Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sleepwalk With Me by Mike Birbiglia

This post should have been up yesterday but I was having issues with Blogger.  And I couldn't turn to my partners in crime because Carrie was pounding tequila and Amy was dealing with (coincidentally) a sleepwalker.  Therefore, I gave Blogger my angry eyes look and begged off til this morning.  Turns out I just needed to install some updates on my computer, so now I'm no longer angry at the nice people who make Blogger possible.  Now I just need to get Carrie and Amy some help with their problems.  OK, fine.  Carrie doesn't really have a drinking problem.  And "pounding tequila" may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but she was around alcohol and Amy was totally dealing with a sleepwalker.

Sleepwalk With Me is Mr. Birbiglia's account of his adventures with sleepwalking (hey! what a surprise!), and other stories from his youth and his career in stand-up comedy.  Bonus: I can count this as a non-fiction read.  It is funny.  It is sometimes sweet.  It is short.  It's the perfect book to have on an airplane; engaging enough that you want to continue reading, but not too complicated that you can't put it down to get your in-flight complimentary beverage and your pretzels.

The thing I liked most about this book, and honestly the comedy I have subsequently watched, is that Mr. Birbiglia is funny in a self-aware, self-deprecating manner without being mean to everyone else he has ever come in contact with.  That's not easy to do.  Many comedians are hilarious but at the expense of others.  This is not the case with Mr. Birbiglia.  Not that he doesn't point out some of the absurdities of, well, life in general, but for the most part he doesn't make himself out to be above all that absurdity.  It was nice to laugh but not feel guilty about it.

Two of my favorites chapters/stories:

Delusional - in which he discusses his childhood aspirations to be a rapper, a comedian, a poet, a professional basketball player, a country singer, a break-dancer, or the owner of a pizza restaurant (where third graders could hang out).  That's a lot of aspiring.

Please Stop the Ride - the telling of his attempts at romance and eventually hanging out with his first real girlfriend......and her real boyfriend.  Nothing says "first love" like meeting your girlfriend's other boyfriend's parents.

Sleepwalk with Me was also an off-Broadway show (presented by Nathan Lane!) and a motion picture (accepted into Sundance!).  The title is not metaphoric; he does have a serious issue with sleepwalking that required medical attention.  Those stories are also very funny, but sometimes in the "This is only funny because you're writing about it now and I know you're fine, so we can chuckle about this now." kind of way.  During my YouTube search for Mr. Birbiglia's stand-up act, I came upon a series of videos featuring him and some random people who had purchased his book.  He would video chat with these, I'm assuming, strangers to thank them for buying his book.  Now that's an awesome idea.  And we be thrilled to let him comment/video chat/personalize a song for our little book blog if he feels so inclined after Google alerts makes him aware of us.  I thought about putting one of those thank-you videos here, but then I found this one and it made me snort.  Happy Friday!

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  1. Love the video and the review. It is always nice to have osmething you can read while someone next to you on the plane thinks you actually care what they are saying.

  2. I'll have to look into this. We own the album, I guess you'd say, of his "My Secret Public Journal" (which you'd like, because it's about his blogs!) and he's hysterical. Cool!