Book Review - Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

Well, it looks like it is time for another book review! A few nights ago I was laying in bed, not ready to fall asleep, and I decided to pick up my Nook and find a book to read. I wasn’t having much luck finding anything I wanted to read, so I went to the best seller lists. I thought, “If other people are buying the crap out of these books, I probably can’t go wrong..right?” I found one that seemed interesting, and that one was Ellen Degeneres’ Seriously…I’m Kidding.

For the price, $14.99, I seriously expected a little bit more in terms of page count. The ebook came in at an underwhelming 160 pages, which would explain why the sample consisted of only the first eleven.

Aside from the disappointingly short format, it wasn’t all that bad. For the most part, I found myself wanting to read more; though at times, I wasn’t sure if that was because it was good or simply because I was always hoping it would get better. In this book, Ellen does a fairly decent job of providing the reader with enough funny content to keep them satisfied. At times, though, it felt like she was trying a bit too hard.

Here is a quote from the second chapter, which I feel manages to maintain a good balance between hilarious and ridiculous. (To provide some context, this quote is some advice out of the chapter on ‘How to Be a Supermodel’ which she offers ‘[s]ince [she] is a CoverGirl’.)

One: The Look

Always look like you’re angry at the universe for making you too pretty.

Two: The Walk

Trot. Aggressively, like you’re a horse that’s trying to avoid puddles.

I found this section to be quite entertaining, but unfortunately they aren’t all as hilarious as this. See below.

I like to stretch my mind by reading and writing and watching educational TV shows like The Bachelor to learn the complex mating rituals of heterosexuals.

While I can see what she was trying to attempt with the above statement, I feel like it is a bit silly and poorly thought out. Maybe I need to be a lesbian to find it funny, but as a gay man I have a hard time seeing how it might have been entertaining. (Okay, stereotypes aside…the joke is just old – I’ve heard it before.)

The novel isn’t entirely a mix of babbling and mostly funny jokes – Ellen also mixes some good advice into the work. (Though it is often times followed by out of place jokes.) A lot of this advice stems around the idea of being happy achieving happiness. Ellen is constantly making references to happiness in this book, and you can tell that she is really trying to help her readers feel better about themselves. You can also tell that she enjoys this. For the most part she is very successful, and it manages to drown out some of the bad that the book is also bundled with. Ellen’s best advice, was to avoid negativity as best as your can – unfortunately it was followed by a bunch of negative statements she made as a joke. (I supposed it should be expected, I mean..the title is ‘Seriously…I’m Kidding‘.)

Of all of the things Ellen writes in her novel, I have to say my favorite is this;

There are some people who refuse to bring anything when they go to someone’s house. Even if you bring something every time you go to their house, they bring nothing to yours. Here’s my solution for people like that. When you go to their house you take something. You bring a bottle of wine, you take their microwave. You bring a Bundt cake. You take their car. It’s yin and yang.

Some of the best jokes were mixed in between some of the worst, and this is why I pushed myself to finish the novel – I knew Ellen wouldn’t let me down entirely.

And with that, I go on to the last and arguably most important part of this review: whether or not I would recommend for you to read this novel. My answer? Yes, but you should remember this advice as you sit down to read it: when the jokes get stale, and they will, try to imagine Ellen is reading them to you. It helps if you can imagine Ellen’s voice and her comedic timing as you’re reading, because, let’s face it: Some things just aren’t funny when read.

Stay tuned for more book reviews from me, and if you liked it than please subscribe to my feed! Now if you will excuse me, I need to look into another novel to read.

Stephen Battey

Stephen Battey

Stephen is a 25 year old amateur photographer, blogger, and husband from Tacoma, Washington. He shares a cute ass house with his husband, cat, and two dogs. He generally hates all weather patterns.

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