Sunday, July 22, 2012

Assholes and Overachievers

Let me start off by saying that I see the irony between pairing these two books together. Although they are both non-fiction, they are obviously two very different types of books. One is informative and well researched, while the other is... well just look at the title. Also, I know a lot of people were offended by Tucker Max's book and you'd have to live in a box to not see why that is. Of course I agree that the way he treats people is cruel and a bully like him shouldn't be making so much money off being an asshole. And yes, I do feel a little ridiculous for feeding into the assurance that people will buy this book because sex, alcohol, and funny stories sells. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't find the book entertaining, which is why I'm introducing this book (and plus, it is book #19 on my summer reading list so I have to add it!). So in advance I apologize if I'm offending anyone by discussing this book and I welcome your criticism on it, but please don't shoot the messenger! 

Assholes Finish First by Tucker Max - One day over spring break my car was in the shop so I decided I'd walk to my local Barnes & Noble. My mom was going to pick me up when she got home from work, which meant I had about an hour to mosey around the store. At the time, this book was sitting on the best sellers shelf and of course the title caught my eye. I had heard about the book before and figured I'd grab a coffee, then read it for entertainment until my mom arrived. I got to about page fifty and thought it was pretty funny. Then again I enjoy shows like "Family Guy," which I know a lot of people despise. I didn't buy the book until a few days ago. When I went to the counter I tried to ease the embarrassment of buying a book like this (the last book I bought there was a book on teaching children's creative writing) by saying "I'm doing some educational reading." Luckily, I don't think the cashier really looked at the book title because she simply said "Oh, that's good to hear."  Basically, Tucker Max combines his sexcapades, drunken acts, and just general funny stories in one book. But as stupid as his decisions are, one thing I like about his book is you can tell from his writing that he's fairly smart (as ridiculous as that may sound). A lot of people would probably find this book repulsive and say to never buy it (I definitely wouldn't fault them for saying that), but if you're looking for an entertaining read then go ahead and pick this one up. 
A quote from the book: "When a girl you meet three hours ago decides to tattoo your name on her body what is the appropriate reaction?" 

The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins - Obviously, this is a very different type of non-fiction account and in no way do I see any resemblance between the book discussed above and this one. I just found this to be another interesting non-fiction read and thought I'd pair the two together for that reason alone. Well... maybe I did it to redeem myself from discussing the other book or because the two books make an excellent blog post title. I read this one last summer after finding it in a pile of books in my mom's room. My grandpa gave this one to her a few years ago. As stated on the author's website the book combines "fast-paced storytelling and spectacular investigative journalism." The book rotates between nine high school over achievers, their stories, and their journey through the admissions process to get into college. Maybe I would've enjoyed the book more when I was in high school because it would be easier to relate to, but it was also nice reading it after I'd already been through that whole process. This is a good book to consider if you're going through/finished with the admissions process or are an overachiever/parent of an overachiever. I found some parts of this book funny because like those kids, I have recopied forty pages of a textbook into my notebook so the material would be absorbed better or studied for twelve hours to do well on a test. I liked how the author stresses that while it's okay to like a school because of its name, it isn't always the right decision and it's important to find a school that fits you, like a few of the students in her book. Although I found this to be slow at times (though maybe because I'd just read a series of fiction books), overall I found it to be both funny and real. 
A quote from the book: "In one survey respondents listed Princeton as one of the country's top ten law schools. The problem? Princeton doesn't have a law school." 

Hope you're enjoying your weekend and happy reading! If you like some of these blog posts please feel free to follow this blog by clicking the link at the end of the page; I'd love to meet some of my readers. 

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  1. LOL Christine, awesome pairing! I totally agree. Tucker Max is so crude but I laughed so hard at his first book! So entertaining if you can overlook it!

    Btw, I nominated you for the Liebster blog award! Don't know if you do awards but if you want to accept and pass it on the instructions are on my blog. :) Have a great week!

  2. Haha thanks so much :)! But same here; personally, I found him hilarious, but you definitely have to be able to overlook his crudeness! And AHH!! OMG!! Thank you so much, that was so sweet and this is super exciting!! Lol. I'll definitely follow through with it!


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