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AUDIO BOOK REVIEW by Jena: Yes, Please! by Amy Poehler (@smrtgrls)

Yes PleaseIn Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.
 
 
 
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REVIEW by Jena: Still Foolin’ ‘Em by Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal)

Still Foolin EmHilarious 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. Readers get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever “test positive for Maalox”), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (“the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac”), grandparenting, and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal’s reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

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REVIEW by Jena: You’re Making Me Hate You by Corey Taylor (@CoreyTaylorRock)

22928857In the tradition of the late great George Carlin, New York Times bestselling author and lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour Corey Taylor sounds off in hilarious fashion about the many vagaries of modern life that piss him off.

Whether it’s people’s rude behavior in restaurants and malls, the many indignities of air travel, eye-searingly terrible fashion choices, dangerously clueless drivers, and—most of all—the sorry state of much modern music, Taylor’s humor and insight cover civil society’s seeming decline—sparing no one along the way, least of all himself.

Holding nothing back and delivered in Taylor’s inimitable voice, You’re Making Me Hate You is a cathartic critique of the strange world in which we find ourselves.

 

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REVIEW by Jena: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven by Corey Taylor (@CoreyTaylorRock)

Funny thing(Or, How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process)

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.

 

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REVIEW by Jena: Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good by Corey Taylor (@CoreyTaylorRock)

Seven Deadly SinsFor 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 hard-drinking, fierce-loving, live-for-the-moment life; when his music exploded, he found himself rich, wanted, and on the road. But soon his extreme lifestyle led him to question what it means to sin and whether it could—or should—be cast in a different light. After all, if sin makes us human how wrong can it be?
Now updated with a new Afterword by the author, Seven Deadly Sins is a brutally honest look “at a life that could have gone horribly wrong at any turn,” and the soul-searching and self-discovery it took to set it right.
 
 
 
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REVIEW by Jena: Bossypants by Tina Fey (@tinafey)

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 these 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!)

 

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REVIEW by Beth: Under the Banana Moon by Kimberly Gerry-Tucker

To Kim Tucker, solidly in the Asperger’s section of the autism spectrum, the colors blue and green and gray are not just colors, but rather whole worlds of iridescent life. Likewise, to say that Under the Banana Moon is full of laughter and love and heartbreak is to only scratch the surface.

Growing up, Kim couldn’t speak when there was more than one person present, and sometimes even then her words failed her. But she could always write. More comfortable in the company of cats, or passing notes to grandmother, she found peace where she could, and avoided the frightful parts of the world—like anything that was the color green. But school brought whole new worlds of fear: other kids. Their words and feelings were indecipherable. Their touch was toxic. She survived with scars. As a teenager, she felt the same urges as her peers but went about it in extreme ways: when she drank, she went to the hospital; when she dated, she got married. Her husband, Howie, was her high school sweetheart. He was also her best friend and the father of her three children. He took care of her and managed her disability. When he was diagnosed with ALS, their roles reversed, the world collapsed—but they kept going. Some things Kim could never learn (like how to drive a car… without crashing), but some things she could. Like how to help her husband die, and how to live to tell the story.

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REVIEW by Jena: Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith (@ThatKevinSmith)

That Kevin Smith? The guy who did “Clerks” a million years ago? Didn’t they bounce his fat ass off a plane once? What could you possibly learn from the director of “Cop Out”? How about this: he changed filmmaking forever when he was twenty-three, and since then, he’s done whatever the hell he wants. He makes movies, writes comics, owns a store, and now he’s built a podcasting empire with his friends and family, including a wife who’s way out of his league. So here’s some tough shit: Kevin Smith has cracked the code.  Or, he’s just cracked.
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