© 2024 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stay tuned to KMUW and NPR for the latest developments from the Republican National Convention.

Humor Books to Combat the SAD Season

Detail from the cover of <i>A Girl Named Zippy</i>, a memoir by Haven Kimmel.
Detail from the cover of A Girl Named Zippy, a memoir by Haven Kimmel.
Detail from the cover of the novel <i>Handling Sin</i> by Michael Malone.
Detail from the cover of the novel Handling Sin by Michael Malone.

As the days turn cold and dark, librarian Nancy Pearl gets a jump on the winter solstice with picks for books that beat the winter-weather blues.

For many, those blues are already well under way. Seasonal Affective Disorder --or SAD -- peaks around the solstice on Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year. Pearl suggests turning to a good, lively book to ward off the effects of pervasive darkness.

Whether it's a fanciful scrapbook of 1940s Brooklyn (Last Days of Summer, by Steve Kluger) or the more outlandish story of a possessive chimpanzee, as in John Collier's His Monkey Wife, the books listed here all share something in common.

As Pearl says, "they just give you a little nudge, up the chain to a little humor in your life."

Pearl discusses her winter book choices with NPR's Steve Inskeep. Following is a list of her picks:


A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson


Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

Evolution Man, or How I Ate My Father by Roy Lewis

The Bear Went Over the Mountain by William Kotzwinkle

Handling Sin by Michael Malone

His Monkey Wife by John Collier

About a Boy by Nick Hornby

Straight Man by Richard Russo

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
Nancy Pearl is a regular commentator about books on NPR's Morning Edition and NPR affiliate stations KUOW in Seattle and KWGS in Tulsa.