Book Review: The Todd Glass Situation

toddSome of my favorite autobiographies are by comedians. Because even though they may have had a rough life they somehow are always able to spin things to have you laugh, for a least part of the story.  Todd Glass is a comedian I was first introduced to on Last Comic Standing I don’t even know how many years ago. I don’t remember if I thought he was funny then and I don’t remember much else about his acts but I remembered his name (mostly because it reminded me of George Glass from the Brady Bunch) and decided to give his book a look.

The book tells about his life growing up, how his family moved a lot and he didn’t do well in school. He mastered a thoughtful look so his teachers thought he was paying attention.  Eventually they discovered he had dyslexia and he spent his time in separate classes.  As he got older, he discovered comedy and at first didn’t realize it was something you could do for a job – but obviously eventually figured that out and pursued it.  Todd is also gay. A lot of the book deals with him hiding it and how he dealt with it and tried to keep it secret from everyone, despite having a boyfriend.

Just the right amount of funny mixed with serious and a great read whether you are familiar with Todd and his work or not!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A hilarious, poignant memoir from comedian Todd Glass about his decision at age forty-eight to finally live openly as a gay man—and the reactions and support from his comedy pals, from Louis CK to Sarah Silverman.

Growing up in a Philadelphia suburb in the 1970s was an easy life. Well, easy as long as you didn’t have dyslexia or ADD, or were a Jew. And once you added gay into the mix, life became more difficult. So Todd Glass decided to hide the gay part, no matter how comic, tragic, or comically tragic the results.

It might have been a lot easier had he chosen a profession other than stand-up comedy. By age eighteen, Todd was opening for big musical acts like George Jones and Patti LaBelle. His career carried him through the Los Angeles comedy heyday in the 1980s, its decline in the 1990s, and its rebirth via the alternative comedy scene and the explosion in podcasting. But the harder he worked at his craft, the more difficult it became to manage his “situation.” There were the years of abstinence and half-hearted attempts to “cure” himself. The fake girlfriends so that he could tell relationship jokes onstage. The staged sexual encounters to burnish his reputation offstage. It took a brush with death to cause him to rethink the way he was living his life; a rash of suicides among gay teens to convince him that it was finally time to come out to the world.

Now, Todd has written an open, honest, and hilarious memoir in an effort to help everyone—young and old, gay and straight—breathe a little more freely. Peppered with anecdotes from his life among comedy’s greatest headliners and tales of the occasionally insane lengths Todd went through to keep a secret that—let’s face it—he probably didn’t have to keep for as long as he did, The Todd Glass Situation is a front-row seat to the last thirty plus years of comedy history and a deeply personal story about one man’s search for acceptance.

Book Review: The Best Seat in Baseball, But You Have to Stand!

The Best Seat in Baseball, But You Have to Stand! is a book about The Game as Umpires See It.    Not that I’ve been reading baseball books for all that long – but I’ve never really seen a book from the umpires point of view.  Maybe its because a lot of baseball fans can consider the umpires to be the enemy since they can be responsible for blown calls that can alter the course of the game.  Either way, I was definitely interested in checking out this book to see what could be said about the umpires and the game of baseball.

This book was written in the 1970s, so it mentions a lot of the older players (Tom Seaver, for instance) though I’m not sure that their jobs have changed much or that they’re looked upon any nicer lately so the problems they are faced with are probably very similar from the 70s to now. (With the exception perhaps of the new “challenge” that is in place new this season.) It follows a crew throughout several games in the season and their thoughts on the teams and the game and the players. How they handle criticism and injury.

Certainly still an interesting read even if it was written before my time. 😉

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review.  I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A fascinating and revealing look inside the lives of umpires, from the godfather of creative nonfiction

In 1974, Lee Gutkind walked into Shea Stadium, then home of the New York Mets, with an unusual proposal. He wanted to chronicle one of the least celebrated cadres in professional baseball: the umpires. Gutkind spent one exhilarating season traveling with the officiating crew he found that day—Doug Harvey, Nick Colosi, Harry Wendelstedt, and Art Williams, the first African American umpire in National League history. Gutkind’s narrative reveals much about the peculiarities of the men charged with the “thankless and impossible task of invoking order”—their work ethic, fallibility, and perhaps most strikingly, their pride.

