Spotty. Some very good history in here but buried under a lot of Hitch just talking. Recounting silly word games among friends.
The audiobook is parti...moreSpotty. Some very good history in here but buried under a lot of Hitch just talking. Recounting silly word games among friends.
The audiobook is particularly difficult to consume because his low voice gets muddled unless the sound is turned up so loud that the fricatives make your ears hurt. Also it's very low key and over 17 hours long, so it's more likely to lull you to sleep than make a road trip more interesting.
I enjoyed it but I feel like I missed so much(less)
As I listened, I compared this one a lot to Mindy Kaling's book. I think I probably related more to Mindy, but there were a lot of interesting tidbits...moreAs I listened, I compared this one a lot to Mindy Kaling's book. I think I probably related more to Mindy, but there were a lot of interesting tidbits about how Kristin got to where she is now, and how life hasn't always been a bowl of cherries, but she seems grateful for the good, and dedicated to either looking for the silver lining or the punchline. I liked hearing about her HUGE hit sitcom Kristin, I was mentally doing jazz hands each time she referred to it. Her Christian faith has obviously played a role in her life, but it didn't intrude too much for me. Still, it's hard to rate. I kept looking forward to getting back to the story, so I blazed through it over the course of one weekend. (less)
In parts of the book I found Seb too annoying, self-centered, oblivious. The volunteer work, at times, felt less like altruism and more like a stunt,...moreIn parts of the book I found Seb too annoying, self-centered, oblivious. The volunteer work, at times, felt less like altruism and more like a stunt, an investment, a task which his book contract would compensate him for.
It was hard for me to believe someone would write so honestly about his own fuckups and shortcomings, but then I'm not a journalist. I was put off whenever he'd complain a volunteer gig hadn't turned into paid work.
However, the half marathon really did make me laugh -- finally, eight hours into an 8.4 hour book.
And the parts afterward were a good nudge off the couch and into the world of volunteering. For all the reasons he outlined. It allows people to try out different things. It helps others. It's more productive than most of the other ways we might choose to kill time.(less)
This book resonated with me. I liked it enough to voluntarily mention it to my mother, who often gifts me with "happiness" related books despite my pr...moreThis book resonated with me. I liked it enough to voluntarily mention it to my mother, who often gifts me with "happiness" related books despite my previous lack of interest in the subject (love you, mom). She had already read it!
It probably deserves only 3.5 stars but i'll be generous. I think it could be a practical example for readers to implement small or large improvements.
My biggest problem with the audiobook is the way the author reads contributions from her blog commenters. I'm sure in text these are clearly delineated with bullet points or at least hard returns. Aloud, they are just jumbles of phrase causing me to wonder if/when she's "being Gretchen", what is actually relevant to the overarching storyline, and when she is simply serving as a mouthpiece for others' words; the utterance "my wife and I" is often a major clue. Seriously, this was bad direction.
Also, maybe she was being subtly sarcastic, or as a childless single person my expectations are off, but there were a shocking number of times when the author speaks of having to restrain herself from violence or screaming at her spouse/kids... Would she have just allowed herself these strong (re)actions in the same instances if not for the Project?(less)
Scrubs meets David Sedaris? That's a bit of a stretch. Sure, Dr. Youn doesn't shy away from making fun of himself, but how much of it is self-aware wr...moreScrubs meets David Sedaris? That's a bit of a stretch. Sure, Dr. Youn doesn't shy away from making fun of himself, but how much of it is self-aware writing, a young doctor distancing himself from the awkward kid he used to be, and how much is just embarrassing tales of the socially inept. Are we cringing with him, or at him?
The book spends way, way too much time talking about Tony's quest to pull a girl. Apparently pick-up lines are ineffective but basically the only method he considered -- aside from silent, smoldering affection while allowing himself to be treated like a doormat by girls who were clearly not interested. I was creeped out by his description of going up to girls with the sole intention of scoring a number or a date, sensing his imminent rejection, and responding with an ignorant, self-pitying whine, What was so terribly repulsive about me?.
The first time I felt empathy for adult Tony Youn was during his gross anatomy lab. He starts to see the bodies as people, and he starts to get some determination of his own.
I appreciated the glimpse into Tony's childhood, his family dynamic, his feelings as an outsider, and his own transformative surgery. The stories from his month-long stints in various specialties were very interesting, if brief. I really wish he had followed up with what happened to the baby in the case that led him to his field of medicine. And I was glad that he was able to find a specialty that called to him and a residency where he felt at home, even if he originally went to medical school to appease his father.
Note: it pains me to say this is a rewrite, Goodreads accidentally ate the first version of this review just after I previewed it in its once shining, perfect state. (less)
I adore the contributions from Sarah Vowell’s three-year-old nephew, Owen:
"[My sister Amy] phoned me, saying, “I asked Owen what he wanted to do today...moreI adore the contributions from Sarah Vowell’s three-year-old nephew, Owen:
"[My sister Amy] phoned me, saying, “I asked Owen what he wanted to do today and he said, ‘Go look at stones with Aunt Sarah.’ Do you know what he’s talking about? What these stones are?”
"I do. “He means tombstones,” I told her. “When you were off parking the car at the cemetery in Cleveland, Owen and I walked around looking for John Hay’s grave. Owen climbed on top of it and hollered, ‘This is a nice Halloween park!’” (That’s what he calls cemeteries.)"
"He’s truly morbid. When he broke his collarbone by falling down some stairs he was playing on, an emergency room nurse tried to comfort him by giving him a cuddly stuffed lamb to play with. My sister, hoping to prompt a “thank you,” asked him, “What do you say, Owen?” He handed back the lamb, informing the nurse, “I like spooky stuff.”" (less)