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Dear Committee Members
Dear Committee Members: A novel | Julie Schumacher
Finally a novel that puts the "pissed" back into "epistolary."Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can't catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work Accountant in a Bordello, based on Melville's Bartleby. In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. We recommend Dear Committee Members to you in the strongest possible terms.
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

Still an enjoyable epistolary novel. LORs from a cantankerous English/creative writing professor. I started my second reading before my procedure and finished up with the audiobook tonight. This would be especially hilarious for anyone in academia. 4⭐️

#bfc #bfcr2 #bookfitnesschallenge book 12/12 upping my goal to 28! It‘s a stretch, but we‘ll see. #goteam

RachelO Wow, look at you with your book goal. I‘m impressed- glad it was a fun read! 2w
Megabooks @RachelO Thanks!! I‘m hoping I can make 28 🤞🏻🤞🏻 2w
mhillis I need to read this!! 2w
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Megabooks @mhillis It‘s so funny!! 2w
wanderinglynn Way to crush your goal! 🙌🏻 1w
cobwebmoth Great job on your reading goal! 1w
Megabooks @wanderinglynn Thanks! 😁😁 1w
Megabooks @cobwebmoth Thank you! 😊😊 1w
83 likes3 stack adds8 comments
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

A lot of times I don't like satirical books but this was very entertaining, especially if you've worked in an academic setting. The author did a great job of moving the story along through all the main character's letters of recommendation. This was another pick on @LazyLimaLife 's list for #NewYearWhoDis

monalyisha Sounds like I‘d like this one! 6mo
MallenNC @monalyisha Definitely give it a try! It's fairly short too. A lot of times epistolary novels don't flow well, but this one did. (edited) 6mo
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MallenNC
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Reading this pick from the #NewYearWhoDis list I got from @LazyLimaLife and my cat Pippa is keeping me company. #catsoflitsy

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Sapphire
Mehso-so

An epistolary novel, I found the beginning humorous. By the middle I found the narrator/writer so annoying it was hard to motivate myself to pick up the book again, but by the end it had found it's charm again. Not the best of it's form nor the best of the topic of academe. But a clever and timely premise that might carry more pointed identification with those dealing with college students of today. I have been out of that life for 18 years.

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BibliOphelia
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After four days of wanting to read but not wanting to read, I‘ve finally decided to put this aside for now, which is hard for me (especially as it‘s a library ebook). It is clever and engaging but really not what my reading self needs right now. Hopefully I‘ll remember to go back to it and finish some other time.

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Amiable
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Pickpick

As the reviews say about this book, it "puts the pissed in epistolary." It's written as a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that a professor of creative writing at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce. Each letter is droll, amusing, and fairly passive-aggressive. Laugh-out-loud funny.

Day 16: #adventrecommends

BookNAround This one cracked me up! 7mo
Amiable @BookNAround I know, right?? 7mo
zsuzsanna_reads I loved this one! 7mo
59 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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jenrockey
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This book is, so far, irreverent, witty, and how I feel most days working in higher ed. Written as a series of short letters/emails/correspondence makes for a quick read as well.

TrishB I haven‘t read yet because I think it may be too much like work!! 7mo
julesG Welcome to Litsy! 7mo
jenrockey @TrishB Ha! I definitely have those "Yep, been there" moments while reading some of these letters. But definitely in a hilarious way! 7mo
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Chrissyreadit Welcome! Hope you love Litsy! 7mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 📖💙 7mo
Eggbeater Welcome to Litsy! 🌻 7mo
BridgetteM Welcome to Litsy! 7mo
CarolynM Welcome to Litsy 🌼 7mo
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

This fully epistolary novel (yay!) follows an acerbic curmudgeonly professor as he writes letters of recommendation for various students and colleagues. It is hilarious!

