The Best Gift Books for 2021-Part III



Welcome to the Holiday Season! This is the time of year when we direct you to some of the most talented writers in the world!  Yep, we at HumorOutcasts Press/Shorehouse Books/Corner Office Books are not biased at all. Anyway, give a look at our wonderful authors and books and buy one or 20 to support their work.


Uranus is Always Funny: Short Essays to Make You Laugh 

This year and a half (or is it a half-century?) has been tough but you can laugh out loud and de-stress by reading Uranus is Always Funny: Short Essays to Make you Laugh from Bill Spencer.  


Follow Bill Spencer on Twitter and on


Book Description: The 65 humor essays in Uranus Is Always Funny: Short Essays to Make You Laugh will make you laugh. But they’ll also make you think. They’ll make you think, “This is funny. “You’ll laugh not with Bill Spencer but at him as he grapples with his own identity in the face of students’ view of him as “THE DEVIL” and a “COMPLETE jerk.” You’ll meet his relatives, including his adventurous wife, who might be an alien or a witch, who knows? You’ll get an offbeat education in education and share in a gamut of experiences from spanking skunks to fleeing from attack geese to watching outhouse races on skis.

Really. The essays are short, and there are also 26 even shorter Reader’s Digest-type anecdotes. As another bonus, the book ends with scores of student bloopers collected by the author over thirty years. Need a good laugh? Then take a gander at Uranus.

“When Bill told me he was putting together a ‘humor’ book, I laughed out loud.”—Carolyn Elkins, author of Angel Pays a Visit

“I’m WAY funnier than this guy.”—Debra A. Daniel, author of Woman Commits Suicide in Dishwasher

“I’ve read literally thousands of humor essays, and I don’t often use descriptions like ‘hilarious,’ ‘brilliantly comic,’ or ‘makes you laugh until your face hurts,’ and I’m certainly not going to start now.”—Sandee Beyerle, Editor of Funny Times


Next, a story you will never forget and a story you should never forget:

Standing Against the Rage: Based on the true story of Mildred Flatau’s miraculous escape from domestic violence by  Linda D’Ae-Smith


Book Description:  The innocence small-town life in Sandy, Oregon was shattered in the spring of 1933. The entire neighborhood of Sandy Ridge on the outer edge of the town was terrified as the sounds of gun shots and a thunderous explosion of fire rocked the morning hours of March, 17.

Neighbors knew Edward Flatau to be a cantankerous, envious and mean-spirited man, but no one imagined he was capable of such horrors. That Mildred, his teen age daughter, was able to stand up to him and live was the talk of the small town for decades.

Based on newspaper accounts and historical records, including court documents, family stories and letters, Standing Against the Rage is Mildred’s story. Author Linda D’Ae-Smith uses Mildred’s own diary written during the car trip from Sandy, Oregon to a new life with relatives in Detroit, Michigan to not only tell the tragic events of March 17, but reveals how Mildred’s faith was pivotal in her surviving unspeakable carnage and loss. Her strength in the midst of horrific tragedy is, on the surface, inexplicable. What causes a young teen to stand up against the rage of a man seeking vengeance upon perceived injustice?

Driven to find the answer, D’Ae-Smith set out on a remarkable journey to uncover Mildred’s story. You can follow Linda D’Ae-Smith on Twitter.


Our third book for this post is Practice, Practice, Practice: This Psychiatrist’s Life by Daniela Gitlin, MD.


Book Description: Patient ambushes! Clinician pratfalls! Community curveballs! Practice, Practice, Practice: This Psychiatrist’s Life gives you a fly-on-the-wall view of therapy sessions along with actual transcripts of what’s going through this therapist’s mind as she’s working, living and saving the day (or trying to). What else does this immersive memoir spanning twenty-five years of rural psychiatric practice expose? Flawless performance is not required for a therapist to be genuinely helpful.

Written with unsparing candor and a light touch, these interconnected clinical and personal tales reveal a way of thinking that is essential for learning actively, living fully, and doing good work, with a sense of wonder, year after year. Whether you’re simply curious, already in the field, or a mental health educator, you’re sure to get some ideas for what to do (or not do!) with the people in your life.

“I loved this book. It’s interesting, compelling, and very insightful. I found it a sort of DIY therapy— Ohhh, so that’s how I should approach…. Also, the faux science articles are HILARIOUS.” Lori B. Duff, If You Did What I Asked in the First Place.

“If you have ever wondered what a shrink’s life is really like – from education, to training, to the large and small details of treating other people’s inner pain every day– this book is for you. Gitlin’s stories about her career as a psychiatrist in an underserved rural community are warm, funny, human, and deeply humane.” Kristin Kimball, The Dirty Life; Good Husbandry

“You’ll enjoy this witty, scintillating account of treatments rendered to patients living hardscrabble lives. You’ll benefit from her clinical acumen too— I’ve already used some of her nuggets with my own caseload. Noteworthy is her struggle to save her practice when a key insurance company drastically slashes her reimbursement rates. Get ready for an exciting read!” Alvin Pam, Ph.D, Splitting Up: Enmeshment and Estrangement in the Process of Divorce.


Follow Daniela on Facebook, Twitter and at her blog

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