I admit: I am partial to comedy writer (best known for The Office) and now over-night literary star B.J. Novak because of his “soup snake” (soul-mate) relationship with Mindy Kaling. In fact, the only reason I read One More Thing is because the trailer (Yes, the book has a trailer, if you haven’t already seen it) features the woman after my own heart Ms. Kaling, first pretending to be a French new wave writer and then breaking out of character to talk about another woman after my heart -Rihanna. Book trailer aside, One More Thing is a collection of short stories that merits all the attention it’s been getting since it was published in April.
B.J. Novak is very aware of our cultural moment. I have read no one else who can write about meeting someone at Trader Joe’s and wondering what would have happened if you had gotten their name and number, and make it seem like an existential problem. Each story has within it a line or several that will cause you to simultaneously laugh out loud and ponder the meaning of those everyday happenings that we take for granted.
If you’re looking to read something that will crack you up and make you think – but not too hard, you should read One More Thing this summer.
Summary from Amazon.com:
A boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes—only to discover that claiming the winnings might unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins—turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A new arrival in Heaven, overwhelmed with options, procrastinates over a long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We meet Sophia, the first artificially intelligent being capable of love, who falls for a man who might not be ready for it himself; a vengeance-minded hare, obsessed with scoring a rematch against the tortoise who ruined his life; and post-college friends who try to figure out how to host an intervention in the era of Facebook. Along the way, we learn why wearing a red T-shirt every day is the key to finding love, how February got its name, and why the stock market is sometimes just . . . down.
Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, One More Thing has at its heart the most human of phenomena: love, fear, hope, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element just that might make a person complete. Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, the many pieces in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, sharp eye, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader.
Post submitted by Kanyin