I finished reading Adrienne Rich’s Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth last night. Before I say anything about it I have to let it sink in a bit. Tomorrow there will be a proper post.

Today, I have to tell you about The McSweeney’s Joke Book of Book Jokes. My Bookman brought home a review copy from work the other day. He’s been reading me random jokes from it at breakfast and dinner. Some of them are rather lame jokes I imagine adolescent boys would find very funny. But others have gotten a guffaw out of me.

We have, for instance, “Thirteen Writing Prompts.” Here are a couple:

  • Write a scene showing a man and a woman arguing over the man’s friendship with a former girlfriend. Do not mention the girlfriend, the man, the woman, or the argument.
  • Think of the most important secret your best friend has ever entrusted you with. Write a story in which you reveal it to everyone. Write it again from the point of view of your friend. Does she want to kill you? How does she imagine doing it? Would she use a gun, or something crueler and more savage, like a baseball bat with nails in it?
  • Popular music is often a good source of writing inspiration. Rewrite Bob Dylan’s “Visions of Johanna” as a play.

There are also Klingon Fairy Tales like “Goldilocks Dies with Honor at the Hands of the Three Bears,” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb. It Was Delicious.” There are loads of sketches like “Lady MacBeth on Ambien” and “Johson’s Life of Boswell.” And a “quiz” or two like “Ikea Product of Lord of the Rings Character?” Where would you say Molger belongs? Galdor? Freda? What about Agerum?

Can you see that this book can be a hoot? There is lots of fun poked at Shakespeare, James Joyce and writing workshops. If you should happen upon this book for you own, I wouldn’t recommend reading more than one or two jokes at a time. They tend to not be as funny when taken in large bunches.

Just a few things of interest from around the Internet. According to an Australian study, Blogging Boosts Your Social Life.

Poets.org has 2,500 poetry recordings available for your cell phone. More information at Mobile poets.

And Nancy Pearl’s ten favorite public libraries includes the Minneapolis Central Library, the very place I spend every other weekend volunteering. It is a beautiful library if I do say so myself. I am so used to being there though that I forget about its wow factor until someone walks in and says, “This is my first time here and it’s so beautiful!” This happens at least once on every volunteer shift.

Speaking of libraries, I received my final grade for the class I just finished, Introduction to Systems Analysis. I got an A+! Woo! My next class, Information Resources and Services I, starts on Monday.