Well, this was fun! I actually liked I Suck at Girls a tad better, but I think it's because I read that one first. And while Halpern's father is extremWell, this was fun! I actually liked I Suck at Girls a tad better, but I think it's because I read that one first. And while Halpern's father is extremely funny, once you hear a few of his zingers the magic wears off a bit.
The gist? I think everyone already knows about this book and the Tweets that started it all. I'm pretty sure the blurb takes care of whatever curiosity most readers have, but (if you're too lazy to read the blurb) the short version is that Justin started Tweeting the shit his dad said. So, yeah.
Halpern senior is smart & funny, but I think the thing that everyone loves is the way he just says whatever he's thinking without caring about any social repercussions. And the stuff he's saying isn't racist/sexist/homophobic, it's just...honest.
Has it really become so rare for people to not sugarcoat the way they feel and think, that we find a book filled with Tweets like this amazing? Yup.
There isn't any sort of big Life Lesson here, just a humorous way to spend an afternoon. But if you're one of those readers who just has to take a moral lesson away from everything you read, then here's what I took away from this one: actions speak louder than words. Sure, Justin's dad cuts him (and everyone else) very little verbal slack. But he was always there for him, believing in him, pushing him to be better, and loving him regardless.
In the end, I hope I'm judged on my actions and not my words, because God knows my kids could easily write something like this. *shudders*...more
But I've been married for a bjillion years, so why the hell am I reading this? Eh. I saw my library had it,Because everyone wants to find true love...
But I've been married for a bjillion years, so why the hell am I reading this? Eh. I saw my library had it, and thought it would be fun to find out if (according to Greg Behrendt) Hubs & I had done the whole dating thing right.
First week of dating:
According to the book, my main squeeze exhibited all the correct into you behavior, so I guess it's a good thing I went ahead and married the guy. And I think, for the most part, Greg is right about some of the excuses men give when it comes to dating. I mean, when a guy falls for a woman, he really will move heaven and earth to be with her. All of the it's just a bad time, I'm busy with work, I've been hurt before, I'm not ready to commit, my parent divorce scarred me, etc. shit is exactly that...shit. What's actually being said is, I'm not sure if you're the one, and I'm keeping my options open. I mean, if you ask my husband, he's probably used every one of those excuses on some poor unsuspecting female in the past. I was surprised to learn that he had a giant laundry list of things that were no-goes for him. A list, I might add, that flew out the window once he met me. And not because I'm so awesome, but because I was his Person. For whatever reason, we clicked, and all of his I don't feel comfortable when a woman spends the entire night, turned into if you move in with me, we can turn my office into a kid's room. Yes, really.
I think this book gives pretty decent advice when it talks about how into you a man acts, is proportionate to how into he really is. If he's not calling/texting, not wanting to spend his free time with you, or has 'issues' with intimacy, then *sigh*He's Just Not That Into You. And, honestly, who wants to spend the rest of your life with someone you have to beg scraps of attention from? Marriage is hardly easy, why make it harder?
A few years down the road:
As far as some of the other advice Behrendt gives? Meh. It's not necessarily wrong, but it's definitely not Gospel Truth. At best, it's situational. I know a lot of people are pissed that he claims a woman should never ask a man out, because men like The Chase. I'm not offended by his advice, but I'm not sure how true it is anymore. What if the guy you like thinks you're waaaay out of his league? I guess you could basically throw yourself at him, but it might be easier to just invite him out for a cup of coffee, you know? Besides, I don't think men are as stupid as all that. If they like you, I sort of doubt you asking them out will change those feelings. As far as I can tell, the only good thing about waiting for the man to make the first move would be that you know he's definitely interested in you, and not just going along with it because it was easy. But. I can't say that's enough of a reason to sit of your hands. I mean, if after a few dates you notice him displaying lazy/disinterested behavior, you can always dump the guy.
