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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life      by     Steve MartinBorn Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin. $ 2.99 Amazon & Google Play

From the Jacket Copy:

In the midseventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of “why I did stand-up and why I walked away.”

Emmy and Grammy Award winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been awriter. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written.

At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott’s Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes.

Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times — the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies.

Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.

Martin’s memoir goes where personal narratives need to in order to hook the reader – private places that we’ve not been exposed to before in a thoughtful way. From PW: Neatly combining his personal and professional worlds, beloved comedian, filmmaker, author, magician and banjoist Martin (Pure Drivel) chronicles his life as a gifted young comedian in this evocative, heartfelt memoir, which proves less wild and crazy than wise and considerate-though no less funny for it.

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Cruel Summer Alyson NoëlCruel Summer by Alyson Noël. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

“This was supposed to be my best summer yet, the one I’ve been working toward since practically forever. Now I’m being banished from everything I know and love, and it just doesn’t make any sense.”

Having recently discarded her dorky image–and the best friend that went with it–Colby Cavendish is looking forward to a long hot season of parties, beach BBQ’s, and hopefully, more hook-ups with Levi Bonham, the hottest guy in school. But her world comes crashing down when her parents send her away to spend the summer in Greece with her crazy aunt Tally.

Stranded on a boring island with no malls, no cell phone reception, and an aunt who talks to her plants, Colby worries that her new friends have forgotten all about her. But when she meets Yannis, a cute Greek local, everything changes. She experiences something deeper and more intense than a summer fling, and it forces her to see herself, and the life she left behind, in a whole new way.

The writing format is a bit different in that the story is told via letters, journals, blog entries and email messages. Some reviewers found the main protagonist difficult as she spent much of her time complaining about her parents. More than one called her whiny.

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Feelin' the Vibe Candice DowFeelin’ the Vibe by Candice Dow. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A decade ago, Clark Winston nearly had a nervous breakdown after the man of her dreams, Devin Patterson, left her to marry another woman. Soon after, her best friend, the mother of her niece, died, leaving Clark sole custodian of the 10-year-old. Knowing she had to pull herself together, she sought help at a mental health clinic run by an old college friend, Dr. Kenneth Winston. The attraction was instant, and they proved to be a perfect match. Now 10 years later, the past is behind her and she has a perfect career and family at hand. But then, in the blink of an eye, Devin reappears and a tumultuous affair ensues. Clark will now have to make the most important decision of her life-choose the man who broke her heart or the one who fixed it.

Predictable but a page turner from what I gleaned from the reviews.

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Taking the Reins      by     Kat MurrayTaking the Reins by Kat Murray. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Peyton Muldoon needs a man bad.

No, not that way. What she needs is a trainer for her struggling stud ranch. And only a true life horse whisperer will do, a man with the right touch and real know how.

Redford Callahan’s on a hot streak.

Not in the sack. But with the ranch owners who hire him to gentle their animals without breaking their spirit. He can pick and choose his next gig, so he’ll be damned if he’s going to waste his time on a mismanaged operation like the M-Star. Not until Peyton sashays into his motel room one night to make him a deal he can’t refuse. Now Red’s days as a loner are numbered and he’s starting to wonder if there’s one spitfire he won’t be able to tame. . .

Another predictable but decent read per the reviews.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

3 Comments

  1. Jen
    Jun 17, 2013 @ 14:18:45

    I read Born Standing Up a few years ago, and I really enjoyed it.

  2. MrsJoseph
    Jun 17, 2013 @ 16:13:04

    I just checked reviews and Feeling the Vibe is book 3 in a trilogy – just not labelled as such. :(

    Seems like a lot of adultery there, I’ll pass.

  3. Patricia Eimer
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 07:23:40

    I adore Steve Martin and I loved Born Standing Up

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