Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"We Are Two Wild & Craaazy Guys!" (Steve Martin & David Sedaris)

Purchase:  Amazon | Chapters

Born Standing Up- Steve Martin

Published:  2007
Pages:  207
ISBN:  9781847391483
Genre:  Memoir

Started:  Aug. 22, 2011
Finished:  Aug. 27, 2011 (6 days)
Where Found:  Book Depot
Why Read:  On my TBR list

Summary:  A memoir of the creative process in writing and performing stand-up comedy with the trademark sardonic wit of Steve Martin, who went on to star on SNL and in comedy classics The Jerk, L.A. Story, Roxanne, and Father of the Bride.


I remember first encountering Steve Martin in a lesser-known movie of his called A Simple Twist of Fate and I especially remember a scene where he had to describe to a social worker why he would make a good father to an orphaned girl he has been a guardian to.  He has a knack for delivering the funniest lines with a deadly serious facial expression that never fails to get a laugh.  And his banjo-playing is pretty good, too :)

Martin recounts his beginnings in stand-up comedy with sharp recall and a reflective humbleness that is particularly refreshing for a memoir, bereft of ego in a genre in which is nearly impossible to avoid it.  He has a fascinating educational background in philosophy and had early starts in performing magic tricks, vaudeville, and writing jokes, all given a respectful place in starting and contributing to his career as a comedian. 

One of my favourite stories is how Martin often performed in venues with audiences so small that he used to take them outside and improvise bits on a walking tour!  Then when his audiences grew into auditorium sizes, it was a part of the show that he missed the most.

This is a book impossible not to enjoy.

Rank:  (A)- Excellent, Highly Recommend

Purchase:  Amazon | Chapters

Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris

Published:  2000
Pages:  272
ISBN:  9780316777728
Genre:  Humour

Started:  Sept. 8, 2011
Finished:  about Sept. 14, 2011 (about 7 days)

Where Found:  Book Depot
Why Read:  There were so many positive reviews from book bloggers, I had to give it a try.

Summary:  A series of vignettes surrounding themes of family, growing up, mistakes, and learning.


Where have I been all this time that I haven't read or even heard of David Sedaris?!  Once I started book blogging, his name was cropping up on nearly every blog I followed and it was Melissa @ Avid Reader's Musings who suggested Me Talk Pretty One Day was the best book of his to start with.  She was absolutely right--I was taken with it immediately and it was a laugh-riot to the end.

I had to keep reminding myself that Sedaris is from North Carolina and not Britain, because his humour reminds me of the self-deprecation of comics like John Cleese and Dudley Moore...and I just couldn't fit him with a Southern accent.  Then again, I haven't heard the audiobook version (that would probably clue me in right away).

These stories were my favourites and are guaranteed side-splitters:
Big Boy--at a party, he goes to use the bathroom and tries to fix a clogging toilet
Me Talk Pretty One Day--learning French from a sadistic teacher
Picka Pocketoni--he and his boyfriend are mistaken for pickpockets by tourists in Paris
...and any story about his parents, wickedly funny sister, and their dogs.

His humour may take adjusting for readers new to his books and can sometimes tease the borderline between acceptable and going too far, but if you take it all in stride--that is, if you realize that his humour is not hateful but just written with a poison pen--it's a wildly funny ride.

Rank:  (A)- Excellent, Highly Recommend

1 comment:

  1. I've read and loved both of these. Sedaris' humor really is British in a lot of ways. I'm so glad that you liked them!