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My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir through (Un) Popular Culture

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In the vein of New York Times bestsellers Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby, a collection of side-splitting and illuminating essays by the popular stand-up comedian, alum of Chelsea Lately and The Mindy Project, and host of truTV’s Talk Show the Game Show. From a young age, Guy Branum always felt as if he were on the outside In the vein of New York Times bestsellers Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby, a collection of side-splitting and illuminating essays by the popular stand-up comedian, alum of Chelsea Lately and The Mindy Project, and host of truTV’s Talk Show the Game Show. From a young age, Guy Branum always felt as if he were on the outside looking in. Self-taught, introspective, and from a stiflingly boring farm town, he couldn’t relate to his neighbors. While other boys played outside, he stayed indoors reading Greek mythology. And being gay and overweight, he got used to diminishing himself. But little by little, he started learning from all the sad, strange, lonely outcasts in history who had come before him, and he started to feel hope. In this collection of personal essays, Guy talks about finding a sense of belonging at Berkeley—and stirring up controversy in a newspaper column that led to a run‑in with the Secret Service. He recounts the pitfalls of being typecast as the “Sassy Gay Friend,” and how, after taking a wrong turn in life (i.e. law school), he found stand‑up comedy and artistic freedom. He analyzes society’s calculated deprivation of personhood from fat people, and how, though it’s taken him a while to accept who he is, he has learned that with a little patience and a lot of humor, self-acceptance is possible. Written with Guy’s characteristic blend of wit, guile, and rumination, My Life as a Goddess is an unforgettable and deeply moving book by one of today’s most endearing and galvanizing voices in comedy.


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In the vein of New York Times bestsellers Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby, a collection of side-splitting and illuminating essays by the popular stand-up comedian, alum of Chelsea Lately and The Mindy Project, and host of truTV’s Talk Show the Game Show. From a young age, Guy Branum always felt as if he were on the outside In the vein of New York Times bestsellers Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby, a collection of side-splitting and illuminating essays by the popular stand-up comedian, alum of Chelsea Lately and The Mindy Project, and host of truTV’s Talk Show the Game Show. From a young age, Guy Branum always felt as if he were on the outside looking in. Self-taught, introspective, and from a stiflingly boring farm town, he couldn’t relate to his neighbors. While other boys played outside, he stayed indoors reading Greek mythology. And being gay and overweight, he got used to diminishing himself. But little by little, he started learning from all the sad, strange, lonely outcasts in history who had come before him, and he started to feel hope. In this collection of personal essays, Guy talks about finding a sense of belonging at Berkeley—and stirring up controversy in a newspaper column that led to a run‑in with the Secret Service. He recounts the pitfalls of being typecast as the “Sassy Gay Friend,” and how, after taking a wrong turn in life (i.e. law school), he found stand‑up comedy and artistic freedom. He analyzes society’s calculated deprivation of personhood from fat people, and how, though it’s taken him a while to accept who he is, he has learned that with a little patience and a lot of humor, self-acceptance is possible. Written with Guy’s characteristic blend of wit, guile, and rumination, My Life as a Goddess is an unforgettable and deeply moving book by one of today’s most endearing and galvanizing voices in comedy.

30 review for My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir through (Un) Popular Culture

