Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl
Book Review / September 11, 2016

Title: Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl Author: Carrie Brownstein Genre: Memoir Publisher: Riverhead Books Release Date: October 27th, 2015 Format: Hardback Pages: 244 Source: Library From a leader of feminist punk music at the dawn of the riot-grrrl era, a candid and deeply personal look at life in rock and roll.  Before Carrie Brownstein codeveloped and starred in the wildly popular TV comedy Portlandia, she was already an icon to young women for her role as a musician in the feminist punk band Sleater-Kinney. The band was a key part of the early riot- grrrl and indie rock scenes in the Pacific Northwest, known for their prodigious guitar shredding and their leftist lyrics against war, traditionalism, and gender roles. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is the deeply personal and revealing narrative of Brownstein’s life in music, from ardent fan to pioneering female guitarist to comedic performer and luminary in the independent rock world. Though Brownstein struggled against the music industry’s sexist double standards, by 2006 she was the only woman to earn a spot on Rolling Stonereaders’ list of the “25 Most Underrated Guitarists of All-Time.” This book intimately captures what it feels like to be a young woman in…

Stuff Every Cook Should Know
Book Review / September 9, 2016

Title: Stuff Every Cook Should Know Series: Stuff, #3 Author: Joy Manning Genre: Cooking Publisher: Quirk Books Release Date: October 25th, 2016 Format: eBook Pages: 145 Source: NetGalley Expert cooking tips and timeless kitchen wisdom make this culinary how-to handbook a must-have for home cooks of all skill levels. You don’t need expensive gadgets, cutting-edge cutlery, or a rack of exotic spices to be a great cook. You just need the timeless wisdom found in “Stuff Every Cook Should Know.” You’ll learn: How to Care for Cast Iron How to Sharpen a Knife How to Reduce Waste How to Make Meals Ahead Plus measurement conversions, kitchen organizing tips, basic knife cuts, how to stop onions from making you cry, and much more. Now you’re cooking! (via Goodreads) Amazon     I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to NetGalley and to Quirk Books for the opportunity!   A quick read, Stuff Every Cook Should Know is a handy guide for the novice chef. That said, even a more experienced cook could learn a trick or two. I know that I did! It was certainly worth my time, and I know new…

Modern Romance
Book Review / August 26, 2016

Title: Modern Romance Author: Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg Genre: Humor Publisher: Penguin Press Release Date: June 16th, 2015 Format: Hardback Pages: 277 Source: Library At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated? Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?”  But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find…

Mandela: An Audio History
Book Review / August 9, 2016

Title: Mandela: An Audio History Author: Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Joe Richman and Sue Johnson Genre: Non-Fiction Publisher: HighBridge Company Release Date: February 19th, 2014 Format: Audiobook Pages: 75 (transcript) Source: Library Recognized as one of the most comprehensive oral histories of apartheid ever broadcast (NPR, BBC, CBC, SABC), ” Mandela: An Audio History” tells the story of the struggle against apartheid through rare sound recordings. The series weaves together more than 50 first-person interviews with an unprecedented collection of archival sound: a rare recording of the 1964 trial that resulted in Mandela s life sentence; a visit between Mandela and his family secretly taped by a prison guard; marching songs of guerilla soldiers; government propaganda films; and pirate radio broadcasts from the African National Congress (ANC). Once thought lost forever, Radio Diaries producer Joe Richman unearthed a treasure trove of these historic recordings in the basement archive of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Ultimately, over 50 hours of archival recordings and many more hours of contemporary interviews with the living witnesses to South Africa s turbulent history have gone into the creation of one of the most moving audio documentaries ever produced. (via Goodreads) Amazon   The drive to…

Luke Skywalker Can’t Read and Other Geeky Truths
Book Review / July 30, 2016

Title: Luke Skywalker Can't Read (and other Geeky Truths) Author: Ryan Britt Genre: Essays Publisher: Plume Release Date: November 24th, 2015 Format: PAperback Pages: 208 Source: Library Essayist Ryan Britt got a sex education from dirty pictures of dinosaurs, made out with Jar-Jar Binks at midnight, and figured out how to kick depression with a Doctor Who Netflix-binge. Alternating between personal anecdote, hilarious insight, and smart analysis, Luke Skywalker Can’t Read contends thatBarbarella is good for you, that monster movies are just romantic comedies with commitment issues, that Dracula and Sherlock Holmes are total hipsters, and, most shockingly, shows how virtually everyone in the Star Wars universe is functionally illiterate.  Romp through time and space, from the circus sideshows of 100 years ago to the Comic Cons of today, from darkest corners of the Galaxy to the comfort of your couch. For anyone who pretended their flashlight was a lightsaber, stood in line for a movie at midnight, or dreamed they were abducted by aliens,Luke Skywalker Can’t Read is full of answers to questions you haven’t thought to ask, and perfect for readers of Chuck Klosterman, Rob Sheffield, and Ernest Cline. (via Goodreads) Amazon   The best way to describe this book is a collection of geeky love letters. Luke…

