Writers and Authors
● By Robert Frey
By Ray Saadi
POKING A DEAD FROG By Mike Sacks, Penguin Books, $18
The title, in case you’re curious, is from E. B. White who wrote, “Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process.” In other words, don’t keep poking the joke to find why it’s funny, just laugh. Mike Sacks does a remarkable job of poking the jokesters, none of whom died. If you’ve laughed at Seinfeld’s, YADA, YADA, YADA and Shrinkage, you might be surprised to learn from Peter Mehlman, who wrote those lines, that he never expected them to be so memorable. You’ll find all 15 interviews with top writers memorable as well.
AUTHORISMS By Paul Dickson, Bloomsbury, $18
Words, Words, Words. Where would we be without them? Where indeed? To speak, to write and most importantly, to think, we need good vocabularies. But where did some words originate? Who created or first used them? Not surprisingly, Shakespeare is credited with inventing between 1,700 and 2,200 new words. Sir Walter Scott is second to Shakespeare in first uses of words and John Milton introduced some 630 words including “lovelorn and earthshaking.” Any lover of words and their origins will delight in this delightful little book.