The only thing in the book I agree with 100%, is that it is ALWAYS better to be alone than be with someone who makes you feel like shit. I know some of you are probably thinking, Easy for you to say, you've got someone!, and you're not wrong. But I have had my fair share of horrible relationships, so I do know how damaging to your self esteem they can be. It's not worth it, ladies (and gentlemen!). Get out, get over them, and move on to someone who truly wants to be your Person. <--worth it!
A few more years down the road: Who says romance is dead?! Look at the fear love shining in his eyes!
Oh, and, unlike a lot of my friends who read this, I didn't realize it had been made into some sort of a movie or something until after I picked it up. So, yeah, this is a self-help book, not a novel....more
Persepolis is the Greek name for the ancient city of Parsa, located seventy miles northeast of Shiraz in present-day Iran. ...because I had been wonderPersepolis is the Greek name for the ancient city of Parsa, located seventy miles northeast of Shiraz in present-day Iran. ...because I had been wondering about that.
Alright, the second half of this story (#3 & #4) is less about the revolution, and more about a young woman growing up, and discovering herself along the way. Yes, it's a fish-out-water story, but most stories are when you're talking about that period of time between teenager and adult.
Satrapi has an extra layer of awkwardness, because she's alone in a foreign country during this time. Plus, the upheaval that happened in her country during her childhood gave her a different outlook on things than most of the children teenagers in her boarding school. Bottom line, though? Everyone wants to fit in at that age.
So, she does what we all did during that time of our life. She experiments, she rebels, falls in love, gets her heart broken, gets her pride crushed, loses herself, and then makes her way home. Unfortunately, Iran wasn't exactly the kind country that made it particularly easy to explore who you are or find yourself. The blending of religious values with laws made it hard for her, and other young adults, to do the normal things that most of us take for granted as rites of passage.
And I'm not saying the men in her country had it easy, but being a woman in such a repressed society? Wow. It's hard to believe that there are still places like this in the world.
Ok, while this was a really good story, it didn't quite move me as much as the first book. Still, it's definitely worth reading. And there were several things that surprised me about this one. The biggest shock was that this was not a sad story. I thought it would end with bloodshed or something! Nope. There's no Happily Ever After, but it leaves you satisfied. Also, Marjane's parents were pretty awesome. I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't read this, but when I grow up, I want to be like those guys. I hope I have the guts to let my kids be themselves and make their own mistakes. I don't think you need to be a woman to get this book, either. I think anyone can read this and find something of themselves in Satrapi's story, because it's about finding out who you are, and then being true to yourself. Even when it's not easy.
I knew a little about Iran. Not much, but a little. I knew it had been through a lot of changes, and that most of those changes had been steps backwarI knew a little about Iran. Not much, but a little. I knew it had been through a lot of changes, and that most of those changes had been steps backward when it came to personal freedom. Here's a cool little 1 minute video that gives you a visual look at some of the changes in style, if you're interested.
Alright. What I didn't know was the hows and whys. And to be honest, it never occurred to me to delve much deeper. There was a revolution, some religious nutters took over, and then everyone started dressing like they were back in the stone ages. People in my country choose to wear burkas, so I just assumed most of the people in Iran thought it was a good thing.
Now, maybe my original views sound sort of stupid, but in my defense, I honestly don't understand why anyone does anything when it comes to religion. So covering yourself head to toe doesn't sounds any weirder than not using birth control, avoiding certain foods, or refusing medical treatment. And don't get me started on that My Husband is the Head of the House shit... My point is, if people willing do those things because of religious beliefs, why not clothing stuff? Hello? Amish, much?
But really this story is about much more than just clothes. It's about the slow and methodical war waged on freedom of any kind in Iran, and it's told through the eyes of a woman who lived through it as a child.
Since she comes from a wealthy and educated household, you get a different perspective than maybe you would otherwise. Her parents are actively protesting the changes, while also trying to maintain a sense of normalcy in their home.
Growing up in a home like that made an impression on her, and you can see how she bucks and rebels as she approaches her teenage years. She wasn't raised to be quiet and docile, so she chafes under her country's regime.
