Saturday, April 2, 2011

Book(s) of the Month, April 2011

I love books. They're fun, educational, and you if you read enough of them you might get a free sandwich. I know places do that for kids, but what about adults? Wouldn't we read more if a personal pan pizza was on the line?

A few months ago my brother, the comedy writer, had the distinct pleasure of meeting some of the guys from "Mystery Science Theater 3000," one of the most beloved shows of our TV-watching, Dipsy Doodle-scarfing childhood. This led to one of the few times in my life that I was jealous of someone else's job.

I love my job, but the only time anyone visits my office is, well, no one. I feel like I'm in a remake of "The Shining" sometimes.

Anyway, my brother's historic meeting made me realize that MST3K crew has come out with at least two good movie books: Kevin Murphy's "A Year at the Movies" and Michael J. Nelson's "Movie Megacheese," his collection of scathing movie reviews. (Nelson replaced Joel Hodgson, the show's first host, in 1993.)

Murphy, who was Tom Servo on the show, writes about his quest to see a movie every day, which involves heading to the Cannes Film Festival and sneaking Thanksgiving dinner into a screening of "Monsters Inc." His writing is insightful without being snobbish; and he comes across as likable and endearing. Plus, it's very funny: One highlight is watching "Corky Romano" with Nelson at mall multiplex, where they barely survive.

As for Nelson, who reviews everything from "Wild Things" to "Last Days of Disco", is one of my favorite books of all time. Every time I write a scathing review I use Nelson for inspiration: Be funny, be eloquently vicious, but always explain why you hate something so much. There's nothing worse than just blindly hating something. That's prejudice, not criticism.

That's it for now. Until next month, read in peace.

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