Tough Shit, but with a star I guess, so Tough Sh*t is a memoir by Kevin Smith. And, if Mr. Smith is reading this I mean ABSOLUTELY no offense, but holy fuck was I surprised at how good this was! I didn’t know much of anything about Kevin Smith before reading this. My knowledge of him was that he was Silent Bob, a nerd, liked hockey, was annoying, and talked about his fatness. Which, isn’t necessarily untrue, I just have a lot of respect for him now and see the depth of his career and intelligence. Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good (hell of a title) tells Kevin Smiths story from Childhood on. He tells you, in his own voice, about his trials and tribulations as a director/writer and he goes as far back as Clerks, giving you the run down on his entire career along with the doubts he had in himself, and the relationships he had. This book was meant to be inspirational to it’s readers, and tell the story of Kevin Smith. It achieved both of those things very deeply with me, which I was not expecting at all when I picked it up as a casual read. It may not be that interesting to anyone who is not a fan of Kevin Smiths, which I am NOW, but I was not before. What I do love though, is the film industry. Obviously, I devoted an entire blog and a good part of my life to it! Hearing him talk about it passionately, stirred my passion as well, and if you love movies or film, it will do the same for you.
Diveregent, written by Veronica Roth, is a book that captivated me from the start. I am a big fan of dystopian books, yet before this the only one I had read was The Hunger Games. I was very concerned this would be similar, or even mirror, The Hunger Games. I am very happy to say that they are two incredibly different books, and I may have even liked Divergent better that the first Hunger Games! Personally though, I think the rest of the series goes downhill, but this one is great! Divergent follows Beatrice Prior, a young girl in the middle of a run down Chicago. She is moments away from choosing which of the five factions, that this world revolves around, she will go into… Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), or Erudite (the intelligent)… What she finds out, and the choice she makes will change everything… So lets talk about characters for a second. The love story of Tris and Four is very obvious, so I don’t even think it was necessary to warn you of a spoiler, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. Each chapter that went by, and each time they were together I kept rooting for their relationship to move forward. Four is a very complex character, and as the book moves along you are drip-fed more information about him. Eric was a character I also loved, he wasn’t very deep but the image he put in my head was fantastic…. Obviously there are many other characters in this that serve other vital roles, but you can find that out for yourself. In the end I thought Divergent was a great story that flowed well. Every chapter ended with something I needed to read in the following chapter. Every relationship was important and nothing felt shoehorned. The world of this series is vast, complex, and amazing. There are many things I like about this book, I only wish the other books didn’t go down hill until this series was inevitably a pile of shit by the end… More on that later.
The Fault in our Stars is my all time favorite book. I have read it multiple times over, and it still hits me every time. TFioS is written by John Green and follows the love story of Hazel and Gus. Unlike most YA romance novels though, Hazel has terminal caner and Gus is a survivor. This book breaks so many rules of a YA romance. While Looking for Alaska had a blowjob scene, this one has multiple tragedies. Though this book is sad, it will also make you laugh. In the same scene I will be on the verge of tears, then burst out laughing… John Green moved to Amsterdam for two months to properly write a chapter of this book set in Amsterdam. That love and dedication to his work is reflected so much through this book. It’s a must read.
First off, how awesome is that cover? Just completely awesome, that’s how awesome. The seriousness of Gaffigan and the silliness of the title is great. Anyway, the book. Dad is Fat is a hilarious book, but that is a given when it is written by a comedian as funny as Jim Gaffigan. Dad is Fat gives a life story of Jim and how he came into being a comedian. But, more than that the book focuses on his home life as a father raising a litter of kids in a TWO BEDROOM apartment. This man has a proper excuse to be fat. But, what makes Gaffigan amazing is he loves it. Sure, he jokes around about how terrible it is, but they are just jokes for the sake of humor. Dad Is Fat is an extremely funny book, and by the end of it you really feel like you know this family and understand his love for it and what he does.
