Friday, January 04, 2008

Recent Reads

In my continuing stroll through rock autobiographies, I read Rolling Stone Ron Wood's Ronnie. Kinda dull and accomplishes the interesting feat of making the life of a big rock and roll star seem mundane.

There was one great quote tho: "I know that anger and disappointment blow out the candles of the mind."

Gonna put that one in the quotes collection.

Also scan-read Marley and Me by John Grogan as research for a project. Dear Lord, it was as precious as I feared it would be.

However, it's probably the most dead-on portrait of a certain stripe of modern American family. I know so many people like Grogan and his wife. This book is valuable alone for the picture it paints of this time for future historians.

As a book about pet ownership, I consider it a guide on what never to put up with. Pet ownership should be a pleasant thing. Once an animal goes bad, or destructive, or (worst of all) bites, then perhaps - if the behavior can't be truly corrected - it's time to introduce the animal to eternity.

If you think that's harsh of me, even Grogan mentions that in Barbara Woodhouse in her No Bad Dogs: The Woodhouse Way gives pretty much the same assessment.

Read some of the reviews on just to see if others felt like I did about the book, but most of the 1 star reviews are by people who don't think the Grogans were patient enough or caring enough to the dog. "How dare they lock him up in a kennel to prevent house damage!" is a common lament. Wow, folks, get a grip.

(Keep in mind I was raised in the Midwest around farmers, whose view of animals is they should be treated humanely, but they are animals and not people, and if they are a hazard or problematic, out behind the woodshed they go.)

The best of the recent lot is My Horizontal Life by stand up comedian Chelsea Handler.

I once caught the tail-end of her show on E!, and got a kick out of her lovable grouchy demeanor. It also helps that she "has a face with a view," to quote the Talking Heads. So I got her book.

She's a freakin' hoot. Who knows how much of these supposedly true stories are exaggerated or made up (if at all), but reading her is like finding the person at the party who tells the best stories and having the additional good fortune of doing it early so you're entertained all night.

Just hunt her up on Youtube to get a sense of her humor. Bet you'll dig her, too.

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