Wednesday, December 18, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Girl Walks into a Bar . . .: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch

ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

The former SNL star recounts the adventures and unexpected joy of dating and becoming a mom when she least expected it—at the age of forty-four. Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered roles as “Lesbians. Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians.”

Her career as a female comedian at a low point, she suddenly had time for yoga, dog-sitting, learning Spanish—and dating. Dratch reveals the joys and terrors of putting herself out there in a quest to find love and then becoming a mother in an undreamed-of way. With riotous humor, she recounts breaking the news to her bewildered parents, the awe of her single friends, and romance and coparenting with her baby-daddy, John.

Filled with great behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Dratch’s time on SNL, Girl Walks into a Bar . . . is a funny book with a refreshing version of the happily-ever-after story, full of sensitivity, candor, and plenty of comic relief, as only Rachel Dratch can tell it.


I will admit, I knew Rachel Dratch was on SNL before I read this, but that was about all I knew about her.  And I couldn't have named a single scene she was in (now I know -- Debby Downer!).  I would not have been one to be asking, "What happened with 30 Rock?" or "So, what's the deal with you and John?"  I had no idea about anything in her personal life.  However, now that I've read this book, I love Rachel Dratch!

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you know I've been on a humor audiobook kick for awhile now.  Girl Walks into a Bar looked interesting.  I figured it would be similar to Bossypants by Tina Fey or maybe Here's the Deal by Howie Mandel, was better than both! 

Dratch tells a little bit about her time on SNL and what happened afterward (30 Rock and "going in another direction"), she talks about the dating scene in New York and unexpectedly becoming a(n unwed) mother in her 40s.  For me, this book contained a perfect balance of humor and drama.  Dratch made me laugh in some moments and nearly cry in others. 

I highly recommend this book for any woman - particularly any woman who has at some point experienced the feeling of not being completely perfect in their career or motherhood (or both).  You will identify with Dratch and come to love her as I did.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture by Andy Cohen

ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

The man behind the Real Housewives writes about his lifelong love affair with pop culture that brought him from the suburbs of St. Louis to his own television show

From a young age, Andy Cohen knew one thing: He loved television. Not in the way that most kids do, but in an irrepressible, all-consuming, I-want-to-climb-inside-the-tube kind of way. And climb inside he did. Now presiding over Bravo's reality TV empire, he started out as an overly talkative pop culture obsessive, devoted to Charlie's Angels and All My Children and to his mother, who received daily letters from Andy at summer camp, usually reminding her to tape the soaps. In retrospect, it's hard to believe that everyone didn't know that Andy was gay; still, he remained in the closet until college. Finally out, he embarked on making a career out of his passion for television.

The journey begins with Andy interviewing his all-time idol Susan Lucci for his college newspaper and ends with him in a job where he has a hand in creating today's celebrity icons. In the witty, no-holds-barred style of his show Watch What Happens Live, Andy tells tales of absurd mishaps during his ten years at CBS News, hilarious encounters with the heroes and heroines of his youth, and the real stories behind The Real Housewives. Dishy, funny, and full of heart, Most Talkative provides a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of television, from a fan who grew up watching the screen and is now inside it, both making shows and hosting his own.


I love Andy Cohen!  He's like the gay, Jewish, white male version of Oprah Winfrey.  Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but he's just such a likeable guy. If you've been following this blog, you know that I've been on a humor audiobook kick lately. I listened to the audiobook version of Most Talkative - all 8 hour and 37 minutes of it!    

I enjoyed the beginning of the book where Andy talks about his youth, his midwest upbringing and and his experience with coming out of the closet.  This is one thing I love about books from celebrities - the feeling that you are getting to know them on a personal level. 

I also enjoyed hearing about the development of Andy's career and some of the behind the scenes action from the Real Housewives.  However, as the book went on, it got a little long and rambly.  The title, "Most Talkative," could not have been more appropriate.  Despite that, if you like Andy Cohen, I think you'll like this book.