Posted in Reviews

Review: I Named My Dog Pushkin by Margarita Gokun Silver

I Named My Dog Pushkin by Margarita Gokun Silver

Recommended: yes!
For a how-to on getting out of Soviet Russia, for culture clash and integration stories told with a smile and a wink, for a lot of general Russian culture and lifestyle information

Summary

Buy a pair of Levi’s, lose the Russian accent, and turn yourself into an American. Really, how difficult could it be?

Fake an exit visa, fool the Soviet authorities, pack enough sausage to last through immigration, buy a one-way Aeroflot ticket, and the rest will sort itself out. That was the gist of every Soviet-Jewish immigrant’s plan in the 1980s, Margarita’s included. Despite her father’s protestations that they’d get caught and thrown into a gulag, she convinced her family to follow that plan.

When they arrived in the US, Margarita had a clearly defined objective – become fully American as soon as possible, and leave her Soviet past behind. But she soon learned that finding her new voice was harder than escaping the Soviet secret police.

She finds herself changing her name to fit in, disappointing her parents who expect her to become a doctor, a lawyer, an investment banker and a classical pianist – all at the same time, learning to date without hang-ups (there is no sex in the Soviet Union), parenting her own daughter ‘while too Russian’, and not being able to let go of old habits (never, ever throw anything away because you might use it again). Most importantly, she finds that no matter how hard you try not to become your parents, you end up just like them anyway.

Thoughts

This book had been on my list for a long time, and I don’t even remember how I originally found it. I am so glad I finally can around to reading it, because I was just as good as I had hoped it would be! Granted, I had no idea who/what “pushkin” was or why that would matter but I got the sense this would be filled with humor and I was correct.

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Posted in Reviews

Review: The Office BFFs by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey

The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There by Jenna Fischer

Recommended: yes
for people who like the show The Office (the American version, anyway), for fans of the authors in general, for some insight into the details of the show but also of the people in the show (including those we don’t directly see but who affected it so much!) and a little bit of showbiz side

Summary

Receptionist Pam Beesly and accountant Angela Martin had very little in common when they toiled together at Scranton’s Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. But, in reality, the two bonded in their very first days on set and, over the nine seasons of the series’ run, built a friendship that transcended the show and continues to this day. Sharing everything from what it was like in the early days as the show struggled to gain traction, to walking their first red carpet—plus exclusive stories on the making of milestone episodes and how their lives changed when they became moms—The Office BFFs is full of the same warm and friendly tone Jenna and Angela have brought to their Office Ladies podcast.

Thoughts

I think the obvious point to make about this book is the one I’ll just get out of the way first: yes, it’s got lots of fun and near-deadly anecdotes and insight into the show, the characters, and the people. I like The Office, and I enjoyed this book (plus it made start a new rewatch). For people who LIVE AND LOVE THE OFFICE — yeah, you’ll like this one. But even if you’re a casual viewer, you’ll enjoy it! If you’ve never seen The Office, this book is probably confusing and definitely full of spoilers, but you can still read it if you want! Why not?

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Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Jokes to Offend Men by Allison Kelley, Danielle Kraese, Kate Herzlin, & Ysabel Yates!


Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Jokes to Offend Men by Allison Kelley, Danielle Kraese, Kate Herzlin, & Ysabel Yates published today! Check out the full review here, or grab a copy of your own!

Summary

A man walks into a bar. It’s a low one, so he gets a promotion within his first six months on the job.
 
Four comedy writers transform classic joke setups into sharp commentary about the everyday and structural sexism that pervades all facets of life. Jokes to Offend Men arms readers with humorous quips to shut down workplace underminers, condescending uncles, and dismissive doctors, or to share with their exhausted friends at the end of a long day. A cutting, cathartic spin on the old-fashioned joke book, Jokes to Offend Men is a refreshing reclamation of a tired form for anyone who’s ever been told to “lighten up, it’s just a joke!”

