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Tag: Why Did I Read This? (1-10 of 16)

‘The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook’: Stews, soups and a whole lot of direwolf meat

Let me address what you’re thinking: Yes, there is a recipe called “Khaleesi’s Heart,” and yes, it’s disgusting. But that’s probably what you’d expect from The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook, which features over 150 (!) recipes inspired by the George R. R. Martin book series and the hit HBO drama.

If your ideal dining experience involves Renaissance Fair fare and your ultimate date night finds you and your partner gorging on chicken legs at Medieval Times, then you’ll probably find Alan Kistler’s tome of recipes to be a heaven-sent culinary miracle. But if you’re accustomed to more civilized cuisine, then lucky you: In the vein of “I read it so you don’t have to,” I planted myself in front of the cookbook and sifted through the vibrant gastronomical offerings of Westeros and beyond. (And maybe now I can finally open my own literature-themed medieval food truck, Game of Scones.)

Check out some of the titles and then head over to Amazon to grab your copy (unless you plan to wait for the official cookbook due out in May): READ FULL STORY

'The Drunk Diet': Lady Gaga's ex writes a memoir, and I read it so you don't have to!

drunk-diet

For the latest installment of “I read it so you don’t have to,” I took on Lüc Carl’s memoir, The Drunk Diet. The book, which hit shelves earlier this month, is being billed as “one part fitness guide, one part New York memoir, and one part sheer badass-ery” and further proof that pretty much anyone can nab a book deal. Speaking of, who on earth is Lüc Carl? A quick Google search tells you that Carl is best-known for dating Lady Gaga. And, he’s more than likely the “cool Nebraska guy” who inspired her to write “You and I.” Outside of his high-profile relationship, Carl is a bar manager, party promoter, long-distance runner, musician, and you guessed it, a big consumer of alcohol.

READ FULL STORY

Soundbites from Donald Trump's new book 'Time to Get Tough'

Most of Donald Trump’s new book, Time to Get Tough: Making America No. 1 Again, reads like a 190-page diatribe against the Obama presidency, illegal immigration, and the people and media outlets who have dared to criticize him. The former presidential hopeful obviously has strong opinions on the nation’s current political climate, but the Celebrity Apprentice star also has plenty to say about celebrity and the entertainment business. Here are some of the self-proclaimed “ratings machine”‘s thoughts on Hollywood: READ FULL STORY

'Kardashian Konfidential' re-release: Maybe they shouldn't have added that chapter on Kim and Kris' wedding

Is it too late to recall the Kardashian Konfidential update? Since I have a final version in my hands, I’m assuming the answer is a resounding “yes.” But who on earth would have predicted that Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries would last only 72 days?! (Ed. note: Everyone.) Is nothing in this world sacred?

In September, EW exclusively revealed that Kardashian Konfidential would get a re-release (out Nov. 22) with a new chapter about their business success, along with never-before-seen photos of the now-infamous Kim/Kris nuptials. But now, Kim’s happily never after photo album is sadly out-of-place in lieu of her divorce news. Ooops!

I read through the 17 new pages of material to see if anything stood out as deliciously ironic. If you happened to watch E!’s wedding special, then there’s really nothing that new about fairy-tale event. But, as expected, there were a few gems. Here are the highlights: READ FULL STORY

Kris Jenner shares details on her relationship with Nicole Brown Simpson in new memoir

kris-jenner

Kris Jenner can now add author to her resume. The famous “momager” releases her memoir, Kris Jenner…and all things Kardashian, today. It’s no secret that the Kardashian family and their respective empire holds the No. 1 place on my personal guilty pleasures list. I’ve read the books, watched the weddings, and even followed on Twitter. So I gladly headed up the task of reading Kris’ memoir so you don’t have to.

