Friday Book Beginnings & The Friday 56 | #27

Friday Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and the Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice.

So Friday Book Beginnings you choose the book you are currently reading or the one that is closest to you and share the first few sentences. For the Friday 56 you simply turn to page 56 or 56% on your e-reader and share a sentence or two that you enjoy. Then just add maybe a synopsis about the book in case others are interested. That’s it!

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onemorethingOne More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

Published on: February 4th, 2014

Goodreads | Amazon | BookDepository | Indigo

Summary (from Goodreads): From an actor, writer, and director of the hit TV comedy The Office (US version): a story collection that was “workshopped” at comedy clubs and bookstores on both coasts.

B.J. Novak’s One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut collection that signals the arrival of a welcome new voice in American fiction.

Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, Novak’s assured prose and expansive imagination introduce readers to people, places, and premises that are hilarious, insightful, provocative, and moving-often at the same time.

In One More Thing, a boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes – only to discover that claiming the winnings may unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins – turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A school principal unveils a bold plan to permanently abolish arithmetic. An acclaimed ambulance driver seeks the courage to follow his heart and throw it all away to be a singer-songwriter. Author John Grisham contemplates a monumental typo. A new arrival in heaven, overwhelmed by infinite options, procrastinates over his long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We meet a vengeance-minded hare, obsessed with scoring a rematch against the tortoise who ruined his life; and post-college friends who debate how to stage an intervention in the era of Facebook. We learn why wearing a red t-shirt every day is the key to finding love; how February got its name; and why the stock market is sometimes just… down.

Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, from the deeply familiar to the intoxicatingly imaginative, One More Thing finds its heart in the most human of phenomena: love, fear, family, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element that might make a person complete. The stories in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader.

Beginning: In the aftermath of an athletic humiliation on an unprecedented scale — a loss to a tortoise in a footrace so staggering that, his tormentors teased, it would not only live on in record books, but would transcend sport itself, and be taught to children around the world in textbooks and bedtime stories for centuries; that hundreds of years from now, children who have never heard of a “tortoise” would learn that it’s basically a fancy type of turtle from hearing about this very race — the hare retreated, understandably, into a substantial period of depression and self-doubt.

Page 56: I told him I stopped because I realized I was turning love into an accomplishment, and he was turning accomplishment into love, and neither of those things would ever quite be the other.

Thoughts: This looks like a great book filled with short stories. It’s been in the apartment for a while and I’ve never really felt the urge to pick it up. These snippets show the potential variety of the stories. Knowing B.J. Novak humor will play a key role in some of these stories.

I’m getting into short stories. Do you know of any short stories or short story collections that are must reads?

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