Friday, July 5, 2013

Book Review: Man Up!

Man Up!: Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence
Ross Mathews

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Book Description:
As a young kid growing up in a farm town, Ross Mathews might as well have wished for a pet unicorn or a calorie-free cookie tree to grow in his front yard. Either of those far-fetched fantasies would have been more likely to come true than his real dream: working in television in Hollywood, California. Seriously, that stuff just doesn't happen to people like Ross. But guess what. It totally did.

Now, with his first book, Ross takes us inside his journey as a super-fan, revealing the most embarrassing and hilarious moments of his small-town life and big-city adventures. From learning to swear like a hardened trucker to that time in high school when had to face down the most frightening opponent of all (his girlfriend's lady bits), Ross holds nothing back. Oh, then there's his surprisingly shady past involving the cutest pair of plus-sized women's pajama bottoms, deliciously dangerous pot butter, and embezzled sandwiches. And, of course, how he's managed to turn an obsession with pop-culture into one-on-one interactions with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Tiffani-Amber Theissen, Madonna, Michelle Kwan, and countless more without ever having a single restraining order issued against him.

Infused with Ross's trademark humor, unique voice, and total honesty, MAN UP! is a mission statement for anyone who doesn't fit the mold. His hasn't been the most traditional way to build a career in Hollywood, but Ross has somehow managed to make his mark without ever compromising who he is. He is as serious about this as he is about Golden Girls trivia: You don't need to change who you are to achieve your dreams (although there's nothing wrong with a makeover every now and then). You just need to Man Up!

Amazon US | Goodreads

This is far from my usual read but I decided to give it a chance anyway and I have no regrets. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find it both entertaining and funny. I have often found myself thinking that I might really enjoy one of those many comedians’ biographies while passing the aforementioned book section in my local bookstore, but have never really given in to the idea until now.

I had a promotional credit to spare on my Audible account that was going to waste, so I picked up Man Up!: Tales of My Delusion Self-Confidence by Ross Mathews. At only five plus hours of listening time and narrated by Ross himself [definitely a bonus in my book], I thought it was a good deal and a great opportunity for me to take a break from my marathon listen of the Outlander series. [The Outlander audiobooks have been part of my daily commute since January this year and a break was definitely in order.] So, armed with my new audiobook, I finally took the plunge. 

Are you familiar with Ross Mathews? If not, he is the guy who first began his career as Ross the Intern on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and later on E!’s Chelsea Lately. Being familiar with both shows, although being far from a devoted follower, I felt that I knew what to expect – and, as I said before, I was not disappointed.

"Hello, dear reader! It’s me, Ross Mathews from television! So now that we’re best friends (oh, by the way, we totally just became best friends), you should know that I am possibly, just maybe a teeny bit way too excited for you to read my book." Man Up! (Prologue).

How could you not like this guy? Especially now, that we are totally best friends – he said so himself! So, in the spirit of his excitement and his distinctive high pitched chirpy voice we continued on to the many stories of his childhood, various jobs, friendships, relationships, and other exciting, funny, and at times inspirational episodes of his life. Ross lays it all out on the table, from his dating life, and his two lovely pooches Louise and Mijo, his Oscar–winning bff Gwyneth Paltrow, to his many jobs and a sudden spotlight at The Tonight Show.

Ross is not shy about name-dropping and pop-culture references that peppered each and every page of his book, but I wasn’t turned off. In fact, I found it quite authentic coming from Ross – it is exactly how I would have imagined it, if he were to sit right across from me, and share a few of his life’s anecdotes as bff(s) do. Overall, the book was entertaining and fast-paced. I thought his message of self-acceptance, was quite clear but not condescending. So, if you like Ross Mathews, and are a fan of all things pop culture, definitely pick this one up, perhaps you’d want to throw one of those balloon days yourself…

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