Dy's Take

July 2, 2012

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Filed under: Humor & Satire,Literary Locals,Memoir — Dy @ 22:33


As a longtime fan of  The Bloggess, it was inevitable that I would read Jenny’s book — as soon as my number came up on the library’s waitlist (we’re thinking about moving so I’m making a conscious effort to not bring more books into this house this year). If you’ve read her blog, you get it.

Me? I laughed so loud while reading it that my husband first thought I was choking, then made me take it downstairs so I wouldn’t keep him up. I did the same at work and now my office mate is reading it. She laughed so hard her mom and sister are reading it, too, to see what the fuss is about. Yes, it’s that damned* good.

*swearing is for emphasis… and because if you’re going to read this book you’re going to have to get used it, she does it a lot.


September 14, 2011

Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

Filed under: audiobook,Humor & Satire,Memoir — Dy @ 17:23


July 29, 2011

Suck it, Wonder Woman! The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek by Olivia Munn

Filed under: Memoir — Dy @ 10:03

Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek(60)

Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek by Olivia Munn

2 of 5 stars

I admit it, I read this for the title. More a collection of random essays than a memoir, it was, for the most part, light fluffy, if a bit lewd reading. Don’t look for logic in it, there isn’t any. Reads like Munn wrote a stream of consciousness blog and a ghostwriter came in and tried to build a frame to house it (fail, btw — Olivia, your ghostwriter did you a disservice letting your book be this chaotic).

It’s not for everyone, and I would NOT let my kids read it, but, for all that, I kind of enjoyed it. Probably the ex-theatre arts student / geek in me saying this, but I can live with that.

View all my reviews

July 13, 2011

(2) Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

Filed under: Book Club,Memoir — Dy @ 10:36


I listened to this on audio in 2009 or 2010 (I don’t remember which, I’ve slept since then y’all) and re-read this year for my book club. Read it on my Kindle and found out it had recipes in it (something they don’t tell you in the audio version).

It was about what I remembered it to be, and still my favorite of Reichl’s first three memoirs, probably because she was less selfish in this one.

August 4, 2010

Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

Filed under: audiobook,Memoir — Dy @ 18:03

(46) Ruth Reichl’s memoirs, volume 3

Definitely the best of Reichl’s three books. Probably because it is the one that discusses her personal life and neuroses the least, and her job the most. After all, if I’m reading the menu of a famous food critic, I want to read about the goofy/funny/serious/sad things that happened on the job, not the critic’s crumbling marriage (see volume 2 of this pedantic trilogy).

Overall, unless you have a free copy and nothing else to listen to in the car on the way to work in morning (like me), I wouldn’t bother. On the plus side, reading Reichl is not as annoying as reading Bourdain.

July 28, 2010

Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl

Filed under: audiobook,Memoir — Dy @ 13:32

(43) Ruth Reichl’s memoirs, book 2

I really disliked this book. A long meandering tale of infidelity and how she justified it to herself, with a few notes about food and wine along the way.

July 21, 2010

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl

Filed under: audiobook,Memoir — Dy @ 19:29


Not normally my thing, but I had it on audio and needed something to listen to for a couple of long drives in July…

This was okay, but not memorable. I listened to it 3 months ago and the overall impression was just, “Meh.”

Also, I am apparently the only person that this book didn’t make hungry. Go figure.

November 28, 2009

The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs

Filed under: audiobook,Humor & Satire,Memoir — Dy @ 22:50

( 99 )

This was a totally random selection for me. I was waiting for help finding something else at the library and I saw the cover and was intrigued:Know-it-all audio cover

I decided to check it out — could be funny, could be cool, and I kinda admire anyone who sets out to read the entire Encylopaedia Britannica.

I enjoyed this, both the self-deprecating humor (with a bit of an edge–glad I’m not one of his ILs!) and the intellectualism of it.  Sadly, though, I lost some of the pleasure when I searched Amazon to find the above pic and discovered Jacobs is also the author of the Year of Living Biblically.  It took this book, for me, from an exploratory memoir, a personal quest, to just another in a series of schticks to sell books.  Admirable as a way to make a living, disappointing as part of a larger search for greater truth in our world.

Still, I enjoyed the book. But I don’t plan to read any of his other work now that I know the formula.

PS – go with the audio if you decide to try this, the reader, Geoffrey Cantor,  was frellin’ fantastic!

August 31, 2009

Spiced by Dalia Jurgensen

Filed under: Memoir — Dy @ 14:38

( 66 )

I love cookbooks.  I can’t cook my way out of a wet paper bag eighty percent of the time, but I love cookbooks.  For actual cooking I love older books, ones with far more recipes, and, frankly, usually far simpler recipes, than the newer fancy, photo-filled ones.

The one exception to this rule being a photo essay/cookbook called, “Intercourses.”  The link is to the 10th anniversary edition — mine is the older one and I’ve never cooked a darn thing out of it, but the photos and food talk are lush and wonderful.

Anywho…while randomly flipping through a magazine, Vogue, I think, that someone left in the break room at work, I ran across the booklist and “Spiced” was one of the recommended reads. I thought, “Why not?” and requested it from my library.

And liked it!  I know, a memoir and still, I liked it. It did not, like the review promised, have cool pastry recipes, but the author’s website (myspicedlife.com) more than makes up for this.

I expected to attempt this book—I picked it up thinking, “WHY did I request this?”—and give up, annoyed by the pretension and snobbery of the author (yes, I’ve read Bourdain and it had a deeply negative effect on my opinion of cooks turned writers). Jurgensen’s voice is real and warm. She talks about some of the ugly truths of the restaurant world with gentle good humor and is very generous, probably overly so, to her frequently misogynistic co-workers in this book.

This was a pretty fast read, and I found myself wanting to read it, even abandoning my fiction for it. Are there any big surprises, shocking revelations, or great truths to be had here (other than some of the nicest, yet seemingly honest, things I’ve ever seen written about Martha Stewart)? No.

My biggest issue was the lack of a glossary.  Despite it being mentioned umpteen times in the book, I haven’t the slightest clue what a tarte tatin is. Or mise en place or any of a number of other specific pastry/culinary/kitchen terms the author uses frequently. Some, like mise en place I can guess based on context, but that damn tatin thing, I’m going to have to look that up and that annoys me.

Yes, I live in Central Texas and a nice meal out with Raidman is ~$100 so I have no clue what the world she writes about is like, but at least I’m willing to admit my ignorance.

But still, it was an entertaining read and one that I don’t hesitate to recommend to my memoir loving freaks friends 😉

April 12, 2009

Candy Girl by Diablo Cody

Filed under: Erotica,Memoir — Dy @ 23:16

( 32 )

I wasn’t as thrilled with the movie “Juno” as my husband or the media, and didn’t have high expectations for this memoir-of-a-year-in-the-life by the film’s scriptwriter when I borrowed it from a friend in a stack of other books.

I finished it in a little over 12 hours, captivated by the author’s dry, wry wit from the very beginning.  I loved this book.  Cody’s book reads like a conversation I might have with some like-minded friends, not the subject matter or experience, but her voice and word choice.  Smart, earthy, and at times hysterically funny.

The book, subtitled “A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper,” is not really, as tagged, erotica, but it is, at times, over the top graphic so the appellation seems appropriate.

October 9, 2008

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Filed under: Humor & Satire,Memoir,NonFiction — Dy @ 23:13

( 82 )

I don’t like memoirs.  Really.

I loved this book, though.  It made me cry, dadnabbit, but it was worth it.  I don’t know why I liked it so much, I think because he put so many things that are simple and commonsense out there in an entertaining and humorous way.  I feel like I can’t do it justice, but am glad I read it.

March 14, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Filed under: Memoir — Dy @ 11:02


Okay, I hate memoirs. Really, as a general rule, I do. And yet, I liked this book. It spoke to me in ways I didn’t expect it to. I even drug out my musty, dusty meditation books after reading this ( and fell asleep the first time I tried to meditate, lol). She expressed a lot of sentiments I could relate to, and she did it in a voice I really appreciated, possibly because it is similar to my own?

She also annoyed me. She is so damn selfish and self-centered. The 9/11 thing made me feel for her, but the ok marriage that lead to ugly divorce and bad boyfriend bits made me want to smack her upside the head and say “Hello! REAL tragedies happen everyday, get over yourself already!”

And yet, I liked it anyway. For the life of me I can’t figure out why, but I did. Can I go one thumb up and one down to express critical ambivalence?

October 12, 2007

Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig

Filed under: Book Club,Memoir,NonFiction — Dy @ 15:29

Candy made me do it. The things I do for book club, I swear. This is a memoir, a really, really boring memoir.

I don’t even have a category for this. I refuse to make one, too, since I’m only ever going to read these things when someone makes me 😉

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