Most of the readers here will never pick up Ross Mathews' Man Up! The comedian's book, subtitled "Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence" is a little too raunchy with too much foul language for most of us. I actually read the entire book because I met Mathews in Chicago during ALA, and I liked his short routine. And, it turns out there were a couple very important messages in the book.
Ross first came to attention of TV audiences as a correspondent for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The day his stint as an unpaid intern ended, he was asked if he wanted to meet George Clooney on the show that night, and then cover the red carpet premiere of Ocean's Eleven. It was the moment that launched the career of a young man who loved TV and idolized talk show hosts. Chapters of the book discuss Gwynth Paltrow and Michelle Kwan, celebrities Mathews had crushes on. Those are interesting chapters, particularly with the friendship that developed between Paltrow and Mathews.
As I said, there are a couple important messages. If you haven't guessed from the book jacket, Ross Mathews is gay. And, he comments that he considers himself blessed to come from a family that "embraced my uniqueness." When he asked his mother what advice she'd give a parent with a gay kid, she said, "My main concern was you. My only fear was that you could be hurt. I wanted to go out and fight for you, because I didn't know what else to do. It's just a protective instinct that parents have. I'd tell parents this: your job is to protect, support, and love your children no matter what so just keep doing your job."
And, the title itself carries a message, no matter who you are. Mathews defines man up as "You are what you are, and the sooner you stop hating what makes you unique and start celebrating it and using it to make you stand out from the crowd, the better you life will be." A powerful message for any person.
Ross Mathews blogs at HelloRoss.com
Man Up! Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence by Ross Mathews. Grand Central Publishing. 2013. ISBN 9781455501809 (hardcover), 216p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I picked up the book at a conference.