Kash’s #CBR5 Review #18: Bossypants by Tina Fey

If I could give this 4.5 stars I would. I loved this book. I loved this book especially because I could imagine Tina reading it to me as we shared time over coffee and a cheese danish. But it was just so random. The topics of each chapter jumped so wildly that it seemed erratic. But I still fucking loved it.

So I’m just going to share some random quotes that I highlighted in hopes that you will go out and read this immediately if you haven’t already done so.

Maybe you bought this book because you love Sarah Palin and you want to find reasons to hate me. We’ve got that! I use all kinds of elitist words like “impervious” and “torpor”, and I think gay people are just as good at watching their kids play hockey as straight people.

Gay people don’t actually try to convert people. That’s Jehovah’s Witnesses you’re thinking of.

If you told Don Fey that you never go to Burger King, only McDonald’s, because you “grew up with the Hamburglar,” he would look at you like you were a moron.

(By the way, when Oprah Winfrey is suggesting you may have overextended yourself, you need to examine your fucking life.)

She talks about being a young Tina Fey, her dad, her work with The Second City in Chicago, SNL (duh), 30 Rock (super duh), Oprah, Sarah Palin, Lorne Michaels, her kid, a cruise, and more. It’s fun, it’s quick, and it will make you laugh. Or at least a little under the breath chuckle that I know everyone is capable of. You know, that little chortle you try to stifle when you don’t want to laugh but you have to admit it’s actually pretty funny? That’s the least you’ll get out of it.

Kash’s #CBR5 Review #17: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m making a sweeping generalization and assuming that everyone has read this, so I’m not including a synopsis.

Like many mainstream Americans, I rushed out to re-read the American classic to make sure I had a firm base with which to judge the film reboot. Only I’m going to be brutally honest here, I’m pretty sure I never read this book in high school like I was supposed to. As much as I love reading, especially now, I avoided assigned reading like Kirsten Dunst avoids a bra. So now I’ve finally read it, and I was underwhelmed.

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Kash’s #CBR5 Review #16: The Whole Package by Cynthia Ellingsen

I found this novel on my nightstand and had no idea how it had gotten there. On the inside cover it reads, “Hi Miss Amanda, To a fabulous young lady with a lovely Mama, I hope you have a blast reading… xoxo, Cynthia”. Then it hits me, my mom gave me this book a few years ago for my birthday, stuck inside of a purse. Raving about how she knows the author and what a sweetheart she is. My mom knows I don’t like chick lit, but having a signed copy is alright by me.

The Whole Package is a fun and sometimes funny story about three friends from high school who are near forty now. This is the kind of book where you can imagine the movie where at least one of the leads is played by Diane Keaton. Although she might be a little old, I totally see her in this. Anyway, each woman is different in your stereotypical ways. There is Cheryl, the driven and hard hitting marketing exec who sweeps the boys in the boardroom, the racquet ball court, and into her bedroom. She’s like Elizabeth Perkins in Big. And yes she has sex with a younger man. Then there’s Doris, who was once a soccer star. She got married young and swept up into the homemaker role. She’s a bad cook with a Xanax habit and an asshole of a daughter. Also, her husband is a pansy. Lastly is Jackie, the artist. She married an older man and after his death she squandered millions living the high life in Paris. She has returned to the States since her money is gone and she has yet to hold down a job.

After an impromptu night out, the girls hatch a plan to start up a male version of Hooters. Or would it be a female version? Either way, they want to have a restaurant where scantily clad men serve you meals. The rest is pretty predictable.


People think it’s a stripclub, it gets out of hand, churches get pissed, and then basically everyone quits. Not the employees, the owners. Real mature ladies. So they revamp it based on the idea that women want more romance, and then conveniently it’s a huge hit and everyone wins. All of the ladies are reunited with the men they have been on and off with for the rest of the novel. Glitter rains from the ceiling. Hallelujah. Amen.

This isn’t a romance novel. There aren’t any steamy sex scenes filled with quivering members, but there are a few firm embraces and a plethora of seductive gazes. It’s very much chick lit. If you like it, you like it, if you don’t, then pass. For me it was something nice to read between the sometimes heavy and epic shit that I’ve been undertaking. I believe this is one of those things Cosmo calls a “beach read”.

Kash’s #CBR5 Review #15: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

I gathered, from the title, that this book would have something to do with witches. I don’t read blurbs, so I didn’t know there were vampires and daemons also, but there are. I’ve read a fair bit of literature dealing with vampires and the humans obsessed with them. I’m not proud of it, but I’ve always been drawn to supernatural stuff. I mean, I still watch Supernatural, even though it completely jumped the shark like, three seasons ago. But dude. C’mon.

So that being said, I’ve never sought out stories dealing with witches. I guess something about seeing The Craft in fifth grade scarred me for life. Regardless, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book, especially when vampires popped up and I have been making a concerned effort in avoiding vampires for a while. When I picked up this book on Saturday morning, I was pleasantly surprised. This appeared (hint: appeared) to be a book written about supernatural creatures, for adults, that wasn’t full of cliches or erotica disguised as a supernatural crime novel (thanks for nothing Anita Blake). I was wrong.

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Kash’s #CBR5 Review #14: Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex by Erica Jong

When I read about this book in an issue of Bust magazine, I was very excited. I bought it immediately but it took me at least a year to sit down and read it. The pretext of this collection of essays is about the best sex you’ve ever had. Whether fictional or non-fictional. Each author was asked to write about sex, and there were various various differences from author to author.

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Kash’s #CBR5 Review #13: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

As I make my way through the Gillian Flynn catalogue, I can concede this piece is not nearly as disturbing as her first foray, Sharp Objects. Although immeasurably dark, this one doesn’t leave you with a sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Libby Day, the disturbed semi-adult leading lady fumbles along through her life. With no job or sense of purpose, she lives off of a fund compiled by charitable donations after three members of her family were murdered when she was seven years old. Her remaining brother in prison, after her testimony helped convict him, and her deadbeat dad living in the wind.

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Kash’s #CBR5 Review #12: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Full disclosure: I don’t know how to talk about this book without potentially ruining important plot points from the first book, so spoiler alert.

Furthermore: I will admit that I have read all of the Twilight books. After the first one, I hated them, but I wanted to know what happened. This experience has tainted how I look at YA series. I fully expect them to go downhill after the first installment, but not as spectacularly terrible as Twilight.

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Kash’s #CBR5 Review #11: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I am surprised that I haven’t heard of these books earlier, but having just finished an accelerated second degree program, I didn’t really have a lot of time for extracurricular reading. Since devouring The Hunger Games in probably 2 days, I was excited when this was recommended by a friend the other night when she described it as, “it’s like Hunger Games, starts a little slow but overall pretty good.” She had me at Hunger Games. Especially at my dismay over wanting to  read another 800 page epic undertaking – I’m already behind!

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Kash’s #CBR5 Review #10: The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch

I honestly had no idea of what I was getting into when I started The Hangman’s Daughter. But it turned out to be an exciting mystery with several well developed and likable characters set in medieval Bavaria (at least that’s what I got). I’m not a history buff so I don’t know if there were a lot of things out of place in the story, but either way I’ve never let a couple anachronicities bother me. I think that’s why I like Thursday Next so much. Anyway…

Jakob Kuisl is the hangman, Magdalena is his daughter. Simon is the physician’s son, and is one as well but is not highly regarded as such. The story opens with young Jakob vowing to never take the job of his father, the hangman, but that didn’t turn out too well for him. Fast forward to when our events take place. A boy is found in the river and when pulled out a witches symbol emblazoned on his back. The townspeople are in a rage and cry witch, so to suppress an uproar the town’s midwife is imprisoned, since she’s the easiest scapegoat.

Jakob, Simon and a few others do not believe the midwife is guilty, and commit to solving the mystery surrounding the deaths (yeah, more turn up, since witches hate kids and need them for potions. I mean, didn’t you see Hocus Pocus? Geez.), which involves more than they originally had thought.

I thought it was a good read. I was excited in the last few chapters when the mystery was coming to light. And even though I figured out who was behind it (**Spoiler Alert**: it’s totes witches. Not.) the climax of the story wasn’t ruined. I grew to really enjoy the relationship forged between the hangman and the young doctor. If the other two books that came out involve the same cast of characters I may have to check them out. I would recommend.

Kash’s #CBR5 Review #9: Identity: Lost by Pascal Marco

Clay Davis sheeeiiiit

Whoa, I am behind.

Anywho, this book is a decent first outing by Marco. A native of Chicago who currently lives in Arizona, the life of the protagonist, James/Stan echoes that same pilgrimage but under very different circumstances. We first meet Stan en route to a friend’s party, where he flips out over a baseball bat and royally pisses off his wife, again. Apparently this is a re-occurring thing and it’s not until later that we learn the reason behind the crazy.

As a young boy, Stan, then James, witnessed a murder of an old man who was a friend of his in Burnham Park in Chicago. After much distress, he comes forward to the police as an eye witness, only to be royally screwed by shitty police work and racists pricks who didn’t give two shakes about a poor black kid in 1975. After being put in witness protection he dedicated his life to making sure mistakes like that didn’t happen to anyone else if he could help it.

As luck would have it, two of the gang members from that murder end up in Arizona, and shit gets real. Stan’s whole life starts to unravel after 30 years of secrets, and he spills the beans to his wife and best friend. The plot starts to get muddled when Stan heads back to Chicago to even the score. Turns out there is some Wire level corruption going on with some Clay Davis shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit being slung around, and Marco tries to tackle too many theories at once. However, it is still a good quick read and worth it if it’s still free on Amazon.

In the author’s note, Marco states that the story is loosely based on an actual murder that occurred in Chicago around that time. I enjoyed the baseball references, the Chicago imagery, and the fact that the book addresses the fact it would probably be really terrible to be put in witness protection, aside from not being killed if you stayed where you were. The characters are fleshed out relatively well, and the plot works up until the last few points when everyone is in on it, etc. This is a bit more than a murder mystery, but not thriller material by any means.