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The Joy of Funerals by Alix Strauss

For some unknown reason, possibly just stupidity, I translated the "joy" in The Joy of Funerals by Alix Strauss in my mind into the term "humor." As though "making a joyful noise" means laughing. I think a quoted critic's reference to "Six Feet Under" maybe added to my confusion.

Unfortunately, I didn't find the slightest bit of humor in this book. I actually ended the book feeling very down, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Obviously, the characters spoke to me in certain ways, just not in terms of humor.

This book is about grief and other forms of dysfunction in various manifestations in related short stories. I was a little put off by the way the book started, with a story about a woman who, as part of her grief, sleeps with every willing man who comes to the cemetery where her husband is buried. Another character, in therapy for compulsive shopping/overspending, steals the ashes of said therapist, with whom she has been having an affair for two years. Perhaps the most heart-wrenching, combined with fascinatingly repulsive, character is the woman who goes to the services, including the two just mentioned, of people she doesn't know and pretends to know them. "Dysfunctional" doesn't begin to cover that!

While I can't say that I "liked" the book, exactly, I did appreciate the originality and descriptiveness of the various characters in the stories. Strauss certainly kept me interested in the people and what they were doing.

My overall personal rating of The Joy of Funerals is a B-.


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Current Little Pleasures

Girls' weekend in Omaha with Maya and her friend.

Happy Buddha:  Sweet Orange and Cedar Shower Foam from RITUALS

Time for iced or blended peppermint mochas.

Shopping for little gifts for Maya's Japanese pen pal.  They were matched through their schools, and we're hoping she can stay with us for a few days this summer.

The flock of wild turkeys, foxes, and other assorted wildlife entertaining us this fall.

Thanksgiving plans to visit my sister.

Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas is back!

Current Little Pleasures

Christmas Keepsake Week, July 14-23, filled with Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Sending Christmas (in July) cards with a Peace greeting to some of my favorite people.  Why not??

Scott Tube Free Toilet Paper--nothing to recycle.

Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream--always!

Baby Driver movie.

Seeing photos from my sisters and niece on Facebook during their Italy trip.  I can't imagine they will want to come back home!

What are your current little pleasures?