My son and I read this one right around the same time, and he thought it was an incredibly enlightening story, as well. Actually, he said something like this: Hey, that was pretty cool. I didn't know any of that stuff happened in Iran. High praise from the teenager! Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading the second part of this story, because...That Ending!
I saw this audiobook in the library, and I thought it looked interesting. Hell, I've got 4 kids. ThisHey! Look at me stepping outside my comfort zone!
I saw this audiobook in the library, and I thought it looked interesting. Hell, I've got 4 kids. This could come in handy. Next year I'll have not one, but two teenage boys. I need to prepare myself to defend my babies home from the invading whores hoards. I figured this book would help me gird my loins (or whatever it is you do) when you head into battle. Back off, Skanks! You're not getting past the front door!
Still, even teenage boys pale in comparison to the sheer terror that comes with sharing a home with pre-pubescent girls... Retreat! Retreat! We've misjudged the enemy's abilities!
I can definitely use the help of a master strategist. Although, in retrospect, I actually have one of those living with me. She's 10, and she's been fully in charge of my home since she clawed her way out of my womb. My husband says I was hallucinating (bless whoever came up with drugs in the delivery room!), but I swear I saw her gnaw off her own umbilical cord. She's ruthless, clever, and has the smile of an angel. Lucifer was an angel, too... Anyway, I could have skipped this, and simply begged for the honor to sit at her feet and learn. Teach me your ways, Mighty Warrior!
But the cover said this was only a 4 1/2 hour book. What? She probably wouldn't have shared her secrets anyway... Confession time: I did not make it all the way through the audiobook. I did, however, make it all the way through The Art of War. That part of it was short. I don't know what the actual length of time was, but I listened to it while I was making dinner, and then took it with me on a short jaunt to Wal-mart. Boom! Done! Thank you, Sun Tzu!
The rest of this particular audio is supposedly speculation about Sun Tzu's life, and a history lesson on the politics of the time he lived in. Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah... All the names bled together in my head, and the words just sort of sloshed around inside my brain till I finally gave up on it.
I'm not saying is was badly done or boring, but my tiny dinosaur brain isn't built to process books without pictures. So listening to someone with a smooth jazzy voice read from a history book, is just like asking for some sort of an internal meltdown to happen up there.
So. The Art of War I actually don't feel like Mr. Tzu had much to say that would help me out. I mean, a there were a few things translated into real life... Be consistent in rewards and punishments. Duh. Employ spies. Double duh. I've got every one of my kids on the payroll, and they each think they're the only mole I've got. Suckers! Make sure the enemy is tired before attacking. Hello? Why do you think I'm out at pool all day long with them? It's not like I enjoy basking in the glow of my cellulite, all while gaining a few more liver spots. If Sun Tzu had mentioned dosing the enemy with Benadryl before long trips, I would have been more impressed. A lot of it, however, was about how to fight on different types of terrain. Swampy, mountainous, flat, etc.. That's no help to me, buddy! I need some sort of inside scoop that's going to give me an edge over the full blown she-devil I live with, the smaller demon-in-training (currently under the tutelage of the aforementioned she-devil), and the two walking hormones that used to be my little boys! I can't hold 'em off much longer! I'm going down! Going dow....
Anyhoo, I'm glad I read listened to it. It's one of those books you need to study...not read, though. So, I'm pretty sure I missed the vast majority of wisdom by doing it this way. But so what? I can say I've read it! I feel like a badass now, and that's all that's important. Pbbbt!
So, this isn't really a humorous book about Aziz Ansari's dating experiences, it's more like a book about dating in the modern world, written by the vSo, this isn't really a humorous book about Aziz Ansari's dating experiences, it's more like a book about dating in the modern world, written by the very humorous Aziz Ansari.
I was introduced to Aziz's stand-up by my oldest son, and I've been hooked on him ever since. He's hilarious, and if you haven't seen him perform you're missing out. Which makes me wish I'd listened to this as an audio book...
