Not So Funny Monday with Rachel Dratch’s “Girl Walks Into a Bar…Comedy Calamities & a Midlife Miracle”

Rachel Dratch is another actress in the world of comedy, appearing  on Saturday Night Life and 30 Rock. Dratch has also appeared in many movies including Just Go With It, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and Click. In addition, she provides the voices of Koi and Esmargot in the show Fish Hooks. I’m fairly sure that most people have seen her at least once on television or in a movie. When I learned that she had written a book, I was really excited and started thinking that this could be a “sister” to Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Boy was I wrong.

Rachel Dratch

Rachel Dratch

Dratch’s book is written in a similar style as Bossypants: autobiographical in chronological order with attempts at humor mixed in. While Dratch has obviously had success in the T.V. and movie industry, she might want to stay out of the book industry if she wants to continue getting laughs. I think it’s very difficult to write humor that people can really laugh at and I don’t think Dratch has what it takes.

I started to have a bad feeling in the first chapter where Dratch writes about her absence from television, specifically 30 Rock. While I can certainly understand wanting to clear the air or set the record straight as to why she isn’t on the show anymore, I really thought that a comedienne would throw in some humor. Not so much. There were lines that made me smile but disappointingly, never did I laugh out loud.

“Girl Walks Into a Bar…” has a number of chapters, all with individual titles but after reading them the book could essentially be broken into two parts: Pre-Eli and Post-Eli. Eli is Dratch’s son. The “Pre-Eli” section is dedicated to Dratch’s feelings on other people’s babies, baby showers and her belief that she’s too old to have children. While I can sympathize with the frustration of baby “stuff” everywhere when you don’t have a child, I certainly don’t think it’s a great idea to write about it in a book that is supposed to be funny.

The “Post-Eli” (and longest) section is the story of Dratch’s pregnancy, the confusion of her relationship with Eli’s father and how she became one of those mothers that she was so irritated with in the beginning of the book. This part of the book has a few laughs and brought some insight infto Dratch’s life since leaving the public eye.

Before I close, I must point out Dratch’s unresolved dissonance that I was so upset with at the end of the book. In the beginning of “Girl Walks Into a Bar…,” Dratch explains that she’s very tired of being type-cast as an old, overweight, unattractive lesbian. She sets out to change this before accepting more roles or auditions. However, near the end of the book, Dratch receives a phone call from her agent asking if she’d like to play yet another old, overweight, unattractive lesbian. And she actually says yes! I know women have to work especially hard in this field but why settle for something you don’t want to do? Seems a little “sell-out-ish” to me.

In closing, I would urge you to spend your money on a different book. Especially one that is funny, uplifting and exciting! Why not try picking up a copy of Bossypants or anything by Chelsea Handler?

Enjoy and keep reading!

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Friday Fun with Tina Fey’s “Bossypants!”

Tina Fey has become an icon of comedy in recent years. From her Sarah Palin impression on Saturday Night Live to the hilarious, often neurotic Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, Fey has created quite a name and empire for herself. Although I’m not a serious follow of Fey’s work, I did enjoy the few episodes of 30 Rock and SNL that I saw and figured that I would give her book Bossypants a try. I’m so happy that I did!

Bossypants is sort of an autobiography/memoir of Fey’s life with each chapter designated to the “big” events or lessons learned throughout her life. She shares some embarrassing moments including her first period and the angst that so many teenage girls experience, but all with hilarious stories that made me laugh and cringe at the same time. The book covers Tina Fey’s life to present time and her interesting insight to life makes it easy to see how she became such a success.

I am quite sure that everyone can relate to at least one chapter of this book which is another reason why it’s such a great read. From first loves, new jobs, new cities and weight issues to honeymoons, in-laws and new babies, I just throughly enjoyed every single story that Fey told and found myself excited to keep reading! Although I don’t have any children, I think my favorite chapter in the book was “The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter.” In this chapter, Fey writes a poem of hopes, dreams and cautions for her children using all of her own life experiences. It’s actually quite touching with a sprinkle of humor.

In closing, I absolutely loved this book! It’s not often that I find books that make me laugh out loud but Fey’s writing did just that from page one to the very end. It also reminded me that whether we’re rich and famous, or just “regular” people, we all go through the same life events and the most important thing is how we react to them.

To review and purchase “Bossypants,” use the link below (Amazon.com):
Bossypants

Room to Read

A Project of Room to Read in Nepal

A Project of Room to Read in Nepal (Photo credit: thegreenpages)

Room to Read

“Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship.” -Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General

Room to Read is an organization that sees the world as a place where all children can earn an education to further their dreams and contribute to their community and the world by focusing on two aspects: literacy and gender equality in education.

