I have to admit, reading about Gideon’s pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela made me wish I was the kind of person who’s tough enough to go on a pilgr...moreI have to admit, reading about Gideon’s pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela made me wish I was the kind of person who’s tough enough to go on a pilgrimage. However, I would probably want to quit after the first day or two, so I enjoyed going on Gideon’s pilgrimages from the comfort of my couch. I’ve said it here before, and I’ll say it again: I love nature, but from a distance. So I really enjoyed reading about Gideon’s experiences during all three of his pilgrimages, and although he got on my nerves a few times by being whiny and selfish, I liked a lot of the insight his travels produced. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t get a little whiny and selfish while spending a month walking almost 600 miles across Spain or almost 800 miles around an island in Japan?
It is clear that Benjamin Taylor loves the city of Naples and put a lot of time and effort into the writing of Naples Declared (sixteen years of resea...moreIt is clear that Benjamin Taylor loves the city of Naples and put a lot of time and effort into the writing of Naples Declared (sixteen years of research and eleven stays in Naples, to be exact). He does write with passion, and in a clear and concise way. Included at the back of the book is Taylor’s list of sources for the historical information contained in Naples Declared, and I think I’ll be looking into some of those books before I read this one again. If you’re interested in learning more about Naples, Italy, I do recommend Taylor’s well researched and thorough account–but if you’re not already somewhat familiar with European/Italian history, be prepared to do a little extra research of your own while you’re reading Naples Declared.
Lizz Winstead is co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show, one of the founders of Air America Radio, and a performer and stand-up comedian...moreLizz Winstead is co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show, one of the founders of Air America Radio, and a performer and stand-up comedian who frequently appears on MSNBC, CNN, and Comedy Central. In Lizz Free or Die, Lizz begins by writing about growing up in a Catholic family in Minnesota, and how she frequently exasperated her mother by being one of those inquisitive kids who questions everything, especially the lessons she was being taught by the Catholic Church. Even at the age of eight, Lizz knew that she didn’t have the “mommy gene” and she didn’t enjoy playing house or playing with dolls like her friends did; she had more fun teaching herself gymnastics and doing things that she was told were unlady-like.
After reading just the first two essays in Lizz Free or Die, I realized that Lizz Winstead is my political, no-mommy-gene, unlady soul mate.
The rest of the essays in the book go on to tell about her teenage years, her time in college, and the people and circumstances in her life that led her to becoming a progressive political activist who uses comedy to shine a light on the political and social injustices in our country, as well as the ridiculousness that goes on in the mainstream media.