Simon Rich got a lot of buzz in some circles with a piece in the New Yorker detailing what kids think grownup dinner-table conversation is all about. That story is included in Ant Farm, along with a couple dozen others covering similar ground. The title story, for example, is a conversation between the ants trapped in an ant farm. Other vignettes focus on childhood trauma and triumph: how trigonometry might possibly be useful (answer: only when confronted with madmen), and what it must be like to be one of the enemies inside a shoot-em-up video game (answer: it sucks). One of the best stories mines the emotional vein of parents trying to make up for embarrassing mistakes– but in this case, it’s Abraham trying to convince Isaac that he shouldn’t tell his mother about that whole sacrifice thing.
Ant Farm is the sort of book that shy people shouldn’t read on the subway, because they’ll laugh and attract attention to themselves. They should read it at home. Non-shy people can read it anywhere.