B.J. Novak’s Brilliant Book

Have you read B.J. Novak’s new book, One More Thing? I knew it would be funny, but I was surprised to find how beautiful, wise and poignant many of the short stories are. There’s one about wearing a red shirt to meet your soulmate, another about dealing with a friend’s drinking problem, another about growing older. The stories are different lengths—some are 18 pages, others are just a few sentences. It’s one of those books you’re excited to read at the end of a long day—you actually laugh out loud and then think about the story as you’re falling asleep.

Here’s the hilarious book trailer with B.J. and Mindy Kaling (totally worth watching). And the audiobook has appearances by Mindy Kaling, Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Rainn Wilson, Emma Thompson and other awesome actors. I’d love to hear it!

Here’s one of the shortest stories, just for fun:

If you love something, let it go.
If you don’t love something, definitely let it go.
Basically, just drop everything, who cares.

Anyway, will you read it? What are you reading these days?

P.S. Mindy Kaling’s friendship advice, and five great graphic novels.

(Photo by Jennifer Rocholl)

  1. Sounds like a fun read. I will have to get my hands on a copy of this book.

  2. Just read The Paris Wife with my husband. Great read! Oh Hemingway.

  3. Just read The Paris Wife with my husband. Great read! Oh Hemingway.

  4. B.J. Novak was in Seattle on Monday (where I live:) and I kept going back and forth on whether I wanted to shell out $33 to see him talk – and also get a copy of the book. I wish I had, because I keep hearing such great things! Maybe I’ll get the audiobook and listen to it on the plane to Iceland on Tuesday? That could be a happy medium. :)

  5. Jess,

    I’ve read a few bad reviews on The Husband’s Secret, but I read it and really enjoyed it. I was hooked from the beginning. Couldn’t put it down, and for once, I really liked the ending.

    But, maybe, I’m not very picky with my reads. :-)

  6. As someone else said, I just finished The Goldfinch and am still feeling hungover. Recently read What Alice Forgot which i really enjoyed, light with a message, but have heard bad things about Husband’s Secret also by Liane Moriarity. Code Name Verity was beautiful and heart wrenching. Next up will definitely be Novak’s book. Thanks!

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  8. I am so glad I found this for two reasons…getting to see that trailer and remembering to add this book to my birthday list. Can’t wait to read! I loved Mindy’s book. Hoping this one is just as good!
    Julia //

  9. I’m obsessed with Mindy Kaling! So it’s only natural that I obsess over B.J. Novak as well. The book is uber cool and I loved that trailer! Such amazing talent.

    Eesh | The Other Side of Paradise

  10. It sounds like I should add this book to my “to-read” list as well. Based on your summary alone, it makes me think of Etgar Keret’s works, in length and style.

  11. On a history kick:
    “Citizens of London” by Lynne Olson.

  12. You’re so good with your book choices! I’ve been re-watching the entire (US)Office series lately (because, I’ll just admit it, I love the progression of “Jim and Pam”. I also love Nate in the warehouse because, shoot, the guy is damn funny.) So for sure this book is on my list… right after The Wes Anderson Collection. Eeeeks! Excited!

  13. Looking forward to picking up this book! I’m currently reading How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran – it’s laugh-out-loud funny! Definitely recommended.

  14. I’ m going to put this on my list. I am reading “Sisterland”
    Quite an enjoyable read ;)

  15. I’ m going to put this on my list. I am reading “Sisterland”
    Quite an enjoyable read ;)

  16. I love Mindy Kaling, but I wonder if her humor (and his, by extension – I think he is one of her show’s writers) would translate well in writing. I guess I won’t know till I get the book, right? :-)

  17. This is right up my alley. That snippet you posted made me snort. I’ll have to track it down. I’m loving reading all the comments here for book recommendations, so many to add to my list!

  18. Ps. Do you have a Goodreads account? I’d love to follow you , we have similar reading habits.

  19. I loved the audio to this! It was fantastic.

    Last 3 books read : The Goldfinch (great! long!), The Husband’s Secret (contrived! eye rolled myself into a coma it was so badly written) and Code Name Verity (read it for a high school lit class I’m teaching in Japan next year. Breathtaking, I cried).

    Currently reading : A Visit From The Goon Squad

    To be read soon : Night Film, The 6th Extinction and The Luminaries.

  20. I would definitely like to read it. I’ve been bouncing around between books. I can’t seem to stick with anything for more than 20-25% on my Kindle.

  21. You beat me to it! Now that it’s got the Cup Of Jo stamp of approval, I definitely cannot wait to read it!

  22. N says...

    I just finished reading The Goldfinch and I am still in mourning! Thank you for that amazing recommendation!

  23. Love books like this. Tina Fey’s Bossypants is another similar classic! I kind of want to read Nora Ephron’s books at some point as well. And I can’t wait for Lena Dunham’s book to come out this fall!!

  24. Ha! This sounds awesome. I’m so reading this book.

  25. Ha! This sounds awesome. I’m so reading this book.

  26. I just finished The Most of Nora Ephron. It was fabulous, as to be expected.

  27. I just got this book for my birthday! I can’t wait to read it!

  28. This book is so great! My husband and I own The Last Bookstore in downtown L.A. where B.J. read excerpts (to fans after hours) while writing it (to gauge how well he was doing?) It totally makes me want to write short stories.

    And I just finished The Goldfinch at your suggestion – read entirely on my iphone while nursing. All 2274 pages.

  29. Ah! I’m in need of a new book, and this one looks amazing! LOVED the trailer :)

  30. Okay i just ordered it from amazon – i need a new good book to ready :) thanks!

  31. Just heard an excerpt of this on the latest This American Life! Loved it and can’t wait to read it.

  32. nikol, i’d love to hear tina fey read her book! malcolm gladwell also reads his books, and they’re awesome.

