Branning puts his own brand of meat on overused and frequently discounted mindless words. SELFIE-FACING – Analog Musings in a Digital World is a delightfully snarky collection of essays that zero in on the foibles of the modern contemporary human condition. Each essay is brimming with wry observations of those episodes in life that mostly pass by completely unnoticed, and give readers the chance to identify with Branning’s assessments, and laugh with him as well as at themselves.
Combining both prose and bullet-pointed lists, Branning opens that door to the foibles of human nature, which has clearly not changed much since the beginning of time. There are several laugh-out-loud passages, (“I’m pretty sure my wife regifted me with the bronchitis she’s been fighting off….” (who hasn’t been there?); “Did you know you should place a predicate pronoun after an infinitive? Me neither.”), each of which will take the audience back to a similar incident in their own lives, from mistakes made in child-rearing to trying to repair a broken washing machine, using the “easy to understand” directions provided by the manufacturer or found on the Internet. Several chapters are written in a bullet point format which, while easy to read, are actually thought provoking and require contemplation on average of five minutes each, so as to appreciate the validity of each point. This book would benefit from more substantial chapter breaks to both organize the essays into groups and to give readers a chance to breathe. There is so much good humor in each essay that, in their effort to reach a natural break off point, readers might feel they have missed something, and there’s too much good “stuff” in here that can be missed.
SELFIE-FACING is a laugh-out-loud series of observational essays that are thought provoking and best savored in small bites for maximum digestion.