Turns out, Aziz and his partner, Eric Klinenberg, did quite a bit of research for this book. Now, is it the best book out there on this subject? The most detailed investigation with the most clinical data? Probably not.
But there was waaay more research-y stuff in here than I was expecting from a book written by a stand-up comedian & actor. Between the two of them, they did focus groups, had pie charts, and looked at how people dated in a few different cultures. Not a ton, but a few! Japan (Tokyo, in particular) was interesting! I'd heard about their lack of interest in sex, but I didn't realize it was now such a big deal that the government was stepping in to help out. You'd think Tokyo would be a hopping place for singles, but evidently...not so much. Even so, it sounds like a fabulous place to visit!
They looked at Paris to see what a more laid-back culture thought about monogamy, and the results were...less surprising. More Parisians were cool with (a bit of) cheating than other countries. That's Hot!
Sorry, wrong Paris. They also looked at Buenos Aries, which is (supposedly) a more aggressive city for dating. As in, the guys are aggressive and take catcalling to a whole new level. Or maybe it's a game both genders play in that culture? Either way, catcalling is gross, disrespectful, and not the way to meet your soul mate. <--just my opinion.
Now, if you've ever seen Ansari's stand-up, you've probably seen him get someone out of the audience and scroll through their texts. This is like Aziz scrolling through thousands of personal texts to see what people are saying to each other. What's dating like for singles when there are so many ways to communicate? When everything is instantaneous? When you can swipe a face to connect, or send out mass generic messages on a dating site? How do you connect without being a needy dork or a creeper? What is the correct etiquette?
Can you break up via text? Or ask someone to the prom in an IM? Are those, in fact, preferred methods of communications?! Oh my God, I'm so old!
Is love in the digital age easier or harder? Are singles making rookie mistakes that knock them out of them out of the game, or is the game itself a tad more full of potential landmines than it was when I was single? I'm looking at you, dick pics! As Aziz points out, these stupid blunders just couldn't have happened 20 years ago.
The point he makes is that the landscape for dating has changed...again. And I'm sure it will continue to morph and alter into something unrecognizable in another 20 years. That's not necessarily a bad thing, at all. In fact, there are upsides (searching for someone you connect with on a deep level, instead of settling) and downsides (expecting too much from one person, and not being satisfied) when it comes to Modern Romance.
Admittedly, I had no real reason to want to read a book about dating. I'm not looking for love, because I already had my very Unmodern Romance. We met at work, and talked on landline phones for hours! I simply wanted to take a peek at how the other half lives. And it was pretty enlightening! No, I don't feel sorry for the singles out there today. I don't think it's any harder, but it's definitely different for them than it was for me. Every era has its own pitfalls, but in the end I think we all want the same thing.
I won't rate something I haven't read. So, I read this. Click this LINK to the author's website, if you'd like to read this for yourself.
This pamphleI won't rate something I haven't read. So, I read this. Click this LINK to the author's website, if you'd like to read this for yourself.
This pamphlet was written in response to the author getting excommunicated from Goodreads after "getting uppity with a Librarian while trying to get around a broken feature on the Goodreads website that affected sales of my smut."
At first, I thought this was written because of some sort of incident between the author and a pack of rabid reviewers. And it surely started out with plenty of warnings about the pitfalls for Indie authors here on Goodreads.