  1. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    4.5 stars. "We talk about nature and nurture when analyzing a person's character. We see two ways that an identity is formed. One is biological, the mean of parents' traits passed down genetically. The other is environmental: How did the world around this person guide and encourage him? The problem is that by either of these methods, I shouldn't be me. I should be shorter and dumber and not at all concerned with what pairs well with star anise syrup in a cocktail." (BTW, it's notes of orange.) At 4.5 stars. "We talk about nature and nurture when analyzing a person's character. We see two ways that an identity is formed. One is biological, the mean of parents' traits passed down genetically. The other is environmental: How did the world around this person guide and encourage him? The problem is that by either of these methods, I shouldn't be me. I should be shorter and dumber and not at all concerned with what pairs well with star anise syrup in a cocktail." (BTW, it's notes of orange.) At a young age, Guy Branum already knew he was different. Growing up in Yuba City, a farming town in Northern California, he was much larger (both taller and fatter) than his peers. Big boys were supposed to be fighters, but Guy didn't have it in him to fight. What he wanted to do was sit inside, read, and learn, find answers to the endless number of questions he had, about nearly everything in the world. But that met with disapproval from his parents, especially his father, who wanted his son to act "normal." As Guy grew older, as he grew bigger and fatter, he indulged his father's wish and played high school football for four years. But he never had any passion for it. And as he realized he was gay, he knew that was another reason society would look down on him. What he wanted more than anything was to get out of Yuba City, go someplace more exciting, and be free of the expectations of those around him. And while he felt bad about himself, and tried to hide himself and who he really was in plain sight for so long, at some point he realized that he was worthy of love and success and praise, no matter what others might say or think. "I'm not supposed to like myself, and I'm certainly not supposed to think that I should matter. The world has spent a lot of time telling me that, and in the past thirty or so years, I often listened, because we all listen. The world is mostly full of fine facts and good lessons, but some of those facts and lessons were built to keep you down. And I got kept down for decades. Then I remembered that I was a goddess. I may not always feel like it, but I have powers." In My Life as a Goddess , a memoir/collection of essays, Branum shares his long journey to self-discovery, from his difficult relationship with his father to the love of movies he shared with his mother; his discovery of his sense of humor and his writing ability while attending Berkeley—which led to an interesting run-in with the Secret Service; what he believes to be society's struggles with both fat and gay people; finally feeling free enough to go to gay clubs; and the rise of his career as a stand-up comedian, comedy writer, and occasional actor. Parts of this book were literally laugh-out-loud funny. (I got more than my share of odd looks when I read this book in public, and the one time I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe I realized I needed just to read it at home.) Branum's love of pop culture, television sitcoms, movies, and music felt so familiar to me. More than a few times I thought he and I could be great friends, or we'd try to out-funny each other, and he'd probably win, so I'd feel bitter. But this is more than a comic memoir. My Life as a Goddess has real emotional heft to it as well, and I found myself nodding and even tearing up at times as I recognized situations which occurred in my own life. Branum is tremendously insightful but he doesn't feel sorry for himself; he recounts his life in a very matter-of-fact way. You may think that the difficulty of his journey helped turn him into the immensely funny man he has become, and certainly you see that with a lot of LGBT people, whose creativity was burnished amidst poor treatment. Branum's childhood and his growth into adulthood was a difficult journey, but thankfully he has risen above it, and more thankfully for us, he is willing to share himself with us. At times he rambles a bit on unrelated topics (and he even recognizes it as he is doing it), but then his heart and his sense of humor shine through, and you realize this book, and this man, are truly special. