Thursday, May 30, 2013

Follow Friday - If I could meet a blogger IRL

Follow Friday is a feature created by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  It's a fun blog hop where you meet other book bloggers and find people to follow.
Question: What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.
This is a pretty easy question. It would be Catie from Readventurer because we've been blogging/goodreads friends for so long.  It feels strange that I don't real life know her (For Catie: Louisville is a great city. Horses! Bourbon! Museums for Kids! Parks! A 100 year old riverboat!)  Catie is a good reliable friend who has always been there for me online.  Even though we've both been busy with life lately and haven't talked as much I still count her as one of my blogging best friend.  From what I've seen online, Catie is laid-back  smart and has excellent taste in books.

Honestly there are A LOT of bloggers I'd love to meet.  As I say on twitter regularly, book bloggers are so obviously my people.  There are some things that I get excited about that NOBODY understand and then book bloggers will agree and retweet and I know that here in the blogging community I am home.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guardian of the Dead (review)

4/5 stars

Guardian of the Dead (Goodreads | Amazon) is a good book that benefits from having an excellent narrator and audiobook.  The story itself has a lot going for it--mythology, New Zealand, a smart doesn't-take-shit from anyone heroine.  But at times, the writing drags the story down. It liked to use clever turns of phrases like "I ate till my stomach touched my jeans" which FYI doesn't make sense, and overused adverbs in dialogue tags.  Clumsily writing that detracts from an interesting tale.

Fortunately the story itself is good.  Eleanor Spencer is the new kid at boarding school.  She's in her last year before university, so she struggles to fit in with the already tight-knit group of students who have lived together for years.  But she manages to survive, snaring attractive Kevin as a best friend by being the only girl who doesn't throw herself at him, and living the life of sneaking out, drinking in the dorm and normal boarding school shenanigans.

A serial-killer who takes his victims eyes has the whole island on edge.  Ellie accidentally stumbles into the supernatural world, learning that myths aren't quite as mythical as she thought and finding herself fighting to save her best friend from creatures that he doesn't even know exist.  Maori mythology, something I know nothing about, makes this novel stand out from the rest of the paranormal offerings.  I cannot comment on the accuracy, but I like that the author avoided the typical mythological beings used in fantasy novels and introduced me to a new and equally terrifying world.

Another thing that helps this novel is Ellie herself.  She's not your typical waif of a heroine, but a large, muscular, judo fighting smartass.  The author seems acutely aware of the non-positive male/female dynamics of most paranormals, and tries to make Ellie the opposite of Bella.  At times it's heavy handed.  There's a lot of talk about no meaning no and consent, but it's nice to have a heroine who's aware that she shouldn't let boys push her around.

I don't really have much to say for the romantic elements of this book.  There were times I liked that subplot and times when it seems unnecessary.  However it's fine most of the time.

I listened to the audiobook which is very well narrated.  The New Zealand accent is simply fantastic to listen to.  I've seen a few mixed reviews of this book and I noticed some flaws myself, but if you have the chance to listen to this story I highly recommend it on audio.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Audiobooks 101

I often see people on twitter who are interested in trying audiobooks asking for recommendations.  I am an audiobook-evangelist. On the internet, in real life, everywhere I find myself trying to explain the amazingness that is a good audiobooks.  I've also ran into a lot of misconceptions about audiobooks -- everything from that a computer voice reads them to that they don't count as reading.  Both of which are untrue.

Audiobooks aren't cheating.  You're getting the same story and same words, only read aloud.  Narration typically improves most books, especially if there's an accent involved. I view audiobooks as a way to steal reading time.  Rather than listen to mindless music on the radio, I read on my daily commute.  A lot of people listen to audiobooks when they jog, clean or cook.  It's not taking away from reading print books, it's allowing us more reading time.  People are busy, working, going to-and-fro. Audiobooks allow me to live my life and read my books.

