Brighten up the last week in January with some fun and quirky readings on your commute. Zombies, Sriracha, butter sculptures, literary crimes—yes, you’ll find them all in these unusual books, podcasts, and websites.
On Your Kindle
How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, Matthew Inman
Are you a fan of Matthew Inman’s hilarious website, The Oatmeal? If so—and actually, even if you’re totally unfamiliar with his comical drawings about cats, grammar, printer failure, and Sriracha—check out his first book, How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You. It’s the perfect present for the cubicle dweller in your life.
On a Smartphone
On a short commute, browse through Quirk Books’ decidedly kooky book list. Known for Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, this small publishing company has made a name for itself with playful parodies, off-the-wall guides, and other charmingly oddball offerings. If zombies aren’t your thing, check out this cookie dough inspired cookbook or get in touch with your inner Nancy Drew with this handbook.
On a Podcast
NPR’s food podcast features recent news from a variety of interesting (and sometimes odd) food-related stories and culinary voices. Ever wonder about what happens to those unusual state fair exhibits, like butter sculptures in the shape of cows? The most recent podcast covers the eventual fate of one sculpture, as well as recent cookbooks, coffee drinking among college kids, and other foodie-friendly stories.
The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
Jasper Fforde’s “Thursday Next” novels are a quirky delight, beginning with The Eyre Affair. Taking place in an alternate-reality England where novels and plays are insanely popular and time travel exists, his female detective Thursday investigates “literary crime,” like gang wars between rival Shakespeare and Marlowe factions. When Thursday finds herself investigating a murder inside the plot of Jane Eyre, national chaos ensues. Keep your eyes peeled for Fforde’s trademark puns and jokes.