One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories
By B.J. Novak
(Knopf, $25)

Although B.J. Novak is best known as an actor and writer on the hit TV show The Office, his new collection of short stories is reminiscent of another TV show: the improv series Whose Line Is It Anyway? His stories read less like literature and more like highly imaginative short sketches that vary wildly in theme — from a rematch of the tortoise and the hare to getting closure with ex-lovers to a boycotting of mathematics — and frequently surprise readers with unexpected twists. Unlike Whose Line, however, Novak’s points do matter, and they leave us pondering and smiling about family, fate and love.