Reviewing American Sniper is very difficult because Chris Kyle is considered and American hero. Personally though, after reading his book, I believe that though he was very good at his job, Chris Kyle as a person was deplorable. Everyone knows what American Sniper is at this point. American Sniper follows Chris Kyle in his life as a Navy Seal and at home. I had watched the movie long before reading the book and I was definitely not expecting what I read. Reading this book was very difficult. Reading about the nonchalant way he and his friends talked about death and killing. More so than hat, the way he treated his family, and being aware of that fact yet not caring. I will not deny that American Sniper is a good book, and well written. It has an interesting enough story, and if you are interested in guns and the military it is perfect for you. I just had a difficult time getting through it.
Multiple things I need to say before I write this review. I don’t read a lot of informational books or non-fiction, but I’m starting to really enjoy ones written by comedians. I am a huge fan of Aziz Ansari to the point that I almost started doing stand up comedy reviews (and actually wrote one out) JUST so that I could review this mans brilliant stand up. So, to the book now! Modern Romance is a look at the changes in relationships, marriage, and dating life in past generations to the way it is now. It is brilliantly told in the voice of Aziz Ansari. And when I say his voice, I mean I read this in HIS voice. He writes this in the same tone he does stand up, adding little pictures and text screen captures for fun. Comedy books are often difficult because jokes need timing and tone. I don’t know what sets this apart, but it makes me audibly laugh for minutes straight while still dropping useful knowledge on my ass. The day I started reading this I began annoying my family and friends with random facts about relationships now and relationships back “then”. It makes me look at every day interactions different, especially when my phone and other technology is involved. This is truly a genius book, and the most hilarious book I have ever read! On a side note I have now read two books from the cast of Parks and Recreation, now on to Amy’s!
Though now the Post-Apocalyptic-Young-Adult-Dystopian book genre is very very played out, at the time of release, The Hunger Games felt refreshingly original! Writing this I realize just how impossible it would be to describe The Hunger Games world in a short sentence or two, and that is the truly beautiful part. The Hunger Games is by no means a difficult read, and it is not obscenely long either. Yet, the world it builds inside its pages is both beautiful and horrifying. The Hunger Games does what most dark books do not, and starts itself out dark, and becomes pitch black by the end (that’s not even taking the other books in account). It definitely does not hold back on the violence either, which I love! What I can go without though, is the shitty, flimsy love circle Collins attempts to make believable between Gale, Katniss, and Peeta. I love a good love story as a sub plot in my books, but this one is shitty (Team Peeta all the way, by the way). In the end The Hunger Games is an amazingly written book. I love the fact that it is a trilogy, with each book having 3 acts! I love that it does not hold back from being dark and serious! It is one of my favorite books. Highly Recommend.
I’m a huge fan of George Carlin, I absolutely love his stand up. To be honest though I probably won’t review any more of his books just because they are all so similar. The interesting thing about George Carlin books, is it as if someone wrote down an exact replica of his stand up, and it works! Napalm and Silly Putty is his first book, and it cracks me up every time I read it or listen to it on tape during a long drive. Carlin’s humor is almost completely observational. He sees the humor in everyday life, but unlike most comedians now a days, he is smart! His jokes are clever, to the point, and he is not afraid to offend. A comedian that doesn’t hold back, is the best. All of his books are a must read, but this one tops them all.
If you are a fan of Nick Offerman than 99 times out of 100 you are because of the great Ron Swanson. If you liked him enough, than you are familiar with his hilarious yet incredibly informative stand up routine. For the rare huge fans, you have even read his book “Paddle Your Own Canoe”. If you haven’t yet, I’m here to convince you to. Nick Offermans dry, witty, smart ass, straight to the point humor and story telling is what makes his stand up act so amazing. If you have not seen his stand up, just know that when creating Ron Swanson the writers borrow 99% of it from Offerman himself. In this hilarious book, written as if he were just talking to you, or on stage telling jokes, Offerman will teach you how to live deliciously. You will learn how to be a proper man, how to make love to your wife, how to properly cook meat, how to respect the quiet of fishing, and one of my personal favorites, “Instead of playing Draw Something, fucking draw something”. Nick Offerman will not sugar coat a damn thing, but he will make you laugh, and he will make you get off your ass and do everything you are capable of!