Even as a fan, I was pleasantly surprised with how entertaining the book was. And I attribute that mostly to Kris’ take on the “Trial of the Century.” If you’re at all familiar with the Kardashian past, you know that their family was very close to both Nicole Brown Simpson and O.J. Simpson. So after Nicole was murdered, Kris’ family was split down the middle. Kris was (and is) convinced of O.J.’s guilt, and her ex-husband, Robert Kardashian, took part in the “dream team” of lawyers that defended O.J. during his murder trial. I’ve since decided, Kris’ book should have been titled, Kris Jenner…and all things Kardashian: The Nicole Brown Simpson Story. Chapters 3 through 10 focus a lot on her relationships with the Simpsons, the murder, and the subsequent trial. And Kardashian fan or not, anyone interested in that case would find the memoir interesting. The last few chapters pretty much summed up what I already learned from E! Network’s True Hollywood Story on the family, but the beginning of Kris’ life compounded with the many personal details of Nicole Brown Simpson kept me hooked. I read it so you don’t have to, but maybe, just maybe, you might want to.

So without further ado, here are the highlights from Kris Jenner, beginning with the juicy details surrounding her relationship with Nicole Brown Simpson and O.J. Simpson: READ FULL STORY

'Trust Me, I'm Dr. Ozzy': I read it so you don't have to!

We live in a world where Ozzy Osbourne, the “Prince of Darkness” himself, is now the author of not one but two books. His first book, the memoir I Am Ozzy, landed on the New York Times‘ best-seller list last year. And today his second work, Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy: Advice from Rock’s Ultimate Survivor, hits shelves. And who knows? Maybe Dr. Ozzy will similarly find its way onto the best-seller list.

The idea for Dr. Ozzy stemmed from his gig as an advice columnist for The Sunday Times (a column also seen in select issues of Rolling Stone). The book, infused with his own personal stories, is mostly set up in a Q&A format where he answers a wide range of questions varying from sex to mental illness. And while he gives some surprisingly good advice at certain points, he acknowledges that he’s no expert: “I mean, unless the advice is how to end up dead or in jail, I’m not exactly qualified. I’m Ozzy Osbourne, not Oprah f—ing Winfrey.”

So I trudged through the 12-chapter book (so you don’t have to!) to pull out some of the more interesting points. And you can trust me on that. I’m NOT a doctor. Just like Ozzy Osbourne. READ FULL STORY

We've read Snooki's book: The most (and least) surprising things about 'A Shore Thing'

If you’ve ventured onto the internet in the past two days, chances are you’re aware that a certain diminutive reality star has written a book. That’s right: Today, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s highly-anticipated first novel, A Shore Thing, was finally released. (The book’s a “collaboration” between Snooki and writer Valerie Frankel, who has also co-written a book with Joan Rivers.)

And you know what? It’s not bad!

I know — I was shocked too. Sure, A Shore Thing has plenty of crass moments; there is, for example, one memorable scene that includes a laxative-laced drink and another in which our heroine’s gallant Guido boyfriend pees on her after she’s stung by a jellyfish. But on the whole, the novel is a fun, light read that has enough goofy charm to win over even avowed Jersey Shore haters. (Kind of like Snooki herself.)

To give you a better idea of what the SnookBook’s all about, here’s a rundown of the most and least surprising things about A Shore Thing. Spoilers follow, so stop here if you actually plan on reading the thing: READ FULL STORY

'Kardashian Konfidential': I read it so you don't have to

Confession: While I might have read Kardashian Konfidential so you can avoid the latest in celebrity book ventures, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to read it. As a matter of fact, I offered. Somebody call MTV because True Life: I love the Kardashians. So naturally, I had to read Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe’s sisterhood autobiography (out today).

And even if you don’t care for the Kardashian clan, there’s no denying that they aren’t everywhere you look. (As I write this, Kim is hosting a special on ABC. See? They’re everywhere.) Konfidential — part memoir, part self-help –has the sisters reflecting on their childhoods, talking about their relationships, and sharing their beauty and style tips. A seemingly ridiculous concept for a group of people who are basically famous for being famous. Yet it’s all relatively endearing coming from this bunch, and a must-read for any true Kardashian fan. “We’re not actresses or performers. We are business women, sisters, a mother, a wife, entrepreneurs, fashion designers … And we didn’t set ou to be celebrities. We’re just living our lives, and our claim to recognizability is that we do it in front of the cameras, and people like watching it.” Well said, ladies.

