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I Know I Am, But What Are You? – Review – ***1/2

I still remember the first Samantha Bee segment I saw on the Daily Show. It was about gay penguins (this clip was later re-used in a more recent episode, but I’m talking about the first time through), and I thought it was merely ok. No Colbert or Helms, but what the hey, she’s new. In the years since, Bee has become one of, if not, my favourite correspondent(s). Unfortunately, this may have more to do with the fact that many of my favourites have left, and a general lack of interest in the new-comers (except for John Oliver, I know, I’m so original; some of the others have their moments, too), than Bee’s comic chops, but that statement does her a disservice, because she is very, very good. [Maybe my reviewing gimmick will be “unintentionally mean girl.”]

This book is similar to her pieces in tone, but the subject matter is less off-the-wall, which makes sense, as this is a short-essay memoir in the vein of David Sedaris’ works. It has hits and misses, but it made me chuckle pretty consistently throughout, and I inhaled it in a day. I think my favourite stories were the first one, Camp Summer Fun, The Birds and the Bee, and When Animals Attack (the last story). There are twelve short stories arranged in roughly chronological order, and each has something to recommend them. Bee has led a moderately unusual life, which, combined with her talent for storytelling, means there’s something in here for voyeurs (who want all the dirty details about any celebrity life), fellow odd-balls (who can relate), and even normal people because regardless of the circumstances, Bee is relatable, friendly, and funny, and who wouldn’t want to spend a couple hundred pages with that?

*Side note: One of these days, I am going to have to find a book that I LOATHE because none of these reviews have really been scathing since maybe the first one. I miss righteous artistic anger.

Cannonball Read III: 12/52

The internet is a funny thing

So I have no idea how true this is, but based on a quick search of Google, I appear to be the only one on the internet to finish that crossword puzzle in Earth: The Book. Awesome.

This screencap probably says a bit more about me than you really need to know...

I hope it is understood that I want full credit for this if it ever gets back to Jon Stewart.

AND NOW BACK TO MIDTERMS!

Earth: The Book – Review – ****

I’m not really sure what to do with a Cannonball Read book of which I have almost nothing useful to say.

Basically, if you’ve read America: The Book (which I have), or watch the Daily Show (which I do), you know what to expect, and the book certainly doesn’t disappoint. It doesn’t really present anything new, either, though.

Let’s see…

The book is packaged in a manner similar to the faux-textbook presentation of America, but written as a guide to Earth for the aliens who will succeed us once the human race, inevitably, self-destructs.

The nine chapters focus on such important areas as culture, science, religion, man, and, of course, Earth, and they make all the expected jokes. I don’t mean this as an insult – very few jokes fell flat, for me, and the presentation, illustrations, writing, and concept all gel to make a thoroughly entertaining yet relaxing read. Each chapter ends with an amusing FAQ (Future Alien Questions) section and a sort of Earth-bingo score card, which is a fun touch. I just mean that there really isn’t much more to say. Maybe my brain’s just fried from midterms, but *shrug,* I’m out of words*.

-30-

* One thing about Earth that got me ridiculously, super excited, though, was the last page of Chapter 9, Culture. This was a silly-looking crossword puzzle. The caption? “Do it. You know you want to.” This train of thought followed: this couldn’t possibly be an actual crossword. Who would spend so much time creating a crossword that no one’s likely to do? I wonder if any of the clues even have actual answer. This one does. Huh, it even matches with the across version. Oh my god, is this actually real? It’s 2 in the morning. I should go to sleep.

 

Three hours later.

 

I didn't want to get pencil marks on my new book.

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Cannonball Read III: 2/52