BOOKS I CAN RECOMMEND WITHOUT READING (PART TWO)

THE UPSIDE OF UNDERTAKING — These “hilarious stories of the dead and living that will keep you laughing for hours” include “a humorous account of a day with a mortician.” This book could obviously lighten up your day, especially if you have a fatal disease and want something to look forward to a.d. …. which leads to moi’s next selection.

100 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU’RE DEAD — Offers “100 useful, productive and money-saving ideas for how your body could be put to use after you’ve spent your last breath.” No doubt there are people who will want to save money when they’re dead, especially if planning to have their body shipped to Cabo or Antigua instead of Purgatory for the duration, but I know of no religion that offers that choice …. unless it’s Catholic, now that Pope (“Who am I to judge?”) Francis is in charge. No doubt the Vatican Travel Bureau is conclaving some money-saving travel deals behind closed doors even as we speak.

JERKS IN NEW YORK HISTORY: SPEAKING ILL OF THE DEAD — “Features 15 short profiles of notorious bad guys, misunderstood thinkers and other antiheroes from the history of the Empire State,” from “Boss” Tweed to Albert Fish …. presumably including Brooklyn-born bank robber Willie (“Because that’s where the money is”) Sutton. As it happens, another notorious bank robber, Clyde (“Bonnie and Clyde”) Barrow, was born on this day, March 24, though not in New York. Though the Big Apple can’t claim all the bad apples, at least Fish didn’t get away.

POETS RANKED BY BEARD WEIGHT — “See how Whitman’s beard stacks up against Browning’s, Longfellow’s and Tennyson’s.” Longfellow’s would seem a safe bet, but perhaps length doesn’t equate with weight. Emily Dickenson lived such a reclusive life that no one knows how her’s stacks up.  And let us not forget living beards like that of yours truly — if he refuses to lose his and mistermuse’s chooses, it has miles to grow before he sleeps. His wife says it’ll be a snowy evening in hell before that happens.