And the voice is somewhat important here too. Offerman's got a pretty great voice, and I love when he randomly chuckles at his memories. Here's the thing, though: the book's not super funny. I thought it would be, and the sample I listened to was awesome. But it's not funny al the time.
That said, I love that he got into comedy through being a theatre performer, and someone who was interested in theatre performance first and television/films second. I thought that was pretty cool. And there are some humorous elements.
Some things I was tired with (that others have mentioned): religion (just a bit ad nauseum), a bit of the language (look, I'm fine with swearing, and while some things feel overdone, whateva, I hang out with a lot of guys and that's just what they do), and a lot of "this generation needs to get away from the screen, yo". Overkill, and he's not that old, for goodness sake. But I buy the "well it's my book so there we are." I mean, sure. It's his book, and it was worth listening to. Not sure I'd recommend it, but a note to people if you're just like OOH PARKS AND RECREATION: that's maybe half of a chapter. The biography aspects were fun. A lot of emphasis on theatre. But hey, he builds canoes. And he has a woodworking business. I want him to make me a table....more
This is more of a 2.5 for me, but I feel better about rounding up to three because I do think the book lives up to the cover information. I picked upThis is more of a 2.5 for me, but I feel better about rounding up to three because I do think the book lives up to the cover information. I picked up the book because I like Patton Oswalt's acting and some of his comedy. This is also a recent release, AND it became available on Overdrive.
I haven't read Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, which I think is more of an autobiography/memoir than this book. But I strongly suspect that people who read and liked that book will like this one.
Overall I think the title fits the book really well. This book is really about two things: Patton's (past) addiction to films and his history as a beginning comic. I think the film addiction is interesting; I had no idea he'd wanted to be a director, and I think culturally we think we need to immerse ourselves into something when we start out, so that we know the past. The tradition, if you will. Well, he does that, and had the books and calendar to prove it. That's amazing. And that it turned into an addiction makes sense.
While a good portion didn't really appeal to me, I thought the book had merit. I'm glad I didn't buy it (though it was autographed so... maybe I should have gotten the earlier book autographed) but it was a short, interesting read....more
I had a challenge to read a book about an American president. I've also grown interested in the American Revolution since spending time in Boston, soI had a challenge to read a book about an American president. I've also grown interested in the American Revolution since spending time in Boston, so this book came at an excellent time. Additionally, the abridged version was narrated by Edward Herrmann, and come on, how can you go wrong?
I was truly quite fascinated with all that John Adams had done. I knew almost nothing about him, and this book has certainly inspired me to learn more about other important figures.
The writing style was fantastic and easy to read, and of course the content was excellent. There were places where i would have liked more elaboration, but that's because I had the abridged version. Given my snippet of the book, however, I feel pretty confident in saying that this is a very worthwhile acquisition if you want to learn more about one of the USA's important figures....more
This was my first foray into Langston Hughes. I am woefully ignorant about his life and writing, so this seemed like a great start.
This is a book of cThis was my first foray into Langston Hughes. I am woefully ignorant about his life and writing, so this seemed like a great start.
This is a book of collected poetry, but it gives a fairly cohesive story and history until the 1960s. The poems vary in length, subject, and occasionally tone, but there is an undercurrent of frustration in this collection.
I don't read a lot of poetry (usually it's lost on me) but I can appreciate the nature of this work. It's concrete and full of feeling.
Two of them that I really like (they are also featured right next to each other) are:
Question and Answer Durban, Birmingham, Cape Town, Atlanta, Johannesburg, Watts, The earth around Struggling, fighting, Dying--for what?
A world to gain.
Groping, hoping, Waiting--for what?
A world to gain.
Dreams kicked asunder, Why not go under?
There's a world to gain.
But suppose I don't want it, Why take it?
To remake it.
History The past has been a mint Of blood and sorrow. That must not be True of tomorrow.
This caught my eye at the library last week. Proposition 8 is the first time I remember feeling really passionate about an issue, and I was so upset wThis caught my eye at the library last week. Proposition 8 is the first time I remember feeling really passionate about an issue, and I was so upset when it passed. I recently read Homophobia: A History, and I think that book primed me to read this book.
Given that it did involve my state, and it's such a huge issue and was resolved two years ago, I really wanted to know more and felt that I should know more. Marriage equality is in front of SCOTUS again this year.
