Thursday, November 30, 2017

Latest 'Do Not Read' List from Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show

During the episode first broadcast on November 29, with guests John Boyega (in advance of the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and promoting the re-release of Detroit) and Kevin Nealon (SNL veteran, Weeds, and more), Jimmy Fallon featured a few more books from his now-lengthy "Do Not Read List."

The list was eclectic, to say the least.

microwave cooking fallon tonight show do not readFallon's first listed item was the 1981 cookbook, Microwave Cooking - On a Diet, written by Barbara Methven with photographs by ‎ Michael Jensen,‎ Steven Smith,‎ and Ken Greer, described as "a collection of recipes for people on a diet and cooking with a microwave from Litton." The Tonight Show host pointed out that the cover photo -- rich chocolate pudding, it appears to be -- is one of the least likely things someone "on a diet" is likely to cook.

How to be a drug dealer Fallon do not read listThe second book on Fallon's newest list was somewhat more provocative: How to be a Drug Dealer, published in 2014 and written by 673126 (probably a pseudonym) and J. M.R. Rice. According to the Amazon description, "Are you tired of working all day and night without having anything to show for it? Would you like to be able to afford a vacation, or just be your own boss? This book will do just that by teaching you How to be a Drug Dealer! Are you already a drug dealer, but want to expand your business? Look no further than this book to help you increase your profits and grow your empire!"

Idiots guide to teaching college Fallon Tonight do not readNext on the "Do Not Read" list was an academic volume, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Teaching College, published in 2007 by Anthony D. Fredericks. As Jimmy Fallon noted, if he saw that book on his college professor's book shelf, he would probably return to How to Be a Drug Dealer as a backup plan for a post-college career. The note on Amazon, however, seems to suggest a serious purpose: "Perfect for teaching assistants, graduate students, adjuncts, and anyone who might need a brush-up, this guide teaches everything from designing the best possible course and choosing a textbook to grading. It's also loaded with advice on giving effective lectures, leading discussions, and communicating well with students. Includes sample syllabi and lesson plans."

88 reasons rapture 1988 Fallon tonight show do not readThe fourth volume on Fallon's list was a book of prophecy by Edgar Whisenant, 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988, published in a Kindle edition in 2016. (Fallon had a hard copy of the book to display on TV.) According to its publisher on Amazon, "In this highly influential book, the date for the Rapture is predicted to be 1988. Read inside to find 88 reasons why this was once thought to be the case!" (Who did it influence? It doesn't say. But as a predictive book, it left something to be desired.) Whisenant is also the author of the 2017 book with a similar theme, On Borrowed Time: The Bible Dates of the 70th Week of Daniel, Armageddon, the Millennium, which is also touted as "highly influential."

How to catch crabs tonight show jimmy fallonA romance novel set in Australia was next on the list. Written by Demelza Carlton, the title is How To Catch Crabs. The description is compelling: "Love and babies: two things Lucy doesn't have time for in her life. It's 1926 and this young West Australian woman is happy as an accountant. And she intends to stay that way."  Then, "along comes Giorgio, an Italian migrant fisherman sent to Australia in disgrace. The moment their eyes meet across the fish market, he knows Lucy's the girl for him. If it weren't for those damn crabs and his reputation as a rake, he's certain he could catch more than just her eye – perhaps even her heart, too."

Fallon was taken by the tag line: "A tale of crabs, cricket bats and catching your heart's desire in Jazz Age Western Australia."

Notably, Demelza Carlton is the author of dozens of books, including the provocatively titled The Rock Star's Virginity and Melody Angel's Guide to Heaven and Hell.

Oddly, the last book Fallon displayed as part of his latest "Do Not Read" list is not available on  (They have always been easily found through an Amazon search in the past.)  He had a hard copy, so it must exist somewhere.  The title was "What If You Are a Horse in Human Form," allegedly written by Jason the Horse. If any reader can find this unusual book for sale anywhere on the Internet, please note it in the comments below.


Here's the "Do Not Read" video from The Tonight Show:


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Another 'Do Not Read' List from Jimmy Fallon

Noting that it is beach reading season, host of The Tonight Show Jimmy Fallon brought more books to the attention of his nationwide audience on August 16 -- with the admonition that these are books that they should not read. (Previous editions can be seen here and here, and even earlier here.)

