I wonder if this book emits its own hiss. What happens when you hold it to your ear? Can you make out my scorched music?
In the current political climate, one might think the transition from comedy writer to politician would be rather seamless. In Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Franken describes his struggles trying to get elected by the people of Minnesota in 2008, the balance he has been able to find when working with ideologically opposed members of congress, the work ethic that enabled him to more easily secure re-election in 2014, and the current political climate in Washington.
As an avid watcher of The Daily Show, I knew Trevor Noah was born and raised in South Africa. What I didn't know was how amazing his life circumstances were growing up and just how much he had to overcome to be the person he is today. In Born A Crime, Noah chronicles his life as he remembers it, detailing not only his experiences but also the culture of South Africa just before, then after, the end of apartheid.
The title of Love, Loss and What We Ate is what sparked my interest: what could be more relatable? I knew nothing about Padma Lakshmi and didn’t even recognize her name. But it doesn’t matter; anyone can find aspects of her story engaging. She writes with honesty and simplicity about the events of her life.
Listening to the audiobook of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please exceeds expectations. To hear the comedic build-up, delivery, and nuance of each joke she lands is a joy. Poehler tells us writing is hard and she is trying to lower expectations so when it turns out well we are impressed. However, there is no need to try and fool the reader; the writing is crisp, witty, hilarious, and often soul-searching.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Edwin E. Catmull is a book about creativity but also about leadership from Catmull's perspective. He is the president of Disney Studios and the co-founder and president of Pixar Animation Studios.
These poignant and lightly humorous episodes are based on Jennifer Worth’s memoirs about midwifery in East London in the 1950's. The nurses and nuns that run Nonnatus House are well developed, and I especially adore nurse Chummy Browne’s fish out of water storylines. Sister Monica Jean’s aging-but -still -feisty storyline is also very affecting. The plots of some of the episodes can get a little heavy since we are dealing with 1950’s obstetrics and gynecology, so be prepared for messy births, unhealthy mothers and children, and frank discussion of Catholicism vs. birth control.
This is the autobiography of Frank White, the 8-time Gold Glove second baseman for the Kansas City Royals. White describes his childhood and the loving support of his family while growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, his high school days at Lincoln High School, and playing baseball as a young teen. He was a pretty good pitcher in those days.
Don’t be fooled, you’ll learn nothing about diabetes or owls here, but the random suggestion makes it all the more entertaining. Shortly before this book was released, I had the privilege of attending “An Evening with David Sedaris” in Kansas City, where I got a preview of some of the hilarious treasures to come in Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Sedaris likes to test his pieces with various live audiences, tweaking them along the way until they are primed for publishing, and
Blood, Bones, and Butter—the title piqued my curiosity. For the audiobook, Hamilton has a pretty straight tone as a reader, which made me hesitant at first, but it’s true to her personality and works surprisingly well for me as a listener. I generally enjoy biographical pieces, and this was no exce