Bubbles Unbound by Sarah Strohmeyer

Bubbles Unbound by Sarah Strohmeyer (2001)
Bubbles Yablonsky (yes, that’s her real name) is a single mom hairdresser trying to make a better life for her daughter. Her latest community college course – journalism – pays off when she stumbles across two allegedly related murders and has to battle a corrupt police force and influential town leaders to get the story told. Aided by her quirky mother, her mother’s conspiracy theorist friend, and a mysterious AP photojournalist, Bubbles’ quest for the truth will keep you amused and curious till the end.

If you like Meg Cabot’s “Heather Wells” mystery series, Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” series, or Sophie Kinsella’s novels, I think you’ll enjoy the escapades of Bubbles.

Visit the author's website and read reviews at

Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse

Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse (1924)
You’ll chuckle throughout the novel as you follow the comedy of errors and convoluted connections in Leave it to Psmith (the ‘p’ is silent). A large cast of characters descends on Blandings Castle for somewhat nefarious reasons. An enjoyable jaunt from a classic British novelist.

Visit P.G. for all things Jeeves & Wooster (and Psmith, of course) and true devotees will want to check out the Wodehouse Society website.

How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein

How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein (2008)
Ever wonder why the Upper Peninsula of Michigan extends over Wisconsin? Or why so many of the western states have a similar shape and size? Or why Texas is so huge and West Virginia so funny looking? Author Mark Stein explores the reasoning behind the shape of each state.

It’s an interesting book, though not one you’d read start to finish. Stein has chapters on each state – I’d recommend reading a few chapters at a time. The book is filled with trivia and history and political shenanigans (and plenty of maps). Get a fresh perspective on events in American history and learn why Wisconsin always got the short end of the stick.

Browse the book, read reviews and information about the author from, and listen to an author interview from NPR's "OnPoint."

Are you there, Vodka? by Chelsea Handler

Are you there, Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler (2008)
Comedian and talk show host Chelsea Handler tells funny stories about her life. Topics include getting pulled over one week after her 21st birthday, taking a trip to Costa Rica with her father, and her love for vodka. A quick, enjoyable read.

Check out the author's fansite and read an excerpt from the book.

Foul Matter by Martha Grimes

Foul Matter by Martha Grimes (2003)
Foul matter is the name given by editors to an unedited manuscript. In this tongue-in-cheek caper, a best selling author agrees to change publishers if said publisher will drop their best, most literary writer. The publisher’s solution? To hire two hit men to knock off their talented but slender-selling writer.

Visit Book Reporter to read an excerpt and an interview. Check out the San Francisco Chronicle author interview.

America (The Book) by Jon Stewart

America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart (2004)
Jon Stewart, of The Daily Show fame, has written a very funny book that might also teach you something about the way our government works. However, some readers may be offended by some of the crude language used throughout the book.

You can read an excerptlisten to segments on NPR, or go to to read an interview and watch a video message.

The Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz

The Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz (2004)
What an appropriate title! Chaos, disarray, confusion - this book has all that and more. Billed as "an adventure with 16 sheep, 3 dogs, 2 donkeys," I couldn't resist. The Dogs of Bedlam Farm is the story of the author's physical and emotional journey as he relocates from his "urban" life in New Jersey to a sheep farm in upstate New York. The adventures he encounters as he trains his 3 border collies, survives a brutal winter alone on the farm, and comes to terms with who he is as a person are both amusing and heartwarming.

Stiff by Mary Roach

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (2003)

Roach has written a very interesting while not too ghoulish book about the uses of human cadavers. She traveled the world to research the book and provides the reader with information from different cultures as well as the sciences.

Go to the author's website for reviews, excerpts, and more. For interviews with Roach, visit BookBrowse, The Black Table, or Loaded Shelf. Read a review in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.