Paula Poundstone's brand of humor may be an acquired taste, but one well worth acquiring. Her first book, There's Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say, is a Paula-perfect monologue, delivered as only she can rambling, revealing and fabulously funny. Paula describes her stand-up style as observational humor. Mostly, she observes herself, as a comic and as a single mother of three adopted children living with nine cats, a determinedly dumb dog and an aging rabbit. Somehow she mingles her personal musings, including problems with alcohol and an epic stay in rehab, with idiosyncratic takes on Joan of Arc, Beethoven, Lincoln, Helen Keller and other unlikely bedfellows. Whatever Paula meant to say, this will do just fine.

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