Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Shug by Jenny Han

Charming (and painfully accurate story) about a twelve-year-old girl growing up in the South with a dysfunctional family, a secret crush on the boy next door, and a fierce and independent perspective on the world. Very enjoyable!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Mr. Wrong: Real-Life Stories About the Men We Used To Love, edited by Harriet Brown

Roz recommended this book to me and I loved it! These essays are witty and wise, and in many cases laugh-out-loud funny. Most of the time when I finished an essay I felt a profound sense of relief that I'd never actually encountered the "Mr. Wrong" the author wrote about. These are cautionary tales written by women who have been to bad places, and spent time with the wrong people, then wrote about it to hopefully save the rest of us from a similar fate.

All of these essays are worth reading, but I'd like to share a passage from one by Susan Jane Gilman. She writes: "If we'd received half as many cultural messages about, say, how to choose a mutual fund or split an atom [as we have received about how to find Mr. Right]. we women would occupy every slot on the Forbes 400 list and have first-strike nuclear capabilities by now.... Amazingly, it may be the twenty-first century, but finding Mr. Right continues to be exalted as the Holy Grail for females."

Read it -- you'll like it!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Last Juror by John Grisham

I had never read this 2004 Grisham book, and I enjoyed it very much. I took it on the train into the city and I hardly noticed the time flying by. I love books where I can just dive in and get completely absorbed by the story. I enjoyed the narrator's perspective on life in a small Southern town, and the suspense had me guessing till the end. A very good page-turner!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan

I've really been enjoying this book, which is a collection of essays and speeches and small "bits and pieces" that Tan has written over the years. In fact, this is the Tan book I've most enjoyed since I devoured "The Joy Luck Club" several years ago. I highly recommend it!

Trust the Man (movie)

This was a cute little movie about relationships and what it takes to keep them going. The title really didn't do it justice, though. (I wonder if a committee came up with it?) I am a big fan of David Duchovny, he's always nice to watch, and Julianne Moore and Maggie Gyllenhaal are also good. I recommend this!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

No, it's not a typo -- she really DOES spell her first name that way. (I remember the first time I heard of her, I had a hard time finding her books in the library catalog and had to go to Amazon in order to find out that she spells her first name differently.)
A teen reader recommended this book (the story of a high school girl in love with a vampire) to me -- she said it was amazing. And I do think it's well-written, but I guess I'm just not that into seventeen-year-old love anymore. After the first 100 pages or so, I got kind of bored and just skimmed through the rest of it. I don't think I'll read the sequel, New Moon, either. But I will say that this has reminded me of a series that I adored several years ago -- Tanya Huff's fantastic "Blood" series. Now there's a main female character who I can relate to, a tough, butt-kicking Canadian ex-cop (who is now a PI, with a vampire partner). The first one in the series is called Blood Price, if you're interested in checking it out.

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Full disclosure: I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books. They are fun, sassy, sexy and well-written, and this one is no exception. One of the best things about working in a library is that sometimes I am able to sneak books home to read them before the release date. That's what I did with this one -- snuck it home, made some tea, grabbed some chocolate and settled in for a nice evening with two characters that I really enjoyed spending time with. I even laughed out loud (okay, snorted) a couple of times. What more can I ask from a good romance novel?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Promethea by Alan Moore (graphic novel)

I just finished reading volume 5 of the Promethea graphic novel series. Well, actually, I spent the afternoon immersed in volumes 2 - 5. And may I just say: wow. Intriguing, fascinating, funny, moving... and with several kick-butt female main characters. What's not to like? I highly recommend this five-volume series.

The Closers by Michael Connelly

I really enjoyed this thriller. It's one of Connelly's "Harry Bosch" series, but I doubt you have to read them in any order -- this is the first one I've read. It grabbed me from the beginning and I looked forward to every time I could sit down and read a few more pages of it. I liked how everything came together at the end, too. I felt that it was a strong ending, which is refreshing, because so many of these thriller writers seem to get bored and just slap any old ending on!