[Book Review] One More Thing by B.J. Novak

One More Thing by BJ NovakFacts:

1. Yes, he’s the guy from The Office and he wrote a book.
2. He was also a writer and co-executive producer for the show.
3. He went to Harvard University and majored in English and Spanish literature
4. He’s really, really funny.

Back in November, I got the chance to read this book and I devoured it on a chilly Saturday afternoon. Before I go into all the reasons why I think you need to drop what you’re doing and rush to get your hands on this upcoming book, I must inform you that B.J. Novak’s One More Thing is not a memoir. You’re not going to get behind the scenes look at The Office or The Mindy Project and you’re not going to read about how he got his start in Hollywood. But you will read some of the best stories I’ve ever read. Straight forward, funny, well written stories.

There was a note from the Knopf editor in the opening pages of the advanced reading copy I received and I wanted to quote a couple of lines from it, because it was a key factor in helping me pick up the book and I think it’ll get you equally as excited.

From page one I was struck by-in love with, really- a voice that felt so fresh, original, arresting (and funny!) that I knew we had discovered something, and someone special.

What enthrals me about his work is the sense of surprise it brings. He’s a writer with astonishing range. He can turn on a dime. One second you’re laughing out loud, and then there’s a tender moment that takes your breath away. You’ll quickly see what I mean about love.

BJ Novak picI can say with a 100% certainty that his editor is spot on. Not only is it fresh and original and funny, but it’s beyond witty and showcases a unique voice that can be compared to Woody Allen and David Sedaris.

This is a collection of short stories. Please know that I’m not a fan of short stories, so I was hesitant at first. But as I dipped into one or two of them, I knew these weren’t your average stories. They weren’t twenty pages of boy meets girl, girl meets boy, conflict, end. They were stories that looked at ideas/sayings/celebrities we often refer to in regular conversation. The difference is that they are examined in a different light, sometimes in a literal sense, sometimes in an imaginative way. You know that saying “if I had a nickel for every time I spilled a cup of coffee, I’d be rich”? There’s a whole story dedicated to the actual addition and circumstances that determine if you’d actually become rich if spilled coffee were measurable. Oh – and my favourite, a story about John Grisham and a misunderstanding that leads to his publisher, Random House, running an ad with the wrong title of his book in his local newspaper.

Some are short (one page is really all you need sometimes). Case in point,

The Literalist’s Love Poem

Rose are rose.
Violets are violet.
I love you.

Some are longer, like the hilarious (and I mean hilarious) No One Goes to Heaven to See Dan Fogelberg. The story of a seventy year old man who recently passed and arrived in heaven only to realize that his Grandmother is much too busy in the afterlife to make any concrete dinner plans with him.

Whatever your pleasure, it’s in this book. If I had a nickel for every time you text, tweet or email your friends about this book, I’d be rich.


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6 thoughts on “[Book Review] One More Thing by B.J. Novak

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