  33. I can’t wait to read this. I’m such a fan of him and Mindy Kaling, and like stk above find their relationship sweet and compelling. Also, to bring the conversation down to a shallow level, I think he is adorably cute.

  34. The story at the beginning about the tortoise & the hare… so funny!

    I want to read this & also My Life in Middlemarch, by Rebecca Mead.

  35. I just downloaded the audio book last week – can’t wait to listen!

  36. Funny! Hadn’t known that about the audiobook but I saw Mindy tout B.J.’s book on her FB page, and I seem to remember her talking about their days on The Office in her own book. Good stuff.

    I’m reading La Seduction by Elaine Sciolino, which a dear friend/Francophile had recommended to me. He died last fall and his birthday is tomorrow, so reading a favorite book of his has been bittersweet.

  37. Just finished The Goldfinch and Gone Girl – and literally could not put them down! Just started The Book Thief.

  38. I hadn’t heard of this book until now and it sounds fantastic! I have been wanting to read Mindy Kaling’s book for a while now so this one is definitely being added to my reading list x

  39. I have been stalking the NYPL website to see if they have it, but no luck yet. I think I’m going to have to break down and just buy it because I reeeeally want to read it.

  40. Looks great! I’m reading “All Joy and No Fun” which is good, but not LOL funny for the most part.

  41. I cooked dinner for some friends last night and we got to talking about good books we were reading. I said I was feeling stuck and couldn’t find anything that grabbed me and my friend recommended this book. She loved Mindy Kaling’s too, which I also plan on reading. Excited to get into this one!

  42. Many thanks Joanna for this ! It sounds delicious – i’ll definitely give it a try (why not in English, by the way). And, OMG, il est Adorable, non ?

  43. I read it on the weekend! It was so not what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be silly, goofy stories (which some were). But some were so moving. The one about the roller coaster called Life? Or the cereal box sweepstakes? So surprising, and really quite deep.

  44. That trailer is hilarious! Can’t wait to read it- thanks for the recommendation.

  45. It’s taking me ages to read the goldfinch with a 12 week old and a 6 yr old! But i am enjoying it. It’s super heart breaking I struggle to get myself to pick it up and then I can’t put it down hoping Theo’s life will get better, please tell me it will!!

  46. this is the first time i’m hearing of the book, but it sounds amazing! adding it to my list. and that trailer = awesome.

  47. I’ll be buying this today! Thanks for the recommendation. I just think he’s hilarious (and really cute). I’m currently reading War Brides but after finishing The Goldfinch a few months ago nothing is comparing. Also, speaking of things that are surprising my husband brought home Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s movie Don Jon last night. I thought it was ridiculous at first and nearly turned it off but suddenly Julianne Moore shows up and the storyline turns. it ended up having a beautiful, unexpected ending. I love a good surprise.

  48. Just started The Goldfinch and just finished Stoner. Both ‘get so immersed in them you miss your subway stop’ books. Stoner is a beautiful depiction of the inner workings of the protagonist’s mind in all his loneliness and humility. I highly recommend it. Want to go home right now and get into bed with a cuppa!

  49. I love B.J. and I love Mindy, and I think one really compelling reason to like both of them is the fact that although they’ve been romantic at various points, they are such solid friends they support one another completely in their careers (and it seems like they hang out a fair bit, too). It’s refreshing to see that coming out of Hollywood. It’s also refreshing to see writers who star in their own work, like B.J., and Mindy, and Lena, and get credit for the hard work behind the scenes too.

  50. Sounds cool! I’ll put it on my list. I’m reading The Goldfinch now… Loving it. Have you read it? Xoxo

  51. Oh, YES. I loved Mindy’s book. I think you just gave me a new book to look forward to.

    Did you ever finish The Goldfinch? My kindle tells me I’m 67% in, and I’m sad I’m in the last half already. (My only regret is that the picture of the author isn’t a bear! Such disappointment. :)

  52. Love B.J. Novak!! When I saw the trailer for this book I was so happy! I can’t wait to read it!

  53. i just started the goldfinch a few days ago, and before that i read ‘the husband’s secret’ – i do not usually go for that type of ‘chick lit’ if you will, but i really enjoyed it!

  54. I needed a new book to read after The Goldfinch and this is definitely going to be it! Thanks for the suggestion. I loved Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling’s book and I have a good feeling about this one.

  55. I’m still hungover from The Goldfinch, which I finished yesterday.

    But I’m excited to get this one, like today.

  56. I’ve just added it to my must-read list. Thanks for posting. (Love “The Office”.)

  57. I’m currently reading The Circle and it is sooooo good!

  58. Wild by Cheryl Strayed. So far very good although I read it in Swedish. Thanks for a great blog.

  59. You have the best book recommendations. I can’t wait to read this!!

  60. Thanks Joanna. This sounds great and I’ll definitely buy it. I get so excited about books I tend to buy waaaaay too many. Right now I am reading Kundera’s Joke.

  61. That short story made me laugh out loud. Definitely adding it to my list! I just bought Winters Tale though, and that might take me a while…

  62. Thanks Joanna. This sounds great and I’ll definitely buy it. I get so excited about books I tend to buy waaaaay too many. Right now I am reading Kundera’s Joke.

  63. I’m really excited to read this! x

  64. I haven’t heard of this book until just now – thank you for recommending it! Can’t wait to read it :)

  65. I’m right in the middle of The Goldfinch right now. Completely in love with it!

  66. Such a pice photo of him! Love the short story you included in your post, which has made me immediately want to read his book. Also, James Thurber is another author I want to read more of.

  67. Love, love, LOVE audio books by celebrities. After listening to Tina Fey’s BossyPants, I absolutely need to listen to this one on Audible. Thanks for sharing!