Fallon has offered his "do not read" list several times over the past few seasons.  In this edition, he chose an academic book, a children's book, a craft book, and a mystery, among others.

The mystery was The Penguin Who Knew Too Much by Donna Andrews (noted on the front cover as author of No Nest for the Wicket). The book's description begins:

Donna Andrews Jimmy Fallon Penguin mysteryDonna Andrews is taking us on another ride into the wonderful world of Meg Langslow, a world filled with laughter as well as the knotty problems Meg always seems to encounter and---somehow---solve.

Okay, maybe there are people in Antarctica with penguins in their basements, but in Virginia? Only Meg's dad could manage that one. A body down there---well, that's somewhat more likely.

It turns out that explaining the penguins' presence is easy---Meg's dad volunteered to take care of the birds until the future of the bankrupt local zoo could be determined. But identifying the body in the basement proves a harder task---could it be, as Meg fears, that of the vanished zoo owner?
Surprisingly -- or not -- The Penguin Who Knew Too Much is published by Minotaur Books, not by Penguin.

The academic book Fallon highlighted is called Mathematics for Engineers by Raymond W. Dull. Apparently a classic in its genre -- it was published in 1941 -- its plain gray cover represents its author's surname.

Bathroom Yoga Jimmy Fallon Do Not ReadAn exercise book was next on Jimmy Fallon's "do not read" list: Bathroom Yoga by Jerri Lincoln. In a pun-filled commentary, Fallon averred that the publisher was Little Brown but it's actually from Ralston Store Publishing. The cover suggests that the book is for "those who lack the time or space to do yoga anywhere else!" (Yes, including the exclamation point.) The cover photo looks like someone being held hostage in a 1970s private eye TV show.

Fallon also brought up a hobby book by John P. Adams called Bottle Collecting in New England: A Guide to Digging, Identification, and Pricing. It was published in 1969 by the New Hampshire Publishing Company and I'd guess it's been out of print since 1970 -- though there was a sequel of sorts published by the same company in 1971, with the title Bottle Collecting in America. a Guide to Digging, Identification, and Pricing. a Companion Volume to Bottle Collecting in New England. Perhaps Adams' earlier volume was a minor hit in its genre.

Fallon also chose to demonstrate the 1998 craft book, Return of the Nose Masks by Rick Meyerowitz. From the description on
Nose masks Jimmy Fallon Do Not Read Rick MeyerowitzTruly nutty ideas never die. They just lie in wait to come back when you least expect it. Exactly twenty years ago, those two wacky books of nasal disguises, Nose Masks I and Nose Masks II, appeared and America seemed to inhale them. There were nose mask parties, celebrities wearing nose masks, nose masks in parades. Today, like the Beetle, the yo-yo, and aviator shades, they're back. Return of the Nose Masks is wackiness for a whole new generation of grown-ups, children, and grown-ups with an inner child. Created by the original nose mask auteur, Rick Meyerowitz, here are 150 original costumes for the nose. Printed in four-color and perforated, there is the Fat Cat, Cooool Cat, and Cocktail Cat. Lawrence and Lenore of Arabia. The Velvet Frog. Nefertootsie and the Tut Mask. The three freedoms--Freedom to Sing, Freedom to Dance, Freedom to Shop. Holiday nose masks, underwater nose masks, career noses masks, modern art nose masks. There are little square nose masks and big vertical nose masks. Mustache nose masks, nose ring nose masks, and the Big Tongue page. Even the Buddha, for that mood of spiritual longing. The nose masks come with instructions for any-size nose on any-age face.

Finally, Fallon showed us a children's book -- although the cover design and title suggest the contents may be inappropriate for younger ages. The book, by Jon Buller, is called Mike and the Magic Cookies. Published 25 years ago by Grosset & Dunlap, it comes with praise from the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books: "This is the kind of book that . . . kids will eat right up--which is exactly what you want in an easy-reader. Cartoon illustrations remininiscent [sic] of Syd Hoff join right in with the suburban lunacy."

I guess you'll have to judge for yourself.

Update: Here's a video of Jimmy Fallon's "Do Not Read" list from last night: