Genre: Memoir

Audiobook Review – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

Posted February 13, 2014 by Bonnie in Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 / 9 Comments

Audiobook Review – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny LawsonLet's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson
Published by Penguin Audio on April 17th 2012
Length: 8 hours and 41 minutes
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut, and narrates this audio version.

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

Chapters include: "Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel", "A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband", "My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking", and "And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane".

“I told my boss that I had a book inside of me, and that I needed to get it out even if I had to squeeze it through my vagina. Because that’s exactly what the world needs. A book squeezed from my vagina.”

Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess, is an internet sensation that I only recently became aware of. I’m not quite sure how I survived in life without her hilarious stories to be quite honest. I guess it should be mentioned for those with delicate sensibilities that Jenny cusses a lot, but considering you’re visiting my blog I would expect you’re used to that from me by now.

This book is absolutely fucking hilarious but it’s that type of funny that is only funny when it doesn’t happen to you. Like when Jenny talks about that time she walks into a deer carcass. Or when her dad brought home a talking squirrel only to find it was actually a squirrel puppet and her dads hand was shoved up inside its dead body. Or when Jenny brought home her future in-laws to meet her folks and her dad was out back boiling animal skulls. Or when she practically overdosed on laxatives and a burglar was shoving notes to her from under the bathroom door except it ended up being her cat. (I literally almost fell off the treadmill at the gym laughing at that scene. People were looking at me with serious concern.) But seriously. What horrible things to have to live through. But since I didn’t they were some of the funniest fucking things I have ever heard.

“Oh my God, calm down, Darwin. Don’t get all crazy just ’cause I threw a vampire monkey wrench in your faulty Jesus-zombie logic.”

All of the back and forth verbal sparring between Jenny and Victor was the absolute freaking best but I could go on and on with my favorite scenes. So what the fuck, I will! Like when she asked the nurse if they could make her cesarean scar the shape of a lightning bolt so whenever she had menstrual cramps she could pretend Voldemort was close. Or when she purchased a giant metal chicken (named it Beyonce), put it in front of her front door, rang the doorbell and ran so that she could scare her husband. You cannot make up funnier shit.

“It’s an anniversary gift for you, asshole. Two whole weeks early. FIFTEEN YEARS IS BIG METAL CHICKENS.”

This is a book made for the sole purpose of enjoyment. Because you will laugh, I guaran-fucking-tee it. But the bottom line is this book only goes to show that those crazy moments in life are the character building moments that make us who we are, for better or worse, so you might as well embrace it.

If I’ve (hopefully) convinced any of you to read this, I’ll let you know right now that you absolutely MUST listen to the audio. You’re totally missing out if you don’t. The sound effects were the freaking best and I can’t imagine reading this book without them. There was the cocking shotguns, the crazy clucking chickens and Jenny’s singing introductions and an odd assortment of other sound effects that had me non-stop rolling with laughter. Whenever I finish an audiobook I immediately delete it from my phone and move right on to the next one. But this one stayed put because whenever I’m in need of a gut-busting laugh I’ll always have this on hand to get the job done.

“In short? It is exhausting being me. Pretending to be normal is draining and requires amazing amounts of energy and Xanax.”

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Audiobook Review – Just Kids by Patti Smith

Posted January 10, 2014 by Bonnie in Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 / 2 Comments

Audiobook Review – Just Kids by Patti SmithJust Kids by Patti Smith
Published by Harper Audio on July 26th 2011
Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Goodreads

Also by this author: M Train

five-stars

It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation.

Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to Forty-second Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max's Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court. In 1969, the pair set up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous and infamous—the influential artists of the day and the colorful fringe. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and exploding. In this milieu, two kids made a pact to take care of each other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and fueled by their mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another during the hungry years.

Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.

“‘Nobody sees us as we do, Patti.’ . . . Whenever he said things like that, for a magical space of time, it was as if we were the only two people in the world.”

​Admittedly, I knew next to nothing about Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe before picking up Just Kids. This didn’t prevent me from becoming immediately enthralled in their tale. Patti Smith lived with her parents and slept on a cot in the laundry room until she boarded a bus to New York City with a measly $32 in her pocket. The friends she had planned to stay with had moved but was more serendipitous than she knew because this is where she would first meet Robert Mapplethorpe. Their bond with each other had almost a preternatural feel and was truly extraordinary.

We were Hansel and Gretel and we ventured out into the black forest of the world.​ ​There were temptations and witches and demons we never dreamed of and there was splendor we only partially imagined. No one could speak for these two young people nor tell with any truth of their days and nights together. Only Robert and I could tell it. Our story, as he called it. And, having gone, he left the task to me to tell it to you.​​

​This is a poetic story about a time that I didn’t personally experience. It’s a time period that would be difficult to fathom yet Patti Smith writes with such crisp clarity that allowed her story to truly come to life. Listening to the audio version of this and hearing Patti Smith personally narrate this was a wonderful way to experience this book. (Listen to a clip here.) Just Kids is a poignant story that showcases the innocence of her life before she became​ ​well​ ​​known by the world. ​It’s a stunning yet haunting dirge to everything that once was and everything that was lost.

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Book Review – The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster

Posted July 23, 2013 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 / 0 Comments

Book Review – The Tao of Martha by Jen LancasterThe Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog by Jen Lancaster
Published by NAL on June 4th 2013
Pages: 335
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Here I Go Again

two-half-stars

One would think that with Jen Lancaster’s impressive list of bestselling self-improvement memoirs—Bitter Is the New Black; Bright Lights, Big Ass; Such a Pretty Fat; Pretty in Plaid; My Fair Lazy; and Jeneration X—that she would have it all together by now.

One would be wrong.

Jen’s still a little rough around the edges. Suffice it to say, she’s no Martha Stewart. And that is exactly why Jen is going to Martha up and live her life according to the advice of America’s overachieving older sister—the woman who turns lemons into lavender-infused lemonade.

By immersing herself in Martha’s media empire, Jen will embark on a yearlong quest to take herself, her house, her husband (and maybe even her pets) to the next level—from closet organization to craft making, from party planning to kitchen prep.

Maybe Jen can go four days without giving herself food poisoning if she follows Martha’s dictates on proper storage....Maybe she can grow closer to her girlfriends by taking up their boring-ass hobbies like knitting and sewing.…Maybe she can finally rid her workout clothes of meatball stains by using Martha’s laundry tips.… Maybe she can create a more meaningful anniversary celebration than just getting drunk in the pool with her husband....again. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll discover that the key to happiness does, in fact, lie in Martha’s perfectly arranged cupboards and artfully displayed charcuterie platters.

‘…ready or not, happiness, here I come.’

Organization = happiness? That’s what Jen Lancaster has set out to prove. Her life is in dire need of some organization not just within her house but in her life in general and she thinks that in doing so she’ll be less stressful and have more happiness. She decides to emulate the Queen of Organization: Martha Stewart. The Tao of Martha is her personal accounting of incorporating Martha’s ideals into her daily life, both when it goes right and when it goes horribly wrong.

Having read all of Jen’s memoirs, it’s become a requirement to pick any new ones up even if they have steadily declined over the years. I’m thinking it’s a combination of lack of new material that’s actually worth writing about and a dramatic change in lifestyle from what we originally saw in her first memoir ‘Bitter is the New Black’. In ‘Bitter’, Jen is a much more relatable person as she’s struggling to survive as her and her husband both are unemployed. With each memoir she is slowly transforming into the person who talks only of her cleaning ladies, monumentally expensive landscaping plans and her shopping excursions to affluent stores that I couldn’t even afford to breathe the air of. While the writing still manages to sustain (somewhat) the snark that we’ve all come to know and love, the stories have become achingly superficial. Prime example:

‘Shoot, I haven’t even reserved an organic turkey yet! (“I’ll take ‘The Most OverPrivileged First-World Complain to Ever Be Uttered’ for a hundred, Alec!”)’

Admitting that you’re being shallow still doesn’t make it funny.

While there were a few laugh out loud moments, I found the majority of ‘Tao’ to be incredibly boring. Early in the beginning there’s a 7+ page accounting of her cleaning her desk which includes an itemized description of everything she had stored from over the years. (Considering she just moved/bought her house a few years ago, all this excessive garbage she dragged to the new house makes it even less funny. Like the broken wine glass shards. Really?) One thing I’ve always loved about her memoirs is how each chapter is a story in and of itself but in ‘Tao’, again, wondering if she was just running out of material, there were several stories that lacked any sort of point and entertainment value (and a few stories that were entirely way too personal and included info I would rather just not know). Like the chapter where we receive entirely way too much info regarding her digestive system. Or the chapter where she discusses her massive love for zucchini for several pages. Or the bit how she’s attempting to figure out why her roses are dying when her friend points out that she probably shouldn’t be watering them with a high pressure hose (duh?)

While the funnies were lacking in consistency, this was still a fun and easy read that also managed to teach me a few things:
-15 pounds of Easter candy for 9 kids = bad math.
-When gardening make sure you don’t wear your older underwear so ticks can’t crawl up and attach themselves to your lady-parts.
-If I start stocking up on emergency rations, six jars of marshmallow fluff is not essential.
-If my doctor ever prescribes me Ambien, I’m chaining myself to the bed.

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Early Review – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven by Corey Taylor

Posted July 11, 2013 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 / 3 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven by Corey TaylorA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven by Corey Taylor
Published by Da Capo Press on July 16th 2013
Pages: 256
Genres: Ghosties, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good, House of Gold & Bones, You're Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look at the Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense Left

four-half-stars

In this book, Corey Taylor undertakes something never before attempted in the history of rock superstardom: he takes you with him as he journeys undercover through various ghostbusting groups who do their best to gather information and evidence about the existence of spirits. Some are more credible than others, and, frankly, some are completely insane, but all are observed with appropriate seriousness as Taylor attempts to better understand some of the spooky things that have happened to him in his life, especially that night at the Cold House.

But that’s not all, folks. Taylor once again gives you a behind-the-scenes tour of his crazy life and the many beyond-the-grave events he’s encountered. (You’ll be shocked how often Slipknot has been invaded by the supernatural.) Taylor also touches on his religious background and how it led him to believe in much more than the Man in the Sky.

‘Thinking back now, it was really just a creepy house that creaked and shuddered, but to impressionable nine-year-olds, it was the vacation spot of the devil itself.’

To give you all a proper introduction for those who are unaware, Corey Taylor is the lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour and the author of Seven Deadly Sins. ‘A Funny Thing Happened’ is a worthy follow-up novel and another tantalizing look into the mind of an incredibly interesting man.

At face value I was expecting ‘A Funny Thing Happened’ to be a random smattering of ghostly encounters he has had over the years, and it is, yet it’s a fascinating exploration into the reasoning behind ghosts. His scientific details will definitely get you wondering because his hypotheses generated some genuinely possible answers. Surprisingly intellectual and educational, ‘A Funny Thing Happened’ is definitely a conduit that spurs some serious debates regarding the existence of the paranormal.

‘Cynics will claims that my “eyewitness accounts” can easily be described as “flights of fancy,” or “the trappings of an overactive imagination.” […] the one I hate even worse than those others: “You saw what you wanted to see and nothing more.”

Let me fucking telling you something: I did not want to see this shit, and I still do not want to see this shit.’

A Funny Thing Happened is written with a humor that is harsh and biting yet oh so entertaining. This is a man that isn’t afraid to speak his mind yet is graciously considerate of others beliefs. He’s mindful and respectful of others beliefs regardless of whether or not he shares them. Simply put, he is a man of many opinions and isn’t afraid to share… such as it should be.

‘Belief is a gift you should cherish; knowledge is a gift you should never squander.’

This book is like one big discussion, all topics are left open to interpretation, without concrete facts, just mindful musings and hypotheses. It will definitely generate antithetical opinions, however, approach this with an open mind and you may find yourself actually considering the possibilities of an alternate opinion. Or maybe you’ll remain a skeptic. Either way, this book will definitely leave you something to ponder.

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Banned Books Week – The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx

Posted October 5, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 / 0 Comments

Banned Books Week – The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star by Nikki SixxThe Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx
Published by MTV Books on September 18th 2005
Pages: 432
Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

In one of the most unique memoirs of addiction ever published, Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx shares mesmerizing diary entries from the year he spiraled out of control in a haze of heroin and cocaine, presented alongside riveting commentary from people who were there at the time, and from Nikki himself.
When Mötley Crüe was at the height of its fame, there wasn't any drug Nikki Sixx wouldn't do. He spent days -- sometimes alone, sometimes with other addicts, friends, and lovers -- in a coke and heroin-fueled daze. The highs were high, and Nikki's journal entries reveal some euphoria and joy. But the lows were lower, often ending with Nikki in his closet, surrounded by drug paraphernalia and wrapped in paranoid delusions.

Here, Nikki shares those diary entries -- some poetic, some scatterbrained, some bizarre -- and reflects on that time. Joining him are Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Slash, Rick Nielsen, Bob Rock, and a host of ex-managers, ex-lovers, and more.

Brutally honest, utterly riveting, and shockingly moving, The Heroin Diaries follows Nikki during the year he plunged to rock bottom -- and his courageous decision to pick himself up and start living again.

‘Welcome to my nightmare.’

On December 23, 1987 Nikki Sixx, bassist from Motley Crue, overdosed on heroin and was pronounced dead, but was miraculously revived by paramedics with two injections of adrenalin to the heart. The Heroin Diaries are his personal diary entries the year leading up to this day.

‘My bones were shaking…my heart was pounding…I thought I was going to explode. I’m glad I have you to talk to, to write this down…I tried to keep it all together, but then I gave in to the madness and became one with my insanity…’

Dealing with depression and a troubling childhood on top of his addictions, The Heroin Diaries is a brutal and raw recollection of life in a downward spiral but was nothing less than fascinating. Fascinating, in that he’s still alive today. December 23, 1987 was not his only encounter with death and certainly didn’t prevent him from staying away from drugs completely afterwards but it set in motion the changes he undergoes to get his life under control.

‘I can’t find a way out of this hole. i would like to say to myself, If you’re in a hole, put down the shovel, but I can’t.’

I burned through it in record time; I was fascinated, appalled, and beyond shocked with each page. This was a brutally honest depiction of the life of an addict, and I applaud him for having the strength to put this out there for all to see. I loved the various pictures, illustrations, and especially the current statements from people (that are still living) that were witnesses to the events that took place. Not what I would consider an ‘easy read’ but is definitely worth your time.

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Audiobook Review – I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern

Posted July 5, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 / 0 Comments

Audiobook Review – I Suck at Girls by Justin HalpernI Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern
Published by Harper Audio on May 15th 2012
Length: 4 hours and 10 minutes
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

"Growing up, every time I saw a men's magazine cover that had a headline about '73 Ways to Please Your Girlfriend', all I could think was 'I'm good with one; just tell me one way to please her. Also, I don't have a girlfriend. Is there an article about that?'"

Soon after Sh*t My Dad Says began to take off, comic writer Justin Halpern decided to propose to his then girlfriend. But before doing so, he asked his dad's advice, which was very, very simple (and surprisingly clean): "Just take a day to think about it." This book is that day. Crossing the warmth of The Wonder Years with the candour and observational humour of David Sedaris, this follow-up to the hottest comedy debut of last year is a hilarious, toe-curlingly true book about life, and love.

After loving the random tweets from Justin Halpern I was ecstatic to read his debut full-length novel. Sh*t My Dad Says was absolutely hilarious and had me laughing profusely. Clearly, I was on board for anything else this man came out with.

Unfortunately it was a pretty huge disappointment as far as what I was anticipating. I Suck at Girls chronicles the authors bad experiences with girls which dates back to his early childhood. Obviously the intention of these stories is humor; however, I ended up feeling sorry for the poor guy more than anything. His first crush gets him in trouble after he spends all night drawing her one seriously disturbing picture, his dream prom ends up being a nightmare, he doesn’t lose his virginity until he’s 20, the first two people he slept with ended up leaving town shortly after… the list goes on. We see a lot less of ‘dad’ in this one and he was definitely the highlight of the story. Considering I can count the number of times I laughed out loud on a single hand (and they were only short chuckles at that) and the fact that the writing itself was less than mediocre and the humor felt forced this one does not receive high marks from me.

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Book Review – 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Posted February 2, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 / 0 Comments

Book Review – 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Published by Penguin Books on September 1970
Pages: 97
Genres: Classics, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

 

It all began with a letter inquiring about second-hand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road in London. As Helene's sarcastic and witty letters are responded to by the stodgy and proper Frank Doel of 84, Charing Cross Road, a relationship blossoms into a warm and charming long-distance friendship lasting many years.

