Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Despite the title, this book doesn't share much content with the movie, just the last few chapters. It also includes some of the same stories/jokes Birbiglia uses in his stand-up routines, but he provides more detail here to appeal to hardcore fans.**
Anyway, it is hilarious. Birbiglia is a likable "average guy" sort of character with a great sense of humor. My only complaint is that the stories are not in chronological order, which is sometimes confusing, but I suppose he chose this format because it mimics a stand-up routine.
* It seems strange that Birbiglia would fictionalize such a personal story, but I suppose it gave him more creative leeway with the movie script (this book is not fictionalized, as far as I know).
** Does Birbiglia have any hardcore fans?
Hardcover Paperback DVD Instant Video
Sunday, June 09, 2013
I took the train downtown this afternoon for a late lunch/early dinner. It works out great for me because if I head back home within two hours the return trip costs only 25 cents (it's considered a "transfer"). On the way home, I heard the "CTA voice" announce on the PA, "Welcome aboard Red Line run 909."
Damn, I wanted to be on the one after!
(What was really weird was when I switched to the Brown Line train and found myself seated behind the same woman I had been behind on the train downtown. She must have been on the "return within two hours for 25 cents" plan, too!)
Here's the whole Signspotting series so far:
Saturday, June 08, 2013
Lancaster can be very funny and entertaining (despite my XY chromosomes excluding me from her target market). My problem with these books is that they are like cotton candy: tasty but lacking much substance. I laugh a lot but when it's over I don't feel like I've gained anything from the experience.
Though Such a Pretty Fat documents Lancaster's efforts to lose weight, her editor is the one who should have been trimming fat. There are some hysterical episodes, but there is a lot of forgettable and irrelevant crap in between. Also Lancaster's style and personality are becoming more exhausting with each volume; she just babbles annoyingly. Yet the most disturbing thing to me in this book is her revelation that she needs to move out of the city. Being sick of New York City memoirs, I loved that she lived in Chicago. She'll probably fade from my life just like my friends who moved to the suburbs.
After looking at the Amazon reviews for her later books, I wonder whether it's even worth continuing through Jennsylvania. I mean, everybody gets some lousy reviews, but when the negative ones are rated "most helpful", that's a bad sign.
* Incredibly, this purchasing behavior is not such a rare occurrence for me. I have at least three books apiece from two more authors whose work I haven't read yet (Mary Roach and Michael Perry), and I have two books from many others. I am a shopper of opportunity, so I'll buy something that looks interesting whenever I see it cheap regardless of whether I've confirmed that I like the author by actually reading one of his or her books. Such is the life of a book hoarder.
Saturday, June 01, 2013
I had a little trouble choosing a theme for June, but since Rosco died I need to try to keep from getting too depressed. He is the fourth pet we've lost in 16 months, and he was with us since the last century. Therefore June's theme is laughter. I have lots of books by comedians as well as humorous writers like Dave Barry, Laurie Notaro, and Jen Lancaster. So I probably won't learn anything profound this month, but at least I hope to keep smiling.