Thursday, May 29, 2014

seriously . . . i'm kidding: a book club review

Oh, expectations, you ruin things every time. I have really enjoyed The Ellen Show the few times I've caught it; I think her stand up was hilarious, and I expected to enjoy her book to the same degree. I have to say though, when it comes to Seriously . . . I'm Kidding, Ellen Degeneres is seriously 'meh.'

Actually, it's worse than that. Ellen wasted my time. She missed an opportunity to really say something. I know she has things to say, but this whole things struck me as wimpy. Even when she broached on a potentially meaningful topic, for example being a 51 year old lesbian Cover Girl, she would go for the cheap joke that erased any hint of social commentary or personal insight.

That's not to say that there weren't funny moments. There definitely were - times I actually laughed out loud. That's no measure of anything though; given the right set up or enough wine, I'll laugh at almost anything (too much wine and I'll cry at almost anything, but let's not go there). My overwhelming impression was the old 'enough about me - what do you think of me?'

I'm learning that I don't enjoy disjointed books with super short chapters that don't relate to each other. Especially when every one seems as though it should end with Fozzie Bear saying 'wocka wocka wocka.' I also think this book was a lame cash grab. There are chapters that are literally one or two sentence 'zingers' with no zing - her three-book contract must include page number minimums, or she has stocks in Weyerhauser.  I also wonder why I paid $16.50 (+ tax) to read approximately a bazillion advertisements for The Ellen Show. You're doing okay, Ellen, you don't need to alienate your readers. 

I like Ellen - I really do. I think she can be charming & entertaining in a very un-celebrity way (yes, that is a compliment). I wouldn't classify myself as a fan, but I enjoy her well enough. It might be that the audio book would be an improvement as you'd hear her cadence and delivery. That might be true, but since I am still old/fashioned enough to enjoy the feel & smell & experience of a printed book, I can't vouch for that. Read as it's written, this book just falls flat.


Image links to Amazon Associate page


Well, this was a first. Seven out of seven attendees at book club, and one write in vote, didn't like and wouldn't recommend this book. I think even Jennifer Weiner did better than 0 for 8, or at least if we didn't like her book there was some suggestion of it not being a total waste of time and it inspired deep conversation. Ellen's book didn't even offer that.

What is never a waste of time is getting together with the ladies. Being invited into each other's homes (in this case a very spacious and charming condo building meeting room with furnishings and red shag carpet right out of the 70's, but spotless. I really should have taken a picture). Chicken cacciatore, wine, squash, angel food cake (or a gluten-free coconut nanaimo bar - YUM!) with strawberries and whip cream. Babies, laughter, sharing, updates, Erin Long. What more could a book club want? If the occasional book is a dud, at least we still have dessert and wine!

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