Some (not all) of Cassi's Audiobooks Recommendations 

  1. Jacky Faber - These were the first audiobooks I truly loved.  The narrator, the incomparable Katherine Kellegren, does a cockney accent, different voices for different character, sings and plays the penny-whistle   When I initially put the CD in, I was worried the cockney accent might be a tad strong.  Don't be.  This is an adventurous tale that 10 books later I'm still amazed by the narration and ability of Katherine Kellegren.
  2. The Help - Remember when everybody was reading this book?  If you still haven't read it, listening to the audiobook (likely available at the local public library) is a good choice.  It's a full-cast production, meaning there are many voice actors, which includes Jenna Lamia another of my favorites.
  3. I Am the Messenger - This Australian young adult novel has a lot of heart and humor.  I love audiobooks that make me laugh.  Plus, Australian accent, how do you pass that up?
  4. Once Was Lost -Author/Narrators are funny monsters.  Few do it well, and my favorite is Sara Zarr.  She captures the fear and pain of being a teenager in simple, perfect narration.  Since I like Sara Zarr books and her narration, I always try to find these on audio.
  5. Bossypants - If your into nonfiction, humor and funny feminist women, this is a good choice.  Tina Fey wrote and narrated this autobiography.
  6. The Chosen One - An interesting novel about a young girl growing up in a polygamist compound and the difficult choices she faces. Jenna Lamia is the premiere narrator for innocent, thoughtful, sheltered young girls, and it's hard to separate Kyra from Jenna's voice in my head.  
  7. Dairy Queen - D.J. Schwenk, a teen girl on a slowly dying dairy farm, decides she wants to play high school football.  This book captures the misadventures of farm life, first crushes and trying to grow up in the shadow of two talented brothers.  The Minnesotan accent alongside the humor makes this excellent.
  8. Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian - Every teenage boy should read this book.  It's hilarious, heartbreaking and terribly honest.  The audiobook is narrated by Sherman Alexie (the author) who not only brings his Native American accent to the production, but his own experience growing up on a reservation.  When you hear him reading the story, which closely parallels his life, it becomes even more poignant.
  9. Okay For Now - This book has so much heart.  It understands how people can be both good and bad.  Sometimes how people see us helps define us, and this book talks about that and how hard it can be to break that perception.  Another book that is funny, sad and hopeful with narration that hits every moment perfectly.
  10. The Spectacular Now - This story of a troubled teen with a heart of gold (and a pretty big drinking problem) feels very authentic.  The characters are believably imperfect and the narration really puts you into Sutter's mind. 

Narrators make a HUGE difference in audiobooks.  Sometimes I love the narration but not the story.  Oftentimes the narration improves a good story that has flawed writing (Especially if there's an accent involved. I love accents).  When you pick up an audiobook, the narrator is a HUGE part of the experience.  I've heard a lot of people who have tried one book and the voice reading didn't work for them.  Depending on what you picked up, that doesn't mean audiobooks aren't for you, just that particular narrator isn't for you.  I've encountered narrators I could not stand listening. It happens.

Here is a list of my three favorite narrators.  These are not the only gifted narrators (or even the only narrators I like).  But this list represents narrators I've actively looked for when searching for audiobooks.  Sometimes when I'm in doubt about a book then see that it's narrated by a favorite voice actress I decide to listen to it.  This has been both good and bad, as even the best narrators can not save a terrible book.

Cassi's Favorite Narrators
1. Katherine Kellegren
2. Jenna Lamia
3. Mandy Siegfried

I know there are more great audiobooks and narrators that I have not included.  But these are specifically some of the favorites that I've personally listened to.  If you're an audiobook-evangelist like me, please share your favorites because I'm always looking for more audiobooks.  If you want to see how I've rated what I've read, here's my audiobook shelf on goodreads.  Happy listening everyone!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Follow Friday - Changes? What changes?

Follow Friday is a feature created by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  It's a fun blog hop where you meet other book bloggers and find people to follow.
Question: The #FF is 150 weeks old! And we want to hear from you! What would you change about the hop? What do you like about it? Or just suggest a question to be used for next week!
I feel like Parajunkee and Alison are trying to trick us into saying something mean and they'll write it in the burn book *looks around suspiciously* (Okay not really).

