okay, so i’m horribly off-schedule and i’ve come to a decision… i’m dropping the “monday morning” and simply going with “mashed potatoes”… the idea is still the same, it’ll still be a weekly thing, but it may not be posted on monday morning… actually, i don’t think any of them actually were… that said… continuing the introductory posts… i’m branching into books today with three from my “recently read” list… enjoy…

DISCUSSERING AMERICA…

now playing: America – Simon and Garfunkel

Well, i recently read two books about America… both were written by comedians and both have “America” in the title… that’s about where the similarities end… Stephen Colbert and Brad Stine would probably be at the opposite ends of the table in the banquet of life, but both profess a common affection for this country that they both call home… and, perhaps that’s exactly what makes the grand ole US of A such a great place to call home…

so, first up is Mr. Colbert’s pseudo-conservative ramblings packaged cleverly in a first-edition volume complete with stickers, activity pages, and a handy bookmark ribbon… and yes, Colbert has made his living playing the exaggerated stereotype and, though it can be hit or miss, many times the result is hilarious on television… in printed format, however, it’s more accurately miss or hit… it’s not that it isn’t an entertaining book, but unfortunately, many of the jokes were already familiar or just fell flat without the props or delivery… all in all, i enjoyed the book, but it’s not one that i’ll be reading again…



and in this corner, weighing in lightly, it’s an actual conservative, a stand-up comedian by trade with a budding acting career (perhaps)… it’s Brad Stine and his book, Live from Middle America… and while there are no puzzles, word searches, or pictures for that matter, the book still caters to the A.D.D. crowd that clearly dominates our cultural landscape these days… with short, punchy chapters that sort of build on one another, but stand alone easily and can be read days, even weeks, apart, without missing a beat…

in all honesty, the book reads much like a standup show is performed, basically picking a topic, mining it of all available punchlines and then moving on… lacking is the effect of in-person delivery, which often results in arriving at the punch before the words on the page are ever read… so, while the book certainly has its share of laughs (or perhaps chuckles), it probably would have worked better as an audiobook or, as i’m sure it has been on some level, as part of Brad’s stand-up routine…

“GET” LOST…
now playing: Losing My Religion – R.E.M.

it will come as no surprise that i happen to watch a certain show called LOST… so, when i was made aware of an upcoming book from one Chris Seay that promised to compare the engrossing narrative of my current favorite television action drama to the best narrative of all time, well i was immediately hooked and interested…

it wasn’t much longer before The Gospel According to Lost arrived in my mailbox ready for my consumption… in hindsight, i probably shouldn’t have read “Doc” Jensen’s extensive series of columns about the thread of redemption found throughout LOST before reading this book, nor should i have then expected this book to cover the same ground more thoroughly… but i did… and it doesn’t… and that’s actually fine…

truth be told, i was a little taken aback that “Doc” – of whom i knew and still know very little in regards to spiritual matters – seemed to have put together a more Biblically-based perspective for understanding the show’s core message… but in reality, Seay, who is a pastor – this much i know – takes a cue from “Darlton” and focuses more intently on the individual characters than the overarching themes of the story…

and to be fair, these chapter-by-chapter character studies are pretty interesting and certainly tie into a Biblical perspective as one might expect… it simply wasn’t what i expected to be reading… and as i stop to think about it, that’s probably good, too… either way you look at it, though, this “Gospel” is an enjoyable, insightful read and it certainly sheds light on LOST from an angle that’s not often shared…

NO MAS…

okay, so that’s that for the time being… i do still have one more set of mashed potatoes to discuss before we can begin the “regularly scheduled” episodes… and i’ll try to do that sooner rather than later… i suppose we’ll see though… i do have something else that’s rather pressing should i completely follow through on it… (which would be some kind of crazy, let me tell you)…

peace… love… bdg…