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review 2018-04-02 18:44
I guess that's one way to go into business for yourself
The Last Black Unicorn - Tiffany Haddish

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish is part memoir and part uplifting 'anyone can succeed' comedy. It was quite an interesting experience reading this on the heels of I've Got This Round as both are funny slice of life books by hilarious women. The main difference is that I felt more of a connection to Tiffany and honestly I think my own life story would read similarly. Tiffany faced a lot of challenges during her childhood but those challenges are what molded her into the strong adult that she is today. *cue dramatic music* (My story would have a lot less booze and sex for sure.) If you're bothered by books that are heavy on the vernacular combined with coarse language then I'm afraid this isn't the book for you. If you like reading about women who made it big despite the odds being stacked against them then it's your lucky day. The Last Black Unicorn has definitely made me want to watch her stand-up routine. In fact, it was her book promo on Trevor Noah's show that enticed me to pick up the book. I'm glad that I did. :-) From sending poorly written love notes to her school crush to pimping out the 'other woman' Tiffany has had a compelling life story that if nothing else will take you out of your own life for the hours you spend reading it. (I bet it's an absolute scream as an audiobook.) 9/10


A/N: It was at the end that I realized this was written by a ghost writer. I know that's common but I felt that it was necessary to make you aware just in case that was a no-no for any of you. This is essentially why it lost a point...and the overuse of vernacular didn't help either.


What's Up Next: Gorillas in the Mist by Dr. Dian Fossey


What I'm Currently Reading: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Life and Love from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-03-30 16:06
Comedy is the best and dating apps are the worst
I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery - Mamrie Hart

I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart was just what I needed after the last couple of books. Without realizing it, I desperately required a fresh dose of humor and Mamrie's voice in particular pulls one out of their own funk and reminds them that life should be fun. If you want to read a book by someone who feels like they are in your corner and rooting you on then you are in the right place. She has inspired/reminded me to continue to live authentically and for me. Also, I should travel more. Like a LOT more. If you've never heard of Mamrie I highly recommend you do two things: Watch her YouTube channels and read her first book. After you've done those two things you'll have a better understanding of just what you're getting into by diving into her second book which focuses less on the distant past and more on living in the moment. In I've Got This Round Mamrie set out to make moments that could be turned into a book and she succeeded with flying colors. She tests out a dating app which I had never heard about before and then I heard about it again the week after I finished reading this. (It's called Raya and I think it's for celebs. Full disclosure: I never researched it.) She goes on crazy trips with friends where everything is planned last minute and insane things happen. Some of the stuff that happened was so surprising that I literally looked up from the page and stared into space for several minutes. (I so badly want to tell you which things I'm talking about but I don't want to ruin it for you.) I have no idea how someone can consume the amount of alcohol that Mamrie does and still function as a normal human. It does make for hilarious content though so...worth it? This is a fun read that still manages to have a lot of heart. If you enjoyed You Deserve a Drink (the book and/or her YouTube show) then you will undoubtedly love its sequel. 10/10


What's Up Next: The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish


What I'm Currently Reading: Death of a Hollow Man by Caroline Graham


Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-03-29 18:05
Game of the Mind: "Martin Johnson - The Autobiography" by Martin Johnson
The Autobiography - Martin Johnson

Rugby as I see it is a game of the mind: for all the strength, all the bashing all the dark dark places you go to (in the scrum for one) you need to have a clear mind to make the move that takes you beyond the try line. As a player Martin Johnson was great. As a coach not so much. View the 1997 Lions DVDs, going back 14 years and see that Martin Johnson's pep talks are very elementary. He's a brute of a man who could play second row and lead from the trenches. What is required now is a far more cerebral approach with good man management skills. As a Captain both for the Lions and England he was surrounded by good lieutenants and captains. Easy to be a leader then. He did not make the transition to General where he could see the whole landscape and arena of the upcoming battle. Any venture of this nature and it is so, requires the ability to connect up the dots from the microcosm to the macro. This demands, at the most basic level, to know your own strengths and weaknesses, employ staff who compliment you and to hold actions accountable to a clear vision. Johnson failed on all levels. Maybe he would be a good forward's coach, but that's about it. At least he finally stepped down which showed his self esteem wasn't at rock bottom, unlike Andrews.


But the book is great...

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review 2018-03-10 01:33
I swear I'm okay
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory - Caitlin Doughty

I've been thinking about death a lot. And not in an existential way or in a 'oh man she needs professional help' kinda way. I've been thinking about the culture of death and how I'd like my own death to be handled. To that end, I chose a few titles which I'm convinced has skewed the way my co-workers view me. (lol but really) The first is Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty. (I'll be discussing her second book at a later date.) This is the autobiographical story of how Caitlin came to work in a crematory and the path that it led her down to discover the 'good death'. It's an exceptionally frank discussion of death but more specifically death culture (or lack thereof) in the United States. Here in America it's a taboo subject. Many people choose to remain ignorant of the reality of death because of a fear of their own (and their loved one's) mortality. Caitlin talks about the current death practices of burial, embalming, cremation, green burials (many different kinds), and donation to science. It reminded me that I should really draw up a will with the specifics of what I want and then discuss it with those who will most likely be honoring my wishes. (And you'd better do what I say or I'll haunt you! hahaha but really)


The truth is we are all going to die one day. Wouldn't it be better to see this as natural and be prepared for it? Having open discussions with those who will be charged with taking care of you after you have died makes the process less fraught with uncertainties and fear. Centuries ago, death was embraced because it was necessary to confront it head-on. There were no mortuaries like we know them today. The family was the one who cleaned, wrapped, and sometimes buried the bodies. The grieving process wasn't rushed but was allowed to progress naturally. (Think about the last funeral you attended and how the viewing was timed. Nowadays, you have to leave the cemetery before the casket is even lowered into the earth. Everything is orchestrated and sterile.) I don't think it's morbid to plan ahead and to try to make it as simple and straightforward as possible so that in the end it's about the life that I led and not the stress and confusion of what to do with me once I'm dead. 8/10


Something I made a few years ago about a similar book.


What's Up Next: The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers edited by Hollis Robbins and Henry Louis Gates


What I'm Currently Reading: Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything by E. Lockhart


Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-02-24 19:54
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography - Neil Patrick Harris

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Well, that was weird. I went into this book not really fully thinking about the premise (and I don't think anyone involved really thought it through either). I loved Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books as a kid so I was really excited about reading this. However, the results were kind of disappointing.

The book is written as if the reader were the main character, living out NPH's life. So in the narration, Harris says things along the lines of "You did this, then you did this." This makes sense for a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, but it kind of took away from learning about Harris' life. Everything felt so impersonal and removed from him. Even the really personal details didn't feel like they were actually about him. 

Also in the vein of a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories, there are "dead ends", in which something horrible happens that leads to your demise. Again it makes sense, but it's really weird to find in a book about NPH. Also, the "dead ends" were pretty much all the same with different settings, obstacles, and celebrities, but they all followed the same story arch. 

I listened to the audiobook version, which was read by Harris himself. This had certain advantages. Clips are included from a speech Harris gave as a child and other recordings, which added to the reality of the book itself. There were also lots of celebrity testimonials, some of which were really weird (WTactualF, Seth MacFarlane), but some were interesting and had funny anecdotes. 

Downside to the audiobook: it's prerecorded so you pretty much just go along and a set path. You don't actually get to "choose" anything, which is okay, but again kind of defeats the point (did anyone think this through?). What you're left with is a twisty, turny book that is not in chronological order and you end up with a bunch of mixed-up stories.

Overall, it was okay, but the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure just did not work for me.

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