Although this book has a crazy long name, it’s not that long at all. The brevity and format make it great for reading while waiting or wasting time. It’s not one that requires a lot of attention and it’s easy to put down and pick back up again. This book is essentially several lists of weird things that people do, by category. It has some rave reviews on Amazon:
Hilarious collection of odd behaviors that are surprisingly endemic among humankind.
Cheerfully embraces bizarre little habits that help us cope.
–Midwest Book Review
Judy Reiser’s concept of collecting the foibles of Everyman is not only unique, but genius.
She invented the category. You will find yourself in her book, and when you do you will laugh out loud.
–Ed Clancy, Radio Broadcaster
Judy Reiser has collected gem-like examples.
–The New York Times Book Review
Everybody has them. Reiser got grown people to think about it and to tell her about it.
–The Washington Post
Great stress reliever. Gotta have just for the laughs. Would LOVE to have been on that book’s research team!
–Karla Skinner, amazon.com
And since I like all things weird, I thought I’d give it a look-through. The author, Judy Reiser, was kind enough to offer me a copy for review as well as one for giveaway, which you can enter at the end of the post.
Ms. Reiser begins with an introduction, explaining how she interviewed two-thousand people and compiled the real-life anecdotes into this anthology. She gives a few examples of odd behaviors that you will find in her book but the intro is short and soon you’re off to the first section which is all about people’s strange bathroom habits.
Each anecdote is told either by the person with the strange habit or by someone who knows them. The book then lists the ages, genders and jobs of the persons involved. I guess this is to explain that we all do strange things but I don’t find the ages and careers to be all that interesting or helping. I stopped reading that after the first few sections.
Occasionally, the anecdotes will take a more interview format as Judy asks the survey-taker a question to clarify but.. more often than not, the question is “Why do you do that?” and the answer is “I don’t know.” Or, if the story is being told by someone who knows someone who does something, Judy Reiser might add a “I checked with this person, it’s true.” Either way, this doesn’t add much to the book at all and I could do without it.
Actually, what I want to see is more editorial content. I want to know why the author choose the categories she did — Looney Tales, Funny Money, Assorted Nuts, Night Shtick, Clothes Encounters of the Strange Kind, The Howard Hughes Syndrome and Now I’ve Heard Everything! — and perhaps delve a little deeper into the psychology of these people. A short intro to each chapter would easily explain her reasoning. Furthermore, I’d love to read about the author’s own “Quirks, Idiosyncrasies & Irrational Behavior.” It would really be a charming addition to this book.
Unfortunately, as is, this is more a series of lists that seem better suited to the Internet on a site like Cracked.com. It makes for a rather lackluster book and I’d have been fairly disappointed to have purchased the full copy. It’s not that there’s not some entertaining bits but it’s certainly not laugh-out-loud funny and it gets repetitious at times.
However, let me highlight some interesting tidbits.
MY COLLEAGUE THINKS it’s a waste of time to balance her checkbook, so what she does is to mentally carry the sum in her head. She does that for about six months. At the end of six months, she closes the account and goes to another bank and opens up a new account. Eventually everything works out and she finds out how much money she has.
RETIRED EDUCATOR, MALE, 59 HIS FRIEND: EDUCATOR, 50
The money section was especially interesting because it’s ridiculous how much people waste money and how classist people are. The privilege that some experience is beyond my ability to imagine and almost makes me angry. It’s an eye-opening look into how others live.
I also find it interesting that some of these apparently odd behaviors are things I do. Like the following:
ONE DAY I needed to get my makeup out of the bathroom while my husband was in there taking a shower. I reached in to get my makeup bag, being careful not to let the steam out or the cold air in. Out of the corner of my eye I glanced toward the shower—we have clear sliding glass doors—and noticed my husband using his two hands to squeegee his body semidry. He was working his way down his body from his head. The water was turned off at this point. I asked him, “What are you doing?” And he said, “Oh, nuthin.” I said, “Are you squeegeeing your body with your hands to get all the water off?” He goes, “So?” I was amazed.
RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, FEMALE, 34 HER HUSBAND: AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER, 34
I didn’t know that was so weird. It makes toweling off more efficient.. but, hey, at least I’m not the woman who blow dries her feet or puts on all her make-up before getting into the shower. I seriously don’t understand that one. It’s food for thought, at least, even if the book layout could use some work.
If you’d like to read Admit It, You’re Crazy! Quirks, Idiosyncrasies & Irrational Behavior for yourself, I am able to give away one copy in either PDF format, so you can read it on your computer, or Kindle digital version which is compatible with Kindle for computer, Android and the Kindle itself. To enter, leave a comment for each entry type below. Giveaway will close on November 1st.
- Tell me one quirk or idiosyncrasy you have that might make it into a book like this–Mandatory
- Follow me on Twitter–@anaesthetic
- Add a link to a blog post about this giveaway (must include a link to the direct post)
- Like this post on Facebook
- Add this post to StumbleUpon or Digg
- A link to a Twitter post about this giveaway (once per day) such as:Admit It, You’re Crazy! Quirks, Idiosyncrasies & Irrational Behavior book #giveaway at Reviews by Cole http://reviewsbycole.com Ends 11/1 OR you can use the handy Twitter button on the left.
- Follow Judy Reiser on Twitter.