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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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25 02, 2017

Review: The F*ck It List by Kevin Pryslak

By | February 25th, 2017|Categories: Entertainment, Health, Mind, & Body, Humor, Nonfiction, Self-Help|Tags: , , |6 Comments

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fuck it list book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Let’s start with the facts–The F*ck It List: All The Things You Can Skip Before You Die is hilarious. We all despise other people’s glorious tales about the exciting to them but boring to us travels, their “this or that” some friend just purchased, or the Lifetime Achievement goals someone else just achieved. Who needs it, the having to be happy for other people for their trumped up triumphs? Who needs a bucket list anyway and why do we need to list all of the crap that we will likely never achieve or be able to afford in our average lives?

Kevin Pryslak flows the idea of a formalized, notarized “Bucket List” that can be promptly thrown out the window, or alternatively, in the toilet. And man, it definitely felt good to do this and take my life back–to get rid of the expectations and the “scores” to exceed.

11 01, 2017

Review: Cast of Characters by Thomas Vinciguerra

By | January 11th, 2017|Categories: Biographies, Entertainment, Humor, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , |10 Comments

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cast of characters book coverReviewed by Kate Schefer

I am familiar with The New Yorker, and I am familiar with E.B. White and James Thurber and a few of the other writers who were the publication’s founding voices. But I am not familiar with how the two created and influenced each other. Or at least I wasn’t until I read Cast of Characters by Thomas Vinciguerra. Originally intended as a biography of Wolcott Gibbs, the book developed into a retelling of the formative years of The New Yorker, highlighting its founders, their lives, and their iconic work. I could tell that the main focus was to be Gibbs, as the book began and ended with anecdotes about him, and his son Tony was Vinciguerra’s primary source. But I believe the book struck a good balance between Gibbs and his counterparts.

25 09, 2016

Review: Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker

By | September 25th, 2016|Categories: Entertainment, Essays & Correspondence, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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dear mr. you book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

It is a truth universal that one cannot judge a book by its cover. Or should not, in any case. Sometimes, even if you do take the time to read samples and other reviews you really still cannot predict a wonderful book. You’re as likely to pick one that says absolutely nothing to you.

I did mostly feel that way about Dear Mr. You, except for one sentence on page 60. “Time should weep for having spent me without you.” I cannot get it out of my head–it just runs around in there like a hamster on a spinning wheel.

1 07, 2016

Review: I’m Not a Terrorist, But I’ve Played One On TV by Maz Jobrani

By | July 1st, 2016|Categories: Entertainment, Essays & Correspondence, Humor, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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i'm not a terrorist jobrani book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

I’m Not a Terrorist, But I’ve Played One On TV is a humorous tale of one man’s trials growing up an Iranian American. Maz Jobrani and his family came to the U.S. when he was a small boy because of the change in government, and stayed, because of that same government.

The memoir mostly highlighted important milestones in his life and Jobrani generally has a very amusing way of telling his story. Of course, his biggest problems had to do with his parents–a fairly common issue for children of immigrants. Most parents embarrass their children. Children of immigrants have the added issue of parents who are different from American parents and do and say ‘weird’ things.

7 03, 2016

Review: The Chef Next Door by Amanda Freitag

By | March 7th, 2016|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Entertainment, For the Cook, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction|Tags: |7 Comments

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the chef next door book coverReviewed by Holly Madison

It is never easy to review cookbooks since they are so different from normal books. I decided that I had to read The Chef Next Door because I have been a fan of Amanda Freitag for several years, since I first saw her on the Food Network. She has always had such a kind and knowledgeable demeanor, and I knew that her expertise would translate into a fantastic books. I was not wrong.

