Friday, April 15, 2011

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

If you like to enjoy a fine collection of comedic essays that point to the commonly experienced highs and lows of life and that illustrate the cast of unusual characters that we all encounter amongst strangers, co-workers, family and friends...please pick up any of the fine books by David Sedaris and enjoy yourself. They are fantastic!

If you are in the mood for something else entirely, then, by all means, give Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang a try.

In this New York Times #1 Bestseller, comedian Chelsea Handler regales her readers with an assortment of stories addressing a wide variety of dysfunctions from her childhood, family, friendships, and work relationships.

Will you laugh out loud? Probably. Will Chelsea inspire? Hmmm...

Please join the IBC founding members and two new members, Amy Kolczak and Terry Walbye, in the in-depth discussion below or by subscribing on iTunes:

Book Club Questions for Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang:

1.What was your prior level of exposure to Chelsea Handler before reading this book? Was this an ironic read for you?
2. The first chapter of the book relates to Chelsea's childhood. The story is told in the voice of an adult. How does this voice set the tone for the rest of the book?
3. Did you have a strong reaction (good or bad) to any particular anecdote in the book?
4. What are Chelsea's primary characteristics? How do these characteristics manifest during her personal and professional interactions?
5. Describe Chelsea's comedic style. Are there similarities between her style and her other comedy peers (Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, others)?
6. In this work, Chelsea expresses very strong opinions of her parents. Explore these opinions. Do you think her parents were dysfunctional, she is dysfunctional, or that the stories were exaggerated for comedic purposes? How open are you to publicly disparaging your family?
7. Do you regard this book as a memoir, or a series of comedic essays?
8. What lessons are to be gleaned from Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang?
9. Chelsea employs practical jokes as part of her comedic routine. What is your opinion of the practical joke as part of a comedy toolkit?
10. After reading this book, are you more or less inclined to explore Chelsea's other media (print or television)?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Judging the Book By Its Cover: Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

The IBC is ready to launch their latest literary exploration - Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang!

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang is the third in the series of best selling books by comedian, humorist, television host and Elizabeth Banks lookey-likey Chelsea Handler. While reading a best-seller is quite a stretch for all of us here at the IBC, we think there will be plenty of ironic fodder and material to explore that will both expand our minds and feed our souls.

As usual, we begin the next read with the logical first step - judging the book by its cover. In the brief podcast below, Emma Bootle and Erica DeMint take our listeners on a tour of the book as judged solely by the cover.

To all of our listeners, pick up your books now so that you will get the most out of our next in-depth book discussion...coming soon. As an added treat, our next discussion will feature a special guest or two.

Read on!

Also, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kardashian Konfidential

We here at the IBC hope that you will kome along with us on our journey into the krazy world of Kardashian Konfidential.

In reading this work, we found that the life of the Kardashian sisters is not all about wealth, fame, and glamour. There are also plenty of real-life lessons to be learned. As they frequently pointed out, they are NOT spoiled. I mean, they actually had to sign a kontract of responsibility when they were presented with luxury kars on their birthdays. Bible!

What kan we learn from this deep dive into their lives? Well, we learn that it is important to work hard, to wax frequently and thoroughly, to love your sisters, and to keep your klothes in spotless kondition.

Should your own book klub decide to analyze Kardashian Konfidential, be prepared to feel the pain of the loss of a beloved father, to enjoy the thrill of a whirlwind romance, and to learn about the hard work that it takes to stay kool in a scenario of konstant public scrutiny.

Eri(k)a, Emma(k), (K)Gloria, and K(Fiona)

To hear our insights, listen to the podcast below or subscribe now in iTunes:

For your own review:

1. How do you feel you have been taken into the confidence of the Kardashians?
2.What are the primary characteristics of each of the sisters?
3. What role did their father play in their early development?
4. Pick an issue that one of the Kardashian sisters struggled with as a teenager? How do you think it impacted her later life?
5. Compare and contrast the differences in the Kardashian's upbringing from your own.
6. Discuss the differences in Khloe's childhood experience from that of her sisters.
7. What lessons do the Kardashians think their readers most need to know?
8. What piece of advice will you take away from this book?
9. What audience will most benefit from the advice shared by the Kardashians?
10. In what ways do you relate to the Kardashian sisters?
11. How did the tone of the book affect you?
12. The Kardashians are representative of a trend of making celebrities out of individuals that have no notable accomplishments other than some level of notoriety in a social setting (e.g. Jersey Shore, Paris Hilton, Kate Goselin). What influence does this have on American culture?
13. The Kardashians and other reality stars have a skill of marketing themselves to achieve celebrity which then further enhances their success. Is this a negative thing? How does the affect those that may be reading this book?
14. Who is this book for?!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Judging the Book by Its Cover: Kardashian Konfidential

We would like to introduce a new segment to the IBC blog and podcast - Judging the Book by Its Cover!

