More Mirth of a Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor

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Harper Collins, Jan 4, 2011 - Humor - 592 pages
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More seriously funny writing from American's most trusted humor anthology

Witty, wise, and just plain wonderful, the inaugural volume of this biennial, Mirth of a Nation, ensured a place for the best contemporary humor writing in the country. And with this second treasury, Michael J. Rosen has once again assembled a triumphant salute to one of America's greatest assets: its sense of humor. More than five dozen acclaimed authors showcase their hilariously inventive works, including Paul Rudnick, Henry Alford, Susan McCarthy, Media Person Lewis Grossberger, Ian Frazier, Richard Bausch, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Nell Scovell, Andy Borowitz, and Ben Greenman -- just to mention a handful so that the other contributors can justify their feelings that the world slights them.

But there's more! More Mirth of a Nation includes scads of Unnatural Histories from Randy Cohen, Will Durst's "Top Top-100 Lists" (including the top 100 colors, foods, and body parts), and three unabridged (albeit rather short) chapbooks:

David Bader's "How to Meditate Faster" (Enlightenment for those who keep asking, "Are we done yet?")

Matt Neuman's "49 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth" (for instance, "Make your own honey" and "Share your shower.")

Francis Heaney's "Holy Tango of Poetry" (which answers the question, "What if poets wrote poems whose titles were anagrams of their names, i.e., 'Toilets,' by T. S. Eliot?")

And there's still more: "The Periodic Table of Rejected Elements," meaningless fables, Van Gogh's Etch A Sketch drawings, a Zagat's survey of existence, an international baby-naming encyclopedia, Aristotle's long-lost treatise "On Baseball," and an unhealthy selection of letters from Dr. Science's mailbag. And that's just for starters! Just remember, as one reviewer wrote of the first volume, "Don't drink milk while reading."

 

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User Review  - figre - LibraryThing

When I first proposed a humor column for Internal Auditor magazine I submitted three examples to the committee. (What does that tell you about the chances for humor when a committee is making the ... Read full review

More mirth of a nation: the best contemporary humor

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Regular readers of the New Yorker's Shouts & Murmurs page and the Modern Humorist will likely have already digested some of the fare in this biennial collection of humor pieces, nearly all of which ... Read full review

Contents

RICHARD BAUSCH
11
ANDY BOROWITZ
18
TIM CARVELL
28
CARINA CHOCANO
39
LAWRENCE DOUGLAS AND ALEXANDER GEORGE
49
MICHAEL THOMAS FORD
57
Quentin Tarantino David Copperfield extremely skinny actresses your
63
IAN FRAZIER
68
BOBBIE ANN MASON
261
BRUCE MCCALL
272
SUSAN MCCARTHY
289
J H S McGREGOR
301
TOBY MILLER
309
RICK MORANIS
316
RICK MORANIS AND HOWARD KAMINSKY
327
DAVID OWEN
340

KRIS FRIESWICK
73
FRANK GANNON
82
stand in line for about three of the popular rides in a whole day and they
95
TOM GLIATTO
98
LEWIS GROSSBERGER
109
JUDY GRUEN
122
CHRIS HARRIS
129
TIM HARROD
137
GREGORY HISCHAK
153
CYNTHIA KAPLAN
177
MARTHA KEAVNEY
188
ROBERT KONRATH
199
Apparently the author has a videotape of
208
can do while doing something else such as walking? If we had time to loi
211
LOTT
217
MERRILL MARKOE
234
STEVE MARTIN
242
MICHAEL FRANCIS MARTONE
252
percent of the admission price just to stand around waiting for the fun
254
ALYSIA GRAY PAINTER
353
Three Christmas Candies
359
LOUIS PHILLIPS
368
JUDITH PODELL
388
TOM RUPRECHT
399
JAY RUTTENBERG
403
NELL SCOVELL
425
JEREMY SIMON
449
HOLLY SMITH
453
BILL WASIK
459
NOAM WEINSTEIN
465
Excerpts from Mens Self
475
SUBMISSION GUIDANCE
483
QUESTIONS FOR READING GROUPS
495
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
533
PERMISSIONS
545
Toilets by T S Eliot
547
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

The editor of More Mirth of a Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor, Michael J. Rosen has been called the unofficial organizer of the National Humor Writer's Union, a pretty good idea for an organization that could offer all kinds of benefits to its struggling members (currently numbering more than 300 who have never been published in The New Yorker or aired on NPR). He has been called other things as well, like in third grade, and then in seventh grade especially, by certain older kids known as "hoods," who made his life miserable, specifically during gym class, lunch period and after school. Later, much later, the Washington Post called him a "fidosopher" because of his extensive publications on dogs, dog training, and dog-besotted people. The New York Times called him an example of creative philanthropy in their special "Giving" section for persuading "writers, artists, photographers and illustrators to contribute their time and talents to books" that benefit Share Our Strength's anti-hunger efforts and animal-welfare causes. As an author of a couple dozen books for children, he's been called...okay, enough with the calling business.

For nearly twenty years, he served as literary director at the Thurber House, a cultural center in the restored home of James Thurber. Garrison Keillor, bless his heart, called it (sorry) "the capital of American humor." While there, Rosen helped to create The Thurber Prize for American Humor, a national book award for humor writing, and edited four anthologies of Thurber's previously unpublished and uncollected work, most recently The Dog Department: James Thurber on Hounds, Scotties and Talking Poodles, happily published by HarperCollins as well.

In his capacity as editor for this biennial, Rosen reads manuscripts year round, beseeching and beleaguering the nation's most renowned and well-published authors, and fending off the rants and screeds from folks who've discovered the ease of self-publishing on the web. Last summer, Rosen edited a lovely book, 101 Damnations: The Humorists' Tour of Personal Hells; while some critics (all right, one rather outspoken friend) considered this a book of complaints, Rosen has argued that humor, like voting and picketing and returning an appliance that "worked" all of four months before requiring a repair that costs twice the purchase price, humor is about the desire for change. It's responding to the way things are compared to the way you'd like things to be. And it's a much more convivial response than pouting or cornering unsuspecting guests at dinner parties.

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