As resonant today as when it was first published, The Best Seat in Baseball, But You Have to Stand! is an engrossing story of the men who work on one of the nation’s biggest stages, their victories and their failures, and their inner worlds that are rarely—if ever—explored.

Book Review: The Quick Guide To Home Organizing

homeorganizingI think that if I spend the same amount of time attempting to organize my home as I did reading books about it, I’d be all nice and organized and wouldn’t have to read the books anymore.  But I can’t help but look for all sorts of techniques in hope that one in a book would jump out at me and stick as something that I can use and continue to use.  But breaking 30 years of unorganized chaos is NOT easy! (And even less so when I seem to not put in the effort!)

The book starts by telling you to mark it up when something catches your attention.  Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy with an e-book, but I’ll have to keep mental notes! Another note is that if there is an easy step in the book – do it immediately. Start small, keep it simple.

One of the things that I took notes on was one of the positive statements to meditate – “I am too smart to create a mess. Therefore, I put things where they belong immediately after using them.” Of course, easier said than done – especially being in a new house where everything doesn’t yet have a designated place where it belongs! But that’s just another thing to add to the to-do list – make sure everything has a “home”.

The book is broken down in to 40 chapters – designated to help you improve your life in 40 days.  Therefore, it is best if you don’t try to do everything all at once (which is why I always end up overwhelmed and putting things off) but instead pace yourself but keep consistently working at it.

I will be trying to put some of the tips in this book and others I’ve read in to play very soon – maybe you’ll even see it as a Try It Tuesday post once things are successful!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

This proven forty-day plan helps readers achieve a well-ordered home and life. Practical and easy to apply, it shows how to get control of clutter, chaos, and disorganization.

Book Review: Defending the Eyewitness

eyewitnessDefending the Eyewitness combines 2 of my current favorite book genres – romance and suspense!  Corey is our main female character  – as a child she witnessed her mother’s murder, but has since tried to block most of it from her memory. Since then – she has had some trust issues with men and typically only rents out her extra room in her apartment to other females.  However, as a favor she decided to house Austin – who was an undercover cop and is now recuperating and waiting for the right time to return back home – when he knows he won’t be recognized by anyone who was involved in the undercover operation he was working on.

Corey has been getting mysterious notes.  She shrugged the first one off – but now that there have been 3 – she gets Austin involved and Austin involves the authorities.  They are not sure who is sending the notes.  While all this is going on – Austin and Corey are of course growing closer to each other.  Corey is a bit reserved, but for some reason she trusts Austin.  Together the two try to figure out who it is that is sending the notes.  Could it be the man who had killed Corey’s mother?  Should she try to remember what she saw? Is that why he may be coming after her? Or is it just a prank and she shouldn’t worry about it?  Whoever it is – they seem to be hiding their tracks pretty well as all the notes are typed and there don’t appear to be any clues or fingerprint evidence left on them.

It’s hard to tell more about this book without giving the ending away – which I definitely don’t want to do. I liked that although it was obvious the romance aspect of the book, the suspense aspect was not as obvious.  The book also was not drawn out longer than it needed to be so it had a lot of action and got to its conclusion without me feeling like chapters were added in just for the sake of having more things written. I really enjoyed this book and will have to check out some more romance suspense in the future!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Return to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Lee’s Conard County, where a killer lies in wait

The note wasn’t a threat, exactly. But for Corey Donahue, who’d witnessed her mother’s murder as a child, it felt very menacing. Surprisingly, the one person she trusted to show the note to was a man merely renting a room from her—Austin Mendez. Traumatized since childhood, Corey had never trusted men…until Austin moved in.

Six years undercover had caused Austin to shut everyone out…until Corey. The vulnerability she hid from others made him yearn to break down the walls she’d erected around her heart. And with a killer closing in, two lost souls were discovering the trust they’d lost—and much more—in each other’s arms.

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