Latest book reviews

Loved Alan Alda’s wonderful and witty memoir “Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned,” and his equally entertaining follow-up entitled “Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself.” Mr. Alda is another highly successful person who overcame major obstacles: his mother was mentally ill and refused treatment, and as a child he contracted polio. Still, he had a wonderful father whom he adored, married well and enjoys a great family life, seemed to be in the right place at the right time and still has, in his early seventies, a curious mind and genuineness that’s rare in a celebrity.

On the other hand, I thought Rachel Bertsche’s “MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend,” was vapid and unfit for consumption by anyone older than 30, and that may be a stretch. Let’s say 28. Although she’s an excellent writer Bertsche dwells far too long on fashions, shoes, hairstyles and the social mores of Chicago’s overeducated, smarmy as hell, Generation Yers. Boring with a capital b.

M.C. Beaton’s latest Hamish Macbeth mystery “Death of a Kingfisher,” is another voyage into the mists of the unbelievable with a plot that, despite featuring our favorite love-starved Scottish police inspector, sinks like the Stone of Scone into the murky Highland bog. Not her best.

The wait for Ellen DeGeneres’ “Seriously…I’m Kidding,” was worth it for Ms. Ellen again displays her flair for interpreting life through on-target humor and satire. In fact, in her chapter on bad manners, Ellen cleverly manages to sum up in five pages what it took weird Whoopi an entire book not to say.

“Seriously…I’m Kidding,” isn’t War and Peace, but it’s a quick escapist read.

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