Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner
Ha ha ha: You know how sometimes people laugh when they're nervous? This book is that kind of funny. Plot notes: Each of the 10 short stories in this gutsy collection is a self-contained universe depicted in forceful language that punches you right in the face. Cast of characters: Readers probably won't identify with the vast array of subjects — from an Olympic mascot to a woman who speaks in Ikea slang — but will appreciate Gartner's dry wit and microscopic observations about the way we live now.