Monday, February 18, 2013

The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Book:  The Bucolic Plague: How Manhattanites Became Gentleman Farmers.  An Unconventional Memoir 

Author:  Josh Kilmer-Purcell 

Grade:  A. 

Recommended To:  Everyone who loves Goats, Farmers, Mansions, Gardens

I first fell in love with Josh and Brent when they were on  The Amazing Race Season 21.  They were the gay goat farmers who needed to win so they could pay off their farm and live together again.  I rooted for them the entire time, despite their occasional whining and sometimes faked injuries.  They were the total underdogs and I always root for the underdogs.  Not to spoil anything, but they ended up winning The Amazing Race because they are smart and the final leg was in New York City where they both spent most of their adult lives.

Then,  I found out that Josh wrote a book about their lives on a New York Farm and I've wanted to read it ever since.  This month, on Amazon, the book is only $1.99 as a part of their monthly book deals with 100 books for under $3.99.  I snatched it up on February 1st and read the entire thing in about three days.

I loved this book.  Josh has a voice that I can relate to.  He's very very funny and I found myself laughing out loud on the train during the first few pages of this book.  The book begins with Josh and Brent's purchase of a 200 year old mansion with an attached farm.  They then invite Farmer John to raise his 80-something goats on the farm, start an heirloom vegetable garden, a blog, a soap business (featured on Martha Stewart), and try to keep their relationship together.  The magic of Josh's writing voice is that the experiences he describes could happen to anyone, they are normal, run of the mill life events but the way in which he delivers on his narrative makes this book outstanding.

This is a couple that you want to root for, and not just on The Amazing Race.  These guys are interesting, kind, driven and above all very funny.  They are the kinds of guys that you want to sit down and have a beer with.  They have a great website and blog and I have repeatedly asked the hubs to buy me their 48 dollar, 2 pound wheel of goat cheese as a gift.  (currently sold out).

I high recommend this book as a hilariously quick read.  Plus, its cheap until the end of February!

Happy Reading!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

I Want It Now! By Julie Dawn Cole

Book:  I Want It Now! 

Author:  Julie Dawn Cole 

Grade:  B

Recommended to:  WONKA fans!! 

This is the true life account of the actress that played Veruca Salt in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.   I lived and breathed that movie as a kid.  I knew it by heart and my sister and I would rent it over and over again from Blockbuster in VHS.

Remember Veruca?  The total brat who wanted a bean feast?  (I want a bean feast!  Give it to me now!)  What the hell is a bean feast?  Sounds terribly gaseous.   She was one of my favorites, so much so that we have a 20-year-old cat named Veruca after Ms. Salt's very character.  Veruca, the cat, would eat by balancing on her hind legs, place her two front paws on the heads of the kittens next to her and lower herself down to the food.   She's an awesome cat and a perfect namesake for the Wonka character.

This book has all sorts of insight and details into the making of the movie.  Plus, the actress actually got to meet Roald Dahl, which makes me completely jealous.   It was so fun to read about the chocolate river, the Wonka boat, the golden goose room, and the lickable wall paper.  This book made me want to watch the movie, maybe in Blu-Ray, immediately.  Perhaps with a delicious chocolate sundae or some everlasting gobstobbers.

This book evened out a bit when Julie Cole described the rest of her life in television and in various other stage shows because I haven't seen the British show she starred in.  But, otherwise, this book was a fascinating account of how the sets, dialogue, and characters came to live to make this deliciously epic movie.

I recommend this to anyone who loved the original Wonka and who wants some insight into how the movie magic was made.

Happy Reading!!