He has a number of interactions with an ex-wife and ex-girlfriend in different departments that are especially funny. And hearing about students‘ creative writing workshop projects cracked me up! 4⭐️

Lola I loved this one. I also really liked the sequel, which just came out 8mo
Megabooks @Lola That‘s what made me think of this for #MonthofRereads. I asked my library to get her new books! I‘m happy you‘ve endorsed it! 😁😁👍🏻 8mo
AlaMich This sounds like a fun must-read! 8mo
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BookNAround This one truly made me laugh out loud. It‘s such a fun skewering of academia. I read and enjoyed the sequel but not quite as much. 8mo
Megabooks @AlaMich Definitely is! It‘s just hilarious! 8mo
Megabooks @BookNAround I‘ve asked my library to buy the sequel. I‘m hoping I like it. 🤞🏻🤞🏻 8mo
Reader4-ever Oh this sounds like a great read! Going on my ever growing TBR list. 🤗 8mo
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gracemom
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Pickpick

Sharply witty, hilarious, endearing. Loved it all.

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Conservio
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Enjoying this recent recommendation from the #readingenvy #podcast. I think autumn is finally here!

ReadingEnvy Yes!!!! 10mo
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Meglet
Pickpick

The epistolary format in this isn‘t my favorite. I think I enjoy atmospheric and setting descriptions, and feeling immersed in a place, more. Given that, the LORs were quite good at filling in most of those details. Yes, I‘ve worked in academia, and yes, this is good for many chuckles and winces. As cynical and dry as the professor is, it didn‘t get unbearable. Very well-balanced. Done quite well, but I won‘t return to it.

RaimeyGallant Nice review! 9mo
Meglet @RaimeyGallant Thank you! 8mo
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LazyLimaLife
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Pickpick

A fun & fast read - especially for anyone who spent time in academia. I think I heard about this one on NPR and I was expecting something totally different. It‘s epistolary and manages to be both hysterical and poignant. Definitely recommend👍🏾

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KathyWheeler
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Pickpick

I‘ve seen this book dismissed as slight and not that original, but, having been a teaching assistant, a research assistant, and an adjunct faculty member in a couple of higher ed English departments, I totally related to this book. There were several laugh out loud moments, but the ending was surprisingly bittersweet.

mhillis Great review! I‘d like to read this one. 11mo
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KathyWheeler
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I‘m all over the place with my reading — I‘ve got several going on at once. Since I‘m too angry to sleep, I‘m reading this to get some laughs.

jbhops Too angry to sleep. I've been there. I hope it gets better soon. 11mo
KathyWheeler @jbhops Thanks. I hate it but l will be okay. 11mo
BookNAround This was hilarious so I hope it helps. The sequel just came out too. 11mo
KathyWheeler @BookNAround Thanks! I saw the title but didn‘t know if it was a sequel or not. 11mo
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TheBookStacker
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I think I‘ve narrowed it down to these 4 books plus my kindle for our ill-timed trip to Hawaii (we leave next Wednesday morning). Depending upon the weather forecast I may add more books closer to our departure date.

Jabberwocky Molokai is heart wrenchingly gorgeous 11mo
Tomigirl44 And I recently saw that a sequel to Molokai will be published soon. 11mo
TheBookStacker @Jabberwocky I tried to find a good book centered in Hawaii, @Tomigirl44 oooh I‘ll have to check that out and see once I finish it! 11mo
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ReadingEnvy If you work in academia, Dear Committee Members is hilarious! 11mo
TheBookStacker @ReadingEnvy I‘m excited to start it 11mo
AlaMich Moloka‘i is an incredible book. Bring tissues. Lots of tissues. 11mo
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WanderingBookaneer
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Pickpick

I love this epistolary novel. It is original and a pithy and leads to bouts of snickering in public places. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Amiable This book made me LOL, too! 11mo
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RealLifeReading
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The people at the next table at the swim school turned to look at me snickering at this book. Expect more snickering, fellow swim school parents! For there will be plenty more.