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    I have an addiction to celebrity memoirs, especially those of comedians. I've read and/or listened to dozens of them, and though I'd never heard of Guy Branum, the cover and his work credits made me interested. To be honest, I expected something... funny. All of the comedian memoirs I've read have been funny, or at least, tried to be funny. My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir through (Un) Popular Culture didn't. The book is really a memoir of someone's life as an outsider in a medium-sized, admittedl I have an addiction to celebrity memoirs, especially those of comedians. I've read and/or listened to dozens of them, and though I'd never heard of Guy Branum, the cover and his work credits made me interested. To be honest, I expected something... funny. All of the comedian memoirs I've read have been funny, or at least, tried to be funny. My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir through (Un) Popular Culture didn't. The book is really a memoir of someone's life as an outsider in a medium-sized, admittedly interesting, town in farmland-ville California. Guy Branum is a very smart guy, something he easily and unconsciously shows off with his prose and vocabulary (I had to use my Kindle definition feature a few times, which I don't normally have to do), but I had a hard time picturing him being, well, funny. I could see him as a writer, even a television writer, but even at the end I had a difficult time figuring out his comedic style. If you are looking for a funny book or one with lots of Hollywood gossip, this really isn't the story for you. If you want a pop-culture heavy story about a Jewish (-ish) guy from California who used his brains and luck to find a satisfying career in Hollywood, then you are on more of the right track. Though it wasn't what I expected, I still enjoyed My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir through (Un) Popular Culture. I think if you are a fan of Guy's or a big Chelsea Handler fan, you would enjoy this one. *Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    I will admit, I had no idea who Guy was before I read this book, not even an iota. After reading this though, I am in awe that I somehow completely overlooked his whole career. He's so funny! How did our paths never cross? Part memoir, part humor, part history and pop culture lesson; this memoir is unique and entirely fun to read. I'm a huge fan of footnotes and there are A TON of footnotes; humorous asides, sarcastic comments, clarification, etc. It's genius! The stories I enjoyed the most were I will admit, I had no idea who Guy was before I read this book, not even an iota. After reading this though, I am in awe that I somehow completely overlooked his whole career. He's so funny! How did our paths never cross? Part memoir, part humor, part history and pop culture lesson; this memoir is unique and entirely fun to read. I'm a huge fan of footnotes and there are A TON of footnotes; humorous asides, sarcastic comments, clarification, etc. It's genius! The stories I enjoyed the most were the ones where Guy is rehashing his youth growing up in a quasi-Jewish home in the redneck hills of California as a giant gay child. It's humorous, real, raw at parts, but he never loses levity. Another great celebrity memoir by someone you may or may not have heard of, but are certainly glad you did by the end of the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    I didn't know anything about Guy Branum previously, but now I am a huge fan. Branum is a stand-up comedian/actor/writer/lawyer/all-around talented fella. He is also gay, very tall, and very large. And he's very, very good at trivia and quiz bowls. (You will be better at both those things as well if you read this book and remember even 1/3 of the references - there's a Jenny Holzer allusion, FFS!) Though this book is full of humorous autobiographical essays, it's also got a ton of great insights i I didn't know anything about Guy Branum previously, but now I am a huge fan. Branum is a stand-up comedian/actor/writer/lawyer/all-around talented fella. He is also gay, very tall, and very large. And he's very, very good at trivia and quiz bowls. (You will be better at both those things as well if you read this book and remember even 1/3 of the references - there's a Jenny Holzer allusion, FFS!) Though this book is full of humorous autobiographical essays, it's also got a ton of great insights into queer theory, homophobia, and politics -- in one of the most bizarre details in the book, Branum was "treated" to a Secret Service visit after making an offhand comment about then-First Daughter Chelsea Clinton in a humor column written for his college paper. It was perhaps the first time that he rose to national attention, but definitely should not have been the last. Not only are Branum's stories funny and heartfelt, but he has the best vocabulary of any writer I've encountered in quite a while. I found myself having to look up a word or two every few pages to make sure that it meant what I thought (or to learn what it meant). Branum attended law school, has a near-encyclopedic knowledge of trivia, and his passion for using the right word for the right situation is not only admirable, but downright inspiring. Just read this book and be glad you did, damn it. I received access to this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nikiverse

