Monday, January 17, 2011

With Love and Laughter, John Ritter - My Book Review

With Love and Laughter, John RitterWith Love and Laughter, John Ritter by Amy Yasbeck

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a lovely book. This is written by Amy Yasbeck (Wings, Robin Hood Men in Tights), the wife of John Ritter.

This book is written with love and humor and in such a conversational way you feel that you could just talk with the writer. She has a fun sense of humor (I could totally hang with her) with which she lets you glimpse a little into the life and heart of one of our most beloved comedic actors.

I grew up with John Ritter as Jack Tripper. It was fun to reminisce a little about some of the roles he played. She tells you a little about her life, then his life, how they met, and some fun experiences that they had together.

One such story is the time they were invited to a party a Elizabeth Taylor's home. They were completely star struck. They had gotten their plates of food and weren't sure where to go. They saw Ms. Taylor seated next to and talking with Johnny Depp. Again, star struck. Ms. Taylor patted the floor next to her and they both quickly sat down on the floor so excited that she had invited them over only to notice her gaze looking elsewhere. They looked to see to very disgruntled pooches whose place they had just taken.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loved John Ritter as an actor or who just wants to read an absolutely lovely tribute of a wife to her husband.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Mockingjay - My Book Review

MockingjayMockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Contains spoilers)

I have real mixed emotions about this book. I had a really hard time getting into this one.

I read the first two books back to back in a week. I was riveted during the Hunger Games and when I was finished with Catching Fire (I hated how it ended so abruptly and left you hanging) I couldn't wait until Mockingjay came out. Well, that was a year ago. It had been long enough that I was having a hard time remembering who everyone one was. New names were being brought in now that they lived in District 13, old names were bandied about; this person died, they saw this person when they did this etc. I struggled to follow along at first. They kept referring to the pearl that Peeta gave to Katniss. I really couldn't remember anything about the pearl.

Once I got into the middle of it things picked up. There were a few twists that surprised me and I think I like the way this one ended. I was shocked when Katniss first goes in to greet Peeta and he tries to kill her. Who would think that sweet loving Peeta would be that crazed. I love when Katniss was getting ready to shoot President Snow that she turned around and shot Coin instead. I was sad that the author decided to kill off Prim at the end. It just seemed unnecessary. I was glad that Peeta was rehabilitated and they ended up together. I liked how in the very last pages it showed a glimpse into the future with them being happy and having children. After all the sadness and darkness in the series it is nice to have a happy ending.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Katie Up and Down the Hall - My Book Review

Katie Up and Down the Hall: The True Story of How One Dog Turned Five Neighbors into a FamilyKatie Up and Down the Hall: The True Story of How One Dog Turned Five Neighbors into a Family by Glenn Plaskin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a nice little book to read. A story of how dogs can enter our lives and change them.

This dog brought neighbors in a New York high rise together into a family. I thought the author spent a little too much time, at the beginning of the book, talking about his profession and the celebrities he interviewed but all in all it was about the dog and the people she brought together.

I was amazed at how dog friendly New York is; at all the places he was able to take his dog with him and all the places into which he was able to sneak his dog.

I enjoyed reading about the hall races Katie had with young Ryan; how Pearl, the Grandma of the group, loved this dog and Ryan as her own. I was riveted when reading how this small group dealt with the tragedy and displacement of 9/11; the Twin Towers being across the street from their apartment building.

This story covered the 15 or so years that Katie was with Glenn and the changes that life will inevitably bring. I was brought to tears when reading about the owner having to come to terms with Katie's end of life and the possibility of euthanasia.

There were a few pages in the middle of the book with pictures of the people you read about. It is fun to put a face with the names and stories. I would recommend this book.

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Nuclear Jellyfish - My Book Review

Nuclear JellyfishNuclear Jellyfish by Tim Dorsey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book from the get go because I now understand the Serge character and there weren't as many intertwining plot lines as there were in Atomic Lobster. This would have been a better book to start with when reading my first Tim Dorsey book.

Serge is a serial killer that you just love. He is ADD and OCD and a basic psychopath with seemingly boundless energy. He tries to help people out and only kills people who deserve it; usually in an attempt to "help" someone out. He likes to stay in touch with his kindergarten self and often has some great words of wisdom. He hangs out with his buddy Coleman who is in a perpetual state of getting and being stoned.



(Coleman)"Am I damaged?"

Serge placed a hand on his pal's shoulder. "Coleman, there are three - and only three - kinds of people in this world: Those who don't know they're damaged and blame others; those who realize they're damaged and blame others; and then people like you and me, who wear damage like comfortable pajamas."

Coleman swigged from his pint bottle. "Mine are the ones with the little feet."


Here they are in a library where Serge wants to find a bar that was around in the 1970's:

(Coleman):"How are we supposed to get to the bar from inside a library?"

"Time travel."

"But time travel's impossible."

"Usually." Serge pulled a book off the shelf. "Unless you're at a library. I'm already in the time pod."

Coleman looked around. "I don't see anything."

"Children have it all over adults, possessing magical powers of imagination. Then they grow into cynical tall people. That's the whole problem with the human race: reverse metamorphosis. We turn from butterflies into caterpillars. The key to keeping your wings is regular exercise of your kindergarten muscles of make-believe." Serge grabbed another book off the shelf and flipped pages. "Wait here. I'll be right back." Serge stood perfectly still.

"But I thought I was coming with you," said Coleman.

"It's just a one-man pod."

"If the time pod's make-believe, can't you add an extra seat?"

"Pretty dangerous," said Serge. "Could put too much stress on the dilythium flux capacitor."

"I'll take the risk."

"Okay," Serge closed his eyes. He opened them. "Time pod, Mark II, with more leg room, extra seating and a killer sound system."


"Don't forget your seat belt."

Coleman made a phantom motion across his chest.

"Stop farting around in the time pod. The strap's on the other side."

"Sorry. Got it now. Click"


Having read both of my Serge A. Storm books, I am sad I don't have another one to read. I think I will have to go out and buy me a few.

I won this book through First Reads!! Yay me!

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