One More Thing

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“One More Thing: Stories and other stories” is a compilation of short stories written by B. J. Novak. Am I the only one flummoxed by his choice of name? B.J.? Over Benjamin? Sure, Benjamin is too long and doesn’t sound cool but hey, it’s Hollywood! You can make up a name and voila! You’re not B.J. anymore! Now that that’s out of my system, let’s review his book, shall we?

The first few stories were lackluster. Like someone who realizes that he’s lacking in the looks department and tries to compensate for that by trying to be funny. Unfortunately his real talent lies in coding and not humor.

B.J.’s stories try to convey irony, satire and wit. It’s full of what if’s. What if the rabbit in the story “The rabbit and the tortoise” went for a rematch? What if you went to heaven and found your grandmother performing unsavory acts? The beginning of the book didn’t grip me. Some stories made me smile faintly, some made me ponder a bit. They weren’t very good, but they weren’t that bad either.

But if you soldier on, convinced that B.J. surely must have left a gem somewhere in the book, you will find it. There were a few memorable stories. One of my favorites was “Confucius at Home” wherein the servants at Confucius’ home keep quoting every sentence spoken by him, to Confucius’ chagrin. A hungry Confucius asks his servant for noodles and the servant shouts to the cook “CONFUCIUS SAY: BRING NOODLES”. And so on. The story’s funny. Really.

Here are some more quotes:

If you love something, let it go. If you don’t love something, definitely let it go. Basically, just drop everything, who cares.

But nobody remembers how long anything takes; they only remember how good it was in the end.

All eyes are beautiful, I said, which is why it’s such an easy compliment.

Some stories are hits, and many are misses. You’ll read it, crack into a faint smile and maybe forget about it. Read the book if you’re a big fan of B.J. Novak and would like to delve into his mind. And if you’re easily impressed.

 

Rating: 6.3/ 10

Adulthood is a Myth

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My friend sent me this a few months back:

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What is this? I do not identify with this at all. Who is this messy haired girl? Nope, I do not relate. LOL JK. This is so me, I had to investigate. So I found myself on her instagram page. Have a look at it. Browse through the comments: “so me lol”. And now, we have her comics in an easy to hold, book form! Hurray!

Here’s a Sarah Andersen approved review for your perusal:

 

Rating: 7.1/ 10

 

Spirited Away

I’ve been drawn to anything and everything Japanese for a while now. It started with Made in Japan by Akio Morita, followed by Jiro dreams of Sushi and a book about Hello Kitty. And the latest entrant: Spirited Away.

If you plan on watching it, watch it in HD with English sub titles. The English dubbed version loses the charm and the natural flow of the original movie.

I was mesmerized by the trembling cellophane that the flowers were wrapped in. Yes, cellophane paper cast a spell on me. Spirited Away follows Chihiro in her journey through a strange land in search of her parents. The graphics are utterly beautiful, drawn in incredible detail. You can feel yourself shudder as the wispy spirits pass by Chihiro on the bridge.

There’s a lot to say about the spirits! They’re creepy, definitely. Their creepiness lies in their inscrutability. Their bland faces don’t reveal much, it’s hard to decide whether to trust them or not. The strangest Spirit is No Face, who Chihiro keeps encountering. No Face has a mask and is cloaked in wispy blackness and simply stares at Chihiro from time to time. Cue creepy music.

Chihiro meets Haku, a boy of her age, who acts like a guide. You don’t realize till the end that they’re in love with each other. It’s a beautiful kind of love, where they don’t adhere to the standard holding hands and romancing stuff. They just do stuff for each other.

Spirited Away portrays greed, love, sacrifice, loneliness and goodness through Chihiro and the various characters she encounters in this dreamy journey. Not only is it a visual delight, it’s a feast for all the senses! The music and the background score up the magic quotient. Keep your tissues handy!