Posted in Reviews

Review: Zeus is a Dick by Susie Donkin

Zeus Is A Dick by Susie Donkin

Recommended: sure
For people who love and recognize the absurdity of Greek myths, for those who want to learn about the absurdity of the Greek myths, for people who enjoy a bit of crass humor, for people who enjoy sassy banter and dick jokes

Summary

In the beginning, everything was fine.* And then along came Zeus.
*more or less

Ahh Greek myths. Those glorious tales of heroism, honour and… petty squabbles, soap-opera drama and more weird sex than Fifty Shades of Grey could shake a stick at!
It’s about time we stopped respecting myths and started laughing at them – because they’re really very weird. Did you know Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, was born of some discarded genitals? Or that Hera threw her own son off a mountain because he was ugly? Or that Apollo once kidnapped a boat full of people while pretending to be a dolphin?
And let’s not even get started on Zeus – king of the gods, ruler of the skies and a man who’s never heard of self-control. In fact, if there’s one thing most Greek myths have in common, it’s that all the drama could have been avoided if SOMEONE could keep it in their toga…
Horrible Histories writer Susie Donkin takes us on a hilarious romp through mythology and the many times the gods (literally) screwed everything up! Stephen Fry’s Mythos by way of Drunk History, Zeus is a Dick is perfect for those who like their myths with a heavy dollop of satire.

“It’s about time someone called him out on all this.” – Hera, Goddess of Marriage, wife of Zeus
“Worst. Father. Ever.” – Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, daughter of Zeus
“Oh yeah, focus on him. I never did anything wrong. Nothing to see here.” – Poseidon, God of the Seas, brother of Zeus
“Just a real dick, honestly.” – Many, many people

Thoughts

I got a pretty good sense of the writing style and humor early on with this, and it’s quite consistent throughout. I was able to enjoy it, though I was just shy of it being A Bit Much for me. I think some people would be turned off by it, and maybe not right away, but after multiple chapters it could get tiring. There was so much else I enjoyed that it wasn’t an issue for me, thankfully. To be aware, though, it’s very much catchy slang phrases you might hear from ages 12-32 year olds (at time of writing, anyway). So there’s a lot of cussing and “AF” and pop culture references and the like. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, this miiiight not work for you. I encourage you to give it a try though!

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Posted in Reviews

Review: You Took The Last Bus Home by Brian Bilston

You Took the Last Bus Home by Brian Bilston

Recommended: yes
for people who like silly fun poetry, wordplay, and/or are British or familiar with British culture

Summary

With endless wit, imaginative wordplay and underlying heartache, he offers profound insights into modern life, exploring themes as diverse as love, death, the inestimable value of a mobile phone charger, the unbearable torment of forgetting to put the rubbish out, and the improbable nuances of the English language.

Constantly experimenting with literary form, Bilston’s words have been known to float off the page, take the shape of the subjects they explore, and reflect our contemporary world in the form of Excel spreadsheets, Venn diagrams and Scrabble tiles.

This irresistibly charming collection of his best-loved poems will make you question the very essence of the human condition in the twenty-first century.

YOU TOOK THE LAST BUS HOME

you took
the last bus home
don’t know how
you got it through the door


you’re always doing amazing stuff


like the time
when you caught that train

Thoughts

This is a rare case where not being British actually detracted significantly from the experience. His style is very playful, and integrates a lot of local knowledge into the humor, so when I didn’t know what a slang word meant, or the significance of some referred person or event or place, I was left kind of muddling on without really “getting” it. I was outside the joke sometimes 😦

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Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that made me laugh (plus crowdsourced list!)

Hey y’all! Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish question idea that was originally created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, from way back in June 2010! Since January 2018, Top Ten Tuesday has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Thanks for taking it over! The idea is to make a list of ten books or bookish things on different topics each week. Check out her site for details on how to join and what the upcoming prompts are. 😊 You can also see all the posts from other bloggers linked on each weekly post on their main site.

This week’s prompt was for funny book titles, but the only one I could think of even close to this was Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, which is only funny to me because I know what the style of her writing in it is.

