Monday, February 6, 2012

SPL Shelf Life [adult]

I Didn't Ask to be Born (But I'm Glad I Was) by Bill Cosby
@SPL: 792.7028092 Cosby

The nice thing about picking up a book of essays by Bill Cosby is that you can start to read anywhere in the book and you'll still end up smiling. You can read a long essay and have a big belly laugh or a snort over a short essay or read an in-between essay and just giggle. The other nice thing about reading funny essays by Bill Cosby is that you just cannot help hearing that voice - slightly raspy, with the drawn-out words and dramatic pauses... which is when you cannot help seeing him in your mind, too. The dead-pan or the sly smile that has entertained generations on stages and screens across North America as well as in numerous books.
I Didn't Ask to be Born is his latest foray into print, full of witty observations, warm memories, quirky illustrations (by George Booth) and QR codes. QR codes? You may ask what the 70-something former Dr. Huxtable is doing, dabbling in technology. Well, when scanned with a smartphone, each QR code will take the reader off on a little trip for additional content, even video. But if you are smartphoneless, there is plenty of amusing content in hand between the pages to which nearly anyone can relate. There is the teenage Bill overdoing himself in cologne to impress a girl (Axe wearers take note). Or the father Bill dealing with his child's first bad word, or not being able to come up with a quick answer for his eight-year-old daughter who doesn't want to clean up her room. Or the grandfather Bill with a grandson obsessed with Godzilla (which is only slightly better than a large purple dinosaur it seems). However my personal favourites are his musings on "the missing pages" from the Book of Genesis, and of course the one where he has a "Who's on First?" conversation with a former talk-show guest who is originally from North, South Carolina, 90 miles southeast of Due West. Not to be missed!

This review appeared in The Stratford Gazette on February 2nd. Written by Robyn Godfrey, Librarian.  

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