Need to start the new year with a good laugh? National Public Radio recently conducted an online poll on the funniest books ever. Here are the funniest memoirs according to that poll.
“Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah. Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of “The Daily Show” began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away.
Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. This is a story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist.
“I Feel Bad About My Neck” by Nora Ephron. With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in this candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.
The author discusses everything from how much she hates her purse to how much time she spends attempting to stop the clock: the hair dye, the treadmill, the lotions and creams that promise to slow the aging process but never do. Oh, and she can't stand the way her neck looks. But her dermatologist tells her there's no quick fix for that.
Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent.
“Last Black Unicorn” by Tiffany Haddish. Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Tiffany learned to survive by making people laugh. If she could do that, then her classmates would let her copy their homework, the other foster kids she lived with wouldn't beat her up, and she might even get a boyfriend. Or at least she could make enough money — as the paid school mascot and in-demand bar mitzvah hype woman — to get her hair and nails done, so then she might get a boyfriend.
None of that worked (and she's still single), but it allowed Tiffany to imagine a place for herself where she could do something she loved for a living: comedy. Tiffany can't avoid being funny — it's just who she is, whether she's plotting shocking, jaw-dropping revenge on an ex-boyfriend or learning how to handle her newfound fame despite still having a broke person's mind-set.
Finally poised to become a household name, she recounts with heart and humor how she came from nothing and nowhere to achieve her dreams by owning, sharing, and using her pain to heal others.
Teen Advisory Board: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 14. For ages 13-18, no registration required. Join other teens that have an interest in library programs and more. We meet monthly to help plan programs, activities and volunteer as teen advisors. We also enjoy some snacks and discussion about books and more.
Friends of the Chaska Library Meeting: 9 to 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 11. Friends of the library groups increases the use of the library through public awareness and cultural programming, advocate for strong public funding of the library, and provide private funding to enhance library services.
Tails for Reading: 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 11. Preschool and elementary school age children are welcome to read books aloud to registered therapy dogs to encourage confidence in reading. Presented by North Star Therapy Animals. Children read for a 15-minute session on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration required.
Carver County Cares: Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate?: 6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 14. Discusses family conversations around inheritance while learning about the six key decision-making factors that help guide families. Presented by U of M Extension.
Stories Sing! with the Minnesota Opera: 10:30 to 11:30, Monday, Jan. 13. For ages toddler and up. A professional opera singer gives a new perspective on reading by using tools from the stage to inspire and help children engage with books. Children will make crafts and use them to perform pieces taught in the story. This project was funded (in part or in whole) with money from Minnesota’s Art and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Binary Beads: 4:30 to 5:15 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 14. For ages 8+ Binary code is a way of representing information using only two options. Learn the fundamentals of bits and bytes by creating your own coded keychain or bracelet. Registration required.
ECFE on Wheels: 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 15. For ages birth to 5. Registration for each child per session is required. Parent/guardian needs to stay with children. Parent education staff provides a free ECFE experience for families, caregivers and children ages birth to 5 to share together. There will be circle time, songs, an art activity and literacy take-home project.
Lapsit Storytime: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Chanhassen. For ages birth to 18 months. Babies and their caregivers share quality time in a 20-minute session designed to encourage language development through board books and movement activities, followed by time for visiting and play.
Family Storytimes: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Chanhassen; 6:30 p.m. Monday and 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Chaska; 10:30 a.m. Monday, Victoria. For all ages, with a focus on children age 2 and up. Children, parents and their caregivers are invited to share 30 minutes of singing, playing, reading, writing, and talking that encourages the development of early literacy skills.
Toddler Storytimes: 10:30 a.m., Monday, Chanhassen; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Chaska; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Victoria. Toddlers and their caregivers are welcome to join us for 20 minutes of action-packed fun with stories, rhymes, fingerplays, and musical movement for this age group. Come shake your sillies out with us. For ages 18-36 months.