Monday, July 9, 2012

Literature & Tyrese Gibson

DBSF was perusing Amazon--no need to inquire about search terms/ phrases--when he came across Tyrese Gibson's How to Get Out of Your Own Way DBSF hasn't read the book and from the publisher's description it looks to be a standard self-empowerment guide based on Tyrese's rags-to-riches experience. Nothing wrong with self-help. (Of course, the publisher should qualify that Gibson's physical aesthetics likely played a significant role in his success and, thus, that results, i.e., Hangin' w/ Mr. Cooper or co-staring w/ Paul Walker, are not ordinary.)

What stuck out to DBSF about the book though was the fact that it had a perfect 5.0 star rating from Amazon customers. (Customers can rank products on a one to five star scale with results being reported in half-star increments.) So, DBSF started thinking: What are some books rated lower than Tyrese Gibson's How to Get Out of Your Own Way?

King James Bible: 3.5 stars, Torah: 4 stars, and the Qur'an: 4.5 stars. Amazon customers rank arguably the three most definitive books of our society lower than one written by a star of both the Transformers and Fast and the Furious franchises.

Marx and Engels' The Communist Manifesto: 3.5 stars. Maybe the most influential sociopolitical book of the 20th century, but still not enough to compete with a book that has a chapter titled "How much do you love yourself?" Don't read it. DBSF spent the 6 minutes necessary. The gist? Think positive and be appreciative of what you have. It takes Tyrese about 40 pages to get to that point.

Lolita (4.5 stars), The Great Gatsby (4 stars), Don Quixote (4.5 stars), A Midsummer Night's Dream (4.5 stars), The Brothers Karamazov (4.5 stars) and Ulysses (4 stars). Not sure what most high schools' summer reading lists consist of but Amazon customers seem to be pushing away from novels and into marginally introspective self-helps. 

But not all is lost. Other five star Amazon classics include The Forever Girl (urban fantasy/ paranormal romance, i.e., "I received this information from an alien. As I told my husband, it was in the Paramus Holiday Inn, I was having a drink at the bar, alone, and this alien approached me. He started talking to me. He bought me a drink, and then I think he must have used some kind of a ray or a mind control device because he forced me to follow him to his room and that's where he told me about the end of the world."  Venkman: So your alien had a room at the Holiday Inn, Paramus? "It might have been a room on the spacecraft made up to look like a room in the Holiday Inn. I can't be sure about that, Peter."), Make it Paleo: Over 200 Grain Free Recipes for any Occasion, Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/ Outdoor Grower's Bible, and Mushrooms Demystified. There actually appears to be a trend in that putting the word "Paleo" in your book title will ensure 4-5 star rankings and an Amazon seller's rank that trumps that of most authors that contributed to the canon of Western lit. All Tyrese had to put on his cover was himself in a fitted, button-down cardigan.

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