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Stories That Make Us Smile

Short fiction and non-fiction for pleasure reading or for school.

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Ephron, Nora.
Ephron remembers many things from her past - the anguish of her mother's alcoholism, the fun of meeting famous people, the lasting pain of divorce, and the irrevocable loss when beloved friends die. These short, snappy essays are written with gentle wit and humour that makes getting old palatable, if not enviable.
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Sedaris, David.
Sedaris writes about his life's daily hurdles with humour and poignancy. Drawing on ordinary events with an absurdist sensibility, his stories entertain and amuse.
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Keyes, Marian.
The best-selling romance author has written a collection of autobiographical pieces with funny, self-deprecating humour and occasional astute social observations. In an open, disarming manner she covers a range of topics, from her love of shoes to her battle with alcohol.
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Leiren-Young, Mark.
A comic memoir of a young journalist writing for the Williams Lake Tribune when he lived in the cowboy town that happens to be the crime capital of British Columbia. He encounters loggers, police, and beauty contestants, covers various criminal trials and writes about his adventures with compassion and humour.
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O'Rourke, P. J.
Political satirist O'Rourke interprets Adam Smith's economic theory and applies it to today's market and politics. With his trademark irreverence and wit O'Rourke makes Smith's seminal work accessible and enjoyable to the general reader.
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De Botton, Alain.
He is praised as one of the most influential writers, but Proust is not widely read. In this tongue-in-cheek self-help book de Botton uses his considerable insight into Proust to motivate and help readers deal with daily problems. Even suffering can be productive and successful, and with this book Proust reaches a wider audience.
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Trillin, Calvin.
In a tribute to his late wife and muse, Alice, Trillin looks back on their romance, family life, and work, and how his need to impress her inspired his writing. With gentle humour he celebrates their at-times charmed, and always interesting, life together.
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Bryson, Bill.
Bryson goes from room to room in his rural English parsonage home, and considers how the contents - everything from spices, to mouse traps, to furniture - reflect social history and customs. With his wry humour he makes the familiar and daily life seem fascinating.
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Kean, Sam.
A lively, enjoyable history of the chemical elements and the people who discovered them. Written with wit, flair, and authority the stories make chemistry, or, at least, the periodic table accessible and meaningful to general readers.
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An anthology of funny writings published in The New Yorker from the '20s to today. There is enough variety - irony, parody, tongue-in-cheek - to appeal to everyone's sense of humour.
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