I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne (book)

Regardless of how well you think you know him, Ozzy Osbourne has a remarkable sense of humor and pretty spot on view of how the world sees him.

For more than 350 pages, the Prince of Darkness opens up about his childhood, his rocky relationships, his addictions, his arrests and friendships, and is still realistic enough to end the memoir with the following phrase:

“Ozzy Osbourne, Born 1948. Died, whenever. He bit the head off a bat.”

And rest assured, he does go into detail about the time he bit the head off a live bat onstage (what he can remember of it anyway), as well as biting the head off a dove (in his defense he was trying to make an impression on his new record label… and he did make an impression).

To be honest though, those stories have been covered ad nausea in previous books and articles. It’s the candid Ozzy that speaks about his first marriage, his role as a piss poor father and his relationship with his money-obsessed mother that are the real revelations.

I Am Ozzy has just enough salacious details to satisfy the curious (like the letter the Osborne’s received from Bill Cosby who though their MTV show was a bad influence) and enough honest confessions to satisfy those who have never banged their heads.
I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne /Grand Central Publishing/388 pages

Joe The Barbarian #1 (Comic Book)

The price point of this issue is undoubtedly to bring individuals in to this new story. This issue is the first of eight, and starts off fairly slowly. Individuals are introduced to a disaffected child in a Donnie Darko type of vein, who seems to be ignored or abused at every corner by parents, bullies, and the entirety of the outside world. The story begins to really take a turn when Joe goes back to eir room and seems to fall asleep. Continue reading “Joe The Barbarian #1 (Comic Book)”

The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery (Book)

While some may say that the Complete Idiot’s Guides are getting increasingly less relevant as the years go on, I feel that there are still a lot of good things to be educated about coming out of these titles. In “Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery”, Margaret Furtado and Joseph Ewing match wits to create a fulfilling and healthy life for those individuals that have elected to choose weight loss surgery. This means that there are well-written (but not overly complex) instructions present throughout this tome, along with countless recipes and further tips placed throughout. Continue reading “The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery (Book)”

Runaway Dream: Born to Run and Bruce Springsteen’s American Vision by Louis P. Masur (Book)

There are very few records that could illicit the almost academic like study of its origins, but Bruce Springsteen’s career defining Born to Run is one that can. Recorded nearly 35 years ago, the record was delayed in part due to Springsteen’s extreme perfectionism and intense pressure from the band’s record label desperate for a big seller after their first two efforts garnered critical praise, but failed to find an audience with the record-buying public.

Louis Masur, author of the Soiling of Old Glory, brings both a researcher’s mind and a fan’s sense of history in dissecting the story around the making this laborious album. Though clearly and admittedly a fan of Springsteen’s music, Masur still manages to remain objective blending not only the raves that followed the album’s eventual release, but also the negative reviews and expected backlash. Though Springsteen wasn’t interviewed for the book, Masur does manage to quote extensively from past interviews with the musician and includes plenty of The Boss’s almost legendary onstage banter.

“When I did Born to Run, I thought, I’m going to make the greatest rock ‘n’ roll record ever made.” Springsteen, 1987.

The book might be a bit tedious for anyone who’s not a real fan of the record, but come on, how many people out there really don’t consider Born to Run one a brilliant album?
Runaway Dream: Born to Run and Bruce Springsteen’s American Vision by Louis P. Masur/Bloomsbury Press/256 pages

Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales by Clarence Clemons and Don Reo (Book)

Standing stage left to Bruce Springsteen for the past three decades, E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons has had the opportunity to take in life from a unique advantage as a member of perhaps the greatest American rock band.
In his wildly entertaining memoir, written with the help of his best friend Don Reo (creator of “My Wife and Kids” and a number of other sitcoms), Clemons manages to share several never before heard stories of the band’s early days up through the making of the band’s last few records. Continue reading “Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales by Clarence Clemons and Don Reo (Book)”

The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History by John Ortved (Book)

John Ortved’s carefully researched and entertaining behind the scenes look at one of the most beloved TV series works primarily because the author is such a big fan of The Simpsons. How do you know he has a deep appreciation for The Simpsons? He is willing to admit that the show is not nearly as good as it once was. Simply put, he knows it is cable of being better. Continue reading “The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History by John Ortved (Book)”

I Drink for a Reason by David Cross (Book)

David Cross is getting a little tired of carrying around the hipster cross. Worshipped for co-creating/starring in Mr. Show and his brilliant work with Arrested Development, Cross also happens to be one of the funniest controversial stand ups working today (controversial meaning he does more than jokes about airline peanuts). Continue reading “I Drink for a Reason by David Cross (Book)”

Kill the Music by Michael G. Plumides, Jr. (Book)

Chances are, unless you were part of the early 90’s music scene in North Carolina, you have no idea who Michael Plumides, Jr. is. That doesn’t make his memoir Kill the Music any less interesting. The book is Plumides’ reflections on the late 80’s and early 90’s when he worked in South Carolina as a deejay at an influential college radio station and eventually moved on to become the owner of a punk rock/metal club in Charlotte. Continue reading “Kill the Music by Michael G. Plumides, Jr. (Book)”

Seven Mile Beach by Tom Gilling (Book)

Australian novelist Tom Gilling may not be that well known outside of his native Australia, but if his latest book is any indication he surely should be. The surprisingly funny mystery/thriller Seven Mile Beach is far more interesting than any of the last few Grisham and Patterson tomes lining the book shelves. Continue reading “Seven Mile Beach by Tom Gilling (Book)”

Vanilla Ride by Joe R. Lansdale (Book)

There are certain liberties authors are granted. Only David Mamet can get away with stringing together seemingly unrelated explicatives into believable dialogue the way he does; only Stephen King can make Maine seem like the third circle of Hell; and only Joe Lansdale, Texas born and bred, can get away with the often goofy quotes his duo Hap Collins and Leonard Pine spout off on just about every other page of his series of novels. Who else can get away with descriptions like: “…She pulled the other clip out and slipped it on the weapon smooth as a gigolo sliding on a condom.”? All is forgiven though, as long as he continues to write about Hap and Leonard, the two protagonists Lansdale hasn’t written about for nearly a decade. Living in the Hill Country of East Texas, best friends Hap and Leonard, (one white, one black, one straight, the other gay) work construction and other odd jobs when they are not hired to kill bad guys or commit other acts of questionable legality.

In Vanilla Ride, the duo help out an old friend who’s granddaughter had gotten mixed up with some local drug dealers. After taking away from her dealer boyfriends and cracking a few skulls in the process, the guys manage to piss of the Dixie Mafia, a group of White Supremacists controlling the drug trade in East Texas. The FBI gets involved and Hap and Leonard are eventually pitted against a female hit man (hit woman? hit person?). Lansdale has a history of combining tense action with laugh-out loud dialogue and Vanilla Ride is no exception, and easily one of his best novels. Hap and Leonard were greatly missed.

Vanilla Ride by Joe R. Lansdale/Knopf/256 pages/Hardcover