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Search tags: satire
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review 2018-07-13 07:12
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Why Not Me? - Mindy Kaling

From the author of the beloved New York Times bestselling book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and the creator and star of The Mindy Project comes a collection of essays that are as hilarious and insightful as they are deeply personal. In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

Amazon.com

 

 

Really thought I would dig this one more, as I DO find Kaling funny in her movie and tv roles, but something just didn’t work for me here. It wasn’t gawd awful or anything that bad, but I was surprised to find that I did not laugh out loud once. Not. Once. Even though I could count at least half a dozen mentions of her pointing out that she was a comedy writer. All I could think was one of my favorite lines from Finding Nemo: “You know, for a clown fish, he’s not that funny.” And at times I felt like she went a little heavy-handed with the self-deprecation… to the point of being irritating. Additionally, I found myself cringing a bit at some of the people she refers to as friends.

 

I did finish it, as it is an easy read and it is mildly interesting in a “skimming People magazine in the waiting room” kind of way, but about the only bit where I was honestly invested was the portion where she writes this whole scenario for “alternate Mindy” – the Mindy she imagines if she hadn’t found fame, the Mindy who teaches Latin at a private school in NYC. That whole bit is done in a blend of work emails, text messages and IMs and she actually does make a pretty entertaining story there. I would’ve happily read a whole novel with those characters!

 

A couple things I did appreciate or relate to: I give props to Kaling for her work ethic. Regardless of what I think of this book, I can’t knock her dedication to her job, as she lays out an average day for her readers, a day that she says typically runs from 5:30am one day to 12:30 am the next… over and over again. You have to give a nod to that.

Also nice to know it’s not just me that worries if some Uber drivers are secretly serial killers.

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review 2018-07-05 06:45
Ain't She a Peach (Southern Eclectic Novel)
Ain't She a Peach - Molly Harper

I can't think of a single book Molly Harper has written that I haven't enjoyed on some level; even if the plots aren't always solid, the snarky humor and solid character dynamics that revolve around family and friends makes up for it.

 

This was the case with Ain't She a Peach.  It's part of a series of books that aren't serial, called Southern Eclectic; they share a common setting and characters, but act as stand alone reads.  Comparing story structures between this one and Sweet Tea and SympathyAin't She a Peach lacks the central plot that pulled ST&S together.  Here, Frankie's story is far more focused on her struggle for maturity and autonomy, as the only-child/cancer survivor to older parents.  The romance is secondary, and the resolving the break-ins to the family mortuary tertiary, and by far the weakest link in the plot.

 

Still, any fan of Molly Harper's will find a lot to like here.  Few authors I read come close to the engaging and engrossing dialog Harper spills across her pages and she creates characters that are likeable, hilarious, strong and noble - characters that really are the people you wish your friends and family could be - without making them into after-school-special paper constructs.

 

Not her best, but still enjoyable, and exactly what I've been needed to read the last few weeks.

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review 2018-07-03 00:46
The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse
The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse - Nina Post

The story concept is strong, the humour is definitely here, but the writing is weak.  Way too many needless details, a tendency to tell more than show and in terms of 'solving' the not-really-a-mystery, not enough transparency of clues to the reader.  There's a fine line between telegraphing the plot to readers too early with bulky clues, and keeping them completely in the dark until the end when the MC says "I knew all along; I had it figured out from the first." and then not explain why she knew all along.  Character developments were pretty choppy too.

 

In spite of all of this though, it was a surprisingly readable, almost compellingly so, book.  It definitely needs a strong editor and a lot of re-writes, but as is, it's still a fun read, once you get past the first couple of chapters, which is only something I was able to do because I had no other book available at that moment.  I'd have DNF'd it otherwise.  As it is, I was entertained in much the same way a B movie entertains: it was fun and frivolous.  

 

This is the first in a series, but unless there's been some draconian editing done in them, I'm not likely to read any further.

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review 2018-06-29 07:51
Scorn: The Wittiest and Wickedest Insults in Human History
Scorn: The Wittiest and Wickedest Insults in Human History - Matthew Parris

Good, and often great, but I'm not sure it can live up to being the Greatest. This is, according to the editor, a completely revised and updated edition, and it is recent enough to include Brexit comments, as well as a few token US election insults.

 

A fun, fast read when you're feeling wicked, and  likely a very handy reference for those social media moments when nothing less than a scathing retort just won't do.

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review 2018-06-27 08:25
Good Omens
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett,Neil Gaiman

I haven't always had the best luck with BBC full cast dramatisations, but this one worked brilliantly.

 

A demon and an angel set out to thwart the apocalypse.  Chaos ensures.

 

It's Pratchett, so it's almost guaranteed funny.  I haven't read enough Gaiman to comment on what he brings to the story other than to know it's excellent, whatever it is.  Two masters of fantasy having a bit of fun with Armageddon and a small but pointed commentary on the human condition thrown in at the end.  Oh, and a bloopers reel.

 

If that's not enough, the voice actor who does Crowley, the demon, sounds a little bit like Alan Rickman.

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