Soubhiville Sounds fun! Plus, a porcupine on the cover?! Yes please! 14mo
LRSmith As an academic, I gotta say this is one of my favorites. It is so true. So very, very true. Thanks for reminding me that I need to reread this one. 14mo
RealLifeReading @Soubhiville I know right? Now to discover what other books have porcupines or hedgehogs on covers...! 14mo
RealLifeReading @LRSmith you‘re welcome! It‘s such a great book, even for a non-academic! 14mo
WanderingBookaneer Currently listening to audiobook and loving it! 11mo
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peacegypsy
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Pickpick

If you‘ve ever worked at a university English department, you‘ll relate so much that you may wonder if you were introduced to Julie and forgot. Pretty comical, easy read.

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Kimbono
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Pickpick

I work in an academic division in a community college so it was funny to see that things are alike all over. It was also a little sad to see that some of the more frustrating things about academia are alike all over. I found myself chuckling on one page and wincing the next.

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BookishMe
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Newly loaned #librarybooks
The Simsion's had to be 'extended' since there are many current reads demanding my limited attention 😅 😅

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LeslieO
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The sun finally came out! Rose and reading on the deck. #august #summerreading #roseallday

zsuzsanna_reads Bring on various committees, that title makes me want to run for the hills. 😁 2y
zsuzsanna_reads That should have read 'being' not 'bring' - autocorrect!! 😲 2y
See All 8 Comments
zsuzsanna_reads My house name autocorrects into "burgled". ? 2y
LeslieO @zsuzsanna_reads Autocorrect is the worst! 2y
Caryl I love this book! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. 😎 2y
LeslieO @Caryl I loved it! As an English major in college it made me a little sad. But I loved the snark! 2y
Caryl I'm so glad you enjoyed it! (I remember being impressed with how the author made me laugh, and cry.) 2y
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LeslieO
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Just started this funny little novel told in the form of letters of recommendation.

ReadingEnvy Oh my gosh this novel could be written about our English Dept, uncomfortably so. It had be cackling. 2y
BookBabe 😂 2y
LeslieO @ReadingEnvy @BookBabe so far it's so funny and snarky! But the blurbs mention funny and sad. 2y
36 likes3 comments
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mkinney10
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Pickpick

This was a fun read and very funny perspective of academia! Great way to end the #24in48 readathon!

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RebeccaH
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I've been in English department meetings like this one! This book is bringing back memories, and not good ones. Not old ones either. This could have been my department last semester.

TrishB My life.....😔 2y
merelybookish Yes, this book made me laugh but could have just as easily made me cry. 2y
RebeccaH @TrishB @merelybookish yep! It helps to be reading this in the summer, with some distance from it all. 2y
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RebeccaH
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Lolololol, this book is providing the laughs I need right now.

tpixie Interesting concept of a book, isn't it? 2y
RebeccaH Yes! I love epistolary novels and I'm loving this one so far. @tpixie 2y
tpixie 🙂 2y
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Nat_Reads
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Pickpick

This book is so funny! The whole thing is letters of rec from a professor of English and is hilarious. Recommend for any English (or other Humanities) major, teacher, or academic. A modern-ish take on the epistolary novel. It's a hoot.

BookNAround This was completely hilarious. 2y
Lacythebookworm I read this one recently and loved it, too! 😍📚 2y
Lola I loved this book! 2y
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Lacythebookworm
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Pickpick

This book is a hoot! If you work in academia or look fondly on your years at university, then you'll enjoy this witty look at the life of an English Department through letters of recommendation. Very clever 📚😍

annkuch13 Yes! Loved this one! I read it while I was applying for doctorate programs and asking for letters haha 2y
Lacythebookworm @annkuch13 😊The next time I'm asked for a LOR, I'll definitely think back to this! Such a fun book! 2y
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Lacythebookworm
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Pickpick

This book is a hoot! If you work in academia or look fondly on your years at university, then you'll enjoy this witty look at the life of an English Department through letters of recommendation. Very clever 📚😍

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JennyReadsBooks
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Had a lovely time at Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, today as my parents explored the town. Been meaning to read Dear Committee Members for a while now, and this seemed as good a time as any to pick up a copy.

