Saturday, December 14, 2013

Using the Best Medicine, Part I

Whether you have fibromyalgia, chronic pain, mitochondrial fatigue or some other exhausting and painful long-term health condition, the doctors agree on this: laughter is important.  Keeping your sense of humor exercised is as important as keeping your body exercised.  Here are some of the books I've been reading lately to keep my laugh muscles limber.  (Slightly longer reviews are linked, if they exist.)

The Unlikely Disciple: Yes, it's hardly a laugh a minute,  but as someone who attended a similar institution, imagining the awkward situations Kevin Roose got himself into as an undercover journalist sometimes reduced me to helpless giggles (usually alternating with embarrassment at some of the subculture shenanigans those evangelicals get up to).

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: Another blog turned book, this one isn't quite as successful at the transition as Hyperbole and a Half because it's a regular, short form blog, not actual essays like Hyperbole.  However, it is still a hilarious, sometimes heart-breaking, always profanity-laced, self-deprecation fest that made me laugh and cry (usually at the same time, which is so dangerous)  The fact that I kept reading despite the danger should tell you how compelling it was.  Then again, when you can't seem to get more than a couple of hours of sleep a night, and you use this book to keep you company until you can't keep your eyes open anymore, I'm not sure the book itself necessarily has to be compelling.

Axe Cop: I cannot really tell you how wrong this comic is.  It is so, so wrong.  And so, so accurate if you have ever dealt with small children and the weird and horrible stories that they produce (even if their parents don't let them read fairy tales).  "Written" by a 5-7 year-old and drawn by a 28-30 year-old brother, Axe Cop started as a web comic, but Dark Horse has incarnated it in physical form.  I have to ration it because too much in one sitting is a bad idea (starts to seem less funny in large quantities).  (Sort of like small children, actually . . .)

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