Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster)

[Amazon Link]

And the subtitle is: "Life Lessions and Other Ravings from Dave Barry". I fear the title/subtitle might imply more coherence to the book than it actually contains. But maybe they figured that "A Bunch of Stuff Dave Has Written Recently" might not sell as well. The title might prompt inattentive parents to buy this as a graduation gift, for example.

That would be preferable to Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss, currently number one in a bunch of categories at Amazon. Really, folks, your graduate would prefer reading Dave to getting yet another copy of Oh, The Places You'll Go!

The essays here:

  1. The insecurity Dave feels about having his family's wimmenfolk meet David Beckham.

  2. An open letter to his daughter Sophie about learning to drive in Florida.

  3. A meditation about how the Greatest Generation compares to Dave's (Baby Boomer) generation in terms of maturity and fun-seeking.

  4. His trip to Brazil during the World Cup. (Dave has an unfathomable fondness for soccer.)

  5. A satire on the clueless hysteria of cable news networks.

  6. An essay on home improvement. (A topic Dave has been writing on for decades.)

  7. An irreverent review of Google Glass.

  8. Recounting a State Department-sponsored trip to Russia with co-author Ridley Pearson. (Spoiler: Dave is not a fan of Putin.)

  9. A touching and funny letter to his grandson on the occasion of his bris.

So it's kind of a hodgepodge. Longtime readers will know that Dave is primarily a humor writer and a keen observer of the (absurd) human condition, occasionally with more serious undernotes. Easy reading, but my advice is to space it out; Dave's like a fine wine whose subtleties can get lost if you binge.

List price for the hardcover is $26.95, but Amazon knocks that down to $19.76, and only $9.99 on Kindle. Or free, if (like me) you have a generous co-worker willing to lend you his copy.

Last Modified 2015-05-08 5:59 AM EDT