Phoebe Robinson has always been unapologetic when it comes to language. Playfully snarky, her newest round of essays hits the palate like a Sour Patch candy, with a healthy dose of salt on the side. Robinson quips her way through the worst of #quarantimes during the initial Covid-19 surge in 2020, switching abruptly between humorous hot takes and heartfelt calls-to-action, the same way you or I might switch abruptly from one Zoom meeting to the next. Follow Phoebe as she navigates WFH, the commodification of "self care," performative activism, 4C hair, and more!
Although Daniel Mallory Ortberg has been the voice and pen behind Slate’s “Dear Prudence” column since late 2015, Ortberg’s new book will be more familiar to fans of The Toast, a feminist satire website he co-founded. Within the pages of this book you will find an episode of House Hunters that wouldn’t be out of place in The Twilight Zone, several Christian parables, and an extremely close reading of William Shatner’s cameo on Columbo. The true heart of this book, though, is Ortberg’s thoughts on transition and his own complicated relationship to masculinity, rounding out this funny, sad, and at times revelatory book.
I am convinced that a thousand years from now, once human civilization has recovered from its impending doom, some future citizen of the world will discover this tome, marvel at its heft and gilded pages, show it to their peers, and declare that they have found one of the more significant finds in literary archaeology. This book is an anthology chronicling the first twenty-one years of the seminal humor website, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and it is no exaggeration when I say that reading this book is an enterprise in hilarity and a balm for our troubled times.