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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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8 12, 2013

Review: Are You Indian? by Sanjit Singh

By | December 8th, 2013|Categories: Gift Ideas, Humor, Humorous, Nonfiction, Parenting & Family|Tags: , |2 Comments

Rating:

sanjit-singh2Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Are You Indian? is not a book to judge by its cover. Sanjit Singh’s volume thrives on an in-your-face farce-type of comedy writing about what it means to be a native Asian from India living in the United States. The author writes candidly, and uses long-faced caricatures (not my favorite images, some are unpleasant and creepy to look at) of his “people” to illustrate the main points in the book. The point is–how can anyone understand the principles of Indian culture, rituals, home-life and family traditions without being from India? Well, reading this book will make anyone an expert of sorts.

First the reader is encouraged to take a short quiz to determine if the person is “really Indian”. To be clear, “real Indians” are then distinguished from Indian wannabes and non-Indians. Singh then goes on to explain the early

7 09, 2013

Review: Strange Medicine by Nathan Belofsky

By | September 7th, 2013|Categories: Humor, Medicine, Nonfiction|Tags: , |1 Comment

Rating:

15811584Reviewed by Sara Drake

Imagine a time when people believed that relieving pain was sinful; therefore medical procedures should hurt a lot! Mr. Belofsky presents a short look at some of the stranger treatments used by medical practitioners throughout the ages. Organized mostly by chronology, the book skims through an amazing number of treatments that will leave the reader giggling, gasping, and occasionally shuddering with horror. This is one of those books to be read aloud, or at least have an audience handy to share choice tidbits with.

Mr. Belofsky covers some of the more well-known practices such as leeches, blood-letting, and lobotomy. The more fascinating tales include eating cooked mice to cure bedwetting, the wealth of cures for wet dreams, and fun with acid. The tales also include some of the medical sidelines, such as the practice of binding books in human

14 07, 2013

Review: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

By | July 14th, 2013|Categories: Humor, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Rating:

e270c421fee396d9781404b786b6a738Reviewed by MaryLu McFall

Of all the genres in literature, humor can be one of the most difficult to write. Sedaris is one of the best and has several best sellers to prove that point. Certainly his new collection of essays should please his many fans.

While his books are available and well known, he is not a writer I have read. I approached Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls with some trepidation and not a little reluctance. After finally sitting down with a proper open mind I began.

Oh, such charming use of language. Such a wealth of observations about the human condition with all of its absurdities. His observations are a study of social interactions with sharp insights into life in general and into his life with specific points of view.

A little confusion developed as I continued reading. Some of the material seemed

4 03, 2013

Review: Table Talk by Caren A. Stein

By | March 4th, 2013|Categories: Entertainment, Humor, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Rating:

Table-TalkReviewed by Kathie Smith

Table Talk: Memoirs of a Bikini Waxer by Caren A. Stein is a title that will grab your attention immediately. Anyone who has ever had the experience of a bikini wax knows there are endless possibilities for amusing, embarrassing and even startling stories. A book with the promise of hilarious happenings from the waxing room straight from the source is sure to please anyone who loves a good, healthy laugh. The abundance of reasons for hair removal – not to mention body parts in need of it – are surprisingly plentiful. Of course, as the most cringe-worthy of all waxing procedures, the bikini wax is the natural choice for a collection of stories.

Stein is a licensed esthetician, as well as a certified electrologist, who specializes in waxing. Who could be better qualified to cover the subject? Combine this

12 02, 2013

Review: Encyclopedia Paranoiaca by Henry Beard & Christopher Cerf

By | February 12th, 2013|Categories: Education, Humor, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Rating:

Encyclopedia-ParanoiacaReviewed by Melanie Kline

The Definitive Compendium of Things You Absolutely, Positively Must Not Eat Drink, Wear, Take, Grow, Make, Buy, Use, Do, Permit, Believe, or Let Yourself Be Exposed to, Including an Awful Lot of Toxic, Lethal, Horrible Stuff That You Thought Was Safe Good, or Healthy; All Sorts of Really Bad People Who Are Out to Get, Cheat, Steal from, or Otherwise Take Advantage of You; and a Whole Host of Existential Threats and Looming Dooms That Make Global Warming, Giant Meteors, and Planetary Pandemics Look Like a Walk in the Park (with Its High Risk of Skin Cancer, Broken Bones, Bee Stings, Allergic Seizures, Animal Attacks, Criminal Assaults, and Lightning Strikes)

