Tuesday, October 27, 2020

TLC Book Tours: Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Road Trips by National Geographic Society

 Title: Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Road Trips

Author: National Geographic Society

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: National Geographic

Publish Date: October 27, 2020 (Today)

Source: TLC Book Tours

What's the Story?:

 From Goodreads.com: "Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic's legendary travel writers, Drives of a Lifetime spans the globe to reveal the best celebrated and lesser-known road trips on the planet. Inside this fully updated and revised edition--featuring more than 20 new drives--you'll find routes through spectacular landscapes, ideas for quick getaways, leisurely journeys of discovery, and revelations of secret worlds beyond Google Maps. Some are legendary long-distance odysseys; others are easy day trips close to home, taking you down charming local byways. All will inspire you to pack up the car and hit the road. The possibilities are endless: Take Colorado's San Juan Skyway for a 10,000-foot climb over towering mountain passes. Or travel the ancient Silk Road on an expedition across Central Asia and through time. Or why not drive the perimeter of Puerto Rico, a tropical paradise with many beaches along the way? Whatever your taste and budget, you'll find plenty of routes tailored to your interests. Alongside detailed descriptions, full-color maps guide the way and planning tips help you make the most of your journey; top 10 lists offer quick, easy side trip ideas. Beautiful, informative, and inspiring, this luxurious volume is a lifelong resource that readers will treasure."

My Two Cents:

"Drives of a Lifetime" begins with an amazing drive that my husband and I took a few weeks ago: Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park and then takes turns through places both well known and those that are more off the beaten path. Filled with the customary gorgeous pictures we've come to expect from National Geographic as well as fantastic descriptions of the drives, this book certainly made my to-visit list much, much, much longer!

2020 might be the year of the road trip with COVID. We have not ventured far but when we've left home, we've taken a car and we have definitely rediscovered our love of the open road. This book contains road trips, both foreign and domestic and they all sound lovely. The book is broken down mostly by topographical features with a few fun categories thrown in the mix like gourmet trips (please take me).

This book has something for everyone and is a perfect mix of both attainable and trips-to-dream about for someday. It is also a really nice mix of trips that are well-known and those that explore much lesser known places. I love all of the travel tips for each road trip. With the purveyor being National Geographic, you know you are getting some really quality trips. I know this is a book that I want to keep looking at and would make a perfect gift for my fellow travel-deprived friends! 


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Review: A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost

 Title:  A Very Punchable Face

Author: Colin Jost 

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Publish Date: July 14, 2020

Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "If there’s one trait that makes someone well suited to comedy, it’s being able to take a punch—metaphorically and, occasionally, physically.

From growing up in a family of firefighters on Staten Island to commuting three hours a day to high school and “seeing the sights” (like watching a Russian woman throw a stroller off the back of a ferry), to attending Harvard while Facebook was created, Jost shares how he has navigated the world like a slightly smarter Forrest Gump.

You’ll also discover things about Jost that will surprise and confuse you, like how Jimmy Buffett saved his life, how Czech teenagers attacked him with potato salad, how an insect laid eggs inside his legs, and how he competed in a twenty-five-man match at WrestleMania (and almost won). You’ll go behind the scenes at SNL and Weekend Update (where he’s written some of the most memorable sketches and jokes of the past fifteen years). And you’ll experience the life of a touring stand-up comedian—from performing in rural college cafeterias at noon to opening for Dave Chappelle at Radio City Music Hall.

For every accomplishment (hosting the Emmys), there is a setback (hosting the Emmys). And for every absurd moment (watching paramedics give CPR to a raccoon), there is an honest, emotional one (recounting his mother’s experience on the scene of the Twin Towers’ collapse on 9/11). Told with a healthy dose of self-deprecation, A Very Punchable Face reveals the brilliant mind behind some of the dumbest sketches on television, and lays bare the heart and humor of a hardworking guy—with a face you can’t help but want to punch."

 My Two Cents:

"A Very Punchable Face" by Colin Jost is a hilarious book! These days, I am always looking to laugh and the harder I laugh, the better. I love Saturday Night Live and it's one show that I always try to watch. I get way too tired to stay up to watch it live but we usually catch it the day after. For the past several years, Colin Jost has been a mainstay on SNL as both a writer and a host on Weekend Update.

In this book, Jost covers from his very young life up until now. He tells all sorts of stories like the time he became a journalist for his small hometown newspaper on Staten Island or the time he studied abroad in Russia (who knew he studied Russian literature) and his host family didn't talk to him at all. While most of the book is non-stop hilarity, there are also some poignant moments like when Jost is describing his amazing mother's experience during 9/11 (she worked as a medic with the New York Fire Department). She is pretty amazing!  Jost is a great writer and you feel like a friend is talking to you about some of their funniest exploits!

This book is also a must read for any SNL fan of the past several years. I loved the behind the scenes look that you get in this book. We get to see everything from how he applies to how he finds out that he landed a spot. Jost talks about some of the best and worst hosts during his time (the Trump episode seemed pretty surreal). And we also get a deep dive into how some of his favorite sketches came together and which ones were the most memorable for him.

If you're looking for a book that will force you to burst out in laughter, this is a fantastic pick!



Monday, October 12, 2020

The Story Graph!!!

 If you are a bookish person, you probably have your go-to way to track all of the books you're reading and everything you want to read! For some of us, it's spreadsheets. For others, including myself, it's a website. I have been using Goodreads for several years but there are a few things that I really wished for that it didn't really have. One of the big reasons I started using Goodreads is that I really wanted was to be able to find good book recommendations and while Goodreads has a plentiful list function for just about any topic that you could wish to read about, the recommendations kind of failed for me. Goodreads can also just be really, really, really, extremely clunky!

Enter The Story Graph! Right now, the site is in its beta version but the site is trying to make it easier to find book recommendations that actually fit what you are looking for! The interface is also really beautiful! I was able to download a file from Goodreads and seamlessly upload it to The Story Graph where I started getting recommendations that ACTUALLY look like things that I might like to read! The site is still relatively bare and is missing some of the things that I loved from Goodreads: a mobile app; the ability to scan the cover/ isbn rather than search for a book title; some of the social function; etc. But again, this is just the beta site so there is room for some of these things to be added in the future (fingers crossed!!!) and I am so excited to see what they do!

Have you heard of The Story Graph? What are your thoughts?


Here are two of my kittehs for your viewing pleasure.


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