Audiobook – Bossypants by Tina Fey

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in 2015, 4 stars, Audio, Book Review | 1 comment

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Genre: Memoir, Humor
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication Date: 2011.
Length: 5 hours, 33 minutes
Read by: Tina Fey
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
This memoir is both funny and full of interesting tidbits about Tina Fey’s career and what she has learned along the way.

Why I Read It:
I wanted to read this ever since it was published but I didn’t want the book around my house because the cover totally creeps me out. For that reason I got the audio edition.

The Book:
From the publisher:

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update”, before “Sarah Palin”, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both of those dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon – from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

Includes special, never-before-solicited opinions on breastfeeding, princesses, Photoshop, the electoral process, and Italian rum cake!

My Thoughts:
As I said above I had to listen to this book instead of reading it because the cover gives me the creeps. I’m glad though, because after listening to Tina Fey tell her own story I cannot imagine it any other way.

I’ll admit that when Tina Fey was on Saturday Night Live I was past the age of staying up that late to watch it so I know of her work their primarily via You Tube. I have also never watched 30 Rock but after listening to this book it’s in my Netflix queue.

Tina Fey is smart and funny and this book is a delight. Her story of growing up and finding her way to a career in comedy and television is quite a journey.

I really enjoyed the part about the rules of Improvisation and how they can be applied to your career and life in general.

There is a pdf file of photos from the book that was included with my version of the audiobook. She makes reference to this several times so if you get an audio edition that doesn’t have that you might want to get your hands on the print copy of the book to see the photos.

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the book

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the narration

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The Martian by Andy Weir

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in 2015, 4.5 stars, Book Review | 6 comments

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir

Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 368
Source: Copy provided by publisher

The Short Version:
A castaway story with a twist has Astronaut Mark Watney trying to stay alive on Mars.

Why I Read It:
So many people I know and trust were loving this book that I just had to read it.

The Book:
From the publisher:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

My Thoughts:
I was worried about starting this one because so many people I know loved it. This can often lead to expectations that are too high and disappointment. That did not happen with this book. I loved it. As soon as I finished it I handed it to The Hubster and said “this is your next book”.

Inadvertently abandoned alone on Mars, Mark Watney ends up being a hero with a wicked sense of humor. I was shocked at how often I giggled while reading this story of a man possibly doomed to a horrible lonely death. Mark quickly settles in to assess his situation and continually revises his plans for surviving until an attempt can be made to rescue him.

After one experimental venture that didn’t work out as well as he hoped Mark says:

Once I got home, I sulked for a while. All my brilliant plans foiled by thermodynamics. Damn you, Entropy.

Yes there’s plenty of science stuff in this book but it’s not techno gobbledygook. Weir manages to walk that line that keeps us non-sciency folk from drifting off with “Oh look, something shiny” yet still be accurate enough that sciency folk like my chemist husband don’t get ocular cramps from the eye rolling.

It’s a great suspense thriller that kept me enthralled all the way through. I highly recommend this one.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading #19

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 3 comments

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This weekly reading roundup is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Finished reading this week:

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy byBryan Stevenson

This was a very powerful book. It was one that brought out mixed emotions. Anger at what has happened and hopefulness that organizations like the Equal Justice Initiative exist.

Finished listening to this week:

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I enjoyed this memoir quite a bit even though I haven’t watched Saturday Night Live in ages and have never watched 30 Rock. Tina Fey is funny and also has some good messages for women in this one.

Continuing with

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

Interesting non-fiction about a medical pioneer.

Started this week

What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund

What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund

I just started this one last night. It comes highly recommended by a friend in my LibraryThing Group.

Started listening to:

Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler

Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler

It was time for some escapist adventure and even though they’re formulaic I enjoy the Dirk Pitt books. Scott Brick does a great job of narration.

What are you reading?

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Weekend Update

Posted by on Jan 25, 2015 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, photos, Weekend Update | 5 comments

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2015-01-25 07.47.05
That’s kind of how my brain feels today.

A few Sunday random thoughts:

Yesterday was nice. I drove up to Olympia, Washington. I’ve got a couple of dear friends who live north of Seattle and every few months we get together. We meet up in Olympia because it’s almost exactly halfway between my house and the friend who lives farthest north.
Salad?
It’s nice to have a long leisurely lunch with them. The bonus to the road trip is almost 4 hours of audiobook time.