 

84, Charing Cross Road is a truly delightful true story of friendship retold through a series of letters that were written between 1949 and 1968. The friendship between Helene Hanff and Frank Doel developed after Helene had sent a request for a specific list of books to Marks & Co. in London. From there, the correspondence continued over the years between the two but also between the other employees of Mark & Co. and even with Frank’s family who were grateful to Helene for her kindness as she would send them food packs when they were dealing with rations in London. Their friendship was quite touching and I enjoyed watching as their letters developed more personal touches over the years.

“You see how it is, Frankie, you’re the only soul alive who understands me.”

Helene was always planning a trip to England to visit the people she had written to for a great many years; however, life forever got in the way and the trip simply never occurred. I loved Helene’s sense of humor; she was quite amusing and incredibly charming. Reading the last page of the book made me sigh with longing… contemplating a different ending; one where Helene would actually make it over to England.

“If you happen to pass by 84 Charing Cross Road, kiss it for me? I owe it so much.”

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Book Review – Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light by Amy Thomas

Posted February 1, 2012 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 4 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light by Amy ThomasParis, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (And Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas
Published by Sourcebooks on February 1st 2012
Pages: 305
Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

Part love letter to New York, part love letter to Paris, and total devotion to all things sweet. Paris, My Sweet is a personal and moveable feast that’s a treasure map for anyone who loves fresh cupcakes and fine chocolate, New York and Paris, and life in general. It’s about how the search for happiness can be as fleeting as a sliver of cheesecake and about how the life you’re meant to live doesn’t always taste like the one you envisioned. Organized into a baker’s dozen of delicacies (and the adventures they inspired) that will tempt readers’ appetites, Paris, My Sweet is something to savor.

*sigh*… Paris.

And pastries. 🙂

What could be better?

‘I guess it goes to show that you just never know where life will take you. You search for answers. You wonder what it all means. You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while. Here’s what happened when I did.’

On top of tales of wonderful sweets, the author shares her own personal story about finding her way in a foreign place, gaining a new perspective on life and simply learning to be thankful for what life dishes out to you. It was quite a delightful surprise that I enjoyed immensely; am so glad that I requested this book.

Despite my attempts to read this only on a full stomach, I still ended up with one serious sweet tooth by the end of this book (or even by the end of each chapter…or page). The author describes in extreme detail the sweets she eats, and makes each and every one of them sound positively heavenly.

’…her signature pretzel-covered, sea-salted caramel that had crackly, salty pretzel bits coating the 66 percent cocoa shell and creamy caramel center.’

Oh… my… gosh. Who makes these and how can I buy some of these goodies? Apparently her name is Rachel Zoe Insler, owner of Bespoke Chocolates. I was drooling so heavily over the descriptions I went so far as to try and find her online… only to find that her business had actually closed earlier this year. I was one seriously sad puppy. (If I had simply kept reading I would have realized the author spoke of the business closure at the end of the chapter haha). At the end of each chapter, she also tells where to find some of the best cupcakes, macarons, truffles, etc. in New York and Paris. Definitely made me want to take note and write down more than a few for when I eventually make it to each city.

I found myself using Google Translate often and searching for Frenchie terms that I had no idea the meaning (Vélib’ is a bicycle sharing system, fish are sold at poissoneries, and there are twenty arrondissements (or districts) of Paris. I think normally this would have irritated me having to stop every few minutes to figure out what exactly I’m reading, but being that I personally have a crush on anything Paris and cannot wait to go there personally someday, having to search for unknown items and words was actually quite a fun experience for me.

I also quite enjoyed taking a look at the author’s two blogs Sweet Freak© and God, I love Paris. If she didn’t do a good enough job in her book describing all the delicious goodies, the pictures she posts on both blogs are bound to get you. Sure makes this gluten-free girl quite sad (but has me definitely contemplating getting off my butt and at least trying to find and modify recipes for goodies that I can eat too. Inspiration! :D)

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Book Review – Seven Deadly Sins by Corey Taylor