Hot pink, gold glitter, kisses, and the classic little black dress. These are all  of the seductive features that really lured us into our latest read - Kardashian Konfidential.

In this recent release by reality stars Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe Kardashian, a first glance at the cover promises the reader to be whisked into a secret world of glamour, fashion, and the closeness of the sisterly bond.

It we can judge it by its cover, next week's discussion promises to be quite the revealing experience...

Totes magotes!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

First Step 2 Forever

This is it. The first step to…well, a whole new kind of book club experience.

We are four professional women with varying backgrounds, beliefs, and insights. We share a common goal: to have a wonderful time with each other pouring over the absurdities of life. The Ironic Book Club was born to fulfill that goal.

The IBC owes its beginnings to a wonderful discovery by founding  member, Emma Bootle. Imagine our delight when she heard that we could order four copies of the autobiography of Justin Bieber at an incredible price. We had to dive in. Certainly the deconstruction of such a piece of literature warranted our full and serious attention. In this blog and those that follow, we invite you to come along with us as we take an inquisitive look at writings that, in all reality, deserve no attention or acknowledgement. Oh, the irony!

Who we are (in our own words):

Emma  Bootle: I am thirty-something woman on a journey of self-discovery to be a better person. With the books that we take on in this book club, I will, no doubt, become one of the most well-rounded people in the world.

Erica DeMint: Who is Erica DeMint? I'd like to think that those who know me best would be able to accurately describe my character and nature and, when asked, would thoughtfully reply, "Some girl I know."

Fiona Libsack: I am a voracious learner on a life-long quest to become an all-knowing, well-rounded, hip human being. Impossible?? I say NOT!  My membership in the ironic book club has provided me valuable insight into the human psyche as it relates to pop culture addiction, pre-teen fascinations and the fortitude of mankind to continue reading publications that offer very little literary value. Oh lets face it --- it's just fun to read books that we know we shouldn't!

Gloria Stauff: I like to think that people can see beyond my blatant sexuality to see me for what I really am: an introspective and sensitive deep thinker. Though I have nowhere the life experiences of oh, let's just say, a Justin Bieber, I do think that I bring to the table some profound insights that only a middle aged, somewhat overweight matron with questionable ancestry is able to provide.  A First Step 2 4ever meets Last step til eternity, if you will.  Read on!

For our first IBC session, we chose to examine First Step 2 Forever by youtube sensation and pop star Justin Bieber. In this work, Bieber chronicles his rise to stardom from humble beginnings as a street busker in Canada including his family influences, mentorship from his manager, and his growing fan base including so many beautiful GIRLS!

Unfortunately, at our first meeting we were not ready to record our insights, but you can listen below for a quick recap:

Should your own book club choose to examine First Step 2 Forever, we hope that the following questions will guide your thorough analysis. Happy reading!

1. First Step 2 Forever is an autobiography written by a 16 y/o.  What is your reaction to this?  Can teenage authors make an impact through their writing on society at large?  Contrast the tone of First Step 2 Forever with other teenage works (The Diary of Anne Frank, I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced).
2. What do you think is the driving motivation for Bieber to publish this book?
3. Consider the book's intended audience.  What will the audience gain from reading this work?  What audience has Bieber left out by declaring in his opening words, "Every one of you is "My Favorite Girl" for a different reason..."
4. Who are Bieber's early influences?  What role did each of these people play in his early development?
5. What are some of Bieber's musical influences?  How did the variety of musical styles he experienced in his young life impact the music he performs today?
6. Bieber writes in a specific style to connect with his intended audience.  Select a passage from First Step 2 Forever to read aloud to the group that typifies that style.
7. Consider yourself as a pre-teen and young teenager.  Who were your musical influences at that time?  What differences and similarities to your own teenage idols and Bieber?
8. Bieber gained popularity through the use of social media.  In an industry in which technology is constantly changing, what role do you feel social media will play in introducing new artists in the future? What strategies would you use to introduce new musical artists into popular culture?
9. What most surprised you about Bieber's journey?
10. The title of the book implies that Bieber is at the beginning of something.  What do you think the future holds for him?
Bonus Question: WTF?!!!!