Being unemployed this summer gave me a great deal of time to get things done. I mainly didn’t get things done, but one of the things I did do was read. I feel like I go through spurts with reading where I’ll do a lot of it and then I won’t do it for a long time. I don’t know what got me started but for whatever reason, the theme of this summer was non-fiction, specifically autobiographies/memoirs.
I started the summer off by reading Lena Dunham’s “tell all,” Not That Kind of Girl.
Being a huge fan of her show Girls on HBO, I knew that her writing style, humor and sensibilities would be right up my alley. After reading it, I went back and watched some early episodes of Girls and it was really cool to see how many things from her real life made it into the show. The interesting thing is that when you watch the show, it feels that way. It feels like a heightened version of her reality.
After finishing that book I moved on to a manlier title, Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman.
Paddle Your Own Canoe is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I read very slowly but I got through that book super fast. Not only was it easy to read, but it made you want to keep reading because it was so interesting an funny. It gave a great sense of the struggle it takes to get into “the business” but there was also a great deal of insight and life lessons the basic gist of which was follow your gut, do what you love, work hard and things will work out for you.
While listening to the Nerdist podcast I came across the Felecia Day episode. In it, she was promoting her new book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) and so the next time I was in the library, that was what I checked out.
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), like the previous two, was about following what you believe and doing what you love. It too was very funny but it also offered interesting insight as to the struggles faced by women on the internet and in work environments. It dealt with being proud to be who you are, nerd or otherwise.
I have had the book Mo’ Meta Blues on my radar for a long time but it wasn’t until this binge of memoirs that it resurfaced to the top of my brain as something I should read.
I really didn’t know much about ?uestlove before reading Mo, other than the fact that he was great in the Chappelle sketch about drums vs guitar and that he drums for The Roots. The book had a lot of cool stories in it about people he met and things he’s done as well as his lifelong love affair with music and how he has worked to make a career in it.
One day I was in Newbury Comics and I saw the book Modern Romance on a shelf. I had heard Aziz talk about the subject of modern romance as a stand-up topic on the Nerdist podcast but I had no idea he had plans to write a book on the subject.
After seeing it in Newbs, I immediately went home and took it out of the library. Like Paddle Your Own Canoe, there was not a single chapter of this book that failed to make me laugh-out-loud (to be clear, every chapter made me laugh-out-loud). On top of that, the book was very informative and insightful as to the trends in relationships, hook ups, and other forms of romance today. I highly recommend this book as it was definitely my favorite of all of them.
I don’t know if was because I read Modern Romance, if I had just been seeing and hearing things about it or if I was just curious, but a while after reading it, I started watching the show Masters of None.
I really liked the show right away. Not only is it laugh-out-loud funny but it is very well written. It deals with a lot of the same topics Aziz covers in his stand-up as well as the ideas expressed in his book. Because of that, Masters of None is a perfect companion (<–better word needed) to Modern Romance. Additionally, being a twenty-something year old looking for a relationship in our modern, technology-driven world, these subjects are very relatable and thus make it easy for me to be interested. I’m also just a sucker for great writing, great characters, humor and romance.