ASK Musings

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Humor Archive



January 2016



Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Aziz Ansari

Audio version for the win! Seriously, listening to Aziz Ansari read this book may have taken it from a three-star to a four-star rating for me. It’s entertaining for sure, but hearing the words delivered by Mr. Ansari made it all the better.

Mr. Ansari and Mr. Klinenberg take a look at how dating and marriage has changed in the last decade or so, with newer technology such as online dating, texting, and other social media methods of communicating. It’s an interesting read that goes beyond what I originally thought would be covered (essentially just courtship in the U.S.) to larger issues such as marriage and long-term relationships, infidelity, and relationships in other cities across the world.

I appreciate that the authors are upfront with the limitations of the book: it focuses primarily on middle-class relationships, and it is limited to (mostly) to the dynamics of heterosexual relationships. I’d really love it if they would embark on similar study and write follow-up books on LGBTQ relationships. Additionally, I appreciate that Mr. Ansari enlisted the assistance of a social scientist to formulate some surveys, studies and focus groups, instead of just sticking to some observational humor. This isn’t just a book filled with entertaining anecdotes; it has a heftier feel to me, if that makes sense.

My husband and I met on OK Cupid in early 2011, so I found myself nodding in agreement with a lot of what Mr. Ansari said. I was never a prolific dater, though, so I didn’t relate to some of the topics covered, but I still found them very interesting. Overall, I think that if you’re looking for a fairly quick listen (I think it was a little over six hours long) that will have you chuckling out loud, this is definitely worth checking out.



April 2014



I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

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Two Stars

This is my second Nora Ephron essay collection (again an audio version read by the author). Unfortunately I didn’t not enjoy it as much as her previous effort (I Feel Bad About My Neck), mostly because the essays tended to be shorter, a bit more random, and honestly not as well-written. I recall it starting out fairly strongly, and I was definitely into it for a bit. But in the end, I think my favorite part was how short it was.


My biggest problem really was in the storytelling, which, now that I see that written out, might kind of the biggest problem one can have with book. My feeling about Nora Ephron in the past has been that she has a great skill in telling ordinary stories in an entertaining and interesting way. Honestly, the only story that has stuck with me since finishing this book a few hours ago is an amusing retelling of how she got pushed out of making Christmas desserts after many years of doing it for the giant family and friend gathering.

In fact, I had to check out other reviews to be reminded that another essay, about her entrance into the world of journalism, was and interesting read (or listen). I don’t know – sometimes books stick with you. Sometimes they don’t. If you ask me two weeks if I’ve read this book, I might not be able to answer that with any sense of certainty. Which, given the book’s title, is mildly amusing