Friday, June 6, 2014

Second Hand Cliff Notes

My dear of a husband agreed to move into my place after the wedding and take on a ridiculous 1 hour PLUS one-way drive to work everyday.  Truth be told, on a given random Wednesday, he probably spends a rough 2 hours and 20 or so minutes in his Subaru (which, poor Subaru, still doesn't have a proper name).  Ben passes the time on his ghastly commute by listening to audio books.  The benefit to me comes later when, over dinner or teeth brushing, Ben fills me in on what he’s learned that day.  Personally, his taste in books is a little bland to me, as he tends to favor fact and biographies and presidents and I am just patiently waiting for Top Secret Twenty-One (The next installment in the ever wonderful Stephanie Plum Bounty Hunter Series...) to be published this June (!).  Regardless, he catches me up on the lives our of dead American patriots and I sort of follow along.  It's out shtick, and, if nothing else, at least it means I don't have to read the books myself.

So, straight from Ben's mouth and through my ears, for your reading pleasure, so that you may not need to pick up these books yourself, may I present to you...

Cliff Notes

American Prometheus

This one is about Mister J. Robert Oppenheimer, the modern day father of the atom bomb.  Oppenheimer was one messed up dude.  Messed up as in, he tried to kill his college TA with a poison apple.  That’s right, he tried to off a man Snow White style.  Then he went on to impregnate someone else’s wife.  Not cool.  He continues to slowly evolve into complete insanity and is accused of being a communist, all the while being a very key component in the completion of the atomic bomb.  Other things happen and oh, yeah, we drop the A-Bomb.  Not really a surprise ending there.

Guns, Germs, and Steel:

This wonderful brick of a book is all about why some civilizations not only exist but thrive and while others do not (and typically become completely annihilated by the more thriving civilizations).  Basically, if you are starting out your own civilization and would like it to succeed, you need to learn to grow wheat and corn fast, otherwise you will not become technologically advance.  This is important because you need you brain power to focus on other things, like how to use gunpowder for guns and not just for fireworks (silly Chinese…).  Also, surprisingly enough, you can’t domesticate elephants, you can only tame them.  There is a difference.  And apparently, it is important.

Kitchen Confidential:

This one is all about Anthony Bourdain: druggy turned famous chef.  He runs a tough kitchen.  He doesn’t want those entitled, classically trained preps.  Give him a minority line cook who understands the value of hard work and he'll give you the best line cook this side of the Delaware.  He'll also give you some interesting tidbits that will make you question the actual health and safety guidelines at every restaurant ever.  It can be gross at times, therefore I have tried to block those instances from my memory.  However, it is important to remember that should you end up in a kitchen with Anthony, don't take his dish towels.  He does not look kindly on that, and given how the rest of the story played out, I'm pretty sure he may cut you over some missing dish towels.  You have been warned.          

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