Three for Thursday: A Walk in the Woods, White Man’s Problems, and Thug Notes

Here’s another new segment for you: Three for Thursday. Don’t expect this weekly–or, monthly–but I’ve got some books to get off my chest (and shelf).

Bill Bryson

This is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. From what my friends tell me, Bill Bryson’s other books are just as charming and hilarious–sold!

Bill, on his return to America, looks at this trail and decides he wants to walk it. Never mind that the trail is The Appalachian Trail (the capital letters makes it more daunting). Bill has no camping experience since he “stopped making dens with blankets and card tables at about the age of nine.” He doesn’t want to go it alone–that would be a long 2,100 miles–so he seeks the companionship of friends. He found one, not quite friend. Overweight and out of shape, his hiking buddy “was almost cataleptic with displeasure.”

The hijinks and tribulations would be depressing in person, but are side-splittingly funny in print. But Bryson doesn’t make this book a pure comedic romp: it’s also a touching narrative of the importance of our woodlands. It’s a testimony to our trails, a call to the wild. Each chapter seems to summarize some fact about his experience, be it that the lower 48 states are 1/3 covered in trees, or that main has 10 million acres of uninhabited trees, or that Mr. “I love Walden” Thoreau about peed his pants when in real deep woods versus a place that “he could stroll to town for cake and barley wine.”

Thanks to Blogging for Books for sending over this great book. If  you haven’t already, check out the trailer for the upcoming movie based upon the book:


Kevin Morris

Fact: I’ll probably listen to anything narrated by Matthew McConaughey. Throw in Minnie Driver–I’m hooked. WHITE MAN’S PROBLEMS is another case of don’t judge a book by its sinfully ugly cover.

Kevin Morris is a lawyer to the stars who decided to try his hand at writing some short stories. Unfortunately, I’ve been spoiled by Pultizer-winning Adam Johnson and Booker-winning Margaret Atwood. It’s unfair to compare Morris to these God-gifted masters of the craft. But, hey, he does alright.

No, not all of the stories are winners. Some of the stories, you get sick of hearing about privileged Californian lawyers having difficulty deciding which of the five mansion mortgages they should pay that month.  On the other hand, there are some truly touching stories, such as one about a poor kid trying to fit in at school and win over the rich family’s daughter.

Morris knows how to handle the pen; hopefully he’ll stick to the more relatable, “where we live at” type of stories in the future.

Here’s a sound clip of Morris reading one of his stories. Thank you to Audible Studios for providing this book for my listening review and for providing this clip:


Sparky Sweets, PhD

I didn’t know what to think when I got an e-mail from a guy named Sparky Sweets, PhD. He told me about his book called THUG NOTES. I was intrigued. After clicking on the link and laughing my [another word for butt] off for the next hour, I was in love.

With as much contextual references as Cliff Notes and with the pizazz of the most endearing YouTube celebrity, Dr. Sweets lays down literature like none other. This guy’s dope.

I tried to take pictures of this hilariously profane book, but most of the censors block me. So, here’s some quote I’ve typed up with my own added censors. This is a selection from CATCHER IN THE RYE:

“On da one hand, Holden always [derogatory word for women, with an ‘in] ’bout horny bro-types treatin’ girls like [brown fecal matter] and still gettin’ dat nookie…Holden even smacks him in his grill when he won’t fess up to [the mother of all curse words] Jane.”

“…Fool never goes through wit’ it. Cuz gettin’ balls-deep in [starts with ‘M’; rhythms with “puff”] only gonna make him more adult, naw mean?”

Um….yeah. I naw what you mean. To complete the picture of summary and important themes, Dr. Sweets includes plenty of jazzy pictures. None of which I can show you here. But they get the point across.

Sparky is great in his humor and spot-on in his summaries. If you aren’t easily offended and looking for a good laugh and a bit of learning, this is the way to go. Also, check out his YouTube channel, wisecrack.

Here’s some ol’ folks reading selections from his book:

Take care you all!! Happy reading!!!


10 thoughts on “Three for Thursday: A Walk in the Woods, White Man’s Problems, and Thug Notes

  1. LizScanlon

    Great! I must get my hands the “Thug Notes”!
    I’ve seen a lot of positive rave about “A walk in the woods” so should probably add that to the long list of to be read as well 🙂

    1. ryandejonghe Post author

      I didn’t know much about walk in the woods, but was pleasantly surprised. Had lots of LOL moments from the movie trailer; almost a laugh-a-page from the book. And yeah, Thug Notes rocks. So many laughs.

  2. adventuresofcoops

    I read A Walk in the Woods on a plane earlier in the summer; I think the guy next to me was fed up with me laughing by the end of the journey! I didn’t know there was going to be a movie, will definitely have to check it out!

    1. ryandejonghe Post author

      haha, hope you enjoy it. I’ve become somewhat addicted to the youtube channel, but to me the book is what really strikes me as hilarious. I’ve been sharing it around the office to anyone with the same type of humor.

  3. Pingback: August Summary, Jungle Book Review, and No More Amazon Affiliate–whew! | The Avid Reader – Books, Books, Books!

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