Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality
Autobiography/Biography , Comedy , YouTuber / October 14, 2017

Title: Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality Author: Rhett McLaughlin & Link Neal Published: 2017 Genre: Comedy/Autobiography Length: 267   Rhett & Link are a comedy duo known for their YouTube series Good Mythical Morning. If you have never watched Rhett & Link, I highly suggest that you get to know them through their internet content before reading their book. The book will make a lot more sense and feel more personal if you already consider yourself to be a Mythical Beast (fan). Otherwise, things will get weird pretty fast. Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality is designed as a field-guide to living a “mythical” life. Rhett and Link explain their definition of mythicality in the beginning of the book and then illustrate these qualities with stories from their lives. Fans will enjoy the autobiographical nature of the book and that many of the stories are being told for the first time. The book itself is very nicely designed with bright colors and lots of graphics and pictures throughout the book. The hardback version (currently there is no paperback) has a nice heft to it and is filled with a lot of unique content like a small board game, pages that offer tips…

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost): Book Review
Autobiography/Biography , Comedy , YouTuber / October 31, 2016

Title: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) Author: Felicia Day Published: 2015 Genre: Autobiography, Comedy, YouTuber Pages: 304 (paperback) You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day, the actress and YouTube pioneer, is an autobiographical account that centers around comedy even in the face of some serious topics. For those who are not familiar with the informally dubbed “Queen of the Internet,” click these links to visit her Geek & Sundry and Felicia Day channels. Felicia Day’s first book is a funny, honest, and relatable account of growing up as a nerd (I empathized immediately) and building success from the very qualities that the “cool” (and ultimately foolish) kids once mocked. Felicia Day’s propensity for video games, books, and general geek culture is a central theme in her autobiography that allows her to immediately connect with her target audience. A great deal of her childhood (and homeschool curriculum, it would seem) was spent obsessing over PC games such as the classic Ultima. Felicia Day generally credits her homeschooling and corresponding lack of socialization as major reasons that she is “weird,” and she provides plenty of evidence! True to form, she presents several chapters about her childhood that include snapshots of her super secret diary and epic tales of playing way too much Math Blaster that sufficiently demonstrate…

You Deserve a Drink: Book Review
Autobiography/Biography , Comedy , YouTuber / October 29, 2016

Title: You Deserve a Drink Author: Mamrie Hart Published: 2015 Genre: Autobiography, Comedy, YouTuber Pages: 274 You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart is a comedic, autobiographical account including many “boozy misadventures and tales of debauchery” that come straight from the creator of the popular YouTube channel of the same name. Mamrie Hart is so unique that my auto-correct is keen to decorate her name with red squiggles at every turn. Just like her name (that has now been added to my computer’s dictionary) her tales are nearly impossible to forget. You Deserve a Drink is one of the most honest memoirs that I have ever read. Mamrie does not shrink away from embarrassment. In fact, she generally takes advantage of her own discomfort, whether she is getting blackout drunk in New York or celebrating a bizarre, Americanized version of the Day of the Dead in Mexico, to turn her most awkward moments into self-deprecating comedy. I also appreciated her numerous pop culture references (which are part of the built in drinking game that Mamrie creates in the introduction) that range from the 1980’s to the early 2000’s. If you like TV, movie, and boy band references, then this book is especially for you! Mamrie spends a lot…

Time Travel Dinosaur – Book Review
Choose Your Own Adventure , Comedy / October 14, 2016

Time Travel Dinosaur is a Chooseomatic adventure written by Matt Youngmark. The Chooseomatic Books are essentially adult Chose Your Own Adventure style books infused with hilarious and zany concepts such as time traveling dinosaurs. There are so few gamebooks (the generic term for Choose Your Own Adventure style books) written for adults that those of us who refuse to leave this awesome type of book behind in childhood are always grateful for a new release. Before I even review the book itself, the cover deserves it’s own paragraph. Just from looking at the cover-art, we are treated to a dinosaur sporting a classy monocle and top hat, a space dinosaur (spaceosaur?) toting a ray gun, and a medieval T-Rex prepared to bash in his enemies’ brains with a wicked mace despite the limited reach of his tiny arms. This honestly might be one of the best covers that I have ever seen because it is not only visually impressive, but it also accurately represents the content of the book. The 76 possible endings guarantee that any gamebook fanatic will find a great deal to explore. The basic premise behind Time Travel Dinosaur is that your character is an employee of…

The Moaning of Life: Book Review
Autobiography/Biography , Comedy , Travel / October 12, 2016

The Moaning of Life is the latest book by everyone’s favorite Idiot Abroad, Karl Pilkington.  First, I have to point out that the title continues to make me laugh no matter how many times I see it.  Combined with the excellent picture of Karl’s expression, the book’s cover is pure genius. Karl Pilkington is a friend of the British comedian Ricky Gervais’ who became famous in his own right after Gervais’ dragged Karl, I suspect unwillingly, into to some of his projects.  Karl’s pessimistic travel show, An Idiot Abroad, is probably his most well known work.  The show, and much of The Moaning of Life, features a reluctant Pilkington as he travels the world and manages to find fault with everything that he discovers along the way. The Moaning of Life is structured into different chapters based around some of life’s most important events and concepts including marriage, happiness, and death.  Karl, with his characteristically dry and at least partially serious style, manages to convey his musinga on these topics as he simultaneously recounts many of his travel stories.  The chapters feature conversations between Karl and the natives of exotic lands, as well as semi-applicable and interesting facts that Karl learned during the course of writing the book….

