.” (Publisher's Weekly interview June 1, 2009) Warner Brothers has acquired the rights to the book and Tropper will write the first draft.

Family Man by Elinor Lipman is another book that will make you smile over and over, but without the tears. In this sparkling comedy, gay Manhattan attorney Henry Archer gets the shock of his life when he realizes the receptionist he's just tipped is none other than his stepdaughter, whom he hasn't seen in 25 years. Before long, his stepdaughter is back in his life and Henry's got his hands full with her, his endlessly chatty ex-wife Denise, a new lover, and the countless others who wander in and out of his elegant Upper West Side brownstone. As always, the pleasure of a Lipman book is not so much the wispy plot, but the characters. But it's the first book I have read in a long time that has a happy ending.

For more book suggestions, see our Good Reads Humorous Books.

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