Instead, I’m switching this up to be books that made me laugh, which is actually a post I did a year or two ago but still tracks. Maybe I’ll do a new list soon but for today this works! This list has both nonfiction and fiction, and a brief description of the kind of humor in each. 🙂

Crowdsourced List

The second part of this is a look at what books other have posted for today’s actual prompt. I’ve done this once or twice before for other Top Ten Tuesday prompts and had a lot of fun with it! Plus I’m curious what others have found, and if there even ARE any that multiple people mention. Let’s see…

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Posted in Reviews

Mini Review: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

Silly little moments, just as promised. Some do require the reader to also be in on the joke, so if you don’t have the knowledge about a title or author to understand why the customers question have the bookseller pause, you might be iced on a few. Most were pretty self explanatory though. It’s a very dry, sarcastic humor most of the time.

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

JERICHO HAS ARRIVED!

Hey y’all! I have some very exciting news (for me, at least!) to share:

The Complete List of Jericho has finally arrived!

Chris Jericho is a wildly successful wrestler who just celebrated his 30th year in his career. As part of that milestone, he released a book based on notes he’s kept since his very first match that detail who and where he fought, how much he got paid, and his rating of his own performance. It also includes anecdotes, photos, and other lists. Top 10 places to wrestle, top 10 lucha matches, top 10 wrestlers who influenced him, etc.

For a while, one of his character gimmicks was adding people who pissed him off to a list, presumably of people on whom he was now seeking vengeance. xD His character was always very dramatic and hilarious, but he’s also an incredibly talented performer (both in the sense of his skills in the ring as well as in promos!).

I have been SO looking forward to this book, and it’s finally finally here! I’m probably going to be diving into watching some of these matches of his and enjoying them while knowing his commentary for them. 🥰

PS – I also bought his champagne to have my own little bit of the bubbly. It was delish! 😊

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Living with Mochi by Gemma Gene!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Living With Mochi by Gemma Gene published today! Check out the full review here, or grab your own copy!

Recommended: sure!
For comic lovers, for dog lovers, for pug lovers, for those kids who always wanted a dog and were never allowed to have one….

Summary

When architect-turned-cartoonist Gemma Gené first met her pet pug, Mochi, she felt as if time stopped. This dramatic moment and her adoring relationship with the rambunctious pug led her to begin chronicling her adventures with Mochi in a series of incredibly cute webcomics that have gained a social media following of half a million loyal readers. The comics chronicle Mochi’s life from puppyhood to adulthood, featuring Mochi’s unrequited dog friendships, his jealousy of his two dog-brothers, and his love of food. Readers and dog parents will love this humorous tale of a sincerely loyal friendship between one grumpy pug and his adoring owner.

Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Living With Mochi by Gemma Gene

Living With Mochi by Gemma Gene
Recommended: sure!
For comic lovers, for dog lovers, for pug lovers, for those kids who always wanted a dog and were never allowed to have one….
Expected Release: April 6, 2021

Summary

When architect-turned-cartoonist Gemma Gené first met her pet pug, Mochi, she felt as if time stopped. This dramatic moment and her adoring relationship with the rambunctious pug led her to begin chronicling her adventures with Mochi in a series of incredibly cute webcomics that have gained a social media following of half a million loyal readers. The comics chronicle Mochi’s life from puppyhood to adulthood, featuring Mochi’s unrequited dog friendships, his jealousy of his two dog-brothers, and his love of food. Readers and dog parents will love this humorous tale of a sincerely loyal friendship between one grumpy pug and his adoring owner.

Thoughts

I’ve never had a life with a pug, but I have known several pugs and pug-people. And a lot of these ring true for what I’ve seen from them and from their stories. 🤣 Some of these comics are definitely pug-specific quirks, though a lot are also universal-dog-owner moments. Honestly I picked this up because I haven’t had a pet dog since I was a child and I am finally, FINALLY about to be able to have one again soon. I was hoping desperately for a reminder/primer/preview of what I can look forward to (and brace myself for). This definitely fulfills all those boxes

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