Title: One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories
By: BJ Novak
The Skinny: Stories that are by turns heartwarming, hilarious, thought-provoking, and highly engaging, BJ Novak’s debut stands out among other short story collections.
The Pros: “The Man Who Invented the Calendar” (a hilarious fictional account of the person who invents the names for the months and decides how many days each month needs), “No One Goes To Heaven To See Dan Fogleberg” (a heartwarming reminder that the elderly used to be young too and would do it all over again if they could), and “The Rematch”(a retelling of Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare, told from the point of view of the hare, who tirelessly trains to beat his rival in a rematch). Genius. The stories are also mainly read by Novak (AKA Ryan from The Office), but also include many other guest voices.
The Cons: It’s a great book, but unfortunately I couldn’t listen to it in the car while my kids were in the backseat. One too many F-bombs!
The Bottom Line: Short stories are notoriously difficult to write as the plot needs to complete its entire arc within parameters smaller than a novel.This collection achieves just that–it is unique in that it moves back and forth between time and space, fantasy and reality, comedy, shock, and tenderness. Just read it, or listen to the audiobook and take the ride for yourself!