"New Indie authors should be aware that there are quite a number of readers on Goodreads who will not read any book by an Indie author. I was a bit surprised by this narrow minded attitude when I joined several groups. But some readers are quite adamant and vocal about it." Hmmm. I'm guessing that may be because Indie authors can sometimes be a little more easily hurt by reviewers than the more insulated authors with a publishing house behind them. Some of those hurt authors can lash out at reviewers. Or publish pamphlets saying things like this: "Anyone proven to have put Read Book or DNF, when they didn't read the book should have all of their reviews removed. In many cases it would be easy to prove from the author's sales figures..." WTF? Did I misunderstand something? Does this author honestly want Goodreads to turn into Scooby-Doo, and form some sort of Mystery Inc. to ferret out every person who claims to have read a book...but didn't?! Oh no! I'll have to fess up to the fact that I skimmed the last part of Persuasion! Luckily, Ms. Desh does have another idea for the 1 star troll. "Goodreads should remove the troll reviews with a warning to the perps. If they continue doing that sort of thing, put a permanent red star on their profile, so other members know what kind of people they are." I don't think trolling reviews or authors is a very nice thing to do. However. I'm pretty sure handing out stars isn't going to make the problem go away.
By the end though, it seems that Ms. Desh is just really angry and frustrated by whatever happened. It appears as though she had a horrible experience trying to navigate broken links and unclear rules. She also apparently wants to warn other Indie authors that Goodreads and Amazon are out to make a buck...at the author's expense. Reviewers are untouchable because they are customers, and Librarians are Gods because they are...well, free labor for Goodreads. The majority of the vitriol seems to be aimed at Goodreads for failing her as an author, and acting like the money-grubbing subsidiary of Amazon that it is. I'm betting there's a grain of truth in what she's saying, even if it's only one side of the story. If you're an Indie author, it probably would be a good idea to read over the Rules of Engagement for this site. And it's always a good idea to make sure you're getting a good deal, so look into all the different ways to market your book, before you settle on Amazon. Sure, she sounded like she was spiteful and slightly unhinged, but since I've never tried to interact with Goodreads as an author, I have no idea if anything she's saying is true or not.
I know the author doesn't like GIF-filled reviews, but maybe this will make her smile?
I haven't read Sh*t My Dad Says yet, so I have yet to decide for myself if that one is funnier than this. However, my 16 year old son read this one anI haven't read Sh*t My Dad Says yet, so I have yet to decide for myself if that one is funnier than this. However, my 16 year old son read this one and loved it, begged me to get Halpern's first book, and then said it was boring & DNF'd it.
I'm thinking that may be because no matter what age a guy is, he can relate to girls and the suckage that follows in their wake. Sorry, fellas...
If it makes you fellas feel better, we ladies have just as hard a time trying to figure out what the hell to do about men. You're complex creatures, and we spend a lot of time trying to decipher the subtle clues you leave for us. Really. Ok, maybe not...
Yeah. Anyway. This book had several things going for it, and one of them was that it was short. And I mean that in the very best sense! Sometimes authors who are writing humorous books based on their own experiences tend to get too in depth, too wordy. I don't pick up stuff like this to learn about every facet of some dude's life, I just want a few laughs at the expense of another human being.
And that's what you get with this one. A condensed version of his life, highlighting the moments that helped define his relationships with women. From his first (very iffy) anatomy lesson from a childhood pal: That's were you stick your dick. They pee out of that, and sometimes shit out of it if their butt's clogged.
To his first time stealing porn from hobos: There, hightailing it out of the canyon, came two bearded homeless men, each of whom looked like Nick Nolte rendered in beef jerky. I had never seen homeless guys move so fast and with such a sense of purpose.
To his dad's talk on masturbation: But there's two things I need you to know: one, I'm going to be doing the laundry for the next few months because your mom's studying for the bar exam: and two, I'll be goddamned if I'm gonna reach down into the laundry basket and pick up a towel that's crunchy like a fucking Dorito 'cause you did you did your business in it, okay?
I'm not sure if this will be anyone else's cuppa, but I thought the majority of it was very relatable and quite funny. I've been having a hard time sitting down lately and reading anything without pictures, but this was pretty easy to get into and enjoy.
I kind of surprised I liked this book at all, because: a) I read pathetically little non-fiction b) I've never read a travelogue AND c) I'm only a fanI kind of surprised I liked this book at all, because: a) I read pathetically little non-fiction b) I've never read a travelogue AND c) I'm only a fan of the Great Outdoors as long as I'm safely Indoors.
