Author pronounces on happiness and stuff

February 28, 2012
By

Seriously . . . I’m Kidding, by Ellen Degeneres (HarperCollins, RRP $40):

I missed all the Ellen excitement when she first hit our screens back in the 1990s, because I worked nights and didn’t really watch a lot of television back then.

Fast forward a decade or two and I’m now working days and am more inclined to spend my evenings bonding with the television screen than having a social life, so I’ve managed to catch up with Ellen Degeneres in all her television glory: from sitcoms to chat shows to American Idol.

I’m pleased to say this book is just like its author: rambling, funny and just a little manic.

Degeneres has a knack for being interesting without really trying and is at her best when going off on a tangent.

It was that randomness that made her such a fun judge during her one-season stint on Idol.

Then there was no crying into her hanky (Paula Abdul), muttering nonsensical “For me, for you, for me, dawg-isms” (Randy Jackson) or waiting to see if Randy liked it and agreeing with him (Carla whatsherface with the name I can never remember). Nor did she make it her mission in life to tear into a contestant in an amusing manner (Simon Cowell, oh how we miss you on Idol).

No, Degeneres was simply herself, giving critiques that were rarely negative, but were always interesting.

As an aside, I had high hopes for Steven Tyler. But by the time they got to the live shows, it seems the network had him well and truly under control so the insanity we were all hoping for never quite materialised.

Degeneres seems to have done it all, from stand-up to television.

And with 30-ish Emmy award nominations under her belt, she has proved to the world that she knows what she is doing.

Her first two books both made the New York Times bestsellers’ list and it probably goes without saying that this one will feature there as well.

Using the theme of happiness and looking at her own life with a healthy dose of humour, Degeneres shares her thoughts on magnifying mirrors and the secret of life. Which is, apparently, kale.

It is an easy read that will provide plenty of giggles and a few laugh-out-loud moments.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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