There's only 2 things that I can think of. Which are more of "Reasons Cassi isn't great at this" rather than actual problems with the hop lol. 1. Question released earlier on Thursday for those of us who go to bed at old people times *cough* me *cough* But really this is probably just a me problem because I have a whole nighttime routine involving walking the dog, feeding the dog, getting ready and then trying in vain to fall asleep early.  2. I wish I had more time to properly hop through and prepare a good response like I used to.  New job, new life, often traveling back home on Friday hinders my ability to fully participate sometimes. But really I love this hop.  Out of all the hops it's one of my favorites for a whole lot of reasons. The hosts are great. There's a purpose/goal.  It let's us talk about literature and our favorite books.  With some memes you see similar responses (and you do to an extent with this one) but follow friday really allows you to express your personality and your blog personality. It's great because I feel like I actually learn about other bloggers.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Will Grayson, WIll Grayson

4/5 stars

As a John Green fan, Will Grayson Will Grayson (Goodreads | Amazon) did not disappoint   It's witty, clever, neurotic and heartfelt, all the things we've come to expect from his novels.  A lot has been said about how John Green characters are always John Green characters.  True or not, here's the thing: I like John Green characters.  His Will Grayson is a nerdy everyman and I saw myself in him, especially in his flaws.

Also, on that note, John Green also wrote Tiny Cooper.  Or at least most of the Tiny Cooper portions of this novel.  With this being a co-authored book it's hard for me to really know who came up with what first.  Maybe John Green's main character is similar in voice and nerdiness to his other protagonists  but Tiny Cooper is like nothing I've read before.

Even though the book is titled Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Tiny Cooper is the king of this book.  Tiny Cooper is a special kind of character -- a super huge, super gay, super loud, SUPER character.  He just jumps off the page (doing jazz fingers in my mind). Yes Tiny Cooper is over the top, but that's what makes him Tiny Cooper and it's partially a defense mechanism to cope with being an openly gay athlete in high school (i.e. an oddity).

There are two Will Graysons in this book, straight Will written by John Green and gay Will written by David Leviathan.  It's nice to have two distinct voices, though I struggled with Levithan's style at first because the lack of punctuation.  I know it's artsy and stylistic but argh I like capitalization.  But I liked the two voices, liked that they were so different and the punctuation is just a personal thing and Levithan's prose is perfectly understandable.

To try to summarize this book feels ridiculous because what's happening is not really the message, but reveals what's actually important.  What you need to know is that Tiny Cooper is putting on a fantabulous musical about his life as a gay gigantic football player, straight Will Grayson is struggling with being a background character in the Tiny Cooper story (and really who hasn't felt like that?) and gay Will Grayson is struggling with coming out, depression and a whole slew of other issues.

When you look at the story you may think this book is all about accepting those who are different and having a big group hug both gay and straight people alike.  Really it's not.  Not to say that's not in there, but this book is about a different kind of love, friendship.  The word "love" is rarely used in the context of friendship and in most books romantic-love tends to sweep away friendship-love.  That alone made this book different.  So even though people might thing it's a John Green book, at least it's a damn good John Green book.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sean Griswald's Head (review)

4/5 stars

Sean Griswold's Head (Goodreads | Amazon) is another great book from Lindsey Leavitt.  She has a gift with writing books that are accessible, funny and young without feeling juvenile.  For those who enjoy her Princess for Hire series (me!), read Sean Griswold's Head.  While it's different, without any magic, the sense of humor and writing style remains the same.

Payton Gritas is the ideal student--organized, focused and driven. That is, until her father is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and her near perfect life turns upside down.  Payton didn't have a plan for this bump in the road and doesn't know how to cope.  Suddenly her lists and planners don't mean anything and her schoolwork starts to suffer.  So her guidance counselor recommends finding a focus object, something she can journal about to find balance and organization again.  What her guidance counselor doesn't count on is her picking a living subject, i.e. Sean Griswold's Head.

This book is heavier than Leavitt's Princess for Hire series, but it takes a talented author to make a book cute, fun and heavy all at once.  Payton is a bit of an emotional wreck, at times very frustrating and likable  but all of that makes for an authentic character.  I can relate to Payton, her terrible coping skills.  Even when you want to yell at Payton for the crap she pull, you can also see everything is coming from a place of love and fear.