Fasten your seat belts for the most terrifying yet superbly hilarious book of a lifetime. A hypochondriac’s dream and a “normal” person’s nightmare, Encyclopedia Paranoiaca is both an awareness

8 01, 2013

Review: Judging a Book by Its Lover by Lauren Leto

By | January 8th, 2013|Categories: Entertainment, Humor, Nonfiction|Tags: , |3 Comments

Rating:

13623953Reviewed by Sara Drake

Ms Leto offers readers a fun, witty, review of many of the “must-read” books that most of us never seem to find time to read and a look at the readers who love them. This book serves up a medley of Ms Leto’s observations about the literary world, her personal relationship with books, and her humorous take on books themselves. These observations by theme include a healthy dose of humor, making fun of one and all (including herself).

Judging a Book by Its Lover includes advice on how to pick people up in bookstores, how to judge people by their bookshelves, how to judge people by their favorite author, and how to fake a conversation about books you have not yet read. If this eclectic variety of topics appeals to you, this is definitely a must read book! The

5 01, 2013

Review: Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean

By | January 5th, 2013|Categories: Animals, Entertainment, For Men, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Hobbies & Home, Humor, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , |7 Comments

Rating:

rin-tin-tin-paper-medReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Rin Tin Tin, by Susan Orlean is a surprisingly complex, as well as a highly entertaining read.

When I first picked up the 317 paged Rin Tin Tin I wondered, “How can an author possibly write that many pages about just one dog?” I was doubting my book choice and wondering how interesting it could possibly be to read about the lineage of a dog, no matter how famous he may be. However, Orlean has displayed “Rinty’s” life as having been so fully woven into the fabric of American culture that her telling of Rin Tin Tin stands out as both entertaining and historically and culturally educational. No, not the classroom, fact listing, ho-hum sort of “educational,” but the sort of education that takes you on a ride, exploring and relating many areas of life while staying anchored

20 12, 2012

Review: Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson

By | December 20th, 2012|Categories: Entertainment, Humor, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

smokeme.jpeg.728x520_q85Reviewed by Drennan Spitzer

In Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road, Willie Nelson presents a series of vignettes, memories, lyrics to songs, dirty jokes, and thoughts about a wide variety of issues ranging from religion to bio fuel to marijuana. But what strikes me most about this work is Nelson’s love for his family. In the interest of disclosure, I will say up front that I am a fan of Willie Nelson. I recall listening to him on the 8-track player when I was a child. He’s on my iPod. I’ve seen him perform live several times. And so when I had the chance to review his latest book, I jumped on it, thrilled to have the opportunity to read and reflect on one of my very favorite singer-songwriters.

Nelson’s “musings” are, in some ways, predictable. He speaks out

25 09, 2012

Review: I’m Just Sayin’! by Kim Zimmer

By | September 25th, 2012|Categories: Entertainment, Humor, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by M.L. McFall

The cover of I’m Just Sayin’! says a great deal about Kim Zimmer who played Reva Lewis Shayne on The Guiding Light, a CBS soap opera. Since I was a fan of this soap, reading Kim’s breezy memoir was a hoot. The tone of this book is just what you’d expect, especially if you are familiar with the character she played. Blonde (most of the time), brassy (nearly all of the time), and blunt (absolutely). If you’re looking for a quick, fun read, this is it.

Kim Zimmer is above all an actress, and she talks about how she got started in the business as a young child. She takes us through her high school drama training, her college drama lessons, then to a California acting school. She gains experience mainly in stage drama, and doesn’t have any

16 09, 2012

Review: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know by Jeff Johnson & Hy Conrad

By | September 16th, 2012|Categories: Animals, Entertainment, For the Pet Lover, Gift Ideas, Hobbies & Home, Humor, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |7 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Caitlin Busch

The photograph on the front caught me immediately: two adorable Boston terriers, one seeming to whisper in the other’s ear, while the other stares at you in surprise, as though he’s been caught! Irresistible, right? The cast of characters next interested me – a mix of breeds common in America, breeds which most of us know well through direct or indirect contact. Some of their stories are weaker than others – not as funny, not as connection-forming, and not as well-rounded – but there are some downright stirring moments too. I enjoyed reading more than half of the book, but also felt some of the material was just fluff.

Yes, as you might expect, Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know is a cutesy book in many ways. The art direction is bright and adorable; each character