Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: She's been unceremoniously relegated to the role of "the black friend", as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she's been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel ("isn't that...white people music?"); she's been called "uppity" for having an opinion in the workplace; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. The. Time.
"Phoebe, You Rock"
From the best-selling author of Assassination Vacation and Unfamiliar Fishes, a humorous account of the Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette - the one Frenchman we could all agree on - and an insightful portrait of a nation's idealism and its reality. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States is a humorous and insightful portrait of the famed Frenchman, the impact he had on our young country, and his ongoing relationship with instrumental Americans of the time.
"Already waiting for Sarah Vowell's next adventure"
In Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell argues that 1898 might be a year just as crucial to our nation's identity, a year when, in an orgy of imperialism, the United States annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and invaded Cuba and then the Philippines, becoming a meddling, self-serving, militaristic international superpower practically overnight. Of all the countries the United States invaded or colonized in 1898, Vowell considers the story of the Americanization of Hawaii to be the most intriguing.
"Enjoyable, but celeb narrations are distracting"
Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it's a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity's music ever since "Year Zero" (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang.
"Fantastic Performance by Hodgman"
There are two types of people who think professionally about the future: Foresight strategists are civil futurists who think about geoengineering and smart cities and ways to evade Our Coming Doom; strategic forecasters are spook futurists, who think about geopolitical upheaval and drone warfare and ways to prepare clients for Our Coming Doom. The former are paid by nonprofits and charities, the latter by global security groups and corporate think tanks.
"Thank you, Warren Ellis...time to disconnect..."
In the great tradition of the American almanac, The Areas of My Expertise is a brilliant and hilarious compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom on all topics large and small. Although best sellers such as Poor Richard's Almanack and The Book of Lists were certainly valuable, they also were largely true.
Welcome to the paperless (or "audiobook") edition of More Information Than You Require, a further compendium of COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE assembled and illumined by John Hodgman, a Famous Minor Television Personality. It contains all of the half-truths, fake trivia, amazing made-up facts, and molemanic lore as the paper edition, narrated here by Resident Expert John Hodgman, occasionally interrupted by this veritable extravaganza of illustrious and sometimes presumptuous guests.
John Hodgman completes his vision with That Is All, the last book in a trilogy of Complete World Knowledge. Like its predecessors, That Is All compiles incredibly handy made-up facts into brief articles, overlong lists, and beguiling narratives on new and familiar themes. It picks up exactly where More Information left off - specifically, at page 596 - and finally completes Complete World Knowledge, just in time for the return of Quetzalcoatl and the end of human history in 2012.
"Great Highs, Weird Lows"
Dimension of Miracles is a satirical science fiction novel first published by Dell in 1968. It's about Tom Carmody, a New Yorker who, thanks to a computer error, wins the main prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes. Tom claims his prize before the error is discovered and is allowed to keep it. However, since Tom is a human from Earth without galactic status and no space traveling experience, he has no homing instinct that can guide him back to Earth once his odyssey begins - and the galactic lottery organizers cannot transport him home.
"Easily The Best Title I've Encountered on Audible"
From Buzzfeed to Tumblr to Fusion, people were puzzled and enthralled by the story of Koons Crooks, a young man who took the Twittered musings of the Silicon Valley elite to heart - and ended up on a profoundly unexpected path, leaving behind only the lovingly hand-calligraphed tweets that had meant so much to him. His story struck an immediate chord. There were competing efforts to identify the author of Iterating Grace; blog posts and lengthy comment threads pointed fingers at writers all over the country.
Humorist John Hodgman rambles through a new story about aliens, physics, time, space and the way all of these somehow contribute to a sweet, perfect memory of falling in love.