Tuesday, February 26, 2019

My Mother Was Nuts By: Penny Marshall

This was a great book. I had it on my list for a while and decided to read it while I was reading the Robin Williams book.  While reading the book, one day I was at the Supermarket and saw a special edition of a magazine titled "The Penny only we knew". It was weird timing to say the least.  The book however is very funny and keeps you interested at all times.  She certainly had a remarkable career and was surrounded by famous and interesting people all of her adult life.  Although her brother, Garry Marshall, gave her he first break in front of the camera, she nailed it and became not only a huge success in front of the camera, but equally if not more successful behind the camera as a director.  

Along the way, she had a daughter with her first husband and later had an abortion and a subsequent miscarriage. She traveled the world and had many close friends in the music, TV and movie industry.  She became lifelong friends with Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia of Star Wars) and dated Art Garfunkel, and in the end her friends were an integral part of her life. I loved how she referred to people like Bobby D for Robert DeNiro, Artie for Art Garfunkel etc. 

Penny Marshal was not the sweet little girl. She was kind a freaky and did a lot of dope. She seemed to have been a fun person to hang with. Sadly a few years after writing this book she lost her brother Garry and her best friend Carrie Fisher.  In the book she covers a lot of friends that had died.  She is now with them. It is a huge loss with her death. She will always be remembered. The impact that her and her brother had on TV and the big screen will be hard to match. 

Penny with her close friend John Belushi in New York in 1976. John passed away in 1982.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: New Harvest; First Edition edition (September 18, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780547892627
ISBN-13: 978-0547892627
ASIN: 0547892624

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life. By: Gary John Bishop

This book was a good read. If you enjoy self-help books, this is one to add to your list.  Short, concise  but not that much in the form of new, ground breaking information.  For me, the final chapter is the best of all.  It builds off of all the information learned in the previous chapters culminating with "You will die".   Not a huge breakthrough since we all know we WILL, but something about it stuck with me.  He describes the regret and sorrow of getting to the point you are ready to die and regret not even trying.

Probably a book you want to read once a year to reaffirm the mantras and get back in the mindset.  I can tell you that for me, it defiantly motivated me to get off my ass.  Hopefully it last longer than a couple of months.

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: HarperOne (August 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062803832
ISBN-13: 978-0062803832

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Robin Williams: When the laughter stops By: Emily Herbert

A very sad book indeed.  I always liked Robin Williams although I did not see all of his work.  After this book, I vowed to watch all of his movies.  This is a sad story of yet another star that burnt out too soon.  Robin Williams, a Hollywood 'A' lister who started his career early on in his life.  Eventually going to Juilliard School for a brief period.

An amazing comedian and later an amazing actor.  He was able to play roles that were comedic, serious and even dark.  Williams suffered, like many others of substance abuse and depression.  It is so incredible that someone that brought so much happiness to people and appeared to be happy could have been driven to eventually commit suicide.  William was reported to have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.   William had been involved in charitable organization with Michael J. Fox, also suffering from advance Parkinson's.  One can only assume that he saw the effects of that debilitating disease and could not fathom how he would cope with it.

Williams was an avid gamer and some say that his level of gaming caused or added to his depression.   He was a big bicycle rider and had a huge collection.  Williams left 3 children, 3 X-Wives, and countless adoring fans.

Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: John Blake (November 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781784183004
ISBN-13: 978-1784183004
ASIN: 1784183008

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Dorito Effect by: Mark Schatzker

A Very informative and disturbing book about food.  The book is heavily researched and well written. I honestly envy Schatzker for his knowledge about nutrition.  I really wish that I could adapt my life to a healthier eating regimen.  The Dorito Effect takes you on a journey in time when the Dorito we conceived.  Schatzker makes the case that this single incident caused a meltdown of real flavored food.

WARNING: You will never look at the words "Natural Flavors" the same again.  You cannot unring that bell.  The books dives into not only the "junk food" but how the Dorito Effect has effected all kinds of food and even animals that we eat.    Reminds me of a book I read 11/22/63 where a guy goes back in time to save Kennedy from being assassinated.  In the book, the portal for time travel is located inside a diner.  That diner is famous in the area for the absolute best hamburgers.  Turns out, the owner was traveling back in time and bringing back meat that tasted so different than the ones available in the current day.

I recommend this book, but if you really enjoy junk food and do not want to stop eating it, stay away from it.

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (March 15, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781476724232
ISBN-13: 978-1476724232
ASIN: 1476724237

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Treasure Island By: Robert Lous Stevenson

This is truly a classic.  It is replete with 'Pirate Speak' so consider yourself warned.  The book was a great read.  I happen to like pirates, stories of pirates, movies about pirates, heck I even have a huge pirate tattoo.  This book has everything from cast aways to shipwrecks and everything in-between.  It is not a long book.  The beginning is slow and will make you want to stop.  Push through it.  It is a necessary read in my opinion.

Print Length: 124 pages
Publisher: Wisehouse Classics; 1 edition (May 12, 2016)
Publication Date: May 12, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Mean Streak By: Sandra Brown

This is not the type of book I regularly read. However I enjoyed it.  I was not expecting so much sex in it, but I enjoyed it.

The book takes place in the North Carolina mountains. Dr. Emory Charbonneau, A female Doctor, training for a marathon disappears during her run in the mountains as she trains for a charity marathon she is putting on.  Charbonneau is loved and respected by the community and peers.  She is a heris but vowed to keep that quiet but wants to help people.

You soon figure out that her marriage is a rocky and she seems to be compensating.  Her husband becomes the subject of the investigation. Soon the story unravels and you see the twist at the end.

** S P O I L E R **

I have to admit that I suspected Alice from the get go.  There was something about her.  Maybe it was how comfortable she was with her relationship with Emory while sleeping with her husband.

Hardcover: 640 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Large Print edition (August 26, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1455530085
ISBN-13: 978-1455530083