Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “review”

TylerDFC #CBR4 Review#10 Bossypants by Tina Fey

Not that I liked him all that much to begin with, but Jerry Lewis’ famous comment (paraphrased), “Women aren’t funny.”, has forever linked him in my mind with the word, “fuckwit”.  Not only CAN women be funny, in my mind they are usually funnier than men. I can name a dozen hilarious women off the top of my head, I’m having a hard time getting above 6 right now of funny men and all of those men are on NBC sitcoms. My number one criteria for dating has always been personality and with personality I mean sense of humor. This is a round about way of saying that I found Tina Fey’s Bossypants to be very, very funny and well worth taking the 3 hours it requires to read it.

Starting with her childhood and moving all the way up to 30 Rock, Fey writes about her life to this point by focusing on the high points and formative events. Her days spent in a summer theater group, her tenure at Second City and, of course, her experiences writing for Saturday Night Live and creating 30 Rock. Interspersed throughout the book are managerial lessons she has learned that are pretty good. I was surprised, not that she had advice, but that at times the book was more than funny and actually not a bad “how to succeed in business” book.

Saturday Night Live is one of my obsessions. I have read numerous books on the subject, including the amazing Live from New York by Tom Shales and Andrew Miller (seriously, it is fantastic) so it should be no surprise that the section Fey devotes to SNL, and especially the insanity of the Palin days, was my favorite. Many people in my family are Republican and I have had more than one occasion where I brought up 30 Rock only to be told “We don’t watch Tina Fey.” This anti-Fey attitude is solely because of her impression of Sarah Palin on numerous SNL skits. Then my family members would talk about how much their love Two and A Half Men (no joke) which filled me with GLEE (not the show) when Sheen had his drug fueled melt down. Where’s your wholesome Republican entertainer now, huh?! But I digress.

I bring that up because as Fey goes in to detail of the Palin hysteria and the fever pitch it reached culminating in an appearance of Palin on SNL. How that appearance came about, and the consternation that Fey and SNL producer Lorne Michaels felt trying to figure out how to make it work, is a great bit of “inside baseball” that really shines a light on that watershed moment in pop culture.

Many people have reviewed this book so I’m going to keep this short. I read the book because I like Fey anyway. The book is very funny, and the writing sounds exactly like Liz Lemon is telling the story. In essence, it is exactly what you think a funny memoir by Tina Fey would read like. Funny, self deprecating, honest, and open.

Take that, Jerry.

Katie’s #16 #CBR4 Review: The Awakening by L. J. Smith

After reading the first chapter of The Awakening I didn’t have high hopes for this series.  Our protagonist seemed like your typical, vapid but popular girl and all I could think was that there had better be some serious character development.  There were some intriguing plot hooks right away which left me with questions I wanted to know the answer too though, so it wasn’t just stubbornness which kept me reading.  Initially the writing wasn’t especially impressive, relying too heavily on metaphors and similes to set the mood – something I think I was probably guilty of when writing fiction for Power of the Pen contests in eighth grade.

Read the rest here.

Katie’s #6 #CBR4 Review:Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

As soon as I finished reading Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, I immediately jumped into the sequel (a good sign, I think!).  And in the introduction I came across the following quote, which really represented the first book to me:

“People appreciate Spencer, Iowa.  They like our cornfields and architecture and they also like what we represent: simplicity, old-fashioned hard work, but also creativity, commitment, and love.”

This is what the first book was about – the simple life and love, represented by a wonderful lovable cat.  Read more here…

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #4: Click by Bill Tancer

ClickLike the author, I have to admit that I love data.  And this book describes a data-miner’s dream.  The author has information about the searches made and websites visited by 10 million users (!) and has demographic information for about a quarter of them.  Throughout the book, the author does a great job explaining the data processing behind his conclusions.  He writes in an engaging tone and is clearly excited about his work.  But what really kept me interested in this book were the cool connections and conclusions he could draw from people’s online behavior.

Read more here…

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