Thank you Neil Patrick Harris for bringing Choose Your Own Adventure to adults!!! I totally forgot about those and I so loved them as a child. And notThank you Neil Patrick Harris for bringing Choose Your Own Adventure to adults!!! I totally forgot about those and I so loved them as a child. And not only is the Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography really structured in this classic "choose your own adventure" format, but it's written so that you get to BE Neil Patrick Harris and make choices from his life. He is so funny - I laughed aloud quite often, especially on stories he came up with for the fake endings if you choose "wrong". While reading, you can flip through the book making different decisions and end up with a different story each time.
I listened to the audiobook which is extraordinarily well done. It's a full blown production, narrated mainly by Neil Patrick Harris himself, but with letters written about NPH by other celebrities (like Nathan Fillion, Amy Sedaris, Sarah Silverman, Whoopi Goldberg...) and a few comments by his husband David narrated by others. It's more like a show than a book. There are even actual audio recordings from when he was a child and his Tony Award acceptance speech.
When listening you obviously don't get jump around and choose - the decisions of the order you hear them in was determined by NPH. There are a few times he starts into one of the fake endings which is a bit confusing for a moment, but they are so hilariously over the top you quickly realize you hit a fake end.
It's also filled with lots of fun extras including instructions for magic card tricks, food and drink recipes, and a cryptic crossword puzzle. Some of those extras are included on the downloadable PDF accompaniment to the audiobook. I am now attempting to learn some of the card tricks he explains. Way fun....more
This book isn't necessarily earth-shattering or something everyone needs to read. But I bet if you do take the time for it, you will pick up things thThis book isn't necessarily earth-shattering or something everyone needs to read. But I bet if you do take the time for it, you will pick up things that will stick with you the rest of your life. I can't tell you how many times I paused listening to the audiobook to take a note so I wouldn't forget it, or so I could think about it more, or so I talk over the idea with friends...
In general, you know most everything discussed in this book. But there are just enough "aha" moments where Jeremy Dean take his example a bit further which makes his points enlightening.
There is no magic formula for how to quit smoking or actually change your eating habits enough to lose weight which you have been trying to do for years. But, Dean shares a ton of information about why it is so hard to change habits. Just knowing that the challenges of changing our habits is part of our human nature and it is not only "me" is helpful. Willpower sucks for everyone! And there are scientific reasons for that.
Many tips are offered to inch your way into making changes and overcoming setbacks, such as his suggestion to make 'if-then' plans - which are very specific baby plans to do the little things to help you reach your goals. It's an honest look at hard it is to change. You really need to plan things and be prepared for failing and how you'll get back on track. Also, I really like the end where he discusses cultivating habits that will make us happy more often....more
“I can't find a goddamn f*cking job and I'm too fat to be a stripper."
This book is a solid 3.5, but I can't quite give it 4 stars - mostly because I'm“I can't find a goddamn f*cking job and I'm too fat to be a stripper."
This book is a solid 3.5, but I can't quite give it 4 stars - mostly because I'm an over 40 woman listening to stories from an under 30 woman which elicits way too many eye rolls. Also, I like Lena Dunham's "Girls" on HBO a lot and possibly had unrealistic expectations on how much I would like her autobiography. She is witty and funny in this book, I just wanted more. I only related to a handful of her essays, but when I did relate I found her honesty describing painful situations very powerful. She can be quite brilliant if she is on a topic that hits home with you. In between chapters she has lists of all sorts of things and I loved every one of those (I'm a sucker for lists).