You get both funny moments like this:
"I know hard-core cyclists wear tight clothes but I don't do spandex. The devil wears spandex. And I doubt the devil's butt is as big as mine."
and deeper stuff like this:
"I mean it isn't cancer. It...people don't...necessarily die. Don't do chemo. They don't follow a set recovery plan. They just change. Their bodies changes. Their abilities--the things they do that make them who they are--leave, sometimes temporarily, sometimes forever. Every day they wake up with that big what if.
And nothing is scarier than a life filled with what ifs--living day by day without predictability and control."
Few books can deal with weighty topics like multiple sclerosis, while still keeping a funny voice.  You rarely get serious family struggles and questions, alongside funny lists and adorable first-crush awkward flirting. But this book contains both seamlessly.  Life is rarely just this tragic teenage mope fest or this funny giddy relationship melodrama. Realistically life is all of that, plus more, and that's what this book captures with equal measures of humor and poignancy.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Follow Friday - Summer Reading

Follow Friday is a feature created by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  It's a fun blog hop where you meet other book bloggers and find people to follow.
Question: School is out! What is your favorite Summer Reading book?
Here's the thing. I actually only ever had one assigned summer reading book.  Strange I know.  It was Grendel which I actually really enjoyed at the time but probably couldn't tell you anything about now. Or wait, was it Beowulf and then we read Grendel during the school year? That makes more sense.  Honestly, that was AP english in high school and we read a lot of books so I'm a tad blurry especially since those are basically the same story told from different perspective. I liked them both well enough. I think I preferred Grendel because it was less poem and more just novel.

I'd prefer if you'd ask me what is my favorite book to read in the summer.  So I'm going to pretend you asked that too.  It's the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Piece and I usually re-read it once a year.  It's my happy place BFF series.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Alphabet of Dreams (review)

4/5 stars

We all have tropes that we will pick up no matter what, right?  For me, the "girl posing as a boy to make her way in the world" trope is pretty much an insta-read.  So when I was at the library browsing audiobooks, none of the titles really grabbing me, I flipped over a book and read the description.  When I got to this line,  "Now disguised as a boy, Mitra has never given up believing that they can rejoin what is left of their family and regain their rightful standing in the world," I stopped reading midway through the summary, went to the checkout desk and came home with Alphabet of Dreams (Goodreads | Amazon ).

For a book that I had never heard of, Alphabet of Dreams immediately drew me in.  The book takes place in Persia and the Middle East during Biblical times.  Mitra and Babak are the children of nobles forced to live as beggars after their father attempts to revolt against the king. Mitra, who goes by Ramin as a boy, never gives up hope that there's a better life for her.  She believes that her family is alive and that one day they'll be able to live as nobility again, not as poor starving beggars.

What I didn't realize (probably because I stopped reading the description halfway through) is that this is a retelling of the birth of Jesus from the prospective of the wise men.  If you're worried that this book is overtly religious, don't be.  If Goodreads hadn't told me, I wouldn't have realized until they were at the manger (and felt like an idiot because the clues were all there, 3 magus's following a star and all). But that's a testament to the power of Mitra's story.  The journey with the wise men is the backdrop to her tale, not the main plot line.

This is the story of an ambitious girl trying to survive in a harsh world.  She is not a soft pampered princess, but a street smart, tough girl, who just wants to be with her mother, father and brother and to feel safe again. But this is also the story of a girl who eventually realizes that wealth isn't everything, who loves her brother and would do anything to protect him.  She's prideful, ambitious, but still loving and kind.  I like that she's a complicated imperfect character struggling in a new world that she doesn't understand.

I also liked that this book took place in the Middle East (this is becoming a trend with me isn't it?).  Most of the "girl dressed as boy" stories take place in very anglo-European settings, sometimes fantasy, sometimes historical, but the new setting added an extra dimension to the "girl dressed as boy" because of the cultural restrictions on Persian women and the rules related to the gods they served.

Overall this book was an excellent surprise that I would recommend, especially on audio.

