Before he became the star of his own late night namesake show, Jimmy Fallon starred on Saturday Night Live for five years. During that stint, he was well known for being unable to keep a straight face during skits. In these simulated thank you notes, however, he manages to keep his authorial tongue firmly planted in cheek while he expresses his "gratitude" to Miley Cyrus, Hillary Clinton, and hundreds of others. Only you the reader will be laughing uproariously.
Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
Angela Dawe gives a bravura performance in her reading of this excellently plotted physiological thriller. Annie O’Sullivan has a job she’s good at, a dog she adores, a boyfriend who makes her happy, and a mother who makes her crazy; in other words she’s living a perfectly happy ordinary life. All that changes in an instant when she is abducted and held captive for more than a year in a remote mountain cabin. Through a series of intriguing, suspenseful, and heartbreaking sessions with a therapist, the book follows Annie’s year of captivity, and her difficult adjustment to life once she escapes. Dawe expertly handles what is essentially a one-woman monologue. She easily moves through Annie’s emotionally charged story, fully expressing the woman’s pain, anguish, and terror, yet she never falls into melodrama and keeps the character grounded. Her rich, fully realized characterization pulls the listener deep into the story. It is a finely tuned, multilayered performance that will keep listeners enthralled to the very last disc.
by Jennifer Egan
Readers will be pleased to discover that the star-crossed marriage of lucid prose and expertly deployed postmodern switcheroos that helped shoot Egan to the top of the genre-bending new school is alive in well in this graceful yet wild novel. We begin in contemporaryish New York with kleptomaniac Sasha and her boss, rising music producer Bennie Salazar, before flashing back, with Bennie, to the glory days of Bay Area punk rock, and eventually forward, with Sasha, to a settled life. By then, Egan has accrued tertiary characters, like Scotty Hausmann, Bennie's one-time bandmate who all but dropped out of society, and Alex, who goes on a date with Sasha and later witnesses the future of the music industry. Egan's overarching concerns are about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, and lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn. Or as one character asks, “How did I go from being a rock star to being a fat fuck no one cares about?” Egan answers the question elegantly, though not straight on, as this powerful novel chronicles how and why we change, even as the song stays the same.