August 2021 AR Contest - A Book Review. . .

Industry Observer CalBRE #01165532

A Typical Book Review

Surely You Jest. . .


When I first read the announcement of this month’s contest, I knew I wanted to participate but the “how” in achieving it would be another story.  Some thoughts and the assembling of parts have come together as this post is now “ready”.   More or less.



I wondered how could I choose one particular book?  Then I thought, why choose?  Why choose, indeed. 


I saw selecting a common theme as my next opportunity. Something that could tie it all together. The other day, I caught a glimpse of the movie Crazy Rich Asians while channel surfing.   I remember seeing it before I read the book.  I was a bit disappointed in the movie.  It wasn't bad and certainly entertaining enough but there was something missing for me. That missing piece was connection and I found it in the book by Kevin Kwan.  He has an interesting writing style.  It was such a good read that I followed it with two of his other books in this trilogy:  China Rich Girlfriend as well as Sex and Vanity.  Also very entertaining and kept me interested.  Believe me, you need a travel guide for this globe-trotting series of adventures(along with quite a few mis-adventures) and Kwan does it well. 



This leads me from some books I read a while ago to the most recent book I have finished that might make a better movie than a novel.  Called Interior Chinatown - it’s written by Charles Yu and its style is very much like that of a movie screenplay because the entertainment theme plays a role in its plot so the idea of a noir-esque angle initially intrigued me. If it becomes a movie, I might see it but, for now, it was a good but not great memory as a book.  It took me a bit longer than usual to finish but I did want to "see" the ending. Recommend it to others or not? That's not my style although I know that's one of the suggested rules for this challenge - err I mean contest - call me an outlier. I've been called far worse things. I will let my impression here stand on its own. You decide. You know best.



I have long appreciated the writing of David Sedaris.  I became acquainted with him through his writing in various magazines. His various books are written in a self-described sardonic autobiographic style. Maybe not for everyone but for me - a terrific choice and that's important. To me.   One of his books was optioned for a movie but that plan was never-to-be.  Where does one begin when it comes to books written by him?  Is it with Calypso his 2020 publication or Me Talk Pretty One Day or perhaps the hilarious Holiday on Ice.  Again, I ask - Why Choose



This brings me to another book - also short stories from one of my favorite columnists who used to write for the Los Angeles Times.  Chris Erskine.  It is definitely SoCal-centric but totally relatable to those who live outside the region. I was a longtime reader prior to his retirement and recently read Daditude which offers a collection of stories on parenthood(and other subjects). Even for those who may not be parents, he writes in a realistic way with humor as well as moments that are poignant.  Just like real life.   A movie connection?  Well, Mr Erskine does live in our area so does know a thing or two about Hollywood-stereotypes which he deftly shares.  



I could go on but really need to cut this short. . .  Ooops - too late.  Again. 



This is a post for the August 2021 ActiveRain Contest - Book Review hosted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist from a suggested by Debe Maxwell, CRS.  And courtesy of a AR Tuesday Zoom Presentation.  Ah, yes, it’s difficult at times to kick that kind of connection.   Kinda like thinking about contests, challenges and the ways(and whys) they are similar but so unalike. Certainly, I digress.





The image in this post is from



Posted: August 10, 2021




Posted by

Michael Jacobs


CalBRE # 01165532

P. O. Box 587

Pasadena, CA 91102

Call/Text:  818.516.4393



Comments (50)

Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Thursday morning, Michael.

Keep cool, stay safe and have a great day.

Aug 12, 2021 04:56 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

You are definitely an outlier, and that is a good thing.  It makes everything you do interesting.  Are you the most interesting man in the world or just here on ActiveRain?  Maybe that should be next month's challenge!

Aug 12, 2021 06:08 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Raymond Henson, eXp Realty - thank you for the kind words.  I have no desire to take place in any ActiveRain contest/challenge as a host. 


