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: