I'm going to hold off on rating this one until I can kinda go back through it, since I was reading it in the hospital and didn't really absorb much; m...moreI'm going to hold off on rating this one until I can kinda go back through it, since I was reading it in the hospital and didn't really absorb much; my memories of it are kind of hazy, but I do know it wasn't quite what I was expecting of it, and I'm not entirely sure it will be everyone's cup of tea, but it's the kind of thing that always fascinates me and keeps me entertained. What's more, it also makes me want to dig deeper into the stories and do some research, which probably makes most people cringe, but makes me excited.
Other than that, I couldn't really tell you my impressions of this one; when I have a chance (hopefully soon, before it all fades), I want to sit back down with it and mull it over, but for now - just like the last 2 things I reviewed - I think this makes a pretty neat coffee table book: good for flipping through, good for a talking point when you have people over, good for keeping company entertained when you weren't expecting to have them over... Fun little book. =)(less)
This has a really fun, quirky-cute tone, and it has the type of humor that I think will translate to those not so well-versed in geekery. Super fun fo...moreThis has a really fun, quirky-cute tone, and it has the type of humor that I think will translate to those not so well-versed in geekery. Super fun for coffee tables, may work for the nerdy lovelorn (I didn't, you know, test my pre- and post-book Nerd Moves on anyone, so I can't attest to that...), and good for flipping through casually or breezing through in a sitting or two. All-around adorbs. =)(less)
I'll give a more in-depth review when I have a chance, but quickly, I just want to say:
When I initially flipped through this on arrival, I thought I w...moreI'll give a more in-depth review when I have a chance, but quickly, I just want to say:
When I initially flipped through this on arrival, I thought I was going to be disappointed. It wasn't nearly as snarky and/or vulgar as I was expecting it to be... (though, maybe since Zest Books is geared at a YA audience, the fault was in myself for expecting or wanting heaps of vulgar snark. *Shrug*) But once I actually read through and sort of adjusted my expectations, I started noticing a different, most subtle approach to the humor, and I have to say, it really worked. I think those buying this for a smart-ass coffee table book might be a bit let down, but really, only a bit. It's very fun and cheeky, but the surprising thing is that it actually seems like a silly-but-well-intentioned primer meant to honestly teach people how not to be dicks. Real world good advice here, folks.
But regardless, still makes a nice discussion-worthy coffee table book. ;)(less)
My August Rewind (up late, but better late than pregnant... Err, never. Better late than never.
THE BOOKS: The Fairest of Them All| Carolyn Turgeon [re...more My August Rewind (up late, but better late than pregnant... Err, never. Better late than never.
THE BOOKS: The Fairest of Them All | Carolyn Turgeon [review] Mansfield Park | Jane Austen (obvs) Among the Janeites | Deborah Yaffe [review] The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. | Adelle Waldman [review] Austentatious | Alyssa Goodnight [review](less)
This was a pretty fun book, mixing real pirate lore and superstition with elements from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, in a how-to style. The...moreThis was a pretty fun book, mixing real pirate lore and superstition with elements from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, in a how-to style. There are the things every pirate should know, like how to climb rigging or properly insult someone ("feculent maggot" being my personal favorite, followed closely by "salty wench").
There are also the less expected tips on things like How to Disguise Your Gender* or How to Cope with Mermaids.
There are pictures and illustrations interspersed throughout the text, ranging from movie stills to instructional diagrams to amusing illustrations. like this ------->
All told, I think this would make a great gift for boys (especially those who are reluctant readers) and for pirate aficiandos; it would also make for a fun quirky coffee table book, and certainly come in handy on International Talk Like a Pirate Day. There's enough real history mixed in with quirky pirate lore to entertain most pirate fans, and the design of the book is rather nice and user-friendly, too.
*as anyone who's seen my latest IMM would expect, I quite liked that section. Female pirates in disguise = awesomesauce.(less)
3.5 This would make an interesting coffee table book (do people still have coffee table books? Or coffee tables?). But that makes me wish for a better...more3.5 This would make an interesting coffee table book (do people still have coffee table books? Or coffee tables?). But that makes me wish for a better cover. You want a coffee table book to want to be picked up, and you can tell when it wants to be picked up by a cover that is asking for it. It has that inviting browsability. This looks too textbook/reference to be very inviting based on cover. Beyond that, it's fairly user friendly, though it certainly has a 'type.' Not everyone is going to give this more than a cursory glance, and some who pick it up may be frustrated by its scholarly approach over plain silliness (which is there, to a lesser extent).
Basically, the book breaks down what a quip (et al) is, exactly, and then gives copious lists on how to assemble your own. Like a thesaurus, but sillier. Much is made of alliteration (I'm all for that) and rhyming, those these two aren't necessary to form a good quip -- just encouraged. And animal's are god's gift to quips, apparently. Many a good zinger involves an animal doing something improbable, or comparing someone to an animal.
The book is sort of structured around different set-ups, with long lists of potential quips and the like that you can swap out to fit the situation, plus the patterns to learn to create your own. A lot of them, if put together as suggested, sound like those hokey, folksy things a politician-playing-the-good-ole-boy would say. "A blank needs a blank like a hawk needs hip-boots." You know, you can see a politician saying this, and most of us would say "WTF does that even mean?" But the politician's followers would nod sagely...
But sometimes these are pretty fun. I like a good bit of absurdity in my life, and this could provide it endlessly. For example, using Gloria Steinem's famous quote: "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" (the form of which was used up there ↑↑) a variety of equally absurd - and apparently quipy - alternatives is given. My faves:
A woman needs a man ... ...like a fer-de-lance needs underpants ...like a mouse needs a penthouse ...like a cow needs a catapault
See? Alliteration and rhyming. This would make a fun drinking game. No joke, it'd just get funnier. Outside of that, is it really something that most people would find useful? No. Authors, maybe, or teachers doing lessons on similes and whanot. And people who are wanting to play said drinking game. Which purpose I will put it to, one of these days...(less)
Topless Prophet is a hodge-podge of memoir, tell-all and business guidebook. Alan Markovitz, with the assistance of journalist Thomas...moreMore like a 3.5.
Topless Prophet is a hodge-podge of memoir, tell-all and business guidebook. Alan Markovitz, with the assistance of journalist Thomas Stevens, tells his story as one of the strip-club businesses top dogs, with all of the smarts, braggadocio and occasional lewdness that goes along with it. His story is as sensational and risque as you could want or expect, but it's grounded in business-savvy and Midwestern living.
Topless Prophet isn't something you'd normally find on my to-read shelf. That's not due to any squeamishness about strippers and adult entertainment, but more about the fact that I don't care all that much about business. (I know, not what people are expecting in the way of complaints about this type of book.) But what caught my eye and made me decide to read this was the old adage: location, location, location. The events in this book -- as sensational and surreal as they sometimes are -- took place practically in my own backyard. Okay, not really. But Alan Markovitz built his topless empire on Detriot's Eminem-famous Eight Mile, expanding to Dearborn and then the rest of the country, and as a fellow Southern Michigander, I find his story fascinating.
But let's just get it out of the way, shall we? If you are offended by strippers/strip clubs/braggarts/the club scene, etc., this book is not for you. And you already know that. So don't bother. That being said, this book is not what you may expect. Sure, there are occasional buts of the scandalous and lascivious, and frankly, in a book about strip clubs, I would have been disappointed if it were otherwise; I want to hear about insane stripper antics. And they are there. But they are not the focal point of this book by any means. Alan Markovitz is a business man, and this is a business man's book. It's full of tips, tricks and advice for aspiring business-people, albeit filtered through a rather adult lens. More than anything, though, Topless Prophet reads like a memoir. Markovitz has certainly led an interesting life, and his business side is just the tip of the iceberg. Topless Prophet is a mash-up of vignettes from his life, from opening his first club (The Booby Trap*), to having his Holocaust-survivor father face down a vicious motorcycle gang, to being shot on not one by two occasions, as well as having his business partner put a hit out on him and having to face down the mob. Long story short, the man's been through a lot, and he has a lot to say. There's a good bit of funny, interesting and odd in his story, and his particular spin even makes the business stuff interesting. And there are times when it's down-right riveting; the man was shot twice within the first fifty pages!
The downside: It certainly needed some proof-reading. Maybe it's just a product of having been a writing tutor for 5+ years, or maybe it's the result of being *slightly* anal, but all the little mistakes jumped out at me and kinda got on my nerves. I mean, they weren't so overwhelming that they outweighed the story, but they were the types of obvious mistakes that should have been caught. The only other thing that bothered me was some of the set-up and tone. With this type of story and this type of narrator, some bragging is expected, maybe even called for. But sometimes it just seemed silly. Also, there was a lot of hint-hint/nudge-nudge going on, mentioning some big event and then saying "but more on that later." Once or twice is okay, but frankly, this kind of obvious hit you over the head foreshadowing is a pet peeve of mine.**
All in all, it's an interesting business book cum tell-all, and if you're into that sort of thing, you'll like it. And if you read it and like it, you can always do a little in-person sleuthing; like a good businessman, Markovitz concludes his book with an open-invitation to his clubs.
* The Booby Trap. I really don't know how to feel about a cheesy pun for a strip club name. Part of me thinks 'ha!' and part of me thinks 'really?' Pretty typical pun reaction, I guess. **I can't watch Access Hollywood or any of those types of shows because of all of the teasers that are always 'coming up next.' Drives. Me. Nuts. I can't even watch the local news because of it. (less)