Books: 447

By E.B. Boatner July 12, 2012

Categories: Books, Our Affairs

Funny: The Book: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Comedy
David Misch
Applause
$18.99

Light and literate, Misch takes us through all things Funny in a mere 200 pages, running the gamut from Aristotle to Woody Allen (though that’s not as big a stretch as you’d think.) Everything goes better with humor: third century Talmudist Rabbah bar Nachmani, for example, was known to start lectures with a joke or funny anecdote to get his students in a good mood. Misch, a show biz vet of thirty-five years, has written and produced pilots for NBC, CBS, ABC, and numerous other acronyms, was Executive Producer ofDuckman on USA, and knows whereof he jests. Touching on Benny, Hope, Pryor, Benchley, and other comic greats, he leavens all with Jung, Orwell, Koestler, and others less known for bringing down the house. Read.

Silver Moon
Catherine Lundoff
Lethe Press $15

Women of a certain age expect hot flashes and hormonal changes, but Becca Thornton, divorced and newly un-closeted, glimpses in her mirror a “flickering of golden eyes and fur.” She also discovers that her neighbor Erin sets off other, long-forgotten hormonal changes as well. Erin, Becca learns, is the beta leader of the Wolf’s Point werewolf pack, and she herself is a shape-shifter. Werewolf hunters are on the prowl, and only the pack can protect the town. Lundoff’s premise is unique; the towns very ground is imbued with ancient magic and chooses who is to become a werewolf—not standard stalwart males but menopausal women, turned fierce and powerful through their changed and united bodies. An intriguing book, auguring more to come in Wolf’s Point.

A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today
Kate Bornstein
Beacon Press
$24.95

Al Bornstein was a member of the Church of Scientology, married, with one daughter. Today, as her memoir’s subtitle points out, she is a lovely lady named Kate. Along the way Bornstein led a vigorous and amazing life that she recounts in a manner forcing the reader to navigate the slippery border between truth and fabrication. The memoir’s great motivation was to reach out to her estranged daughter and her grandchildren, who by the rules of Scientology are not allowed to speak to her even should they wish. Around this cri de coeur, Bornstein weaves the threads of her transitioning from Al to Kate, her diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, and her life as a performance artist and gender activist. She offers a savvy and savage read.

My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family
Zach Wahls
Gotham Press
$26

In January, 2011, 19 year-old Zach Wahls stood before the Iowa House of Representatives defending the rights of gays—specifically his two moms, who had raised him and sister Zebby—to marry. He had no idea at the time that he was being filmed, but then his testimony went viral on YouTube, and people worldwide heard Wahls proclaim: “…the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.” As he stresses throughout the book, love, strength, and values are what make a family. His moms were always there for him—and for each other, even when one developed a crippling neurological disease. A book for all ages, and especially for those skeptical about the kind of parenting gays can offer.

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