    I initially picked this book because I remember Guy as one of the panelists on Chelsea Lately. But this isn't a normal comedian memoir. Guy grew up in the turdish part of California where he did not fit in. But he was a voracious reader and media consumer. And he eventually went to law school and started stand up comedy (I think in that order). So he's an interesting guy, this Guy. "You had no idea that buying the book by the gay guy from Chelsea Lately would have this much agriculture in it, di I initially picked this book because I remember Guy as one of the panelists on Chelsea Lately. But this isn't a normal comedian memoir. Guy grew up in the turdish part of California where he did not fit in. But he was a voracious reader and media consumer. And he eventually went to law school and started stand up comedy (I think in that order). So he's an interesting guy, this Guy. "You had no idea that buying the book by the gay guy from Chelsea Lately would have this much agriculture in it, did you? I never signed up for it, either. Guy talks about his farming town, battles from the Greeks or some stuff, movies, movie tropes being bullsh*t, books, being gay, and then he FINALLY dishes on Chelsea Lately and all of his work experiences in Holllywood (HI IM NIKI IM HERE FOR THE GOSSIP) There wasnt really any point where I was laughing out loud, but Guy has a unique perspective on life. He's smart and witty and that's what we need.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tim Mclaughlin

    This is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. I wish I could go back in time and give it to myself when I was 15. Guy is hilarious, obviously, but he also has some of the most insightful analysis of issues affecting gay men. His writing is super intelligent, but also super approachable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    amanda eve

    A blisteringly witty, incredibly insightful memoir. I'm a fan of celeb memoirs, and this is definitely high on my list.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Taurie

    I got this book as a goodreads giveaway not knowing anything about Guy Branum. I was looking forward to a funny memoir, but this book was mostly Guy describing tv shows and movies. I don’t feel like I learned many things about him and I certainly didn’t laugh.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Received from Net Galley in exchange for review. This was, overall, an enjoyable book. At times I felt that Branum didn't tie chapters and sections together as well as he could have and there were definitely a few stances he took that I didn't love, but this was well-written, amusing, and heart-felt. I also obviously enjoyed reading about somebody else that wasted three years going to law school

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I got this as an ARC from NetGalley. Guy's a great writer and I appreciated his candor, humor, and all the random bits of historical and cultural knowledge sprinkled throughout.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Within five minutes of Guy Branum's book, I was hooked. I mean, it's pretty obvious the cover is amazing and captivating, with a shirtless Guy cheekily clutching flowers wearing a Mona Lisa smile. It's clear from the get-go, this man has something unique. My knowledge of him was pretty limited, I heard him on a few podcasts and enjoyed his input, but I didn't know enough about Guy to want to read an entire book about him. I'm glad I did. My Life as a Goddess is one of those books I would recomme Within five minutes of Guy Branum's book, I was hooked. I mean, it's pretty obvious the cover is amazing and captivating, with a shirtless Guy cheekily clutching flowers wearing a Mona Lisa smile. It's clear from the get-go, this man has something unique. My knowledge of him was pretty limited, I heard him on a few podcasts and enjoyed his input, but I didn't know enough about Guy to want to read an entire book about him. I'm glad I did. My Life as a Goddess is one of those books I would recommend to almost anyone who has ever felt downtrodden or unworthy. To quote Guy himself, "I'm not supposed to like myself, and I'm certainly not supposed to think that I should matter. The world has spent a lot of time telling me that, and in the past thirty or so years, I often listened, because we all listen. The world is mostly full of fine facts and good lessons, but some of those facts and lessons were built to keep you down. And I got kept down for decades. Then I remembered that I was a goddess. I may not always feel like it, but I have powers." His book is a wonderfully blended mixture of anecdotes, pop culture references, humor, and even a bit of sorrow. (The chapter where he beautifully juxtaposes his father and his father's favorite movie had tears rolling down my face) Guy explains many aspects of his growing up as a gay man in a small, hopeless town through the benefit of his sharp analytical skills from being an attorney, and his humor skills from the School of Life-and it's a treat. Simply put, he's brilliant. My only complaint is that sometimes Guy would get carried away with his history lessons. Yes, he wove them nicely into his stories. However, there's only so much about the history of Canada that I want to hear when reading a biography about an American man who was born and raised in California. Were I a gay man, I would go to California, woo Guy, and skip off into the sunset with the sparkling facets of his jewel of a mind; and the resilient beauty of his kind soul. But I'm not. I'm just average, unspectacular chick in the Midwest who genuinely enjoyed this book. I think you will, too. (Unless you are any of the following: homophobic, anti-semitic, humorless, afflicted with a low IQ, and/or easily offended) *Note: if you are listening to the book on audio, Guy talks extremely fast. At some point I would like to read My Life as a Goddess in text, because I'm pretty sure I missed small portions due to his ability to speak in double time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cameron

