Jul 8, 2012

The Other Oprahs - Michael Gelbart

A few weeks ago I decided to clean up my twitter list.   That this randomly happened the night before my birthday is probably a sign of personal growth in some way, but that's not the point here.   The point is that I was trying to get a better ratio- apparently following more people than having followers indicates you are not as good at tweeting as you think you are (My ratio was approximately 3:1).   I scrolled through my list and unfollowed anyone I really didn't recognize or know...it was an intense process and sometimes I had to read a bunch of their tweets before making the decision.   

You should also know that for my birthday I had started a campaign to try to get a red bull Slurpee machine.   Or just a red bull Slurpee, whatever.   I tweeted directly to red bull (no response), I added it to the end of everything I said to people (they thought I was kidding), and I posted it in my status across social media for a few weeks prior to the big day.   Nothing.   It was like not one person on earth cared that I thought red bull Slurpee's could be possibly the greatest idea ever and that I want one very badly.   

Back to twitter- my ratio still sucked but I felt like I was getting it under control a little more and after tweeting good night to my tweeps, I went to sleep.
The next day I received a tweet:

Read it again.

Yup.   I had just deleted the one person who I followed on Twitter who paid any attention to my birthday wish.   I felt beyond stupid- it was just the worst kind of shame that is unique to committing a social media faux pas in that someone actually called me out on unfollowing them.   Yikes.   

So naturally, I followed him again, apologized and then we started talking.   He's funny.   No really- that's his job.   Michael Gelbart is a comedian who has done a lot of stuff mostly centered around making people laugh.   He's actually very good at it and as I found out during later conversations, he has also written a book called "The Other Oprahs".   Intrigued by the premise I told him I wanted to read it and write about it... so here we are.
Let's start with the basics- watch the trailer that I saw before I read the book:
So now let me clarify because I swear, what I got from the website (links at the end) and the trailer was not at all what I expected/ended up with once I sat down and read the book- in one sitting cover to cover a few hours ago after I procrastinated and put it off which was totally my loss.  Once I started reading it I had to finish it and find out what happened.

There are four women named Oprah.   None of them are that  Oprah but they all experience daily issues just because they have the same name as she does.   They join a chat group for women named Oprah and through these online sessions you watch them support each other through life events and obstacles, all while laughing your ass off.   No really- I literally LOL-ed at times.   And that's an even funnier sentence to read if you've already read the actual book.   

I know, it's the summer, you're busy doing summer stuff (translation- you are sitting by the pool rotating every once in a while so you get an even glow and may or may not go for that third mimosa).   Look, it's not that long- and it's easy reading, I mean there are no pictures but you're not stuck with Kafka or anything like that- it's basic English for the most part.   I just think it's one of those books that blindsides you when you really aren't expecting it.   You wouldn't know from reading this review or perusing the website or watching the trailer- but it's actually a really insightful look at women in general and four fictional (I think!?!) personalities in particular.   I found it to be refreshingly wry and just sarcastic enough to keep my inner mean girl satisfied while allowing the bubbly, optimistic (Dare I say Oprah F?) side of me to enjoy a good read.   

The really interesting thing about this book is that I actually related and saw pieces of myself in all four women.   I think that says a lot about the author- that he could create fully rounded characters, flaws and all, and still enable his reader to identify with them on a personal level.   Even the slightly bitchy, mean Oprah W.   Kinda cool I think.   And this book isn't just for chics, although I have a feeling given the popularity of the great Oprah herself, that would probably be the target audience.   If anyone wants to borrow my copy... sorry, it's currently listed on EBay and I need to keep it in mint condition for whoever buys it.   LOL.

*This post is dedicated to whomever wants it to be dedicated to them.   Especially if you are now going to go read the book.   Then you'll get my jokes.
Check out the book - www.theotheroprahs.com
Learn more about the man himself - MichaelGelbart.com
Stalk him on Facebook
Harass him on Twitter

Thanks for sticking with me on this one--- I'll make up for subjecting you to a book review by going to some phenomenal rock concert or something very soon.   But really, you should be thanking me because if you actually do go read it, you will have a very enjoyable day.   And laugh.   A lot. 

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