OK, so here’s the deal with this book: it’s hilarious. I’m talking it made me cry-laugh. H. Jon details his failures from childhood to his most recent – failing to do two different voices for Bob (Bob’s Burgers) and Archer (Archer, duh). What I love most is this book never turns inspirational. There’s no advice on how to achieve his level of success. Nothing on how to become a voice-over artist or secure spokesperson deals. None of that.
No. This isn’t a book about failing your way to success. It’s a book about failing at things and I, for one, am all about hearing these kinds of stories. Inspiration is so 2014. It’s time to embrace our shortcomings. Stories of failure are the greatest, especially because I have so many.
I failed at becoming a singer. I failed at every sport I ever played. I failed at being a breakdancer. I failed at being in a beauty pageant. I failed at working for the UFC. I failed at convincing my parents to let me miss the first day of my senior year of high school because I had told people I was moving to Dallas and I thought missing a day would make it believable. I have failed, and nothing makes me happier than to share these stories with you the way H. Jon Benjamin shared his with us.
So, if you want a good laugh and are interested in reading stories that might spark memories of your past failures that might also make you laugh, this is the book for you. H. Jon Benjamin is a treasure and so is his book. Enjoy!
As all 5 of you know, I used to write about the show Vanderpump Rules – first on my site then for the entertainment blog Taste of Reality. Writing about the show was fun but there’s like 28 episodes a season and they’re in season 7 – there are only so many jokes you can write about these people before you start to plagiarize yourself. These days I’m more of a fan, and Stassi’s book is now included.
I could not stand Stassi the first, oh, 4 or 5 seasons of Vanderpump Rules. I believe I used to refer to her as a satanic wizard in my early days of writing about the show. She was awful. Bossy, conceited, a complete asshole – traits that, I’m sure, are what got her on the show. Then, something happened.
In season 3, she left her job, her friends, and California to be with her then-boyfriend Patrick, and you know what happened? It didn’t work out, which some people would refer to as karma. She returned to L.A. and had to beg for her old life back. A humbled Stassi was better than an entitled Stassi. After a season (5) where she became follow-the-leader-Stassi, she emerged as the Stassi we all love today. Hilarious. A little more self-aware. The woman you can go have a drink with or take in a seance.
In a time where we’re told to “not be ‘basic'” (euphemism for ‘yourself’), Stassi preaches the opposite. Love all things horror (me)? Embrace it! Did cartoons take a backseat to Tales From the Crypt (I’ll sing the Miss Autopsy song at the drop of a hat)? Tell people about it! Still into Ed Hardy? Thank Jesus I grew out of that but if that’s your thing, wear it! Being basic is all about doing what makes you happy, and that’s what this book is all about.
If you’re into feeling good, laughing, and reading, this is your book: Next Level Basic by Stassi Schroeder. Enjoy!
So, as you probably don’t remember, I have set a goal of reading at least 35 books this year. While the next 34 will be ones I’ve never read, the first one I chose for the year is one I’ve read more times than I can count. Regardless of anyone’s opinion of her this is still one of my all-time favorite books. First, it’s hilarious. From beginning to end it’s like you’re having a comedic conversation with her about her life. But aside from just being funny I found it to be pretty inspirational. I don’t mean inspirational like it’ll make you stop turning tricks and get off the smack (or maybe it will, I don’t know I’m not a counselor), I mean inspirational in that it’ll make you feel lazy and make you want to get off your ass and get to work. At least that’s what it does for me. If you’ve read it you know what I’m talking about. Since purchasing it when it first came out, anytime I’ve lacked motivation or needed a pick-me-up I’ve turned to it, so I decided to kick off my year by re-reading it. It still makes me laugh. And it still reminds me that no matter how tired I am, if I really want to accomplish something then I better get to fucking work. My first selection for the Typical Jenn Unofficial Book Club is Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin. Enjoy!