Give the gift of laughter
Gift-giving season is just around the corner — graduations, Mother's Day, Father's Day and more. If you are tired of giving Dr. Seuss' "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" or sweet Mother's Day gift books, then author Chuck Sambuchino is a humor writer you'll want to watch.
His latest book is "Red Dog Blue Dog: When Pooches Get Political," and this is the perfect gift book for anyone who loves dogs, politics or both.
With a series of funny dog pictures — dogs dressed up, posing with cats or rollicking as they will — paired with even funnier political captions, "Red Dog Blue Dog" will have you laughing out loud.
Take for example Blue Dog, a photo of a dog on the beach with the caption: "Blue Dog always ruins beach days by bringing up the BP oil spill." Or a Red Dog photo with a sad-looking Basset Hound and the caption "Red Dog signed up for the tea party event but only now realizes his error."
These dogs aren't afraid to tackle any hot topic from global warming to Occupy Wall Street to same-sex marriage. Sambuchino has come up with the perfect humorous caption for each adorable dog photo.
To see a sample of the pages to check if this book is spot-on for your political-dog-loving junkie, check out reddog-bluedog.com/.
Even better, a portion of this book's proceeds go to no-kill shelters and rescue operations across the United States. Sambuchino's own dog, Graham, is a rescue, and he takes fan letters through his owner.
Besides this hysterical gift book, you can also try the author's first humor book, "How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack." It's a satire and is full of tips to guard yourself against those pesky and sometimes-violent garden gnome statues that Sambuchino finds creepy.
Does your father wonder why your mother puts statues in her garden? This book is perfect for his Father's Day gift then.
In "How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack," Sambuchino shows readers how to "prevent, prepare for and ward off an imminent home invasion by the common garden gnome." He claims to be a certified Garden Gnome Defense Expert, and in his book, full of colorful and frightful photos of gnomes, he has "developed a proven system — assess, protect, defend, apply — for safeguarding property, possessions and loved ones."
The gnome book has several more pages of text than the dog book, full of bullet point lists and advice for what to do if garden gnomes are getting ready to attack your household.
Sambuchino's dog book is short and fun; his gnome book is full of wacky advice, and this takes many more words of warning, of course.
Besides humor, Sambuchino is known in the writing world as being the go-to guy for advice when writers are looking for agents. So, he does have other expertise besides surviving garden gnome attacks.
On his website, chucksambuchino.com, he has quotes from famous writers such as "Divergent" author Veronica Roth, who states, "I checked the GLA (Guide to Literary Agents) blog every day when I was going through my agent search! It actually saved me from making several really embarrassing and potentially harmful mistakes, and taught me a lot about the whole process. Anyway, I'm grateful for your site and I'm a big fan."
His other books include "Create Your Writer Platform" and "Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript." He lives in Cincinnati with his wife, toddler son and understanding dog, Graham.
Books such as Sambuchino's are sure to be hits this spring gift-giving season for anyone with a huge sense of humor, a love for man's best friend or those in danger from a gathering of garden gnomes.
Margo L. Dill is celebrating the release of her second novel, "Caught Between Two Curses," a young adult novel exploring love, family and the Curse of the Billy Goat on the Cubs. She also is the author of "Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg," a middle grade historical fiction novel. She lives in St. Louis with her family.