by Ellen DeGeneres
First sentence: “Dearest Reader, Hello.”
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The point of this book, as Ellen so cheerfully tells us at the end, is for the reader to be happy. Well, considering that it’s Ellen DeGeneres, and that the book is really just a collection of amusing, if meandering and sometimes odd, thoughts and observations, I think I can safely say that, for me, the goal has been achieved.
This book made me, for a couple hours at least, happy. Or amused, at the very least.
It read very much like Ellen’s stand-up comedy: not laugh-out loud funny, but rather companionable, amusing, enough to get a smile or a even an occasional giggle. The book is really formatted as one very long dinner party conversation: there’s a bit about Ellen’s life and her experiences as a talk show host (she does get serious, but only briefly in small doses, and then backs off with a joke or two fairly quickly; the most serious she got was when writing about her experience as an American Idol judge), but mostly it’s just observations on everything from littering to manners to yoga to gardening. There’s no real coherent theme, there’s no overlying lesson, there’s no deep thoughts (even if there is a chapter on deep thinking).
But, for what it is — a congenial conversation between Ellen and her “readers”/fans — it’s a fun little book. Some of the chapters are quite funny (like the “Meditiation” chapter — about four blank pages followed by ” Ahhhhh. Doesn’t that feel better?”), others not so much (the one about writing Pro/Con lists kinda fell flat for me). In the end, though: it was an amusing way to spend an hour or so, and I’m not sad I picked up the book.
Which means, I guess, that Ellen did the job she set out to do.