Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Wonderful Book For the Warped Among Us

It isn't often that I stand in the children's section of Borders and laugh out loud. Come to think of it, I don't think it's ever happened before.

But as I turned the pages of Lemony Snicket's The Lump of Coal, I couldn't help myself. The writing is so quirky, so clean, so delightfully dry -- that this book is currently on my Christmas Wish List.

It's a small book -- a hardcover specialty book for the holidays. I would go so far as to say that it is a particularly small book. Which is why I didn't want to fork over the $12.99. Hence the wish list.

You tell me, though: can anyone resist a book with the following sentence on its opening page?

Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them, you find more than you ever dreamed you'd see, and this holiday story features any number of miracles, depending on your point of view.

It's the not the opening sentence, but it's the one that hooked me.

This book is not for your overly-sensitive nephew, your writing buddy who lacks a sense of humor, or, frankly, any child under the age of six. It's a delightfully warped tale, imbued with humor as only the Brits can do it.*

Seriously. Buy this book for someone you really love. And buy a copy for yourself.

*Except, of course, that Lemony Snicket was born in San Francisco. Many thanks to the anonymous reader who pointed that out. Urgh.


  1. Okay, I'm buying it for my 11 y/o. She loves to read. Thanks for the recommendation. And for putting the hook line that got you, it grabbed me as well.

  2. Sounds fabulous! I'll check it out. Most likely it will be added to my extensive Christmas wish-list of books as well.

    : )

  3. My ten-year old son LOVES Lemony Snicket and breezed through the Series books last year. My daughter is now on her way through them.

    Another great kids book with dry humor my son loves is "The Name of this Book Is Secret." It's by Pseudonymous Bosch. I'd write the hilarious bio on the back of the author but I can't... my son's teacher snatched the book to read to the class.

    His second book, though, does mention that the author is afraid of mayo.

  4. Warped sense of humor?

    That would be my children. The video on my blog today says it all!

    This books sounds like just the thing for them for Christmas.

  5. That sounds like fun. %-) I shall have to check it out.

  6. Thanks for the heads up. I've heard good things about the series, but tend to stay away from anything child related.

    Sex Mahoney for President

  7. I love Lemony Snicket. Anybody who can come up with a pen name like that deserves to be read. ;)

    Sorry I missed you on chat this morning! I was tending to the toddler. But I'm usually around! So feel free to talk when you're not, um, hiding...

    And pass over some of those cashews, please. They're my favorite!

  8. "It's a delightfully warped tale, imbued with humor as only the Brits can do it."

    - And apparently the Brits aren't the only ones who can do it, since Lemony Snicket is not British. He's from California...

  9. I stand corrected!

    Shows you the amount of faith I have in non-British humor, eh? :)