Books About Fools For April Fool's Day

March 29, 2018 | Kelli

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This Sunday, April 1, is April Fool's Day (also known as All Fool's Day).  Customarily, it is on this day that friends and family play tricks and pranks on each other. According to Britannica Online, the custom has been going on for centuries and its origins have been lost in time.  Although the custom varies from country to county, all share in common the playing of tricks in the name of shared fun and laughter.   

If April 1 is the day for fools, what exactly is a fool?  Historically, again according to Brittanica Online, the Fool was a jester or comic performer whose madness or stupidity (real or pretended) allowed for the poking of fun at wealthy and important patrons.  It was a profession that dated back to the Egyptian times.  It could be argued that late night comedian are a continuation of the tradition, although I doubt Steven Colbert or Jimmy Fallon would appreciate being called a fool. 

Of course, we also use the term to refer to someone (or ourselves) when they have been tricked (been fooled) or have not used good judgement (been foolish or been a fool).  We also find the word in such phrases as Fool's Gold, the nickname for pyrite, a Fool's Errand which is an errand without hope of success, and Fortune's Fool, which appears in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and King Lear and refers to someone having quite a bit of poor luck.  

Are you planning any tricks for your friends or family this April Fool's Day?   If not, perhaps you would prefer to read a book about fools.  Here are a few suggestions:

  Fool by Christopher Moore

Fool by Christopher Moore
In this comic retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear, Pocket, the court fool, sets out to straighten out the mess the mad king has made of the kingdom and the royal family.  Along the way, he discovers the truth about his own heritage.
• Audiobook
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e-audiobook

 

April Fool by William Deverell

April Fool by William Deverell
Retired lawyer Arthur Beauchamp is enjoying his new life on B.C.’s Garibaldi Island.  When his client, Nick “the Owl” Faloon, is accused of raping and murdering a psychologist, Beauchamp is dragged back to court to defend him. Then, even before he can get his head around the case, Beauchamp's own personal life takes an abrupt turn.
ebook
Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

 

Fool Me Once by Fern Michael

Fool Me Once by Fern Michael
Olivia Lowell had always believed that her mother died in childbirth. That is until the shocking day when a lawyer informed her that her mother had just passed away and had left her a fortune.  But there is a catch.  Before she can inherit the money, she must do one thing for her mother to put the past to rights. 
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Nobody's Fool

Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo
Divorced and living in a rented flat, Don Sullivan "Sully"  survives by doing piecemeal construction work and relies on his detached, wisecracking humor to get him through life's challenges.   As he struggles to rebuild his relationship with his son and grandson, Sully decides that he might just stop his "stupid streak" once and for all. Paul Newman, Jessica Tandy and Bruce Willis starred in the film Nobody's Fool that was based on the book. 
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e-audiobook

 

Fool Me Twice

Robert B Parker's Fool Me Twice: A Jesse Stone novel by Michael Brandman
When a Hollywood movie company comes to Paradise, Massachusetts, it brings with it its troubled star, Marisol Hinton.  After a death threat is made against her, Jesse and the rest of the Paradise police department go on high alert. However, more lives are in danger than Jesse suspects, including his own. 
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Audiobook
ebook
e-audiobook
Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

 

For those who enjoy biographies and memoirs: 

Fool in Paradise

A Fool in Paradise: An Artist's Early Life by Doris McCarthy
In this captivating memoir, Scarborough's beloved Doris McCarthy  tells of her early years not only as an artist striving to establish herself in the art world of the thirties and forties but also as a young woman searching for her own path to fulfillment.

 

Fortune's Fool

Fortune's Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth by Terry Alford
With a single shot, John Wilkes Booth was catapulted into history on the night of April 14, 1865.  His assassination of President Abraham Lincoln stunned the world and altered the course of the United States.  Yet, to those who knew him, the event was even more shocking for they could not have imagined that this gifted actor and well-liked man could commit such an atrocity. 

 

More Fool Me

More Fool Me: A Memoir by Stephen Fry
Much loved on British television and author of a critically acclaimed and bestselling first novel, Steven Fry had more work than was good for him in the late 1980s.  He began to burn the candle at both ends  - working by day and partying by night.  A high functioning addict, he was so busy that he did not see the inevitable, headlong tumble that was to come.
 

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