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review 2018-11-22 16:09
Morditorial
Little Me: My Autobiography - Matt Lucas

Disclaimer: I received a copy via Librarything.

 

                This book is so morditorial.

 

                I didn’t know when I started watching Little Britain that I had actually seen Matt Lucas in something before.  He had a brief cameo in Plunkett and MacLean.  But when I first started watching Little Britain, I didn’t know that.  I know that it just made me laugh.

 

                Lucas’ alphabetized memoir will make you laugh (the Jackie Collins story) and make you cry (a story about his father).  That’s right, it isn’t in chronological order but alphabetical order.  There is even, as the book’s back notes, a song in the middle.

 

                It is entirely possible that the book isn’t as personal as some fans might wish.  The details about his marriage to Kevin John McGee are too personal to fully share according to Lucas’ introduction.  Yet, in many ways, it makes the book feel more honest.

 

                Well, that and Kimberly.

 

                Kimberly is very important.

 

                There is of course, quite a bit about Little Britain, including not only the creative process but also whether Walliams and Lucas would do anything different and pushes back against some of the criticism that has been leveled at the show.

 

                But the bulk of the memoir isn’t about the television series.  There is more focus on family, feelings, views, and coming to terms with one’s own sexuality.  There is grief in the memoir but also much hope.  It is one of those quiet books that actually heals the reader.

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review 2018-11-21 18:45
THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD by Megan Mullally & Nick Offerman
Greatest Love Story Ever Told, The - Megan Mullally,Nick Offerman

 

Confession time: I don't watch, and have never watched, Will & Grace or Parks and Rec. I'm not sure why, exactly, because I thought I liked Megan Mullally and I DO enjoy Amy Poehler. Anyway, I thought I'd give this audio book a go and it ended up being just okay.

 

Someone who watches these shows or has a real fangirl thing going on for Nick Offerman and/or Megan M. might get more out of this book than I did. Megan and Nick talk about their pasts, how they met, their careers, how they manage to keep things fresh, and how they like to do jigsaw puzzles and listen to audiobooks while they do so.

 

To be honest, this book reminded me why I don't read romances and why I love horror. These two are cute, but after only a little while, they became too cute for me and I would have loved to see them, (or in this case, hear them), die horrible and painful deaths. Well, not really, but they were just too....sappy. I don't like sappy.

 

So there you have it. I thought this book was okay, but if you're a big Megan Mullally or Nick Offerman fan you're likely to get a lot more out of this too cute, sickeningly sweet book.

 

*Thank you to my awesome public library for the free loan of this audiobook. Libraries RULE!*

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review 2018-10-30 09:25
Libidinal Art-Form: "The Magic Lantern" by Ingmar Bergman, Joan Tate (Trans.)
The Magic Lantern: An Autobiography - Ingmar Bergman


(Original Review, 2007)



Bergman devotes a number of pages to his experience as a 16 year old schoolboy on an exchange visit to a German family who were all ardent Nazis. He recalls attending a rally in Weimar, at which Hitler delivered a short speech, and being entirely caught up in “the eruption of immense energy”. When he left to return to Sweden the family gave him a present of a photograph of Hitler.

While I’m sure that Bergman’s account of his experiences is entirely self-serving, the things that strike me are:

Firstly, that many middle-class Swedes in the 1930s and into the 1940s did think that the Nazis, vulgar and prone to regrettable excesses as they were, were infinitely preferable to the godless Bolshevik hordes in the east, and that geopolitical reality meant that it really was a choice between one or the other.

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-09-24 10:01
She Wants It
She Wants It - Jill Soloway

[I received a copy of this book through the First To Read program, in exchange for an honest review.]

I had only watched the first season of “Transparent” before, but I guess I knew enough then to recognise the author’s name, and be interested in the book’s premise. As a word of warning, though, if you’re in the same case… uh, the book contains spoilers as to the next seasons. I wasn’t too happy about that, especially since I had been able to avoid them so far. Or maybe it was just unavoidable for starters?

It’s also different from what I had expected, that is to say, more of a memoir, and not exactly “essays” or more structured writing about feminism, being non-binary, questioning, and so on. As such, while it remained interesting, spoilers notwithstanding, it felt kind of disjointed in places, and at the end, I felt like it hadn’t gone in depth into anything.

