Rated Reads

Seriously … I’m Kidding

by Ellen DeGeneres

Rated: Mild

The point of this book, as our author so cheerfully tells us at the end, is for the reader to be happy. Well, considering that it’s Ellen DeGeneres, and that the book is really just a collection of amusing, if meandering and sometimes odd, thoughts and observations, I think I can safely say that, for me, the goal has been achieved.

This book made me, for a couple hours at least, happy. Or amused, at the very least.

It read very much like Ellen’s standup comedy: not laugh-out-loud funny, but rather companionable, amusing, enough to get a smile or a even an occasional giggle. The book is really formatted as one very long dinner party conversation: there’s a bit about Ellen’s life and her experiences as a talk show host (she does get serious, but only briefly in small doses, and then backs off with a joke or two fairly quickly; the most serious she gets is when writing about her experience as an “American Idol” judge), but mostly it’s just observations on everything from littering to manners to yoga to gardening. There’s no real coherent theme, no underlying lesson, no deep thoughts (even if there is a chapter on deep thinking).

But, for what it is — a congenial conversation between Ellen and her “readers”/fans — it’s a fun little book. Some of the chapters are quite funny (like the “Meditation” chapter: about four blank pages followed by “Ahhhhh. Doesn’t that feel better?”), others not so much (the one about writing Pro/Con lists kinda fell flat for me). In the end, though, it was an amusing way to spend an hour or so, and I’m not sad I picked up the book.

Which means, I guess, that Ellen did the job she set out to do.

Rated: Mild for two instances of using the a-word (as she’s explaining the text-speak LMAO to the non-teenagers reading the book).

— Reviewed by Melissa Fox

Melissa Madsen Fox's blogging career began in 2004 when she started Book Nut. Reading, reviewing and book blogging have taken over what's left of her life after being a stay-at-home mom to four rambunctious daughters and wife to a slightly- absent-minded professor of political science.

One Response to Seriously … I’m Kidding

  1. Simonne Frieze says:

    DeGeneres started performing stand-up comedy at small clubs and coffee houses. By 1981 she was the emcee at Clyde’s Comedy Club in New Orleans. DeGeneres cites Woody Allen and Steve Martin as her main influences at this time.,;

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  • Seriously … I’m Kidding
  • by Ellen DeGeneres
  • Rated: Mild
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Reviewer: