April 2011

Mr. Funny Pants

Michael Showalter, Mr. Funny Pants (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2011)

Showalter - Mr. Funny Pants
I guess Michael Showalter is some sort of Woody Allen wannabe. This is not a memoir, but rather a collection of essays, some of which are funny, some of which are mildly entertaining, and most of which are just confusing.

The parody of writing a book consumes way too many words and way too many pages of this book. For every genuinely funny bit, the reader has to endure pages and pages of some sort of rumination about procrastination.

I’m glad I read this one on my e-reader. It is mildly amusing, but not worth the cost of a paperback book.

Operation Family Secrets

Frank Calabrese, Jr. with Keith Zimmerman, Kent Zimmerman, and Paul Pompian, Operation Family Secrets (New York: Random House, 2011)

Calabrese - Operation Family Secrets
OK, I might have picked up this book just because it was about organized crime in Chicago during the time that I lived there. But when our daughter became engaged to a man named Calabrese, I decided to read this tell-all about how a son raised in a crime family could make the decision to blow the whistle on the business and go straight.

The book gives an inside view of something that someone like me would not otherwise see: the inside of a crime family. The reality is frightening. The story is captivating and kept me engaged from the first page to the last.

By the way, there is no known relation between the Chicago Calabreses and the young man who will soon be our son in law.