I should start by saying that I am not the typical reader for a cookbook like this. I am a vegetarian, and even the thought of fish or anything seafood makes me squeamish. But I do have people in my life who enjoy meat, and I figured that I might be able to learn something from this book. I am

24 02, 2016

Review: Motions and Moments by Michael Pronko

By | February 24th, 2016|Categories: Entertainment, Humor, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

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motions and moments book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

In his third book of essays about living in Tokyo, Japan author Michael Pronko provides an insider’s view of the city, with the perspective/respect of a one-time outsider. As an American writing and teaching at the University level and living in Tokyo for over eighteen years, Pronko has learned how to navigate the city, the customs and all of the quirks, while still being open to adventure and new discoveries. Always ready to explore and discover something new, Pronko is proud of his residence in Tokyo, proud of the citizens, his students and the hustle and bustle. This hustle and bustle is explored in a deeply intimate and well thought out manner and Pronko’s perspective, often reflected through observations made at the train station or on the train, show that there is much

21 01, 2016

Review: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

By | January 21st, 2016|Categories: Biographies, Entertainment, Health, Mind, & Body, Humor, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Self-Help, Success|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments

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year of yes book coverReviewed by Meg Massey

Shonda Rhimes is the mastermind behind popular TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. She’s created complex and bold characters like Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang–strong women that have encouraged their audience to live with passion and boldness. But in the Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, Shonda admits what some would never believe: she’s an introvert!

Shonda’s story begins in Thanksgiving 2013 when her sister spoke these words to her: “You never say yes to anything”. This exchange set events in motion that Shonda could have never predicted. Her sister’s words challenged her to step out of her comfort zone; to make a commitment to saying yes to everything that terrified her for one year.

This memoir is equal parts poignant

17 02, 2015

Review: Uncle John’s Weird, Weird World: Who, What, Where, When, and Wow!

By | February 17th, 2015|Categories: Entertainment, Humor, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

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uncle john's weird weird world book coverReviewed by Melanie Kline

Amazing, interesting, page turning, edge of your seat entertainment at it’s finest–there are not enough adjectives to describe the wonderful piece of literature that I had the opportunity to hold in my hands. Uncle John’s Weird, Weird World: Who, What, Where, When, and Wow! had enough stories and blurbs to compete with any Ripley’s or Guinness World Record book, yet was much more fun and compelling.

Who wouldn’t want to learn about Slime Fever Syndrome, Sumo Suit Wrestling, Dwarf Tossing, Random Bathroom Stats, etc.?  Do you know the definition of nocturia? Read this book and you will be sure to. You also cannot hum if you hold your nose closed…did you just try to?

Do you play the lottery? You might want to rethink how badly you want to win when you read about the

30 12, 2014

Review: Scandals of Classic Hollywood by Anne Helen Petersen

By | December 30th, 2014|Categories: Entertainment, Historical, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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scandals of classic hollywood book coverReviewed by Jax Kepple

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema is a fascinating collection of stories of the behind-the-scenes power the movie studios had over their stars in the early-to-mid twentieth century. The studios, knowing that they had to please the conservative public, had actors sign contract which often had morality clauses and directives on how soon they could marry after divorcing. It’s almost unbelievable how much the studios got away with, but that was the price these actors and actresses would pay for fame.

About half of the stories included here were already shared on the blog The Hairpin by author Anne Helen Petersen. As someone who read and enjoyed that column I realized that they had been significantly edited in this book, and some of the stars and

19 12, 2014

Review: Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

By | December 19th, 2014|Categories: Audiobooks, Biographies, Entertainment, Humor, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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not that kind of girl book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Not That Kind of Girl is a collection of stories and essays, biographical in nature, by actress/artist Lena Dunham. The book gives us a peek into Lena’s life and how she coped with everything from finding love and being in relationships, to being lonely and obsessed with weight, as well as various other experiences that are so bizarre, they couldn’t be made up.

Lena takes us on a journey through “taboo” experiences that just about every female has gone thru, such as losing your virginity and exploring your own sexuality. She teaches us that these things are just a part of life and there’s nothing wrong with experimenting until you find what does or doesn’t work for you as an individual. She also about being accepting of people who choose a way that doesn’t