The narration was excellent.  Not knowing anything about Persian accents, I cannot comment on the accuracy but I'm glad they used an accent.  The narrator allowed you to really see inside Mitra's head, capturing the emotions without intruding into the story.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Peregrine Harker and the Black Death (review)

3/5 stars

Have you ever read a book that just feels like it's trying too hard?  Peregrine Harker and the Black Death (Goodreads | Amazon) wants to channel early 1900s serialized adventure drama.  It reminds me a lot of early radio drama, where it's all bang, sizzle and sound effects without enough of a plot to back-up the story.  And while the voice is different, it's a little too punch-you-in-the-face obvious for my liking.
"If you were to deny the humble British labourer his morning cup there would be riots in the street of every major city from here to Rangoon; and, in a few months, I believe that very tragedy is about to happen. There's trouble brewing and no mistake."  (Note the tea pun, which is acknowledged in the book but still pretty dreadful pun-wise)
Also everything just happens too easily in this book.  There are too many coincidences and happenstances.  All these EXCITING DRAMATIC MISADVENTURES are thrown at the main character and of course he always survives against all odds.
"It was purely by chance that she that very evening had decided to visit the Place des Pyramides and in particular the Hotel Regal.  She'd caught sight of me..."
Almost everything that happens is purely by chance, a coincidence or because of a "sudden urge" to walk.  To an extent some of these are explained by the end, but it's too little too late.

The characters never feel like people, more just walking types.  I was frustrated by the protagonist Peregrine Parker's tendency to believe anything anybody says, while all the time thinking himself exceedingly clever.  It's hard to get behind a main character so annoyingly thick.  Louisa also feels more like a type than a person, the BRIGHT, STUNNING, LOVELY young lady (who still gets weepy and swoons in case you think she has heroine potential).  Louisa is smarter than Peregrine and had potential, but in the end I found her just as unsatisfying as a character.

For a younger audience this book may be very enjoyable, but it lacks the nuances that make the difference between acceptably good middle grade and great middle-grade.

 FTC Disclosure: I received a free e-book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Follow Friday - Fave Mom

Follow Friday is a feature created by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  It's a fun blog hop where you meet other book bloggers and find people to follow.
Question: Happy Mother's Day! Who is your favorite mom from fiction?
Ruby Oliver's mother immediately pops into mind.  (I forced myself to pick an answer besides Mrs. Weasley since I'd already seen that). Her mother is OVER THE TOP. She's an actress in a one-woman show.  She's all about expressing the feelings.  So when Ruby starts having life-drama, her mother puts in her in therapy (which is the premise of this series).

But what makes Ruby's parents so amazing (both) is that they try so damn hard to help their daughter.  They are infuriating at moments, at times absolutely clueless, there's a point where they aren't actually speaking but you never doubt how much Ruby's mother loves her.  I mean they get a giant dog because they think Ruby's therapist said she needed one and they live on a HOUSEBOAT.  Not a big one. A small, maybe even tiny boat.  I like that Ruby and her mother have a realistic, sometimes angst-filled but completely love driven relationship.  You rarely see that in YA.

If you haven't read this series you need to.  It's fun feminism for teens.  Did you see that. FUN FEMINISM FOR TEENS.  (Here's my gushy gushy review)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Pirate's Wish (review)

4/5 stars

I was absolutely convinced The Pirate's Wish (Goodreads | Amazon) was a middle book.  Completely 100% believed it.  But apparently, this story was a duology not a trilogy. Here's the thing; The Pirate's Wish is good.  As a reader my needs were completely met by the end of this book.  But if you're expecting something as great as The Assassin's Curse (reviewish thing here), you need to pull in the reins of your expectation.

Personally I like raging Ananna.  I can see the problems that other readers would have with her.  She spends half this book stomping around being pissed at Naji and not listening to anything he tries to say.  Yes it creates more conflict than necessary. But really, she has every reason to be pissed and angry at the world. And why do I like it?  It feels completely authentic and true to the rash, brash pirate girl we met in the first book.  The reader sees Ananna's vulnerability through her anger, despite the raging and trying to hide her feelings, you see that she's hurt.  She's not one to talk about her feelings, she's the type to act out rather than cope.  On top of that, I can see myself raging and stomping around like Ananna.  It feels true to the character and true to life.
"You killed the son of Captain Hariri," Marjani said, "one of the richest pirates in the Confederation, before he could kill you. You helped win a sea battle against the Hariri clan. You struck a deal with a manticore and lived. Why do you care what Naji thinks of you?" 
I didn't have an answer to that. 
When I read the author's note at the end and I learned that Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish had once been one megabook a lightbulb went off and I thought "Oh that makes sense."  The plot in the second book doesn't feel as urgent or as necessary, breaking the curse becomes almost a foregone conclusion. However what I loved about The Assassin's Curse, fiery Annanna and sullen protective Naji, was still there.  We get the added bonus of exploring the rich world Clarke has built and meeting a hilariously sassy talking manticore.  I was satisfied with this book, even if the journey at times felt like an unnecessary obstacle course, ultimately I'm glad I got there.