Overall, I enjoyed this quite a bit and found several things to bring up in conversations with my friends. I listened to the audiobook which Lena narrated herself so I feel I really got the way she wanted to express herself when telling her story. Still, I'm not dying to be friends with her like how I girl crushed on Mindy Kaling after reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?. Lena tends to focus on her neurosis and times she was a hot mess but she is pretty in touch with herself so she can reflect back honestly....more
Super fun fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. Very original. Dark and twisted but whimsical at the same time. I really didn't want it to end. Bonus that itSuper fun fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. Very original. Dark and twisted but whimsical at the same time. I really didn't want it to end. Bonus that it takes place in London (above AND below)....more
A more accurate title might be "How David Bowie Slept His Way to the Top". Of course when diving into a musician's biography you expect - and want - sA more accurate title might be "How David Bowie Slept His Way to the Top". Of course when diving into a musician's biography you expect - and want - sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, Yet I'd like a bit more of the rock 'n' roll part. There is plenty of source material on David Bowie and this book would be better rounded if it included a bit more info about the songs and David's songwriting process. I supplemented my reading with Nicholas Pegg's The Complete David Bowie to look up the songs and albums. It is an amazing reference book and I think I got more out of that book by using "Bowie" as a timeline to flip through Pegg's reference book.
“I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, 'Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman.'" ― David Bowie
Personally, I'm obsessed in the creation of oneself and subsequent re-invention of oneself, and David Bowie is the master. I tried to read through the lines and determine if he is an incredible narcissist or if his self-respect is just healthy enough that it allows him to do amazing things. I still can not decide. Was he always changing because that was the true him and he is just a man doing what he had to do to tap his creativity? Or was it all carefully planned marketing because he wanted to shock and keep the attention from his fans? Maybe a little of both. Guess that's just Bowie though - always making us wonder. Regardless, I enjoyed the ride stepping through David's evolutions and revolutions throughout the years.
One note, I'm glad that they called out David's propensity to spot trends and covered his activity of being the first artist to do many things on the internet. I was a member of Bowienet back in 1998!! I remember how it cool it was that he had a whole community to himself. But they spent more time on Bowienet than they did on the "Station to Station", "Low", or "Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)" albums which is a shame. ...more
I've always loved London, and in Murder as a Fine Art novelist David Morrell made me feel as if was there in1854 while Confessions of an English OpiumI've always loved London, and in Murder as a Fine Art novelist David Morrell made me feel as if was there in1854 while Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and “On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts” author Thomas De Quincey is suspected of the recent brutal murder of an entire family that just so happens to exactly replicate murders from decades ago which were the focus of his book. The mystery of what happens next is told in part in third-person narrative and by diary entries of his daughter Emily.
De Quincey was a real person, as were several other characters throughout the novel. This is wonderfully researched and locations, language, and other historical details are present throughout, helping really make it feel like you are there... you can really picture the Victorian gaslamp lit streets filled with fog. And with the help of a Scotland Yard Detective and Constable, you get a very interesting glimpse of new crime scene investigation standards just becoming popular at that time.
I did really enjoy this book. I got through it pretty quickly as I kept wanting to know what happened next. There were a few times towards the end where I rolled my eyes at some of the dialogue, but just a little bit. The historical tidbits were so wonderful it's okay to take some creative license in over-the-top character action....more
Maybe I've outgrown her writing, because I use to really enjoy Nora Roberts books about 10 years ago. They are all easy reads, but this one I would raMaybe I've outgrown her writing, because I use to really enjoy Nora Roberts books about 10 years ago. They are all easy reads, but this one I would rate only 2.5 if I could. I lean towards 3 stars because it did make me laugh quite a bit and it takes place in Ireland which is enchanting. I didn't like Iona, the female lead, at all. And the touch of witchcraft in the story bordered on stupid. I must have gotten spoiled by better stories about witches learning their talents like A Discovery of Witches and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Anyways, it was okay to read this time of year getting in the Halloween spirit, but I don't think I will continue on with the other two books in the trilogy....more
Stories swap back and forth between being told by a young girl and older women who both live in the same apartment building in Paris. The thing is, foStories swap back and forth between being told by a young girl and older women who both live in the same apartment building in Paris. The thing is, for most of the book it seems that neither one of them like people very much. There are a lot opinions on every day things, some of it very reflective and will get you thinking. I like the pop culture references sprinkled throughout for classic movies, music, and books. In the end the two come together and that is where the story really picks up. I'm glad I stuck through until the end but it was hard to get on-board with this one....more