    It was smart to include the subtitle of this book, "A Memoir through (Un) Popular Culture." This is by-and-large a book of cultural critiques and to some degree, straight-up descriptions of plots of movies and TV shows. Many of the cultural references from his childhood are admittedly outside of my own timeline, but I understood a fair amount. If you are someone who knows of Guy from his truly fabulous podcast "Pop Rocket," you won't be out-of-place, until Guy derides you for probably not gettin It was smart to include the subtitle of this book, "A Memoir through (Un) Popular Culture." This is by-and-large a book of cultural critiques and to some degree, straight-up descriptions of plots of movies and TV shows. Many of the cultural references from his childhood are admittedly outside of my own timeline, but I understood a fair amount. If you are someone who knows of Guy from his truly fabulous podcast "Pop Rocket," you won't be out-of-place, until Guy derides you for probably not getting a reference which you may in fact get. It was his keen self-awareness that pointed out what I, as a gay man, felt frustrated by. This is maybe not a problem of his, but a problem that Guy speaks to throughout the book: the need for gay men to hide certain facts about themselves due to how they may be perceived by the outside world. Much of this felt like it was written for straight girls- gay men don't need the constant explanations and footnotes about what gay culture is. I was left wanting a little more grit. In the coming out story, there was no revelatory sexual experience. Perhaps he wanted to avoid that cliché, perhaps his experience was uncouth, or perhaps he fell victim to the gay-man-as-eunuch pitfall: We can be funny, quippy, and clever, but that ends when we describe the way our private parts are used. Some of it was repetitive, and I felt could have used some editing finesse- perhaps, though it's a stylistic choice. It is a memoir, not an autobiography, but I don't love the jumps around in time- a linear storyline would have been better, in my opinion. All-in-all, I fell in love with Guy throughout this book. He has a truly agile mind, even if he may try a little too hard to prove it. I hope the book is successful enough to warrant another one. Not to get too schmaltzy or personal, but when he learns to love himself a little more, enough to allow someone else to love him- I'd love to get that perspective down the line. It's worth the read, and is more than anything an inspirational story that may just get you to look at things a little differently.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I loved this book! Every time I took a reading break, I couldn't wait to get right back into it. It's so funny and smart, even during the parts that are painful and heartbreaking. I laughed out loud and teared up within the first 50 pages; it's an emotional journey for sure. Having grown up in Northern California with a difficult father myself, I found a lot to relate to in Guy's life because so much of it is relatable. Guy has gone through many difficult times and come out the other side strong I loved this book! Every time I took a reading break, I couldn't wait to get right back into it. It's so funny and smart, even during the parts that are painful and heartbreaking. I laughed out loud and teared up within the first 50 pages; it's an emotional journey for sure. Having grown up in Northern California with a difficult father myself, I found a lot to relate to in Guy's life because so much of it is relatable. Guy has gone through many difficult times and come out the other side stronger, and it gives me hope and inspiration that of course I can do the same. Sometimes I wonder whether comedians have actually written their memoirs--I had no such thought reading this. Guy's voice is so clear and distinct throughout, no one else could have possibly put these words together in this way. In the best way possible, reading this felt like Guy speaking directly to me. I don't know if Guy feels like he has another book in him, but I certainly hope he does. Especially if it's him re-telling Canadian history. I will read anything and everything Guy Branum puts down on paper because not only is he hilarious, he's just a damn good writer. Full disclosure: I received an advance copy as part of a Goodreads giveaway, but I will be buying the audiobook when it comes out so that I can hear Guy's reading as well.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Larry Hostetler