#TBR #loveyourlocal #bookstoretourist #VillageBooks #indiesfirst #independentbookstore #DearCommitteeMembers

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jordanerickson
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Pickpick

A fun read with a surprising amount of depth

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Titania
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A hilarious and snark filled #epistolary novel told through the letters of a disgruntled English professor. #readjanuary

TrishB I like the sound of that 😀 3y
Lindy I laughed out loud when I was reading this. 😀 3y
Titania @TrishB It's so sharp witted and funny. 3y
Titania @Lindy Me too! 😂 3y
TrishB It appealed to me as I work in a University and probably with people just like this 😄 3y
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rachelm
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Sitting outside on a warm, windy fall day and wishing I had a book in my hands instead of papers to grade. Shout out to my other teachers and academics out there. It feels like there are hardly any nights when I don't have "homework" to do! #academia #teachersOfLitsy

Godmotherx5 Thanks for your hard work. 3y
rachelm @Godmotherx5 thanks! I love what I do, I just love to gripe about grading essays, too 😜 3y
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Titania
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Pickpick

One more for #funfridayphoto - this time from a professor's point of view. This book is deliciously snarky and wickedly funny.

Lindy Great book! Porcupine on the cover is a good representation of the professor's prickliness. 3y
Caryl I love this book. I got to meet the author last May, and I told her so! 3y
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LiteraryinLititz
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Pickpick

Finished this during a late-night (and rare) trip to the gym. It's a hilarious compilation of letters from a (fictional) English professor. Through his irreverent and often inappropriate letters of recommendation, departmental memos, funding requests, etc., you piece together his personality and life events. At times it was laugh out loud funny. I read it in small chunks while reading other more plot-driven books. Be ready to laugh!

Zelma That sounds like a fun palate cleanser. 3y
Fortheloveofpages Sounds like a good read for this time of the year! 😄 3y
LiteraryinLititz @Fortheloveofpages Yes, it is! Welcome to Litsy! 3y
acc5446 just saw the blurb that says this novel "...puts the pissed back in epistolary" so I am sold. 3y
Fortheloveofpages Thanks! This is so much fun! :) 3y
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LiteraryinLititz
Pickpick

Finished this during a late-night (and rare) trip to the gym. It's a hilarious compilation of letters from a (fictional) English professor. Through his irreverent and often inappropriate letters of recommendation, departmental memos, funding requests, etc., you piece together his personality and life events. At times it was laugh out loud funny. I read it in small chunks while reading other more plot-driven books. Be ready to laugh!

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Caryl
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#funny books - I pulled some funny fiction from my shelves for today's photo. #augustofpages #bookphotochallenge #augustphotochallenge

Angelala007 Ahhh Jitterbug Perfume ❤️ 3y
erzascarletbookgasm Princess Bride..hilarious :) 3y
SusanInTiburon Cold Comfort Farm 💙 3y
See All 8 Comments
PurpleyPumpkin Great choices! I forgot about some of these. 👍🏼 3y
ReadingEnvy Dear Committee Members was almost too familiar to be funny (but she really gets academia!) 3y
Caryl @Angelala007 @erzascarletbookgasm @SusanInTiburon - So glad you love these, too! All so fun. @PurpleyPumpkin - That's one of the most fun things about seeing other's book stacks on Litsy, isn't it? 😍 3y
Caryl @ReadingEnvy - I hesitated to include that one, because it involved so many other emotions besides laughter. (Which is why I loved it. It was so much more than I expected-- and yes, very on point!) Did you know it won the Thurber Award for American Humor? 3y
ReadingEnvy @Caryl I hadn't heard it won an award (but that sounds like a good one to pay attention to!) 3y
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LiteraryinLititz

Being an adult= leaving your 3 in-progress books that you really want to keep reading at home while you instead drive into the office to catch up on work. Ugh.