The last part about Me Too and people coming out about Tambor was also… well, it played straight into the unfortunately usual “she came out about this and now the actor/the show is going to be ruined, we should’ve talked about this among ourselves only and seen where to go from there”. Soloway does acknowledge that it’s wrong, but it still felt like there was much more to say here, and it was brushed over. It’s not on the same level as powerful men paying women they have abused so that they keep silent, but the feeling remains somewhat similar nonetheless, like an afterthought, like something that was mentioned at the end only so that people wouldn’t dwell on it too much. I didn’t like that.

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review 2018-09-17 17:43
I Have So Many Comments
Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest - Jen Doll

This was a nope for me. I needed something to read to break up my Halloween reads and I was promised a hilarious send up of being a single girl/woman serial wedding guest. As someone who is that single friend at weddings I was ready for it. Weddings have been on my mind lately (you guys hear about that plantation wedding thing? Sigh) so I thought this would be a nice read in between horror. Too bad this book was not good.

 

Jen Doll's book bounces all over the place, but I can honestly say she sounds like a pain in the ass as awedding guest, girlfriend, and friend. You don't need enemies with her around. I have unfortunately met this type of girl at weddings before. It's like a bat signal goes up. You can always tell the one that is going to drink too much, get nasty, and or mad if people are not paying her any attention. I hard cringed reading this book.

 

Jen provides readers with details/memories of significant weddings in her life. She even goes into her parents (she wasn't present) and while providing details on the wedding, will intersperse that with details about the bride, groom, and wedding guests. I pretty much only liked hearing about her parents and was curious about her childhood since she mentions her family moving around a lot. I was also doubly curious about her growing up in the south.

 

She wrote for a lot of well known magazines like The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, The Village Voice, and others. So she can definitely write. That's not the problem.

 

I think the problem is that she made herself the anti-hero in her own story. You will probably come away with not liking her very much and or thinking she may have a problem with alcohol. She even gets into a fight with an ex-friend's husband at a wedding and he goes of course Jen is drinking again which to me shows that a lot of people think she drinks a lot. 

 

I think most of these stories center around Jen and how the weddings and people made her feel. I just don't know if she got or understood that unless you are the bride, you don't make a wedding about you. She revisits one awful wedding where she got drunk and hit friends of hers that were trying to take her back to her hotel room. I just cringed inside while reading. She claims to have blocked things out because she doesn't want to remember, but yeah I bet she does. God knows I remember every dumb ass thing I have done too. When you think she has finally learned her lesson, she goes to a wedding with a guy who sounds interesting/shows promise, and then flips out because he's not paying enough attention to her. I would have cursed her out and went about my day.

 

My rules for attending weddings:

 

1. Are you the bride? No. Then shut up and be helpful and make sure you don't cause drama. 


As someone who has been a maid of honor at a destination wedding (what a pain the ass that was) and was also in my brother's wedding I can tell you that I was thrilled when my last two friends who got married did not ask me to be a bridesmaid. I don't get hurt by it, and don't give two craps. That means I can chill all day til the ceremony, then make sure I bring something to snack on in the car on the way to the reception. And then I will smile, toast, take pictures, be helpful (once was in the bathroom for an hour untangling a friend's long ass train) and go back to my room and sleep away til the next day. 


I think without realizing it, that Jen's inability to put her friend's first caused some of them to not turn away from her, but towards the end of the book, she was just a guest and not in the wedding parties for some of the girls who were in wedding parties with her before. Frankly, I don't blame the brides, who wants that headache? 

 

The sections that made me die the most inside though was Jen going into her friend's Ginny's marriage and being mad that Ginny wouldn't leave her husband cause Jen didn't like him. It didn't sound abusive, it just sounded like the guy was kind of a dick. I just don't know why she was so overly involved in it. It just sounded like drama and she was feeding on it. Ginny gets brought up throughout this book, so you don't know what happened at first, but we eventually get there. And even after the friendship is broken, Jen can't help poking at it like a scab. I can see why the mutual friends were tired of it. 


I was hoping for more of a girl power book (being happy being single and attending weddings solo) and having some funny remembrances that occurred at weddings. This book was totally not what I though it was going to be. 

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