Humor 911

The 50 Funniest American Writers


Help, I've fallen into a pit of literary despair and can't get out. After four works of murder, mayhem and mystery by Richard Matheson, appropriately collected as "Noir," I turned to another favorite author, Joyce Carol Oates. The title of her book, too, should have warned me off: "Sourland." In one of Matheson's stories, a series of murders is committed by ice pick to the cranium. In Oates, a widow's trip to probate court morphs into a thorough gynecological exam by a uniformed guard.

Suddenly, nothing was funny anymore and I began waking to nightmares. So, I searched the SLCL catalog with the keyword, "humor."

Staff Review: "Nightworld" by F. Paul Wilson

Nightworld by F. Paul Wilson


The end of the world begins when the sun rose late one morning.  Scientists are baffled by this celestial phenomenon. The next disturbance occurs when bottomless sinkholes began to appear. When night fell, flesh-eating monsters appeared to attack the New York populace. The following pages are filled with intense action, terror, loss of hope as the world is bombarded with attacks from "The Otherness."

Mankind is doomed unless a small band of fighters led by centuries old, Glaeken, can reforge an ancient weapon to combat the evil. This is a classic battle of good versus evil or order versus chaos. Who will fall? Who will be victorious? You'll have to read this suspenseful book to find out.

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Iago by David Snodin


If you haven't already seen the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis production of Othello in Forest Park, there's still time to read or reread the play before you go. The library has several editions of this unsettling tragedy, including one that features the original text displayed side-by-side with a translation into contemporary English. Many of these books have introductory essays and notes throughout to make the play more readable for the non-academic.

Seeking Help in the Romance Department?

Always Hit on the Wingman


Seeking a little help in the romance department? SLCL carries a wide selection of books on every topic. Don't forget to sign up Literary Speed Dating on June 16 and Literary Speed Dating for Boomers on July 14 @ the Thornhill Branch. Find the literary love of your life and some new book recommendations.

Book Trailer: "Rules of Civility"

Rules of Civility

Readers across the country have been swept away by Amor Towles’ debut novel, “The Rules of Civility.”  Set in New York City in 1938, “Rules of Civility” tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising 25-year-old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.

Watch the “Rules of Civility” book trailer below and make plans to meet the author when he visits Library Headquarters on July 9.

Find a Date @ Your Library


Tired of all those awful pickup lines, like "Can I have your number? I seem to have lost mine."Well, on Saturday, June 16, 6:00 p.m. lit loving singles will gather at the Thornhill Branch for Literary Speed Dating. Participants are invited to bring a book, one which they enjoyed, hated, or are simply mystified by, and discuss it. Each participant will have 4-5 minutes to chat, and then move on to the next "mini-date." While this event is aimed at adults in their 20s and 30s, all are welcome to attend. Matches will contacted after the event. It's a safe way to meet people without the hassle of dating sites or bad pick up lines. We will be hosting another event, Literary Speed Dating Event for Boomers on Saturday, July 14.

--Joni H., Thornhill Branch

Silent Spring – Fifty Years Later

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson


Many believe the modern environmental movement began with the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring." Carson's influential book linked the use of pesticides with diminished bird populations, human illness, and loss of habitat for aquatic life. While her arguments were not universally accepted, Carson popularized the notion of a web of connections between human activity and the natural world.

Another Lesser Known President

Calvin Coolidge By David Greenberg


"Calvin Coolidge" by David Greenberg , part of the American Presidents series, illustrates the story of another lesser-known president. Greenberg details Coolidge's rise to political power from Governor of Massachusetts to Vice President to President. Known as "Silent Cal," Greenberg shows how Coolidge's silence worked to his advantage, even citing an instance when Coolidge states that a president's words are powerful and should be used infrequently. His approach to the presidency is also shown fascinatingly in his decision not to run for reelection in 1928 because it would mean he would have been president for 10 years, which, in his opinion, was too long for anyone to be in Washington.   

--Michael B., Jamestown Bluffs Branch

Fine Amnesty for Kids Enrolled in Summer Reading

Teen Summer Reading Club


The Adult Reading Club kicked off earlier this week, but the clubs for babies, kids and teens kick-off today. Summer reading is a great time to share books and conversation with the whole family. As an added incentive to get your kids signed-up, the library is waiving fines for preschoolers-teens entering 12th who register for summer reading club!  Details about the library's summer reading clubs can be found here. Not sure what to read? Ask a staff member or check our blogs for inspiration, we have one for adults, kids and teens. Happy reading!

--Jennifer M., Headquarters 

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