Sunday, August 28, 2011


Posted by Matt

Since my part of North Carolina stayed above water, I decided to celebrate with the copy of Sharktopus I impulse-bought for five bucks. It's one of those SyFy original cheesy monster movies in the vein of my beloved Komodo vs. Cobra, only this time their most popular actor is Eric Roberts, whose IMDB entry is too long for my attention span but failed to register a single memorable role for me. But I am excited for CGI cheese, so I watched it anyway.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Posted by Kurt

My dad gave me this book because it is set in Galveston, Texas, an area that is like a home to me. And the book does have plenty of nice local trivia and charming anecdotes about the history and culture of the island (and Bolivar Peninsula, and Houston). Unfortunately, the writing is so bad that this is the literary equivalent of someone filming porn (or a season of MTV's The Real World) in your hometown. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Start Something That Matters

Posted by Kurt

This quick little book is a guide for socially conscious entrepreneurship for the Twitter generation, and there is no piece of that description that appeals to me as a reader. The Amazon Vine program offered me a free copy, though, and I decided to accept it because (1) I’m a big fan of The Amazing Race, on which Mycoskie appeared, and (2) my dad loves the TOMS shoes movement.

Personally, I haven’t been enthusiastic about the TOMS idea. I don’t really care for the aesthetics of the shoes, and I thought that, except for volunteers who participate in shoe drops, the charitable side of the company lets rich people feel good without actually having to touch poor people, which presents certain problems. Plus, I have been given my share of cheesy business books with vaguely inspirational quotes and a hollow you-can-do-it self-reliance message. So when I selected the book, I expected it to be a vaguely unpleasant experience that I could endure before loaning out my copy to people who fit what I saw as the intended demographic.

My expectations were completely wrong. I loved this book more than anything I’ve read in a long time.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Voluntary Madness

Posted by Kurt

I almost never give up on books without finishing, but after suffering through a little over sixty pages of this garbage, I tossed it aside. The basic idea of the book is intriguing - a journalist checks herself into three psychiatric facilities in an effort to get a close look at mental health treatment in the United States today. I bought my bargain-priced copy of this book because Matt is a psychiatrist, because I am a public defender who has many clients who spend significant periods of time in hospitals, and because I love investigative journalism works by talented authors like Barbara Ehrenreich, Ted Conover, Piper Kerman, and A.J. Jacobs.

This book, though, is just vile.