Books we like

by | Nov 9, 2021

Do you need a daily pick me up, giggle or flat-out guffaw? You may want to take a peek at JPV Oliver, Gent’s 365 story-a-day memoir. I Know This Looks Bad: Errors and Graces in a Louche Life chronicles John Oliver’s (No, not THAT John Oliver!) moments bumbling through staterooms, barrooms and bathrooms.

Oliver’s humble beginnings as a beer truck driver eventually gave way to global spinmaster for Seagrams and then GE. Oliver never loses his sense of wonder—or humor—as he defends his honor against faulty kitchen appliances to his hosts or jokes with legendary Billie Jean King upon meeting her “officially” that they’ve already slept together (she was his exhausted seatmate on a transatlantic trip).

Oliver graces us with gems such as:

April 6 – Antler Clicking

I once bragged to a GE co-worker about having fired an M-16, a .44 Magnum, a Glock, etc. at a California gun range. He said, “When I was a Congressional aide, they took me to Quantico where I fired a TOW missile and blew up a tank”—quite the conversation stopper, that.


December 12 – Bon Mot

I love words and have spent my long life doing so. If you love words for that long, favorites emerge. My top three includes potvaliant, meaning emboldened by drink. My best and worst decisions are made whilst potvaliant.

Mostly funny, sometimes touching and always verbally brilliant, Oliver documents events like flights on the Concorde with the same dry humor and witless wit as the Flight of the Conchords. If entertaining yourself at the bumbles of a bespoke bull in a China shop are your bag, this is a charming look at rural life, corporate life, family, married and divorced life–and the fine art of personal re-invention.

I Know This Looks Bad is available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon and will be at the Columbus Village Library starting in late November.

Editors note: This is PG material for some adult themes and language.