Friday, August 28, 2015

Margo Roth Spiegelman.

I wish I was half as funny and clever as Quentin Jacobson and his band of band geeks in John Green's latest book to movie, Paper Towns. I literally laughed out loud at the dialog and shenanigans between this not so popular senior and his faithful friends. Quentin grew up next to Margo Roth Spiegelman in the super touristy area surrounding Orlando Florida. He pretty much loved her from day one, and although they grew apart after the age of ten, (Margo being beautiful and popular), she always made sure her own group of friends didn't both Quentin's. Life was moving along pretty normally as senior year was coming to a close, when one night Margo appeared at Ben's window, face painted black for a night of debauchery. She had a plan. He had his mom's van. And they spent the evening seeking revenge on those who have harmed them and those who have failed them. Quentin was super excited to go to school the next day, to see how his night may have changed his days. But Margo never shows. She has run off again, as she has done many times before, and left him clues. Him. Quentin Jacobson. He can hardly believe it, and then he can't think of anything else.

This novel is super relatable for teens. Showing them that people aren't who they seem to be. And pedestals should never exist because they make an ass out of everyone. And how you can't ever really know someone. You just know your version of them. And how running out on your graduation to go find the supposed love of your life is probably not the best idea, but it will make a kick ass story.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

if you want to major in gambling.

I will never forget my first time in a Vegas casino. I walked right up to an employee and said with confidence, "can you please tell me where the Russian roulette table is?" And I was not kidding. I honestly thought that roulette was called, Russian roulette. He gave me the strangest look and responded, "we don't do that here". Needless to say I was super confused until I explained the encounter to my girlfriends and they took away my right to be anywhere by myself except for our hotel room. That was my first brush with real gambling, other than the horse races in my small town where I would bet $2 to place. Maybe it was fate that I received Mark Bollman's Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind The Neon when I did, just in time for labor day at the racetrack.

The whole idea of Bollman's book is to explain to readers the mathematics involved in analyzing games of chance such as casino games, horse racing, and lotteries. It is very much a textbook that focuses on probability and statistics, not necessarily how to win regularly at your gambling drug of choice. I don't imagine readers becoming the next Rain Man by reading this book, but it's definitely interesting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

white girl wasted.

My early twenties self can mildly relate to Sarah Hepola's memoir Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget. Relate in the sense that I also had an evil twin I needed to apologize for some morning-afters. And sometimes I didn't really know how I ended up in sleeping bags on the floors of houses with no furniture where people were only speaking in Australian accents around me. But we can save my stories for another day. Sarah here was living every addicts dream. Coping with booze, and not remembering to think about a thing that troubled her. Not her parents abandonment, not her insecurities about school or work. But when rock bottom hit her hard, she decided to quit drinking and actually feel something, which of course, led to its own share of demons. A lot of people are not going to get it. They won't be able to relate to this woman or her story. And on the other hand, many young women struggling through their own insecurities and unhealthy relationships with alcohol will learn something from this author's honesty.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

a lot of funny.

You're Making Me Hate You by Corey Taylor attracted me instantly because I pretty much hate everyone. I like about three people, and tolerate everyone else. I know this is mostly my own fault because I have no patience for anyone else's lives but my own, but I do think people are partially to blame. You're Making Me Hate You is pretty much a rant. And sometimes I am in the mood to just roast everyone, so I get Taylor's purpose. Did you bring your toddler to a restaurant after 7pm? I hate you. And children at the grocery store? Oh my god I definitely hate you. I literally wanted to SMACK (but I didn't) the kids at school when "YOLO" was a thing. And none of this is my fault, or Taylor's. We are just trying to live our lives, yes, the only one we have. One of my favorite parts of the book is Chapter 10 when Taylor blows up his own spot. Because no one is perfect, not even the two of us. His rant on fashion was a little over my head because I just don't look at people long enough to process what they are wearing. Because again, I pretty much hate everyone, but the whole book is super entertaining.

Monday, August 24, 2015

waiting for plum.

When I'm feeling impatient and feigning for the next Stephanie Plum novel (which rumor has it is soon??), I snag one of the "between-the-numbers" novels so I can get my fix. This time I went to the library and grabbed Plum Spooky. I don't even know what order they go in, but they are super easy to follow since they all involve the handsome, not quite all the way human, Diesel who pops up out of nowhere to follow some paranormal criminal and helps himself to Stephanie's bed with her in it. This time around Stephanie has a big ticket FTA to hunt, and he's mixed up with a real bad guy who happens to be Diesel's cousin. Stephanie has a way of tackling a problem and kicking it in the nuts, which I always enjoy. And Janet Evanovich can make me literally LOL over a monkey flipping someone off. A dozen or so times and I seriously laughed every time. As far as inbetweeners go, this was a good read.

Friday, August 21, 2015

authentic mexican.

I LOVE Mexican food. I could literally write songs about enchiladas and quesadillas. Although I create very Americanized versions of the famous dishes, I have learned how to be a bit more Mexican about it after reading, Eat Mexico: Recipes from Mexico City's Streets, Markets & Fondas by journalist Lesley Tellez. Who wouldn't want to become fluent in Mexican cooking? By sharing the spices, chiles, and easy to make salsas (love the taco stand style) and tortillas, that's what this recipe book is alllll about. Every recipe is fresh and easy to follow, the narratives are incredibly interesting, and the photographs are gorgeous.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

did we just become best friends?

Bill Kreutzmann from the Grateful Dead would absolutely have been my spirit animal had I been a hippie in the 60's (I'm still not positive I wasn't in a former life). I did get to know him pretty deeply in his recent memoir (audiobook) titled, Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead where he shares intimate details and personal anecdotes from his time on the road. I never imagined that a member of such an iconic band would be this chatty, or honestly, remember much of his experience, but Kreutzmann shares a lot of insight from his time drumming over two thousand concerts, and bandmate Jerry Garcia. Lots of sex, lots of drugs, and lots of rock and roll. All the makings of a kick ass memoir.