Right now, Room to Read is hosting the first annual global yoga benefit which will take place on June 16, 2012 and is raising funds for girls’ education in India. Teachers can sign up to donate all proceeds from 60-90 minute classes to Read Namaste India! benefit. If you’d like to dedicate your practice that day to the cause, you may send donations to Room to Read. According to Room to Read, they chose yoga because “it is an activity in which even the youngest children can participate – on their own or together with their parents.” Although I only practice yoga occasionally, I agree and think this is a GREAT way to raise money and encourage a great activity at the same time.

I think Room to Read is a wonderful organization and I follow them on Twitter. I would encourage my readers to do the same! Please take a look at their website and if you like what you see, follow them @RoomtoRead. Enjoy and keep reading!

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Finding New Books

As I browse the shelves of my local bookstore, I often wonder what the most efficient way is to find new books that I would enjoy. A lot of times, I will admit, I judge the book by its cover. While I’ve gotten better about this with age, I still struggle with finding really reliable sources that consistently provide new book suggestions. While I’m hoping this site will help the readers find new reads, I’m wondering what other resources you use.

I’ve found that Marie Claire magazine often has great suggestions with short descriptions of the book. Nothing about the plot line is given away and the books are often very new. I found “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” in Marie Claire and read it before most people had heard much about it. I really enjoy “discovering” great books and even though I get suggestions from the magazine, I am happy to pass the selection on to others with a bit more information.

So, to my followers or new readers, what sources do you use?

Updated Format!

As my “regular” readers may have noticed, I have changed the format of my blog. I changed this to create an easier way for people to navigate the blog, follow me on Twitter (@hettywarp) and to sign up to follow the blog. I hope the changes look good to everyone! As always, I would love to hear any feedback on this post – or any post – to make this site as reader friendly as possible. I write for all of you to read so I’d like to make the blog as close to perfect as possible. Any suggestions or requests?

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“Be careful about readi…

 

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
-Mark Twain

I almost laughed out loud when I read this quote! I think we could include WebMD to Twain’s health book quote. There are probably very few people who, at one time or another, took a look at a health book or website in an effort to diagnose themselves….and probably found an unsettling disease or virus as the culprit. While I would obviously never discourage someone from reading any sort of book, I do agree with Twain’s sentiment! If you’re very ill, please, please just go to the doctor 🙂

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The Hunger Games (Book 1 of 3)

As I began to read this book I must admit I wasn’t too thrilled. I immediately thought of a short story I had read years earlier entitled “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. Although I read it in high school, after some quick research I learned that “The Lottery” was first published in 1948 in The New Yorker. For those of you unfamiliar with this story, “The Lottery” describes one small town’s practice to ensure a good harvest – sacrificing one member of the community by stoning them to death. The story was also (of course) turned into a made-for-TV movie starring Keri Russell and Dan Cortese. Thankfully The Hunger Games had a bit more in store.

The first chapters of The Hunger Games had me worried that I was reading a technologically improved version of the same idea and thought about giving up on it. However, since I had heard such great reviews from friends and the media, I pushed myself to read on. And I must say, I’m so, so happy that I did. The Hunger Games turned out to be a major page-turner!!

While writing this review, I’ve struggled with whether I want to expose details that only those who finished the book would know. I’ve decided against that. I typically read a review to find a book to read – not to read about how the book turned out. But, I do want to encourage anyone considering reading these books to just read it! This book, as well as the trilogy has everything that most readers are looking for: action, romance, violence, friends and family.  And an adventurous, gritty, tough heroinne who serves as the main character.

Although I don’t want to get too far into the plot, I will say that the relationships the characters develop throughout the book were a big reason that I kept reading for so long. I could relate to the bonds that were made and I think that most readers could find at least one relationship they could relate to as well. Additionally, the technology that the author is able to write into the story is absolutely amazing! I know there are some readers who will find just that aspect fascinating.

I realize that keeping the plot secret seems like a strange way to recommend a book but I think it also adds mystery to an already wonderful book. Although I don’t have a lot of posts yet, I do know a good book when I read one – and this is it! Although this series is categorized in the young adult section, I think it should be reserved for the 18+ (or so) crowd. I don’t think it’s something appropriate for junior high students. The violent images seem a bit advanced for the younger group and I don’t think I would feel comfortable recommending it to 12 year olds. However, if you’re an adult looking for a great page-turner, pick up The Hunger Games. And soon, you’ll probably be picking up the sequels!

Until next time, enjoy and keep reading!

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

Cover of The Hunger Games

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