By now, summer is winding down, and so, probably, is that John Grisham book you started in June. Want to know what you'll be finishing in the summer of 2018?
--"Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Cubicle Partner." Now in his 11th year at the Ministry of Magic, an increasingly pudgy Potter struggles with a Dementor-infested copying machine, ministrywide restrictions on personal e-owl and, most vexingly, his office mate Parvati Patil, who calls him "Hotty Potty" and is constantly climbing into his (ample) lap, only to giggle, slap him and fly back to her desk. Recommended only for those who loved "Harry Potter and the Help Desk of Doom."
--"Grout." Forget passion and perseverance, writes professor turned plumber Angela Duckworth. If you want something to really succeed -- and that something is your bathroom -- grit is not going to do the trick.
--"The 5 Trillion People You Meet in Purgatory." They're all here and all inspiring -- more or less. The inner-city violin teacher who failed to report her tutoring income to the IRS. The baker who always gave bread to the homeless but once told his mother to "can it!" when she started gushing about his brother's new Lexus again. The lovable old lady who stole a roll of toilet paper from the senior center. Lots of stories, lots of regret and, all told, a rather sobering read.
--"The Life-Changing Art of Torching Your Apartment." It is actually impossible to tidy up. What, we're supposed to sift through all those papers on the bed? Put away all those clothes on the bed? Lap up all the beer that's on the bed? Do we LOOK like Martha Stewart? Thank goodness for how-to books! And matches!
--"The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Authors." Sit down. Start typing. Simplify. Enjoy everything you need to know to become a best-selling business guru, plus 28 made-up anecdotes and a couple of bar graphs. Highly recommended for office bookshelves.
--"The Girl on the Bus." Jealousy, betrayal and a long wait for the 3:17 to midtown. Surely, it should be here by now. Or now. Or now. If that bus doesn't come soon, someone is going to pay -- with a painful, gory death! But ... is that maybe the bus down there?
--"Founding Fathers-in-Law." A gripping story of the fathers of the wives of the guys who wrote the Constitution, with a real feel for what times were like back then -- damp. If you liked "Hamilton" (and if you didn't, better keep it to yourself), this book is just as thick!
--"Who Moved My Leg?" How to cope with change and -- if necessary -- ambush amputation in the increasingly cutthroat world of office politics.
--"French Men Don't Get Bald." And did we mention French children don't get cavities? And French dogs don't get meatball breath? More nyah-nyahs from across the sea.
Also of note:
--"Rich Dad, Rich Granddad: The Real Story of How to Get Ahead"
--"The World Is Fat: Thomas Friedman's Other Big Revelation"
--"You: The Fine Print on the Warranty"
--"Leakonomics: Tips From Steve Bannon"
--"Geekonomics: Tips From Elon Musk"
--"Sheikonomics: Tips From the Saudi Royal Family"
--"Reekonomics: Tips From Peter Lorre in 'Casablanca'"
--"Batikonomics: Tips From Fabric-makers in Indonesia"
--"Battlecreekonomics: Tips From Snap, Crackle and Pop"
--"Meekonomics: Tips for Inheriting the Earth (Eventually -- But First the 'Rich Dad, Rich Granddad' Folks Are Going to Win for a While)"
Lenore Skenazy is author of the book and blog "Free-Range Kids" and a hilarious keynote speaker at conferences, companies and schools. Run out and get her book "Has the World Gone Skenazy?"