I was amazed at how little I knew about this issue. The book walks you through the two attorneys (who went against each other in Bush v. Gore; fascinating, and a lot of information about why they chose this fight) deciding to make a case, through the initial case, the appeals court, and SCOTUS. There is, of course, a good deal about SCOTUS in the book, but there is a whole lot more about crafting the arguments and bringing the case to trial in San Francisco. I also don't think I knew a lot about how a case moves through the different stages, and this book really set out the steps for me.
An amazing quotation from this book: "Gay and lesbian individuals often find themselves in discussions that heterosexual people rarely, if ever, have to confront. Even the most supportive family, friends, and acquaintances want to know about the nature of their personal experience with the sexual orientation, and this is doubly true whenever a controversy like Prop 8 arises. Just as an African American may be asked by whites to explain 'the African American point of view' or 'the African American experience,' a lesbian will often find herself in the uncomfortable position of being asked to speak for lesbians in general. For some individuals such discussions can become awkward when they veer into subjects like 'When did you know you were attracted to someone of the same sex?' or 'Does your family accept you?' Particularly when posed by someone who seeks to deny you equal rights, such questions can be infuriating" (p. 109).
I've learned a lot about California's Proposition 8 and the ensuing court battles. I have a much better understanding of court procedures. I wish they'd televised the trial, because it sounds absolutely amazing. I understand the major arguments. The book was extremely well-written. There was a lot of good description explanation of different terms and practices.
Very engaging read, and I highly recommend it....more
It has been some time since I stopped reading a book and decided to not read it again (at least, not in the near future, though I suspect I won't be pIt has been some time since I stopped reading a book and decided to not read it again (at least, not in the near future, though I suspect I won't be picking it up again). I read about 50 pages of this book and decided I'd rather read something else.
I don't entirely remember, but I suspect I heard about this book and author through an NPR segment (probably from Fresh Air). I like history well enough and was very curious about the subject matter.
But in the end, I found I had no interest in reading the book, despite the subject matter. I liked the prologue, but I got lost after that. I wanted to see more about WWI and about Rome's role and position in Italy (and Europe) since they are entirely relevant, but there were only tangentially mentioned, and never in much detail. I am absolutely convinced that this is an inspiring collection of material, and that it was meticulously and carefully compiled. But I can't force my attention span (which I think is pretty forgiving) with this book. I felt lost half of the time, as if I'd missed things and needed to read back a few pages, and the structure of the chapters made absolutely no sense to me.
That may not make much of a difference to other people interested in this subject material, and that's absolutely great. It's just not for me, sadly. I'm out....more
I don't have words for how much I loved this book. I really don't consider myself a major poetry fan, and true, there were some poems in here that I dI don't have words for how much I loved this book. I really don't consider myself a major poetry fan, and true, there were some poems in here that I didn't like (or didn't get) as much. But after making teeny tiny bookmarks so I could mark my favorite packages, I just gave up and decided I needed to buy this book.
There are two or three poems that carry over from The Panther & The Lash, but that's pretty much it. I just found these poems so inspiring and fantastic. There is one section entitled "Madam to You" that is full of humor, passion, and sass. And the final section, "Words Like Freedom", is amazing. Beautifully written. It's a wonderful collection.
I picked up this book because I was picking up a bunch of other books in the library, and this book caught my eye. Must be the shiny red cover. SinceI picked up this book because I was picking up a bunch of other books in the library, and this book caught my eye. Must be the shiny red cover. Since it's a recent publication, it's front and center. Additionally, I acquired a Honda not that long ago, and I figured learning a little more about the company would be cool.
I certainly know more about Honda now. And the book wasn't the most enjoyable thing ever, but it was worth reading, to me, to see all the accomplishments of Honda. To be sure, this author is really a big fan of Honda, so of course there's a bunch of good stuff about the company here. I think the book is also supposed to be inspiring for businesses, as apparent in the last chapter (A Manufacturing Manifesto) which is oddly a "talkin' to" for other companies to get their stuff together. It's a little off-putting.
The majority of the book is about how Honda went from a small Japanese company to a worldwide business. There's a lot to admire in terms of adaptability, having engineers as CEOs, and focusing on creativity and dedication to the company. That's also, to some extent, the focus of the second-to-last chapter (The Local Multinational), which addresses a new way of discussing globalization.
