Arbitrary Stupid Goal by Tamara Shopsin

Into the Wild

Read Arbitrary Stupid Goal Online Free - An endlessly entertaining illustrated memoir, time-traveling to the Greenwich Village of the author’s bohemian 1970s childhood

Tamara Shopsin, the acclaimed New York Times and New Yorker illustrator, takes the reader on a pointillist time-travel trip to the Greenwich Village of her bohemian 1970s childhood, a funky, tight-knit small town in the big city, long before Whole Foods and luxury condos. The center of Tamara’s universe is Shopsin’s, her family’s legendary corner store/restaurant/hangout, run by her inimitable dad, Kenny—a brilliant, loquacious, contrary, huge-hearted man who, aside from dishing up New York’s best egg salad on rye, is Village sheriff, philosopher, and fixer all at once. We follow Kenny as he pursues his destiny through early factory jobs, superintendent gigs, and crossword-puzzle mania. His temper flares as often as his humor, keeping Tamara, her mom, and her siblings constantly off-balance but giddy to be along for the always bracing ride. And the cast of supporting characters is unforgettable—oddballs and misfits, cops and con men, sax players and waitresses, longshoremen and poets, and crafty Willoughby “Willy” Jones, an old-time swindler and lady-killer from the South who improbably becomes Kenny’s foil and best friend. All comers find a place at Shopsin’s table and feast on Kenny’s tall tales and trenchant advice along with the incomparable chili con carne.

At its core, Arbitrary Stupid Goal is about the secrets of living an unconventional life, which is becoming a forgotten art. It’s a place where serendipity trumps logic and overplanning can cause you to miss out on the fun of a midnight walk to the giant bubbling margarita glass perched precariously over the Mexican joint on Seventh Avenue. It’s about taking the day as it flows, treasuring experiences over things, and embracing the crazy but essential messiness of relationships.

Filled with clever illustrations and witty, nostalgic photographs and graphics, and told in a sly, elliptical narrative that is both hilarious and endearing, Arbitrary Stupid Goal is an offbeat memory-book mosaic that will encourage readers to rediscover the vital spontaneity that we may have unwisely traded for the shelter of predictability.

Title : Arbitrary Stupid Goal
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0374105863
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 pages


karen rated it ★★★★★

August 14, 2017

this book is, with no exaggeration, one of the best things i have ever read. i read this book because i love kenny shopsin and this is written by his daughter, who also loves him. kenny shopsin is something of a legend: a take-no-shit new yorker with the pottiest of mouths and a crazy-ass restaura...

Roxane rated it ★★★★☆

September 04, 2017

I bought this book after reading an excerpt online somewhere and absolutely loved it. It is an intimate, strange, meandering portrait of the New York City that keeps New Yorkers living in New York. It's also a portrait of a family and their store/restaurant. It's a series of loosely connected cha...

Trin rated it ★★★★★

March 31, 2017

Despite the title/cover, this is in no way an angry or cynical book. It's a love song to New York and to the author's family and to their family business. And it's the type of memoir that you want to live in: that time, that place, those people.

Drew rated it ★★★★★

August 10, 2017

5+ A magnificent kind of memoir - elliptic, funny, poignant, with a kind of recursive logic that makes more sense the further along you read. It's the story of a restaurant, of an ideology, of a man who was so many wonderful things and plenty of flawed ones too, of a city and a time and a way of l...

Elena rated it ★★★★★

July 21, 2017

I just love this book so much. It is such a perfect mix of stream of conscious writing, NYC history, memoir, and celebrity cameo. Plus, she is hilarious! The further I read, the more I felt like Tamara is my friend. The realization that she is not my friend, and that I don't even know her as an ac...

Tosh rated it ★★★★★

August 17, 2017

A hard book to put down. Each page is a bite size narrative that is so well written and often profound, that you just want to take another page in, and then after that, another, and so forth. Tamara Shopsin, besides being a wonderful prose artist, is also an illustrator and designer. Some of the...

Spencer rated it ★★★★★

August 03, 2017

i loved reading this book. the format is really interesting, basically a series of vignettes/stories told by someone who heard them from someone else. felt pretty transported into the intimacy of the author's life. the people. the time period. the periphery.

Beth rated it ★★★★★

August 14, 2017

I LOVED it. And now miss NYC to a painful degree.

Karly rated it ★★★★★

December 27, 2017

This book made me nostalgic for a 1970s NYC upbringing I never actually had.

Kevin rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 24, 2017

I didn't like this very much, the writing was good and some parts were OK, but it was just too disjointed, a bunch of little stories about neighbors and customers it was hard to identify with any of them. I finished it because it was so short but if it was any longer I'd have dropped it.

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