Here are some of the book’s highlights:

  • Their momager, Kris, was always highly involved in their lives. (Not surprising.) Kris was Kourtney’s Brownie troop leader, so the girls often compare those experiences to Troop Beverly Hills. Picturing Kris at Phyllis Nefler = Priceless.
  • Kim, who always wanted to be on reality TV, wanted to make an audition tape for The Real World. (She never got around to it.)
  • Kourtney was on another E! reality show series, Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive. (How did I miss this?!)
  • The ladies mostly ignore talk of anything negative (no chapter on why Kim ran off and got married at such a young age), but they do talk about the O.J. case. Their dad, Robert Kardashian, was one of O.J.’s best friends in college, and later became one of the lawyers on Simpson’s infamous trial. Fun fact: The white Bronco car chase started at the Kardashian home.
  • The book is full of copies of handwritten notes, letters, and cards. I couldn’t begin to tell you about them all, but my favorite was the copy of the contract Kim’s late father gave made her sign when she got a new BMW on her 16th birthday. The seven-part contract included a stipulation that if she ever smoked cigarettes or marijuana or drank alcohol her car would be taken away immediately. (Maybe spoiled, but down-to-earth.)
  • Kathie Lee Gifford is the godmother of the Kardashian’s half-sisters, Kendall and Kylie.
  • Kim says “When no one in your family likes a person, there’s got to be something to it.” She’s referring to her early divorce (which she doesn’t really discuss in the book), but all I could think of was Kourtney’s baby daddy, Scott. (Scott talk is avoided, as well.)
  • When Khloe married Lamar Odom, she dropped her middle name (Alexandra) and legally became Khloe Kardashian Odom.

I wasn’t really that interested in the advice portion of the book, but they do give various makeup and style tips. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no groundbreaking advice to pass along. (But then again, I’m a pretty frumpy person. So if you’re interested in styling your closet to perfection, than maybe you should check it out.) I was, however, intrigued by one tip which I just might have to try: Khloe’s go-to product? Vaseline. Once a week, she recommends you slather it onto your feet, and then put socks on. Wear them for about an hour, and walk away with smooth feet.

What do you think, Shelf Lifers? Do you have any interest in reading Kardashian Konfidential? And are you, like me, on the Kardashian bandwagon? Or are you sick of this famous fam?

Rick Springfield's icky new memoir: we read it so you don't have to

In the ’80s, Rick Springfield was one of the world’s biggest stars, cranking out excellent power-pop hits like “Jessie’s Girl” and playing Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital. Now he’s written a confessional autobiography, Late, Late At Night, and it turns out he was also kind of a creep. Why he’d want the world to know this is somewhat mysterious, but he certainly doesn’t hold back with the details. Here are a few notable moments.

-When he was 17, Springfield says he tried to hang himself. “I hang suspended for fifteen or twenty seconds and am just sliding into unconsciousness when the knot tying the rope to the beam somehow unravels. I’m slammed hard to the concrete floor, rather the worse for wear.”

-One band he played in early on used to hold up local stores. “Incredibly, I remain blissfully unaware of this part of the routine for a while, until we pull up outside a liquor store late one night and all the other band members get out and tell me to stay in the idling car. The next thing I know…I find out that they’ve just robbed the store.” The kicker? “The write up in the paper about the robbery is my first press! I proudly keep the local newspaper article in my bedside drawer for months.”

-He was in bands with astonishingly awful names like Moppa Blues and Zoot and Wickedy Wak.

-At age 25 he dated a then 15-year-old Linda Blair. “I am her first lover and she is an enthusiastic learner…. We share a love of dogs and sex–separately, not in combination. Most of the time we don’t leave the apartment. She’s invited to premieres and Hollywood parties and we go as a couple, blindly and innocently to the media slaughter. We’re actually really shocked by the incensed articles in both teen and regular press about our affair. Either we have zero understanding of what makes the press tick, or it’s a really slow month for news.”