Quotation about globalization: Instead of flat and seamless, globalization is full of hurdles and obstacles. Though presented as a panacea for the world with haves and have-nots--a way to eliminate economic disparities and magically expand multinational revenue streams--globalization is still a barely profitable and perplexing strategy for most companies and a dubious asset for many emerging economies. Indeed, the fault with globalization lies in its fundamental premise, which for a hard-charging business concept is oddly Rousseauian; it hinges on the belief that an innate altruism stirs in people and their institutions and that the desire to cooperate in an equitable worldwide economic order is just under the surface, waiting to be tapped. That idea, of course, has no basis in reality. It disregards the weight of nationalism, cultural sensitivities, and historical antagonism in framing global relationships, while neglecting the way self-interest motivates people, companies, and governments to seek gain at the expense of others. Incomprehensibly, proponents of globalization assumed, or at least proffered the notion, that the mere prospect of significant economic growth would persuade individuals and nations to bury their differences to take part in the system (p. 252-253).
It was a random but interesting chapter about the Senkaku Islands and the impact on Honda in China. A fair portion of the book is the difficulty that Honda had getting traction in the US post-WWII, which was neat. But I like the focus on globalization and localization....more
My friend Carrie and I decided to read this for February for our unofficial book club, and I'm so glad we did.
I mean yes, sure, it won amazing book awMy friend Carrie and I decided to read this for February for our unofficial book club, and I'm so glad we did.
I mean yes, sure, it won amazing book awards [National Book Award for Young People's Literature (2014), Newbery Honor (2015), Sibert Honor (2015), Coretta Scott King Award for Author (2015)]. I didn't know what to expect, and when I heard it was a book of poetry, I just thought that was interesting.
Wow, I loved this book, though. I loved the style, the wording. I could imagine her reading it out loud, and I even with uncomplicated descriptions I could see these things in my mind. Beautifully written. I know I'll read it again. So highly recommended....more
I read this book because I know a lot of people who have experiences with foster care. (My mother was a CASA, who is essentially an advocate for a fosI read this book because I know a lot of people who have experiences with foster care. (My mother was a CASA, who is essentially an advocate for a foster child, and my best friend was a CASA, adopted one child, and is in the process of adopting another.) My partner and I have also kept in mind the idea of foster-to-adopt.
This is one of those books that is a necessary read and will make you so frustrated. There really are no easy answers to the multiple problems associated with the foster care system. You follow quite a few characters around (I totally lost track, but that's not crucial and perhaps just adds to the massive problem), and there's a lot of sadness and futility with the system. There are pockets of hope as well.
I like this resource because I feel like interacting with the foster care system (and maybe even fixing parts of it) requires full knowledge of all the problems. There's no one solution to the problem, but I got at least two lessons out of this book: 1.) As hard as it might be, don't demonize people and point fingers at them; it really dehumanizes them to make decisions easier, but these are still humans (flawed as they are) that are involved; and 2.) We need to keep trying things. We can't just be frustrated and sit in hopelessness. These people deserve better, and there are things we can do that will make this better. Or they won't. But we need to try....more
Overall this was a really intriguing read. I first saw the book when I was out of state and couldn't justify packing more into my suitcase. But I thinOverall this was a really intriguing read. I first saw the book when I was out of state and couldn't justify packing more into my suitcase. But I think it was in a deal on audible, so I purchased it there. It's not the most exciting thing, but it works.
I'm in general interested in food culture and history, so I liken this book a lot to work by Michael Pollan (The Botany of Desire and Bee Wilson (Consider the Fork, which is one of my favorites).
As you can tell from all of the other reviews, the book focuses on six beverages: beer, wine, spirits (brandy, whiskey, and rum), coffee, tea, and soda pop (emphasis on Coca Cola and Pepsi). There was a lot of fascinating information. Now, I can't speak to the arguments from others that this book looks heavily at Western culture, but I suspect one reason for doing so is that these are drinks that have had a wider impact, particularly due to colonization and globalization. And I think the author does a fair job of calling attention to the roles of slavery and oppression, not to mention allowing scores of people in China get addicted to opium so the British could get their tea.
Another complaint I've seen is that the epilogue doesn't really pull the drinks together again, which I think is unfair. What else is the author going to say that hasn't been said in the introduction? Just reread the introduction. The epilogue addresses water, which I think is pretty cool honestly, because it's a mark of civilization and is certainly a political factor in the world.
Overall the book met my expectations, and I sort of spaced out at times, but I learned a bunch and quite enjoyed it....more