Ugly Book Club :: Dear Committee Members

Summer is almost upon us, and that means sunshine, warm days and getting outside as much as possible. If you are like me and like to take in this newfound beautiful weather by sitting down outside with a good book, then you are in the right place.

The selection for this entry in The Ugly Book Club is Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher (get it on amazon.com or your local bookstore), a wildly funny epistolary novel written from the perspective of an increasingly unhinged English professor at the lackluster Payne University.

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What begins as a very simple premise, the novel is merely a collection of letters of recommendation written by a one Jason Fitger, increasingly becomes a mechanism for the professor to (at times unwittingly) divulge details about his personal and professional life. And that is what makes the novel so hilarious. Packed into these letters of recommendation for former english students, and in one case, a student he met “11 minutes ago”, are myriad details about the funding cuts in the english department, failed marriages, affairs and divorces, and overall academic exhaustion.

All of this is done with great care and precision by Schumacher, and she never pours on the despair too thickly to stop being funny. Yes, it’s dark humor, but it’s dark humor so well crafted, so meticulously written, and so funny, it’s impossible to ignore.

Dear Committee Members is a quick, light read, perfect for those summer road trips and picnics. Let us know what you think or tell us about your read for this month in the comments below!

Stay Ugly. 

Shadna Aum