Blog Archives

Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation (Adam Resnick)

3.5 out of 5 stars

*Got an ARC from Goodreads*

Pros:

1. Strong, comedic voice. There are times when Resnick’s voice (though that’s almost not a strong-enough word, it’s almost like a developed and honed persona here) really shines through, and that’s when the writing is the strongest. Though it’s meant to be memoir-like, there are parts when it feels more stand-up-comedy rant, and that’s when it actually flows the best, when you can almost picture a younger, maybe slightly-less-angry Lewis Black narrating this to you…

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All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments (Alex Witchel)

2.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This is a book that has all the ingredients I normally love: it’s a heartwarming memoir about a daughter dealing with her mother’s dementia, with strong family bonds, fiercely independent female protagonists, mother-daughter-grandmother angst, and warmth. It even has recipes (what a clever touch!) and a lot of loving details about food and rituals. Yet despite it having all of the necessary elements that should have made me love it, I just didn’t. There are some admittedly well-written moments that are touching, sad, or just feel startlingly true and thus wonderful… but overall, I just didn’t connect with this family. The father figure feels like a bit of a lopsided villain/caricature, and the pacing/writing, though mostly clear, just didn’t really grab me. I was excited to find this book, but finishing it felt a bit like a chore…
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Oh Myyy! (There Goes The Internet) (George Takei)

5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This book is everything fans of George Takei would expect: irreverent, hilarious, conversational, and thought provoking.  Oh, and also pictures of cats.  Takei tells the story of his experiences with building and maintaining a web presence, first on Twitter and then on Facebook, and shares lessons about EdgeRank, Grammar Nazis, and an annoying impersonator he refers to as George Fakei.  You definitely don’t need to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy this; references to his time as Sulu are few and far between.  Rather, this is the story of an engaging civil rights activist in his 70s playing with the new tools the Internet has to offer.

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If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor (Bruce Campbell)

5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
If you’re a fan of Bruce Campbell (from the Evil Dead movies, or maybe you’ve seen him on Burn Notice) then this is unquestionably a 5 out of 5 star book. The writing style is conversational and you feel almost like you’re hanging out with him, asking him all those questions you’ve always wanted to know — how’d you get that scar? You really met Sam Raimi in high school? How’d you make all that fake blood, Karo syrup? Really? Tell me more. If you’re not a Bruce Campbell fan… I still think it’s a fun, worthwhile read about how low budget movies get made, how cult followings sometimes develop and how difficult and kind of hilarious trying to make it in Hollywood can be. He rants, he jokes, he reminisces about how a comedy of errors became a comedy of terrors… he keeps you interested and turning the pages with that familiar (again, if you’re a fan) odd charm of his.

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A Man Without a Country (Kurt Vonnegut)

4 out of 5 Stars

Cut to the Chase:
“You know the truth can be really powerful stuff.  You’re not expecting it…” This is a wonderfully put together collection of essays; Vonnegut’s voice is distinct, cutting, witty and insightful.  The essays are very opinionated and after a while, you can easily predict some of his standpoints, yet they’re expressed so vividly that the collection is still worth reading, still compelling.  He compares Cinderella to Kafka, and then both to Hamlet (there’s a very interesting, but brief, section near the beginning where he includes graphs showing character journeys of each of these stories).  He talks about the war and his childhood as a jokester, admits that his wife is the oldest woman he’s slept with, discusses his writing life, the war, and how he feels as though he should sue the cigarette companies for not killing him off.  This was a quick read that I finished in the bookstore, but then had to buy anyway.

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