    Actually, a 4.5. Other than a couple of places where the narrative bogged down (including near the end where he went into WAY too much detail comparing two TV shows about TV shows) I found the book to be humorous, educational, engagingly introspective, explicating, and yet a very good read. It is difficult to describe the contents because there are so many aspects to the story; yes, it's a memoir, but it is much more. I found it particularly moving to read about his personal struggles with his ho Actually, a 4.5. Other than a couple of places where the narrative bogged down (including near the end where he went into WAY too much detail comparing two TV shows about TV shows) I found the book to be humorous, educational, engagingly introspective, explicating, and yet a very good read. It is difficult to describe the contents because there are so many aspects to the story; yes, it's a memoir, but it is much more. I found it particularly moving to read about his personal struggles with his homosexuality as well as the different perspective it inexorably results in developing, as well as that perspective which is inherent. I understood in a way I had not, sympathetic though this straight white guy (small g) might be. Particularly instructive was the comparison to his female Sikh high school friends. A quick read, but that doesn't mean it is light; it is full of a demonstration of his prodigious knowledge of arcane facts. I have not (to my knowledge) heard his stand up routine, but I imagine those who have will read with his inflections ringing in their ears. (Or would that be eyes, since they're reading?) Certainly a good read. A very good read. I have already recommended it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    thebakedbook

    This book is so good! His mind just boggled my mind so many times. I loved that he talked about the history of Canada, and different movies in the context of his life. He is super media literate, and make a lot of points about gay porn and the "gay voice" that made so much sense to me. He has a very broad mind, and doesn't get bogged down in the mundane. He quickly related small concepts to huge historical ideas. There was a lovely chapter on Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and he talked about the mechanic This book is so good! His mind just boggled my mind so many times. I loved that he talked about the history of Canada, and different movies in the context of his life. He is super media literate, and make a lot of points about gay porn and the "gay voice" that made so much sense to me. He has a very broad mind, and doesn't get bogged down in the mundane. He quickly related small concepts to huge historical ideas. There was a lovely chapter on Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and he talked about the mechanics of writing and performing unlike anyone I have ever heard talk about it. He is also incredibly emotionally intelligent. He sited his influences as Eddie Murphy for stand up comedy, and although some of his jokes were extremely homophobic, Guy still learned from him and took techniques to succeed in his stand up career, and bring his presence and convictions to the staged. This whole book was very nuanced, and I typically do not like celebrity memoirs: they can be dull and repetitive. Guys voice just shines as something truly unique and fresh. I listened to the audio book which I 100% recommend! 5 stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell Sigmund

    This was sent to me as a birthday gift. I was able to read it in one day even though I wanted to spread it out to last at least a week. I have been a fan of Guy for a while now and I'm happy to say he writes with the same biting and knowledgable wit that made me fall in love with his comedy and podcasts. Normally I don't really like memoirs, but this one weaves poplar/(un)popular culture (from Entourage to Babette's Feast) in and around majors events in Guy's life which he anylizes meticulously. This was sent to me as a birthday gift. I was able to read it in one day even though I wanted to spread it out to last at least a week. I have been a fan of Guy for a while now and I'm happy to say he writes with the same biting and knowledgable wit that made me fall in love with his comedy and podcasts. Normally I don't really like memoirs, but this one weaves poplar/(un)popular culture (from Entourage to Babette's Feast) in and around majors events in Guy's life which he anylizes meticulously. Aspects of Guy's life are beautiful, depressing, cruel, illogical, triumphant, and hilarious. Now I need to get back to reading Crazy Rich Asians to make sure I'm up to speed when the new Pop Rocket comes out.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Anders

