I was born in New York just after WWII when, because of the Depression and the war, the city seemed very little changed from the 1920s. I spent a lot of time listening to my grandparents, hearing what the area was like from when they were born in the 1880s, so it was like living in multiple time periods. I grew up in the suburbs, spent the next 20 years freelancing a design career in the Midwest and Northeast then followed that career to Los Angeles.
Writers make mistakes, especially when writing quickly. Students make mistakes, even when writing slowly. Students writing quickly often make lots of mistakes, and they get unintentionally funny. Here are some of them.
In Germany, it appears there's a whole cult that collects these. In America, we largely have the popular British book Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. This collection follows both of those.
A friendly caution: A little of these goes a long way, so don't try to read them all at once. They get less funny. Very less funny. Far less funny. Oh so less funny. You were warned.
Barnegat Bay is a romance, which starts on the Jersey shore in the summer of 1932. It focuses on its narrator, Doc, and his friends Mike, Larry, Al, and Spence, summer lifeguards soon headed into their senior year at CCNY -- the City College of New York. This is in the uncertain times and job market of the still early years of the Great Depression, just before Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected. Joining the guys are Mary and Claire, local to the area but no less ambitious for their lives, and in fairly close by New York City, Doc's parents.
It may initially seem an odd book for this site, but, believe me, it's not.
Events on a small New England college campus, following an exceptional one. Gil Andrus and his husband, Pete Sordan, follow through the usual faculty politics and the unexpected mystery. And Don Burris, the detective from The Pendleton Omens, reappears.
Note: this book shares roots and occasionally overlaps with my other book, Quabbin, which is also set in Waldron, Massachusetts, though in a national clothing company. But they're different books with different sensibilities.
The continued adventures in sex and friendship, online and off, of Alan Damshroeder, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, high school teacher.
This book is different from the previous two because there are two long sections -- "Obey," and "Variation," which only contain two characters -- Alan and another man. Next, there's a conventionally written short story, "Bob," and the last section, "Other Nights," is composed of the usual short exchanges between Alan and a host of men he often never gets to meet.
Ben Carleson, an established gay lawyer, deftly juggles a pair of complicated trials. His client: a very nice guy. His opponents: a pair of as-bright lawyers, one a bit more skilled and slicker than the other. The object: justice, as usual.
Two guys and a dog load into a 10-year-old pickup truck and spend two months driving the perimeter of the United States. It doesn't directly show, but over the course of the two months, the narrator falls in love with the driver -- and with the dog.
These are the original, annual, New Year's letters that I sent to my friends from 1993 to 2001. That was from two years after I moved into the building to a year-and-a-half after I left.
As mentioned, the letters were the basis for the book, and they often overlap the same material. But they cover more time and more characters, and are sometimes funnier because they're more compressed and somewhat more rude.
Jake's adventures continue in this funny book about the small Los Angeles apartment building he lives in. It's full of hot young people who spend a lot of time nearly naked around the pool. But they're often bonkers.