Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Didn't Ask to be Born (But I'm Glad I Was) by Bill Cosby


Every once in a while, I try something a little different, such as Bill Cosby’s latest book of humor, I Didn’t Ask to be Born (But I’m Glad I Was). As in many collections, some of the pieces will work for some readers, and some won’t. It doesn’t hurt if you can picture Bill Cosby narrating the pieces.

Cosby reaches back into his childhood for a story about his neighborhood in Philadelphia, “The Morphamization of Peanut Armhouse.” And, he takes us into his years as a grandfather with stories such as “They Should Do This Every Three Months.” But, some of his funniest pieces come about because he questions things we’ve never thought about, and there’s a nod of recognition.

My favorite chapter of the book is “The Missing Pages.” Cosby admits we must not have the entire story of Genesis. Someone edited it so that there are missing pages. How many animals did Adam have to name? “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.” Today, there are more than fifty thousand different species. God created them all, and Adam had to name them? How did he come up with those names? Cosby complains about all the missing pages in the story of Adam’s life in the Garden of Eden. And, it’s hard to argue with his commentary.

Some of the anecdotes were enjoyable. Overall, I found the book a little flat, but that’s just my opinion. My biggest complaint about the book is just mine. I’m not happy to see QR codes at the end of every chapter. Those of us who don’t have smart phones are left out of the joke. I’m fine when I don’t understand a joke or comment in a book. That’s my own lack of understanding. But, when an entire audience is excluded, I’m not happy with it.

So, maybe someone with a smart phone call tell me if there were any unusual comments associated with the QR codes in Bill Cosby’s I Didn’t Ask to be Born (But I’m Glad I Was). Now, I just wish Andy Rooney was still around to complain about that.

I Didn’t Ask to be Born (But I’m Glad I Was) by Bill Cosby. Center Street. ©2011. ISBN 9780892969203 (hardcover), 196p.


FTC Full Disclosure – Library book.

12 comments:

Liz said...

You're a step farther along than I. QR codes? Still, have enjoyed Cosby's humor for years.

Lesa said...

Well, I know what QR codes are, Liz, because we talk about them at work. They're little squares with devices in them that can be read by smart phones. You can see them in Macy's commercials saying find out more info about products. There's a social media platform called Foursquare in which people can check in when they get to places, restaurants, libraries, museums, etc. Sometimes get discounts. New York Public Library uses it. Our Main Library has one. If buildings are using them, it's based on GPS. And, that's about all I know about them because I don't have a smart phone.

Kimberly said...

I think it sounds really cool that there are QR codes included in the book. What a unique and forward thinking idea! I'm sure we'll see more books like this in the future. Good for Bill Cosby to be at the top of the trend!

bermudaonion said...

I enjoyed this one more than you did. I had a galley and it didn't have QR codes, so I'm not sure what they were about.

Dr. Laurence Brown said...

The only thing which we cannot ask in life.. Yes you are right.. Thank you for the information.

Lesa said...

I'm glad you like the idea, Kimberly. You must have a smart phone. Now, if you read those QR codes, you'll have to let us know what they say.

Lesa said...

I found it so/so, Kathy. You're right. I wasn't excited about it, although I found that one essay particularly funny.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Dr. Brown. Thank you.

Karen C said...

Looks like I'll be joining you, Lesa, in not being able to know what the QR codes are. I'm such a dinosaur that I don't even text!

Lesa said...

I don't either, Karen. I have the capability of Tweeting via my phone, but that's it. And, I seldom use my phone anyways.

Jody said...

I don't have a smart phone yet either. I'm always wondering about those QR codes. I know about them too since I work in a library.

This reminds me of how my mother used to complain about how all the advertising told people to just go to the web page for coupons, complaints, etc. when she didn't even have a computer. She had developed macular degeneration just about the time she was going to get one.

Lesa said...

And, your mother is STILL right, Jody. Many of the people in my community do not have computers, either. I still think it's unfair, making a world of haves and have nots. And, it's not that I can't afford a smart phone. I just don't see the need to have one.