There’s no college football to watch on weekends. I feel lost. Pretty soon we’ll hit that dead season of the year when ESPN starts trying to convince us that poker is a sport. Dear ESPN – it isn’t.
Sunrise over Mt. Hood
The sun is starting to come up before I get to work in the mornings and this week we had our first after 5pm sunset of the year. If I don’t stop for errands it’s not fully dark when I get home. Yay!!

My company moved to a new office the week between Christmas and New Year’s. There is still an ‘under construction’ feeling with a lot of finish work still going on. What’s definitely not working is the heating system. My corner of the floor is suffering from Frozen Office Syndrome. I know it’ll get settled eventually but It’s annoying being so cold. In the meantime – thank goodness for my heated throw.

The nice thing about our new location is the proximity to one of Portland’s many Food Cart pods. I normally take my lunch to work (because I’m cheap and a picky eater) but I have instituted Food Cart Fridays to try new things, So far the gyro, ramen soup and pad thai have all been excellent.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!!

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Nutshell Review – Snowpiercer Vol. 1: The Escape by Jacques Lob

Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in 2015, 3 stars, Book Review, Graphic Novel | 0 comments

 

Snowpiercer Vol. 1: The Escape by Jacques Lob with art by Jean-Marc Rochette

Snowpiercer 1: The Escape by Jacques Lob

Genre: Science Fiction, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Titan Comics
Publication Date: 2014 (Originally published in French in 1982
Pages: 110
Source: Library

 

The Book:
From the publisher:

Coursing through an eternal winter, on an icy track wrapped around the frozen planet Earth, there travels a train that never stops. This is Snowpiercer: one thousand and one carriages long. From fearsome engine to final car, all surviving human life is here: a complete hierarchy of the society we lost. The elite, as ever, travel in luxury at the front of the train–but for those in the rear coaches, life is squalid, miserable and short. Now the poor have had enough: it’s time to seize control of the engine–and their future!

My Thoughts:
In this post-apocalyptic story Earth is in a new ice age and all of the surviving population is in on an eternally traveling train of 1001 cars. Within those cars is a distinct class system with the poorest and most miserable in the cars at the tail and the well off near the front.

When the status quo is rocked and someone from the Tail begins to force his way toward the front of the train. The security forces have trouble containing this challenge to the class system.

It’s a fairly short and fast paced story and plays out much like an action movie. There’s no surprise that it has been made into an action movie but perhaps the surprise is that it doesn’t star Liam Neeson?

The art was well done and despite the limited scope of setting managed to  have some variety and remain interesting.

It was a fun read and I’m looking forward to reading the concluding second volume.

3 stars Rating 3/5

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The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in 2015, 5 stars, Book Review, Jeff Lemire | 0 comments

Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire

The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire

Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 224
Source: Library

The Short Version:
Jack Joseph is the titular Underwater Welder who lost his own father as a child and now faces the birth of his own first child.

Why I Read It:
I have become a huge fan of Jeff Lemire’s work so when I spotted this at the library I had to get it.

The Book:
From the publisher:

WARNING: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE.

As an underwater welder on an oil rig off the coast of Nova Scotia, Jack Joseph is used to the immense pressures of deep-sea work. Nothing, however, could prepare him for the pressures of impending fatherhood. As Jack dives deeper and deeper, he seems to pull further and further away from his young wife and their unborn son. Then one night, deep in the icy solitude of the ocean floor, something unexplainable happens. Jack has a mysterious and supernatural encounter that will change the course of his life forever.

Equal parts blue-collar character study and mind-bending mystery, The Underwater Welder is a graphic novel about fathers and sons, birth and death, memory and reality, and the treasures we all bury deep below the surface.

My Thoughts:
In the introduction Damon Lindelof (of TV’s Lost) describes this as “the most spectacular episode of The Twilight Zone that was never produced”. He is absolutely correct.

I adored this book. After I finished reading it I waited to return it to the library until the day it was due just because I wanted to keep the characters and emotions near me as long as possible.

Jeff Lemire has an amazing ability to convey so much story and emotion with minimal dialog and often minimalistic art. It’s all black, white and gray but that doesn’t limit Lemire in the least. There are times when I turned a page and the art was full of so much detail, emotion and story that it took my breath away and there wasn’t a single word on the page.

Jack is a flawed man. He loves his wife but while she is eagerly anticipating the birth of thier son Jack is still troubled by the loss of his own father when he was a child. This book explores so much about relationships and what it means to be a son, a man and a father.

Preview pages are available at Comics Alliance.

Do yourself a favor and read this amazing book.

5 stars Rating 5/5

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