-He tries to blame much of his bad behavior on depression (or as he calls it, The Darkness), which, as he describes it, sounds like little more than ordinary self doubt. The Darkness is constantly “saying” things to Springfield like, “What’s the point, sport? You don’t have what it takes, and you know it.” Springfield deals with this by sleeping around, repeatedly cheating on various significant others. But, you see, it’s not his fault! “I’m feeling worthless and emasculated by having failed my family and myself,” he writes, “so what better way to get some integrity back than to f— this girl that so many men seem to find hot? Makes sense to me. And Mr. Darkness thinks it’s a stellar idea.”

-Toward the end of the book, he offers a message to anyone who might have found the previous 270 pages distasteful. “I’d also like to address those perfect souls who are reading this and saying to themselves, ‘Why is [his oft-cheated-on wife] putting up with this a–hole?’ I’m happy that your life is so unruptured that you can make such a distant judgment call, so I’ll only address the humans in the audience.”

So there you have it. Rick Springfield: pretty gross. But don’t judge him! It’s not his fault, really. And if you’ve never cheated on your wife then you must not be human.

'Rock What You've Got': I read it so you don't have to

Katherine-SchwarzeneggerImage Credit: Rick Rowell/ABCLast week, Katherine Schwarzenegger’s first book arrived in the EW offices. I checked immediately to see if she was related to this Schwarzenegger. (By the way, I’ll be referring to everyone by first name now. That’s really hard to spell!) It seemed pretty likely. Sure enough, Katherine is the governator’s oldest daughter with wife, Maria Shriver.

So I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but when I first saw Rock What You’ve Got: Secrets to Loving Your Inner and Outer Beauty from Someone Who’s Been There and Back (whew! That’s a mouthful) I rolled my eyes. Really, Katherine? ShelfLifers, please take a look at the completely gorgeous girl at the left. Hence the aforementioned eye roll. I’m pretty sure we can all concede that she’s led a fairly privileged life. Then there’s the fact that Katherine is the ripe old age of 20. Can you truly have “been there and back” when you’re still so young? I’m not so sure.

Anyway, I definitely started chapter one with my mind already made up about how ridiculous this book was going to be. Here’s a quick look at some of the more interesting items:

  • Oprah is mentioned just as many times as the phrase “Rock What You’ve Got” (four references each).
  • At all costs, avoid chapter two. Katherine gives a detailed account of the arrival of Aunt Flow. Sure, it’s a natural process. But I don’t want to read about another girl’s “I got my first period” story.
  • Her dad, Ahhnold, “is in great shape, but he isn’t ‘pumped up’ all the time.” Good to know!
  • Do you know what an umbilicoplasty is? Apparently, it’s the “reconstruction and reshaping of one’s belly button to look more attractive.” What the what?!
  • Since Arnold was elected governor of California, Katherine has had almost constant security detail (a local police officer). OK, Katherine, that sucks. Maybe you’re not a privileged as I thought.
  • Best line: “Avoid late-night eating and drinking. Most likely you are not really hungry when someone says ‘Let’s order a pizza’ at midnight. You’re either bored or wasted.”

Somewhere after the period story, I finally started to come around to Katherine’s book. I realized that I was probably too quick to judge. (Learning moment!) Let me be clear: young girls everywhere deserve good role models. Not the Lindsays and Britneys of the world, but real girls who set good examples. And I knew from the beginning that Katherine was no LiLo or BSpears. Still, I couldn’t help think that the whole premise was kind of ridiculous. I mean, what girl hasn’t had a I’m fat and ugly day? But at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with promoting a good self image, and Katherine does just that with Rock What You’ve Got. The above bullet points are really the highlights, so you can spare yourself 200 pages of reminders to eat healthful, exercise, and be happy with what the good Lord gave you, etc. But for the pre-tween in your life, maybe Rock What You’ve Got is not such a bad read after all.

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