Book Review

3 Books in Brief: Gaffigan, McCoy, & Verne

I’ve finished a few books recently and thought I’d comment on them.

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Anyone need of a good laugh?  If you have any amount of children, you’ll be able to relate to and appreciate Jim Gaffigan’s hilarious snippets about parenting in this book, which was published back in 2013.  I read it aloud back then to my husband on a road trip, and we laughed uncontrollably at times.  Six years later, it’s still funny.

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Chances are that your library has it.  Ours does.

This book was written when all five of his children were under the age of 8 or 9, which makes for some romping hilarity as he details outings in restaurants, parks, and vacations.  Seriously, we can all relate.  What makes the book even funnier, however, is that he and his wife cram their family into a two-bedroom apartment in the middle of New York City, where they have to navigate five flights of stairs just to get anywhere.  They don’t even own a car.  Imagine that.

In any case, if you’re feeling down about the ridiculously cold weather, go read his book for fun.  (Do know, however, that at times he does throw his family under the bus.  He’s not perfect.  And certainly stay away from his TV shows.  They’re downright terrible.)  Incidentally, his second book, Food: A Love Story, is also good, too.

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

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Lovely cover.  Terrible waste-of-time book.

Now this book is just terrible.  I mean, it’s really bad.  It’s the worst book I’ve read all year.  It’s the worst book I’ve read in the last ten years.  For any fan of Anne of Green Gables, just stay away from it, and here’s why:

  1. McCoy has sexualized it, and that’s downright despicable.  For example, she’s got Marilla at age 13 tripping on her cloak and somehow falling on John Blythe’s chest.  Or staring at his wet lips and bulging arm muscles, etc. etc.  Puke.
  2. McCoy gives Marilla a twentieth-century mindset.  For example, Marilla is concerned about politics and women’s voting rights and reversing male/female courting traditions.  Blah, blah, blah.
  3. In fact, the book is very much concerned about showing what’s going on in Canada politically, which is not what one expects, if one’s used to reading L.M. Montgomery.
  4. She’s got Matthew Cuthbert courting and galavanting around with Johanna Andrews, in spite of what L.M. Montgomery explicitly wrote about him in Anne of Green Gables.  For example, look at the following dialogue between Anne and Matthew below, which you can find on page 140 in Montgomery’s excellent novel.
    “Did you ever go courting, Matthew?”  [From Anne]
    “Well now, no, I dunno’s I ever did,” said Matthew, who had certainly never thought of such a thing in his whole existence.”

    Clearly McCoy didn’t read Anne of Green Gables very closely, or she wouldn’t have him chasing after Johanna Andrews!

All that said, maybe the second half of the book straightens everything out.  For you see, it was so terribly written that I couldn’t, could not, finish it.  So if any of you want to borrow my copy, send me an email.  You can have it.

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Now this is a phenomenal book.  It’s about an Englishman, Mr. Philias Fogg, in the 1870s who decides to take a bet, traveling around the world in 80 days.

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Verne’s book is usually depicted with an hot-air balloon, as seen above.  This is deceiving, as Phileas Fogg never actually took a hot-air balloon.

A friend of mine recommended this book, saying that her children particularly enjoyed listening to it, via audio book.  So, I checked it out from our library’s audio section, and we loved it so much, that I had to buy a written copy too.  Then my husband got hooked, and he added it to his audio collection for his drives to and from work.

I’m telling you, this book is well done.  I love the characters, the plot, everything.  And you know a book is really good if all ages can enjoy it.  I will warn you, though, that the first chapter or two may seem a little dry, but keep going.  You’ll be rewarded.

And if you prefer listening via audio, be sure to get the version with Jim Dale narrating.  His voice changes and accents are truly remarkable.

2 thoughts on “3 Books in Brief: Gaffigan, McCoy, & Verne”

  1. Hi Kim, I just had to comment on the “Marilla” book. Did you hear of the Netflix Original “Anne with an E” ? (Their take on Anne of Green Gables.) I love Anne of Green Gables and was super excited for this series. The first season was awesome but then they totally butchered the second season by totally pushing the homosexual agenda. There were a lot of other really dark themes in this series too that just kinds of left me feeling bla after watching. I finally gave up watching it half way through season two. (It was filmed in Canada.) So, after seeing your book review above it appears the whole saga is being manipulated and sexualized. Puke, Puke and triple puke.

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    1. I didn’t know there was a Netflix series! (We don’t have Netflix…I wonder, would Amazon have it?) I’ll have to check out Season 1. And yes, it’s just disgusting that everything goes the way of the Culture. I agree…puke, puke and triple puke! 😉

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