Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Nevermore: Michael Moore, Anthony Bourdain, Laughs, Victories, and Planets

Summary by Ambrea

In Nevermore book club this week, members discussed several different books.  First on the agenda was Dude, Where’s My Country by Michael Moore, a politically-charged satirical work of non-fiction in which the author examines the condition of corporate America and the Bush administration.  As a fan of Michael Moore, our Nevermore member considered Dude, Where's My Country an automatic hit.

Likewise, Kitchen Confidential:  Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain proved to be an unexpected pleasure to read.   Depicting events behind the scenes of some of the largest, most prestigious restaurants in the United States, Kitchen Confidential is both an expose and a memoir that encapsulates Bourdain’s experiences as a chef.  For the Nevermore reader, it was “really good.  The way he describes [events and locations and scenery] was absolutely incredible.”  Moreover, Bourdain was brutally honest about his experiences and his personality, which the reader found surprising.

The Last Laugh:  Folk Humor, Celebrity Culture, and Mass Mediated Disasters in the Digital Age by Trevor J. Blank, however, was a flop.  Exploring the different ways humor develops in an Internet age, studying the means through which comedy evolves through new media, The Las Laugh reads more like a textbook than a collection of humorous observations.  For our Nevermore reader, it proved to be a disappointing read and remained unfinished.

Small Victories:  Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott followed next for Nevermore.  Our Nevermore reader said that Lamott’s collection of essays was “interesting to read,” using a style of writing that is brutally honest, laying bare her thoughts on humanity, faith, grace, mortality, Christianity, and just about everything else.  She speaks openly, writes well with a deep sensitivity for her subjects, and explores the human spirit and faith on both the good and bad days.

Last, Nevermore readers discussed The Planets, a DK Smithsonian book.  As one might expect, The Planets explores the planets of our solar system and beyond, providing examinations of various heavenly bodies and offering full-color illustrations/ photographs of celestial events and phenomena.  For the Nevermore reader, The Planets was “full of good stuff.  Full of information you wouldn’t guess.”  It was a surprising treat, and a great discussion to cap off this week’s Nevermore meeting.

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