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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: February reading ft. Johnny Cash & Chelsea Handler

The Academy Awards are going on tonight.... so I'm going to divert away from my usual Sunday night movie review and instead do a book review (2 actually). And (bonus!) it's one more thing checked off my 2011 To-Do List: read 2 books a month.

This month I went with 2 non-fiction books: Cash: The Autobiography by Johnny Cash & My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler. It was like night and day reading these two back to back... one about a alcoholic/drug-addicted/then recovering country singing... the other about a drunk/ecstasy-laden New Jersey comedian.

Johnny Cash has always been one of C's personal heroes. And he's told me countless times I should read this book. So, I finally took him up on it and I am so glad I did. 

Learning about the music industry through the honest recollections of a music legend is an experience that cannot be adequately explained. Johnny Cash may be one of the most interesting men I've ever learned about. The book is organized into sections based off of his different homes... Cinnamon Hill in Jamaica, his tour bus on the road... which provides a good backdrop for seeing different aspects of who Johnny Cash really was (the cotton farmer, the drug addict, the father and husband, the musician....)

The book is a beautiful recollection of growing up as a cotton grower, growing up in the music industry, falling into a life of addiction, being saved from a life of addiction, and falling in love with June Carter (my favorite parts of the book include mentions of how much he loves June for this or that). He writes so freely and openly about everything. At times the text is more stream-of-consciousness ramblings of a man trying not to forget the amazing life he lived. At other times the text is a carefully calculated script far exceeding many NY Times best selling fiction "novels" of today.

I was crying by the third chapter of the book, and teared up about ever 10th page from there on. It is moving, unbelievable, entertaining, educational and romantic... sometimes even at the same time.

I'd highly recommend it. He is truly a legend, and what better way to learn about a legend then to read what he had to say about himself?

Grade: A

So moving along to my guilty pleasure book of the month. It took me almost 3 weeks to read Cash, because I was so fascinated with it I had to take it slow and really soak in all the details. I picked up My Horizontal Life from my bookshelf and figured I love Chelsea Handler, her books are easy to read, and I wouldn't have a problem reading it in a week.

I read it in a day.

I couldn't put the thing down! Chelsea Handler is comedic genius. Or {more likely} ... our humor lines up so perfectly it's as if she's writing the book for me. Seriously, every joke, every sarcastic remark, every little playful nudge hinted at in this book speaks directly to me.

I'm never going to stand up and say it is the best piece of literature of the year (or decade, or whatever)... but I will say it is one of the best pieces of entertainment of the year (or decade, or whatever). It it absolutely hilarious, completely addicting, and so much fun to read you'll never want to put it down!

How one woman has found herself in this many funny scenarios is absolutely beyond me. I couldn't even imaging getting myself into situations half as ridiculous. But, that may be another reason why I enjoy the book so much. Regardless, if you have a weekend where you're not quite sure what to do with yourself, but you want to do something a little different.... buy a Chelsea Handler book. It's awesome entertainment. Each chapter is its own short story, so there's not a huge commitment if you don't have a lot of time.

I'm excited about her new book coming out in May! I'll be adding that to the Amazon purchase list here soon enough ♥

My grade: A for entertainment, C for substance

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a big country music fan, but I do love me some Johnny Cash. Perhaps I'll pick up his book someday. As of now my reading list could use the occasional fluff, which is why I've been meaning to read the Chelsea Handler books. They look pretty entertaining! I doubt my local library has them, but I'll look. Do you mainly buy your books off of amazon?