When I was a kid in elementary school, I always looked forward to getting a sticker on my homework. “Super!” “Fantastic!” “Great Job!” Those stickers were often more important than the actual letter grade. As I grew older, those stickers appeared less frequently. In high school, they were gone altogether.
Now that I am an adult, I never get stickers anymore. There is no adhesive affirmation that I did “Awesome!” on any project at work, or that my ideas were “Incredible!” Outside motivation is not easy to find. That is what makes the 100 stickers included in Robb Pearlman‘s I Adulted! Stickers for Grown-Ups “Brilliant!”
There are stickers for a number of everyday adult accomplishments, and just because no one else noticed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pat yourself on the back. From “I Cooked for Myself!” to “I Ignored the Online Troll!”, I Adulted! Stickers for Grown-Ups is a fun collection with which you can memorialize the mundane. “I Put Money in the Bank!” “I Called my Elderly Relative!” “I Didn’t Tell my Boss Off!” These are just a few of the day-to-day deeds that deserve some recognition.
Just in case there is something you want to celebrate that is not included, there are eight blank stickers for you to write in whatever little thing you think was “Amazing!” Just about anyone who misses childhood will appreciate this book.
Be careful when you tell someone they must do something; that demanding language often backfires. The premise of 1001 TV Shows You Must Watch Before You Die is a good one, chronicling many of the culturally significant programs that have appeared across the world. There are many obvious choices, from The A-Team to Zorro, but the omissions are sometimes more significant.
How anyone could include Keeping Up with the Kardashians rather than Family Ties is a mystery. Other shows missing include Growing Pains, Home Improvement, and One Day at a Time. It is nice to see some shows that I had forgotten, like Alien Nation, and I was happy to see that The Dukes of Hazzard made the cut despite the inane political correctness that is sweeping the earth these days.
Make no mistake, 1001 TV Shows You Must Watch Before You Die is a good book with solid write-ups, but it is dangerously misnamed.
Essential Horror Movies
by Michael Mallory
Universe Publishing, 2015
This is the time of the year that books about horror movies get more attention, with the leaves turning and the pumpkin spice flavoring everything and the greatest holiday of all right around the corner. Michael Mallory’s Essential Horror Movies looks like the book to get this year, measuring 9.4 x 12.4 and full of bloody details about the most important horror films in the world, from the Universal classics Dracula and Frankenstein to the more recent Scream and Friday The 13th. Mallory delivers a brief synopsis of each film or series, making mention of remakes and reboots, and reproducing iconic scenes from the silver screen.
Mallory also includes some interesting sidelines, spotlighting Japanese horror, the makeup artists, and made-for-television horror films. He will remind you of movies you had forgotten, that you need to watch again, and that you never knew existed. He wraps up with an article about the future of the genre, and a list of fifty additional films that all horror buffs should check out. Surprisingly, Creature From the Black Lagoon did not receive an entry into the “essential” or the “additional.” Aside from that, there is little to complain about in this impressive volume.