It's difficult work as I have seen from afar as a judge on previous occasions and if selected for that job could not/would not accept although I understand, like real estate inventory of properties for sale in many areas, there is a shortage issue.  And that shortage is one of members who can step forward and captain an effort.  So, my suggestion to you is to "go for it".  I think my ship has sailed.  

Aug 12, 2021 06:14 AM
Ray Henson

My communication skills are faltering.  I meant you would be the subject of the challenge as the most interesting man on AR.  Recognition, not extra work! 😃

Aug 12, 2021 06:18 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Roy Kelley - enjoy your Thursday.  I finished one book yesterday as well as started another.  I "see" myself returning to it with the hope that it is going to improve.  Definitely a wait and see(and discover) moment.


Raymond Henson, eXp Realty - thank you for the return visit.  Don't discount your communication skills although I often doubt my own ability to interpret.  Repeat after me:  a work in progress. . .   🙃  Have a nice Thursday.  

Aug 12, 2021 08:39 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Well, this was different a post about  book review in which to you give the reader's digest version of several. A lot like having Cliff notes

Aug 12, 2021 11:30 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Ed Silva - definitely a review of sorts as it is not my intent to give away any detailed information just some impressions that may(or may not) pique an interest.  

Aug 12, 2021 11:43 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Michael, with business still booming, not sure if I will participate in this month's challenge. 

Aug 12, 2021 12:04 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Joan Cox - that's understandable.  

Aug 12, 2021 12:26 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate Brokered by Real - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Am an avid reader and more times than not, the book is better than the movie version. Perhaps, it's because the imagination when reading, takes us places in our heads rather than seeing another person's version on the big screen.


I did learn a long time ago not to read horror stories right before bedtime...👀

Aug 12, 2021 04:27 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! - I tend to agree with you regarding the power of imagination.  It can create quite the screenplay even though it plays for an audience of one - the reader.  I have never gotten into the horror genre - right before bedtime or at anytime during the day.   

Aug 12, 2021 05:43 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Michael Jacobs - After reading several of the comments, it reminded me of reading a book versus seeing a movie.  I would rather see a movie but when I read a book, I would rather not see the movie first.  To me, a good read is one that you fill in the scenes with your imagination.  It is more difficult if you see the movie first to imagine each scene.  I also try not to compare a book to a movie. They are told from two different perspectives. 

Aug 13, 2021 10:09 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® - ah yes, our old friend Perspective seems to have a way of entering the conversation of our lives.  

Aug 13, 2021 11:18 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Michael hard to believe and today is August 13th virtually in the books and I had no idea we had another contest and what it was glad I stopped in here to find out:))Endre

Aug 13, 2021 10:06 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Endre Barath, Jr. - this month's contest is hosted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist and here is the link to the announcement post and the place where your place the link to your entry:  Book Review | August 2021 ActiveRain Contest. 


With your appreciation of books and reading, this month's contest seems ideal for you even as time may be limited.  If you participate - have fun and good luck.  

Aug 14, 2021 03:07 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Michael, My wife and daughter are the readers in our family, working in the restaurant business never had time to read.  I know hat is bad.

Aug 14, 2021 09:19 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Will Hamm - reading involves many forms.  Recipes and cookbooks are just two that come to mind related to food.  

Aug 14, 2021 09:39 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Michael:


I liked your approach to the August Challenge and the diversity of books you suggested.


I need to get reading or I won't have my entry this month.



Aug 18, 2021 05:37 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Jeff Dowler, CRS - if you are able to participate, I look forward to reading your entry.  You have a talent for sharing wonderful insights.  

Aug 23, 2021 02:24 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Usually the book turns out to be better than the movie. I'm currently reading James Patterson's ~ "Along Came a Spider" and plan to watch the movie after I finish the book.

Aug 24, 2021 12:34 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Buzz Mackintosh - after reading your post for this month's ActiveRain Challenge, I have been thinking of the movie Field of Dreams.  

Aug 24, 2021 02:57 PM
Buzz Mackintosh

Great movie that has garnered allot of attention with the White Sox & Yankee game at the Field of Dreams a few weeks ago

Aug 24, 2021 03:37 PM