SoniaC Adulting is hard 😩 3y
Jenshootsweddings THE WORST. 3y
Owlizabeth Dumb work, it's the pits. 3y
See All 6 Comments
Yamich49 Adulthood SUCKS! 🙄 Like 99% of the time anyway lol 3y
LiteraryinLititz @SoniaC @Jenshootsweddings @Owlizabeth @Yamich49 Thanks for the support! I know, I even like my job, but c'mon! Not on the weekend when there are books to be read! :) 3y
tricours I sneak read at work 😇 3y
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Lakesidemusing
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Pickpick

Selected on a whim from my overdrive 'available now' list, this was a surprisingly enjoyable read! Here are 4 reasons why:
1. Academic setting. 2. Epistolary format 3. Humor... the passive-aggressive kind. 4. It's short... under 200 pages It will also change the way you think about Letters of Recommendation😉 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lakesidemusing Well that didn't format as expected😳 3y
Megabooks I read this recently and enjoyed it too. Very funny! 3y
RealLifeReading Keep hearing good stuff about this book. Will have to go read it soon 3y
Lakesidemusing @RealLifeReading Can't wait to hear what you think! 3y
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

4🌟 This book is really funny! The novel consists entirely of letters that a cantankerous professor writes, including recommendations and departmental correspondence, all with an eye to the sarcastic. At 180 short pages, it may be good for the #7in7readathon. My favorite letters were the student recommendations. Who knew so many students wrote about serial killers, vampires, and cannibals?

SaraFair I love epistolaries! Thanks. 3y
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Megabooks
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Zipping through this little book during night 8 million of insomnia. It is so funny. Trying to keep the laughter to a minimum so as not to make others!

HollyRingland There's nothing like a book to help ease the insanity of the insomnia hours especially when it's one that makes you laugh. As glorious as night reading is I love sleep more, and heartily hope you find some soon 😴 3y
BookishFeminist 🙁 sorry to hear you still have insomnia. I really hope that & your pain goes away soon! I'm glad you're staying positive and using your awake time to relax though. ❤️ 3y
ReadingEnvy I always get insomnia this time of the month.... Just sayin'... But this book was hilarious and sounded very familiar. 3y
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Notafraidofwords I suffer from insomnia, so I totally feel you 😩👀 3y
Caryl Looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you are through! I got to meet the author last spring and tell her how much I loved this book. ❤️ 3y
Lakesidemusing I'm reading this now, too. Very entertaining! 3y
58 likes12 stack adds6 comments
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Lakesidemusing
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This looks like a short, and hopefully humorous, read for the train home.

Megabooks I'm on the fence about this one. Interested in your thoughts! 3y
Karli I loved that one - I spent several years in an English department, so it resonated. 3y
SusanInTiburon If you're mired in unpleasant bureaucratic work it's too much of a muchness, but if you used to be in that situation and have escaped, it's pretty funny. 3y
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Lakesidemusing @Ebooksandcooks Got through a little more than half of it on the train. I like books with an academic setting and am enjoying it so far... not 'run out and buy it' enjoying, but 'glad I borrowed it from the library' enjoying. 3y
Lakesidemusing @Karli I can see how this would ring true. Very entertaining, too. 3y
Lakesidemusing @SusanInTiburon Oh yes, I can see how that might be the case. Very entertaining to me on the outside looking in! 3y
Megabooks I'll have to see if my library has it, then. 😃 3y
SusanInTiburon Glad you're enjoying it! I did too. 3y
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scaifea
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Pickpick

There once was a professor named Jay/ who wrote recommendations all night and day/ his wives were all exes/ academia sure perplexes/ he's an ass you just have to love anyway

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Apinlibraryland
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Pickpick

This got me out of an epic reading slump, so I'll always be grateful. Quick, fun epistolary novel.

MrBook Sounds intriguing. Added to my TBR 😊👍🏻. 3y
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Antonio

It came to me the other day: why not use this in my freshman composition class? The conventions of the ramshackle English department and plummeting interest of literary academia, narrated via LORs and other proposal letters, offer students insight into more that just a typical first-year reader.

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