Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hyperbole and a Half - 5 Reasons Why

2013 was a great year for entertainment.  This is the first in a 5 part series on my ‘Bests’ of 2013, starting with the ‘Best Book of 2013’.

Hyperbole and a Half is the best blog that you’re probably not reading.  If you are reading it, you deserve a gold star.  Here you go!
This star is ecstatic that you have such wonderful taste in blogs.

If you don’t read the blog, don’t worry! You can definitely still earn that gold star.  In fact, you’ve probably seen the work of Hyperbole’s creator, Allie Brosh, all over the web and not even realized it.  You know the ‘All of the Things’ meme?  Yeah, Allie’s responsible for that.  The post in which that phrase originated is in her book, aptly titled ‘Hyperbole and a Half’, that was published back in October.  Just like the blog, the book sets simplistic, vibrant, comic-like drawings against well-written and often laugh-out-loud stories. 

The book is great.  For oh so many reasons. 

One – First, in this increasingly digitized world, ‘Hyperbole’ is a rare reason to get a physical copy of the book.  It’s just about 10 bucks on amazon, and it’s completely worth it.  The book is brightly colored, with each chapter on a different colored backing.  Viewed from the side, the book showcases delightful rainbow stripes of color.  The pages themselves are high quality, glossy paper that provides a great platform for Allie’s drawings to pop off the page.  The weight and feel of the paperback book in my hands was also a delight for me, maybe just because I could now carry around a piece of my favorite blog in book form.

Two – Allie bravely tackles complex issues, such as a recent bout of severe, debilitating depression in her own life.  These posts are thoughtful, touching and unexpectedly funny.  Her writing and accompanying images so accurately depict what it’s like to battle with depression that I have occasionally copied the chapters and used them as handouts for some of my clients who struggle with mental illness.   Quite frequently the clients react to the handouts with a mixture of relief and gratitude for knowing that someone else has gone through what they are experiencing. 

Three – Allie Brosh is a delightfully odd and openhearted woman.  Case in point - when I first started this blog about 4 years ago, her blog was on the cusp of superstar status.  I reached out to her via e-mail, requesting feedback on how to increase traffic to my own blog, and she not only responded with a lengthy response, but also drew me a unique monster.  He is awesome and now lives on my laptop background.  She used to have this thing where if you requested a monster, she would send you one, no questions asked.  Not like I would know what type of questions are required for creation of a monster…but I digress.

My monster.  I love him to an irrational degree.
Obviously as Allie now has millions of visitors to her site on a daily basis, she can no longer keep up with monster demand.  Yet, I hear that she continues her tradition of getting to know her fans on a deeper level as book signings can last hours and hours.  I hear she takes time out to draw pictures for and chat with each and every person waiting in line to see her.  For more evidence as to how fantastic Allie is, click here for her interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast. 

Four – Once you’re done with the book, you’ll still have the entire blog to read.  Allie did include a few previously published posts from her blog in the book, but not nearly all of them.  Some highlights include 'The Alot Is Better Than You At Everything', all Spaghetta Nadle posts, and a post entitled 'It's Too Late to Apologize Kyle...But Do You Still Want to See Me Strip?'  in which she responds to a hater named Kyle by doing a raucously funny striptease in which she strips off countless layers of clothing without ever showing any real skin. 

Like people binge watch Netflix shows, you’ll very likely be sucked into the blog, fiendishly and obsessively consuming her posts from start to finish.  You’ve been warned.

Five – Laughter.  Allie has the ability to make anyone laugh.  Anyone, you say?  All ages, you say?  Do you have proof?  Well, here you go.

My sweet little niece can’t even read yet, but she just knows this book is funny. 
That’s how potent the funny is. 
We could certainly all use a little more laughter and happiness in our lives, and Allie nails it time after time.  So, give yourself a little present this holiday season.  Hop on over to amazon and get the book

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