Sunday, April 16, 2017

BOOKS: Mini Reviews, Pop Culture Edition

Mini-Reviews Pop Culture Edition - famous people write memoirs and some even make some good points. Mostly all make me laugh.

My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands - Chelsea Handler (6 h 15 min)

She doesn't lie - this is about a series of her one night stands. I haven't seen much of Chelsea Handler so I'm not a person who is a huge fan; this may have affected my enjoyment of her memoir. It is a tad graphic but not surprising given the topic. Her home life stuff as a child was a little funnier, but over all, I won't need to look for any more Chelsea Handler books. Her humour was too mean and she generalizes way too much. Recommended for fans but there are much better memoirs by funny women (Tina Fey, Minding Kaling, Amy Poehler) who also are inspiring, to spend your time with.

Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything - Jennifer Keishin Armstrong (9 h 59 min)

This is definitely for Seinfeld fans, not that there is anything wrong with that. I am one, so I enjoyed listening to the author, also a fan, give lots of behind the scenes adventures and insights from the cast and crew. The thesis is that Seinfeld was a ground-breaking show and she makes her case in how other shows have followed their lead.  The show was called Seinfeld, but Larry David was the driving force behind much of the show The narrator, Christina Delaine, really gets into parts and is very dramatic. I liked going back over the seasons of Seinfeld.

Choose Your Own Autobiography - Neil Patrick Harris, 304 pages

So genius - make your autobiography a choose your own adventure book, just like the ones we read a children. I was boring and read it in order without following the  - if you want to continue studying magic, turn to page 45, if you want to go to university, go to page 68. Harris is a (as he presents himself in this book) a wonderful guy. Happily married with two kids, openly gay, all around nice guy. He balances his professional career with TV shows (Doogie Howser, MD, and How I Met Your Mother) with successful turns on the stage and Broadway. I have been a fan of Harris and I quite enjoyed his story. Overall, a remarkably normal life from childhood to adulthood by a man who recognizes his life is amazing (friends with Elton John still blows his mind) and lives with gratitude.

How to Be a Woman - Caitlin Moran, 315 pages

I haven't heard of Moran, but I understand she is a presenter/writer in England. This feminist manifesto is her memoir of the steps she went through to become a women, and why being a strident feminist is important. She grew up the oldest of eight, poor, in England, making her way to adulthood with little guidance. She makes mistakes, learns, and grows. Chapter titles include I Become Furry!, I Am Fat!, I Encounter Some Sexism! Why You Should Have Children and Why You Shouldn't Have Children. 

My favourite part was how to tell if some sexism is happening to you by asking the question, 'Is this polite, or not?' or is some misogynistic societal pressure being exerted on women by calmly enquiring, 'And are the men doing this, as well? Nice guide.

I liked her voice and her message and will keep an eye out for  her other book - The Moranifesto.