    This book is pretty good. The chapters where Guy gets personal are the best ones. He’s funny and brilliant and sometimes transforms his vulnerability into something very sweet. But many of those chapters are bogged down by long, defensive rambles about history or an obscure film. As a reader, I don’t really care if you touch guys’ butts in clubs or feel superior that you’re a good dancer or don’t want to discuss your complicated relationship with your sister, I just want the narrative to make se This book is pretty good. The chapters where Guy gets personal are the best ones. He’s funny and brilliant and sometimes transforms his vulnerability into something very sweet. But many of those chapters are bogged down by long, defensive rambles about history or an obscure film. As a reader, I don’t really care if you touch guys’ butts in clubs or feel superior that you’re a good dancer or don’t want to discuss your complicated relationship with your sister, I just want the narrative to make sense. There are other parts where he glosses over something really interesting, like the chapter where he comes out to his parents and the chapter where he talks about Chelsea Handler. Guy is such a sparkling person, I wish he had put more of himself into this memoir.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    I have always been a fan of Guy but this book made me love him even more. I teared up often reading this starting at the just first chapter because I was so inspired by the story behind the title of the book. This book taught me so many things about words, pop culture, and random historical events all while making me laugh. He has incredible take on how pop culture that will forever change how I view T.V. shows and movies. He discusses in depth with many examples about the power they have in hel I have always been a fan of Guy but this book made me love him even more. I teared up often reading this starting at the just first chapter because I was so inspired by the story behind the title of the book. This book taught me so many things about words, pop culture, and random historical events all while making me laugh. He has incredible take on how pop culture that will forever change how I view T.V. shows and movies. He discusses in depth with many examples about the power they have in helping people identify with the stories that are told. Guy’s story in itself is inspirational as he went from being a lawyer to comedian/writer and has worked with Joan Rivers & Mindy Kaling.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    Humorous celebrity memoirs are not always my faves, but this is a really good one. I love the Pop Rocket podcast, and I'm so glad this memoir goes into interesting pop culture criticism in the same way the podcast does. I'm glad it doesn't delve into smarmy life/career advice like some of the others do. I loved the close reading of Bohemian Rhapsody's lyrics. I love how well he explains why I watched old sitcoms as a kid. There were things I didn't love about it, his occasionally maudlin tone fo Humorous celebrity memoirs are not always my faves, but this is a really good one. I love the Pop Rocket podcast, and I'm so glad this memoir goes into interesting pop culture criticism in the same way the podcast does. I'm glad it doesn't delve into smarmy life/career advice like some of the others do. I loved the close reading of Bohemian Rhapsody's lyrics. I love how well he explains why I watched old sitcoms as a kid. There were things I didn't love about it, his occasionally maudlin tone for one, but overall I really loved how thoughtful and human and unapologetic. I listened to the audiobook, which I do think is the way to go with this one.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zimes

    I received an ARC of this book from Net galley for an honest review. I've been a fan of Guy Branum for years, ever since I saw him on Chelsea Lately. So when I saw he had a book coming out I knew I was going to read it. I'm a fan of memoirs in general and comedic personalities especially. This book did not disappoint. While it took me a little while to get into the book and Guy's writing style, once I was there I couldn't put this down. I enjoyed learning about his childhood and the breadth of k I received an ARC of this book from Net galley for an honest review. I've been a fan of Guy Branum for years, ever since I saw him on Chelsea Lately. So when I saw he had a book coming out I knew I was going to read it. I'm a fan of memoirs in general and comedic personalities especially. This book did not disappoint. While it took me a little while to get into the book and Guy's writing style, once I was there I couldn't put this down. I enjoyed learning about his childhood and the breadth of knowledge that Guy has acquired over the years. The footnotes were especially fun. I can only hope that Guy continues to write in the future.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Manda

    I know of Guy from the podcast world and always enjoy his contributions, so picked the audiobook to listen to. It was intelligent, insightful and occasionally funny, but the storytelling dragged and felt repetitive. Maybe it's shallow, but the truth is I was hoping for more career dish/celebrity gossip. Instead, this was all basically glossed over in one of the very last chapters. And while I knew I SHOULD appreciate the long detours on topics like Canadian and Punjabi history, I didn't - it fel I know of Guy from the podcast world and always enjoy his contributions, so picked the audiobook to listen to. It was intelligent, insightful and occasionally funny, but the storytelling dragged and felt repetitive. Maybe it's shallow, but the truth is I was hoping for more career dish/celebrity gossip. Instead, this was all basically glossed over in one of the very last chapters. And while I knew I SHOULD appreciate the long detours on topics like Canadian and Punjabi history, I didn't - it felt like someone smart trying to show off to the reader how clever they were.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I love Guy Branum. I only know him through various podcasts I listen to but I always enjoy his insights and humor. I was so excited to get this book. I settled in expecting a hilarious, witty and light hearted book of essays. This book was nothing like I expected. Instead it was a book of essays full of heart wrenching insights, sadness and raw honesty. It was so much better than I expected. There was still lots of humor and funny stories but it was just so much more. I was provided a copy of th I love Guy Branum. I only know him through various podcasts I listen to but I always enjoy his insights and humor. I was so excited to get this book. I settled in expecting a hilarious, witty and light hearted book of essays. This book was nothing like I expected. Instead it was a book of essays full of heart wrenching insights, sadness and raw honesty. It was so much better than I expected. There was still lots of humor and funny stories but it was just so much more. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley.

