Friday, June 19, 2020

Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted by Jennnifer Keishin Armstrong

The cover design is a cute callback to
the show's opening credits, but that is
one forgettable title!
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(2.5 stars, actually, but Goodreads hates fractions)

This book was mildly interesting, the title utterly forgettable. It offers a fluffy take on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the sitcom's place in TV history and the show's stars, but doesn't scratch beneath the surface on people in its pages (especially Mary Tyler Moore herself).

The author glosses over a lot of topics; for instance, when mentioning Moore checked into the Betty Ford Center, she hesitates to straight up say Moore had a drinking problem; the word "alcoholic" isn't used, instead she quotes someone who called it a "social drinking habit."

Near the end of the book the Armstrong finally, and briefly, admits Moore "struggled[d] with alcoholism," but I have no idea why she tiptoed around it so carefully when the actor herself talked about it in her memoir.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beautifully-crafted book with characters that feel alive and real. In Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, we follow the lives of two half-sisters in Ghana who never meet – one who is sold into slavery, the other who is married off to a British slave trader.

The author beautifully weaves a link from generation to generation, depicting the horror and trauma visited on their lives and on Ghana by slavery. It's deeply tragic and depicts injustice and evil affecting an unfathomable number of lives for generations.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Themes and Variations by David Sedaris

Themes and Variations by David Sedaris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"If women come home from work and take their bras off, their husbands return and look for things they can force up their asses."

There you have a sample of tales David Sedaris heard from fans during his book tours in this short, funny essay from the master of the form.

Looking back at his broke-ass days, Sedaris recalls getting short-shrift in the way of interaction from an author for whom he plunked down hard-earned cash for a book to be signed. He's told this story before, but he returns to it here to explain why he always takes time to engage fans, and is often rewarded with interesting (and bizarre) revelations.