So, color me shocked that I not only finished this, but giggled my way through quite a bit of it! Bryson really is a pretty funny writer, and the way he captured his experience on the Appalachian Trail had me in tears a few times. His fears about getting mauled by a bear (among other things) before he started off were especially hysterical, and maybe that's because I could see a lot of myself in his initial terror of spending so much time surrounded by...NATURE!
Now, there was a decent-sized chunk towards the middle of the book that I just had to grit my teeth and push on through. Bryson's friend Katz wasn't with him during this portion, and the difference in the tone of the writing is really noticeable. Lots and lots and lots of mind-numbing details about the Trail, and very little of his experiences. And while all of that sort of info is relevant to the book, it's also the main reason that I don't actively seek out non-fictionortravelogues.
Eventually, Katz comes back to finish out the hike, and the story vastly improves, but it never managed to recapture the humor or spirit that it had in the beginning.
But that's only MY opinion. And I really did enjoy the last bits of the book a lot. Especially the moments between Katz & Bryson there towards the end. Overall, I'd say this was a winner. And even if the whole thing wasn't to my liking, the first half was an easy 5 star read for me. In fact, it made me want to call up my BFF to see if she wanted to take the kids camping this summer, so we could poop near a waterfall!
You know, instead of meeting at a hotel on the beach, and drinking ourselves silly while the kids play in the surf. And then I thought about that sentence. Bwahahahahahahaha! No. Just...no. See you in Florida, Jill! I'll bring the blender!
I picked this up for my younger son (he's 9) to read, because I thought it might help him understand his older brother a little better.
See, my oldestI picked this up for my younger son (he's 9) to read, because I thought it might help him understand his older brother a little better.
See, my oldest son (he's 12) was diagnosed with PDDNOS when he was 6. That means he's on the autism spectrum, but it's not as noticeable as it is with some kids. Basically, he just gets pegged as a weirdo. A lot. Why? Because he does weird stuff, of course! Or at least, that's what my 9 year old thinks.
This book was written by a 14 year old autistic boy, named Daniel Stefanski. I have to say, it does a good job of hitting the basics. My younger son and I read it together, and it was easy to discuss the 'tips' Daniel gives, because it was written in such a kid-friendly way.
Language difficulties are a huge problem for kids like this, and the section What I hear was really pertinent. In the book, a little boy is saying, "My teacher is a thousand years old", and the other boy is picturing an extremely old man. We've had a lot of personal experience with stuff like that. I remember one time we were trying to make my son feel better about an eye appointment, and my husband told him, "Don't worry about the eye drops, you won't feel a thing". This led to hysteria, because he thought the eye drops were going to numb his entire body. Yes, seriously.
What I don't see was another section we talked a lot about. Most people don't think about how much we read body language for social cues, but I've learned over the years that it's a HUGE issue if you can't. One of the things we talked out was how difficult it is for my oldest to figure out if people are kidding or not. If you can't tell the difference between Good job! (translation: You are awesome!) and Good job. (translation: You are a dumbass.) then you have no idea what the appropriate response back should be. I remember one time, when my oldest was about 8, he came crying to me at the pool, because this other little girl was being mean to him. I asked him what happened, and he said that she was saying that he was a 'slow swimmer'. So what did she say exactly, honey? She said, 'You can't catch me!". Um. Yeah, it actually took me a while to convince him that the nice little girl just wanted him to play tag in the water, because he wasn't buying it at first. As far as he was concerned, she was a mean kid who had it out for him. In case you're wondering, he finally gave her another chance, and they spent the rest of the afternoon happily smacking each other on the back.
The entire book is is a fun way to help kids who don't have autism understand a bit more about kids that do. The main goal is to hopefully show that just because someone is quirky or odd, doesn't mean that they don't have feelings. I know it wasn't written especially for siblings, but it helped us out because it was so short and to the point. There isn't much (if any) medical terminology in the book, either. Bonus!
Recommended as a good conversation starter!...more