In conclusion I just wanted to find a way of to include this Ananna quote. What I wanted to show was that she's still the smart, bold character that we loved that everyone always underestimates.  Only after I typed the review did I realize it kind of describes the book at times.  But some things are worth dawdling for.
"What?" I stepped forward, whole body tense. "What do you mean dawdled?" 
The Assassin looked at me. "Ah, the joys of dealing with the uneducated-" 
"I know what the fuck the word means..."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

School Spirits (review)

4/5 stars

My love affair with Rachel Hawkins' books continues.  School Spirit (Goodreads | Amazon) is everything I expect from her writing.  The book centers around a mysterious haunting that needs to be solved.  The book itself could be consider episodic (the main plot mystery is solved within the book), but there is a bigger overarching mystery that lurks in the background. The combination of a mystery (an actual plot) and a great sense of humor is hard to beat.  I can't say I loved it as much as Hex Hall (but *cough* I wanted to marry Hex Hall *cough*).  One of the biggest reasons Hex Hall will always be hard for Hawkins to top, is that Hex Hall was the original Hawkins story.  It was different and unexpected, a lighthearted plot-driven romp released in a landscape of too many romance- driven paranormal books that took themselves way too seriously. It was a breath of fresh air.  Now it's what I expect when I pick up Hawkins' latest release and School Spirits does not disappoint.
The wall was line with those tacky globe lamps--seriously, vampires are the worst--and a twinkling caught my eye. Glancing down, I saw that I was covered in a fire layer of shimmery silver. Oh, gross. He was one of those body-glitter-wearing jerks.
School Spirits follows Izzy Brannick, the youngest and last of the Brannick clan (those crazy quasi-magical defenders of the world fighting against all varieties of supernatural).  I was really hoping the spin-off would be Brannick driven.  We get all the pitfalls and isolation of being part of a monster-hunting family and get the hilarity of seeing Izzy thrust unwillingly into high school. Give her a vampire and she knows what to do. Give her a school cafeteria and she watches bad soap-operas for research purposes.

The romance in this book didn't quite get me like Hex Hall.  But I gotta give Hawkins credit for writing a boy who loves the ladies in the "carnal sense" and has a great sense of fashion.  Break out of those gender norms!  Don't put your romantic lead in the expected box, but let him be different and unexpected. Like the honeybadger, Hawkins does what she wants.

If you enjoy supernatural stories with a dash of silliness, then School Spirits is perfect.  The mystery is good, dropping clues along the way, the main character is a lot of fun and the witty humor is back with a vengeance.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Follow Friday - Peak at my current read

Follow Friday is a feature created by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  It's a fun blog hop where you meet other book bloggers and find people to follow.
Question: Give us a sneak! What are you reading? Tell us about a fun or fail scene in your current read.
I'm currently reading Tricked by Kevin Hearne (book 4 Iron Druid series).  My favorite passages are consistently whatever is great Irish Wolfhound Oberon says.  Seriously the dog is the wittiest character in the whole book.

For example a section where Oberon starts talking about Oprah.  Yeah, Oprah. (For the record Oberon mind-speaks, not actual words)

Oberon chimed in. < It's a shame she's no longer on the air. I had a dream once where I was in a studio audience full of famous dogs--I was sitting right next to Rin Tin Tin--and she gave all of us our very own. "You get a cow, and you get a cow, everybody gets a cow!" And then to make it sweeter, she gave everybody their own Iron Chef to cook it up. I scored Bobby Flay, and Rin Tin Tin got Cat Cora. The Tramp got Morimoto but he was pissed because he wanted Mario Batali, and I was like, Tramp, you just got a free cow, dawg, you have absolutely nothing to bitch about here," and he was all, "Look, Oberon, I've moved up in the world. I've sold a shitload of DVDs and I've single-handedly made mutts adorable...