Silly books

I love silly books. I usually find them in the most random places (which only adds to their appeal) and they're always an impulse purchase, which is always fun.

I keep my books in the living room, where they make great conversation starters -- or I put them on the guest bed when we have overnight visitors. It sure beats the copy of Us Weekly we've all read in doctor's waiting rooms.

Here are my current favorites. Let me know if you have a silly book you love, so I can buy it!

The Clumsiest People in Europe: Or, Mrs. Mortimer's Bad-Tempered Guide to the Victorian World

This book is full of (literally) good old-fashioned "cultural slurs" (that's NPR's description, and I swear, the best way to explain this book). It was written by a crotchety Victorian children's book author who only left England twice in her life, and it makes me laugh every time. She insults everyone and, as crazy as it sounds, it's a great way to get everyone laughing and talking.

Fortune-Telling Birthday Book

A fun little book that also doubles as a perpetual birthday record -- there's a space under each "fortune" where you can write down people's birthday. So much fun at a birthday party and great way to collect everyone's birthday. Sure beats relying on Facebook!

My fortune (September 29):
 You are courageous and venturesome, energetic, and very strong willed. Through your strong personality, you are a leader among your friends. You like entertainments, and your friends are as gay and vivacious as you. You are lovable and have a deep affection for your family.

True that, my friends.

Official Spanglish Dictionary

Ha ha ha (or rather, ja ja ja) this one always makes me laugh. If you've ever lived in Miami, it will make you laugh too. A classic.

floridarrún n. family room of a Hispanic household

Class: Transliteration

Origin: Taken from the English term "Florida room."

Typical usage: "La verdad es que las porquerías de la sagüecera no se comparan con los floridarrún de Hialeah."

English: "The truth is those crappy sagüecera holes can't compare with any Hialeah floridarrún."

(I'm from la sagüecera. I so completely disagree with this. But haaaa!)

The Ferns and Fins Guide to Sidewalk Journeys in ....

This is a walking guide put out by the local garden club. It has a few suggested neighborhood walks, with a bit of history thrown in. Our town is turning 300 this year, and I love that the little houses all have a bit of history -- if you stay at my house, you will have the fortune of reading about it too. Maybe your town/city has a locally produced guide you can share with visitors? Your neighborhood is likely more fascinating than you think!