Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Book Club

Welcome to Michael's Book Club. No, I am not affiliated with Oprah in any way. Good try, though. I've been reading approximately one book per month, which is just happening that way, so its not a rule of the Club or something. As far as I know, I've read three books this year, although I'm not really thinking about anything that may have happened pre-August, so I can't help you out there. I know this doesn't sound like much reading at all, but when you're as 'busy' as me, and you 'do lots of reading for school', you just don't read too much. Luckily I live in the middle of nowhere now, so I get to read 25 minutes each way on the bus. Woo! Here are the first three installments.

Waiter Rant by The Waiter (Steve Dublanica)
For about a year, I've been reading Waiter Rant, the blog. It is a collection of brilliantly told stories about the anonymous Waiter's life as a server in New York. It is one of the best blogs I ever read. When it was announced that the book was coming out, I was extremely happy. By some great Amazon fuckup, I received my copy about a week before it was published in the US. Maybe even before The Waiter got his copy!

The book was hit and miss. As a die hard fan of the blog, it seemed watered down. It was a collection of separate stories tailored into one arching story. For someone who loves the blog, there were clearly lies and misguidance used to connect things. That being said, it is still as well-written as the blog, and it has had phenomenal success in the US and Canada. Within a month of release, the book was in its sixth printing. For the average person, it would be a great read. For a fan of the blog, I'd suggest you refrain. Its a bit of a disappointment. However, I think some of the charm was lost when the book was published, The Waiter became Steve Dublanica, and my imagined perceptions of the anonymous Waiter came crashing down.

I would play outside with this book 3.5/5 times.

Why I Hate Canadians by Will Ferguson
As a fan of the book How To Be A Canadian which Will co-wrote with his brother Ian, I had to read this book [and may go on to read more of his books in the future]. I read this version, the 10th Anniversary Edition, which was apparently slightly edited since the original, but not too much. Apparently something about Princess Diana was removed after the first printing due to the unfortunate timing of the book printing / her death.

This book is quite good. There was a little bit of information that I felt was repeated from his other book I had read, although I assume that it would be hard to write books about Canada while not mentioning his experiences in Canada World Youth or Katimavik. Otherwise, this book is hilarious, educational, and well written. I recommend it to anyone who loves Canadians.

I would play outside with this book 4.5/5 times.

One Red Paperclip by Kyle MacDonald
If we've learned anything here today, its that I like to read about things that I already know something about. How diverse. I also followed the One Red Paperclip saga online, as Kyle MacDonald traded his way up to a house in one year. However, while I loosely followed the story online, the book is brilliant. It has everything. George Stroumboulopoulos, Alice Cooper, a trip to Japan, haircuts by mom and even some things to make you think at the end of each chapter. It also includes pictures! I recommend this book to anyone who isn't a stick in the mud.

I would play outside with this book 5/5 times.

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