  23. 4 out of 5

    lp

    It might have been easier to dog-ear the pages in MY LIFE AS A GODDESS that weren’t mind-blowingly brilliant. “The Rules Of Enchantment" stopped me, thinking of comedians as spell-casters. This book was a brain workout. It was beautiful. I thought the title was just a funny joke but it is important. It is a guide for anyone who has ever felt hated to find their inner god. This book isn't a regular celebrity memoir, it could be used as a pop culture text book. I appreciate more than anything some It might have been easier to dog-ear the pages in MY LIFE AS A GODDESS that weren’t mind-blowingly brilliant. “The Rules Of Enchantment" stopped me, thinking of comedians as spell-casters. This book was a brain workout. It was beautiful. I thought the title was just a funny joke but it is important. It is a guide for anyone who has ever felt hated to find their inner god. This book isn't a regular celebrity memoir, it could be used as a pop culture text book. I appreciate more than anything someone who can find the smart in the "dumb."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    I had to listen to the audio book because Guy Branum is a goddess. He is smart, he is witty, he knows how to intellectually humanize both Ruth Bater Ginsburg and Joan Rivers. He at once insists that diversity of voices in media is important to insuring American society may one day achieve the highest ideals we aspire to while also laughing at the fat joke about Abdel that he freely admits he has no right to say. The man speaks my love language.

  25. 4 out of 5

    AnnMarie

    Guy Branum was a comedy writer for some of my favorite shows like Chelsea Lately, The Mindy Project and Billy on the Street. This book is a collection of stories detailing his childhood and teen years in a Northern CA farm town to his time spent working with comedy stars like Chelsea Handler and Joan Rivers. Anyone who has ever felt like an outcast or never could find their niche, this book is for you.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Frank778

    One of the best memoirs I have ever read. The writing is solid, clever, and funny. The stories are poignant, raw, and funny. If you can choose an audio version so you can hear Branum’s rich and powerful delivery. I never expected to be moved to tears hearing the legal triumphs of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Every Canadian will love the chapter on Canada. It should be required reading for every Canadian who thought our history was boring.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    I love Guy Branum! Pop Rocket is my favorite podcast, and as soon as this book was mentioned I knew it would be a must read. Guy's voice comes through so clearly in these stories of his life with frequent detours into pop culture and obscure history. Smart, funny, dishy and insightful this book is everything I'm looking for in a celebrity memoir. I'm going to have to go back for the audio!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I won this book from a goodreads giveaway. I hadn't heard of Branum before but I mostly enjoyed reading this book. It was entertaining and I enjoyed reading something from someone who is different than me in so many ways- a white, gay man, for instance. I am really fatigued from all the political ugliness lately so those parts of the book were off-putting for me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    John Amory

    The first few chapters on Guy's youth were amusing and kind of fun, but there's a lot of bitterness that comes through in later chapters and one essay that's particularly problematic and just put me off entirely.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nadia Carrim

    I got an ARC copy on kindle! I enjoyed his sarcastic humor, and GORGEOUS language. He uses words I've never even seen before (my vocabulary builder list on kindle is overflowing). I recommend for anyone who is a fan of his work and likes a good laugh!

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