Posted July 31, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 0 Comments

Book Review – Seven Deadly Sins by Corey TaylorSeven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good by Corey Taylor
Published by Da Capo Press on July 12th 2011
Pages: 256
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven, House of Gold & Bones, You're Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look at the Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense Left

five-stars

For the first time, Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor speaks directly to his fans and shares his worldview about life as a sinner. And Taylor knows how to sin. As a small-town hero in the early '90s, he threw himself into a fierce-drinking, drug-abusing, hard-loving, live-for-the moment life. Soon Taylor's music exploded, and he found himself rich, wanted, and on the road. His new and ever-more extreme lifestyle had an unexpected effect, however; for the first time, he began to actively think about what it meant to sin and whether sinning could--or should--be recast in a different light. Seven Deadly Sins is Taylor's personal story, but it's also a larger discussion of what it means to be seen as either a "good" person or a "bad" one. Yes, Corey Taylor has broken the law and hurt people, but, if sin is what makes us human, how wrong can it be?

“The seven deadly sins are bullshit.”

And so it begins… the book I’ve wanted to read the second I found out about it. And I’m so very happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed, displeased, or dissatisfied in anyway. This book is not; however, for the masses. For starters, this book is not an autobiography of Corey Taylor’s life and is not some in-depth heartfelt retelling of his life of sin. It may be a retelling of his life of sin, but it’s far from heartfelt. It’s honest, straightforward, brutal, and in your face. It’s definitely off the wall and all over the place; but that’s what makes it great.

“This book is a few parts flight, a handful of fancy, and a lot of why there is such a thing as freedom of the soul.”

This book is not only entertaining and funny as hell, but Corey Taylor’s thoughts and opinions were pretty damn great. This is where the honest and in your face comes into play. His thoughts and opinions totally go against every typical conformist belief and will more than likely succeed in offending many. I on the other hand, think he’s brilliant.

“So the misguided acts of my past have brought me to the virtues of my present and will hopefully lead me to the grace of my future. But I do not consider them “sins.” I consider the mistakes, capriciousness in the face of youthful abandon.”

The few reviews I have read on this book show people complaining about the lack of depth and how he’s one big narcissist and needs to be more socially responsible. Number one, this is Corey fucking Taylor and he’s wearing horns, smoking a cigarette, and drinking on the very front cover. What’d you expect? Number two, the man is only speaking the truth. He may be a little crazy and may not be the socially responsible human being you’d like him to be, but personally, I’ll take this Corey Taylor any day. He’s hilariously entertaining and I hope he continues writing in the future.

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Book Review – The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness by Mark Rowlands

Posted July 19, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness by Mark RowlandsThe Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons in Love, Death, and Happiness by Mark Rowlands
Published by Pegasus Books on June 14, 2011
Pages: 268
Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Philosophy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

This fascinating book charts the relationship between Mark Rowlands, a rootless philosopher, and Brenin, his well-traveled wolf. After acquiring Brenin as a cub, it quickly became apparent that Breinin was never to be left alone, as the consequences to Mark's house and its contents were dire. As a result, Brenin and Mark went everywhere together-from classroom lecture to Ireland, England, and France. More than just an exotic pet, Brenin exerted an immense influence on Rowlands as both a person, and, strangely enough, as a philosopher, leading him to re-evaluate his attitude to love, happiness, nature and death. By turns funny (what do you do when your wolf eats your air-conditioning unit?) and poignant, this life-affirming book will make you reappraise what it means to be human.

This book is part memoir, part story of the 11 years spent with his wolf named Brenin and the impression that he made on his life, and part philosophical interpretation of what it means to be human. I can’t claim to be a true lover of Philosophy; however, this book and the author’s writing style kept me engaged. The novels main emphasis tends to focus on the differences between men and wolves from a philosophical stand point. Not only his personal philosophical views but also various different philosophers’ and how their opinions and views apply to certain situations.

The book does not consistently tell the story of his life with Brenin, rather there are bits and pieces interspersed throughout the book with philosophical concepts in between. I would have liked to see more time spent on the connection between him and Brenin because their relationship was pretty amazing.

“But when I remember Brenin, I remember also that what is most important is the you that remains when your calculations fail – when the schemes you have schemed shudder to a halt, and the lies you have lied stick in your throat. In the end, it’s all luck – all of it – and the gods can take away your luck as quickly as they confer it. What is most important is the person you are when your luck runs out.”

The novel was very intellectually stimulating; I just wish I had more knowledge of philosophy in order for me to be able to truly appreciate it. Insightful, nonetheless, and I did enjoy the experience.

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