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Book Review / July 18, 2016

Title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Author: John Berendt Genre: True Crime Publisher: Vintage Release Date: June 28th, 1999 Format: Paperback Pages: 386 Source: Owned Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case. (via Goodreads) Amazon   My birthday is typically the week after Mother’s Day. This year, instead of gifts (though my Mom cheated and still got me gifts!) we decided to go on a Mother/Daughter trip. My mother has always wanted to visit Savannah, Georgia, but never had the opportunity. A city known for art, history, architecture, and ghosts– it was perfect for us. A place where we could take it easy and never worry about how bored the men…

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life
Book Review / July 8, 2016

Title: A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life Author: Brian Grazer Genre: Self Help Publisher: Simon and Schuster Release Date: April 7th, 2015 Format: Audiobook Pages: 320 Source: Library From Academy Award–winning producer Brian Grazer and acclaimed business journalist Charles Fishman comes the New York Times bestselling, brilliantly entertaining peek into the weekly “curiosity conversations” that have inspired Grazer to create some of America’s favorite and iconic movies and television shows—from 24 to A Beautiful Mind. For decades, film and TV producer Brian Grazer has scheduled a weekly “curiosity conversation” with an accomplished stranger. From scientists to spies, and adventurers to business leaders, Grazer has met with anyone willing to answer his questions for a few hours. These informal discussions sparked the creative inspiration behind many of Grazer’s movies and TV shows, including Splash, 24, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Arrested Development, 8 Mile, J. Edgar, Empire, and many others. A Curious Mind is a brilliantly entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring homage to the power of inquisitiveness and the ways in which it deepens and improves us. Whether you’re looking to improve your management style at work or you want to become a better romantic partner, this book—and its…

How to Be a Woman
Book Review / June 25, 2016

Title: How to Be a Woman Author: Caitlin Moran Genre: Non Fiction- Feminism Publisher: Harper Release Date: July 17th, 2012 Format: eBook Pages: 322 Source: Owned Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven’t been burned as witches since 1727, life isn’t exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women’s lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.  (via Goodreads) Amazon   Caitlin Moran is a woman I want to go out for tapas with. Not just drinks- we’ll end up partying and staying out too late, and I, by the end, will not have enjoyed myself (I tend to over-party and fall asleep in public places with enabler-types). But tapas and wine will mean an evening of lively conversation with an early bedtime. And I’m all about it. Because this woman is going to be one heck of a conversation partner– funny, self-deprecating, smart, and unafraid to tell…

What If?
Book Review / June 15, 2016

Title: What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Author: Randall Munroe Genre: Non-Fiction Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Release Date: September 2nd, 2014 Format: Audiobook Pages: 303 Source: Library Randall Munroe left NASA in 2005 to start up his hugely popular site XKCD ‘a web comic of romance, sarcasm, math and language’ which offers a witty take on the world of science and geeks. It now has 600,000 to a million page hits daily. Every now and then, Munroe would get emails asking him to arbitrate a science debate. ‘My friend and I were arguing about what would happen if a bullet got struck by lightning, and we agreed that you should resolve it . . . ‘ He liked these questions so much that he started up What If.  If your cells suddenly lost the power to divide, how long would you survive? How dangerous is it, really, to be in a swimming pool in a thunderstorm? If we hooked turbines to people exercising in gyms, how much power could we produce? What if everyone only had one soulmate? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British empire?  How fast can you hit a speed bump…

Still Foolin’ Em
Book Review / May 17, 2016

Title: Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? Author: Billy Crystal Genre: Memoir Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. Release Date: September 10th, 2013 Format: Audiobook Pages: 288 Source: Library Hilarious and heartfelt observations on aging from one of America’s favorite comedians as he turns 65, and a look back at a remarkable career Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he’s not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like “Buying the Plot” and “Nodding Off,” Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards….

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