The Zombie Survival Guide: Book Review
Comedy , Horror / October 12, 2016

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks is exactly what the title suggests. There have been many copycat survival guides since the release of The Zombie Survival Guide, but none of them are better than the original. Max Brooks provides chapters relating to about every aspect of zombie apocalypse survival imaginable.  Since I am originally from the Pittsburgh area (George Romero, anyone?) these are topics of potentially vital importance to my well-being.  Some of the sections cover combat, defense, travel, and general survival tips, although there are many more topics that are covered in the various sections.  There are even “true” tales of zombie attacks throughout history, dating from 60,000 BC to modern times. I postulate that the zombie report from 60,000 BC might be mistaking zombies for Neanderthals, but that is only a personal theory with little (no) data to back it up. Brook’s writing style is one of the most important elements in determining if a reader will enjoy The Zombie Survival Guide or be bored to tears by it.  There is no overt comedy in this guide.  In other words, Brooks writes the guide as seriously as if these events might really occur (because they might!) and does not crack jokes to lampoon…

One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair: Book Review
Comedy , History , Sociology / October 12, 2016

One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair by Allan Peterkin is a historical/sociological/psychological study of facial hair throughout the ages.  As a man who proudly sports a full beard and mustache combo, I feel a certain camaraderie with my bearded brothers.  I think that in recent years, beards are becoming more socially acceptable but it still feels like I am part of a club with other facial hair connoisseurs. Whether you are bearded, mustachioed, or a full out, Victorian mutton-chops kind of guy, One Thousand Beards is a must read. Roughly the first third of the book is dedicated to the history of facial hair and even the history of shaving.  After this point, the next third of the book examines different types of beards such as “The Medical Beard,” “The Feminine Beard,” and “The Gay Beard.”  One Thousand Beards finishes up with a return to a more historical and sociological approach that focuses on the twentieth century and the evolution of facial hair in recent times. The book was published in 2001 so there is no information about beards since that time.  The book would benefit from an updated edition with an extra chapter to bring One Thousand Beards up to the present day.  Regardless,…

Pittsburgh Dad: Everything Your Dad Has Said to You
Comedy / October 12, 2016

Pittsburgh Dad: Everything Your Dad Has Said to You is a collection of comedic quotes from the hit YouTube show Pittsburgh Dad written by Chris Preksta and Curt Wootton. Whether you are from the Pittsburgh area yourself, or simply are confused by the Pittsburghese words used by someone you know from the Steel City, Pittsburgh Dad will make you smile and laugh throughout the book. If you are not familiar with the YouTube show, Pittsburgh Dad started up about three years ago and has developed an impressive following over that time.  Curt Wootton, who created the character “Pittsburgh Dad” after impersonating his father, references everything about Pittsburgh including local hot spots, foods, sports teams, the crazy Pittsburgh lingo (known as Pittsburghese) and even modern pop culture in his videos. The Pittsburgh Dad book is essentially a collection of jokes that were originally written for the web series. At first, I was concerned that I would be familiar will all of the quotes in the book since I am an avid fan of the videos.  It turns out, however, that a decent number of the lines in the book are either modified from Wootton’s delivery in the final videos or are…

The Travelings of Rindle Dindle the Magic Dance Pony: A Novel I did Write in 15 Hours Consecutive (No Spellcheck): Book Review
Comedy / October 12, 2016

The Travelings of Rindle Dindle the Magic Dance Pony: A Novel I Did Write in 15 Hours Consecutive (No Spellcheck) is a humorous collection of short stories written by Flula Borg.  Flula is best known as a German internet DJ, but he also appears on TV and in the film Pitch Perfect 2.  If you do not know who Flula is, I highly recommend that you visit his channel before reading this review. Reading (or watching) Flula for the first time is not easily put into words.  I will compare the experience to riding a flying dinosaur on the way to the moon and eating tacos all at the same time. Flula’s passion for everything that he does is so contagious that you are easily swept away by his brain’s every whim. The Travelings of Rindle Dindle the Magic Dance Pony: A Novel I Did Write in 15 Hours Consecutive (No Spellcheck) is an incredibly accurate title.  One of Flula’s greatest strengths as a performer and as a man is his delivery of confused English in such a powerful German accent that it immediately conjures images of dachshunds playing soccer (I mean fußball) wearing lederhosen.  Flula’s accent translates very well into a written format because of his…

My Drunk Kitchen: Book Review
Comedy , Cooking , YouTuber / October 12, 2016

My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut is a cook/biography/self-help/humor book written by YouTube star Hannah Hart.  It is quite fitting that the book defies classification because Hannah’s perspectives are always fun and unique. As Hannah herself makes clear right from the start, My Drunk Kitchen is about more than just cooking.  Hannah shares her personality and her feelings with her readers, as well as her past and dreams for the future.  Her advice is heartfelt, although often clothed in humor, and sincerity is Hannah’s greatest strength as a writer.  From her candid discussion of dating and ex’s to her family issues, Hannah establishes a connection with her readers by sharing her life experiences.  Some readers may deal with some of the same issues that Hannah has, so her openness is all the more valuable. My Drunk Kitchen‘s visually appealing layout makes the book a treat to read because there is a surprise on every page.  Hannah scatters plenty of thoughtful quotes, quirky sketches,  hilarious pictures, and highly useful “pro-tips” throughout the book.  The high-quality photos, varied colors and fonts, and life lessons are enough to hold any reader’s attention.  Also, there are puns.  There are so many wonderful puns! From visual puns to written puns,…