US Postal Service

All forms of letters receive trenchant treatment in this landmark work, from the officious business letter to the whimsical postcard. In the book's forward, 1979 Postmaster General William F. Bolger sets forth convincing reasons why letter-writting is a valuable skill, explaining that "letters and cards are . . . the tools of our democracy." Most of all, though, All About Letters will convince you that letters are fun. Even Stevie Wonder, who can't read for shit, plugs letters in this book: "Even though I am a telephone freak, I really enjoy letters more!" Step-by-step the book walks even the most perplexed reader through the magical process of written communication. It provides reasons for writing, addresses to write for general information, instruction on how to write, a list of guides for further reading, and lots of pictures of famous people smiling warmly at the mere thought of letters. "Boy, letter-writting is fun" is the long overdue message of this book.

BARREL FEVER: Stories and Essays

David Sedaris
Avid fans of NPR's Morning Edition will recognize David Sedaris as the guy whose disturbing tales of employment as a Macy's Christmas elf haunted them halfway through their second cup of coffee. Freed from the shackles of the FCC censor, Sedaris' debut novel tackles such topics as suburban home surgery, anal sex with Bruce Springsteen, and how to incite a riot at your funeral. Barrel Fever is divided into "stories," which are supposed to be fictional, and "essays," which are not. Both preserve the huffy, satirical bent of his radio work, with a whole bunch of profanities tossed in for good measure. While prolonged readings of Barrel Fever grow tedious due to its constant snotty harping, its short-story format makes it perfect for pretentious coffee house or in-between-class reading.
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