Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,
Ellen
ennienyc

All I Want to Do is Read, Read, Read

(I pasted these book reviews from another document, tried to widen the margins, and then messed up the whole thing, so I'm leaving it narrow.)

"Goosetown" by Joyce Dyer - The author spent her early years

in the now-gone Akron neighborhood of Goosetown around 1950,

and attempts to reconstruct the people and places of that

time. With the help of her beloved Uncle Paul and various

archives, she comes to understand her past. Unfortunately,

very little happened. Painstaking detail is lavished on minor

events. True, a young cousin was tragically killed in an

accident, and there's the mystery of where a grandfather

disappeared for several years - but most of this left me

cold.  I felt bad for not caring, but reading this was like

watching someone's endless vacation slides (and the book's

not even that long).

 

"Holly Would Dream" by Karen Quinn - Holly wishes her life

were like an Audrey Hepburn movie, but in reality things are

rapidly falling apart. Her live-in fiancee dumps her and she

has to stay with her homeless father in an animal shelter,

she's passed over for a promotion (at a fashion museum) in

favor of a well-connected airhead, and, well don't ask. At

this low ebb, she meets a handsome, kind billionaire. Except

he's taken! The plot eventually puts her and her father on a

ritzy Mediterranean cruise (where she lectures on fashion)

with said billionaire (and his - ugh - fiancee) and some

colorful characters. There's a subplot involving some Hepburn

gowns, the scenery is lovely, there are laugh-out-loud

moments, and the whole thing is a delight. It's an added

bonus when you can swoon along with the heroine over the love

interest (darn, he's fictional!).

 

"The Go-To Girl" by Louise Bagshawe - This British chick lit

novel has another swoon-worthy love interest, and a plucky

plain heroine who works in a film company (making for rich

office scenes) and lives with models. 372 pages went very

quickly.

 

"Simon & Schuster Mega Crossword Puzzle Book #3" ed. by John

Samson - This book went much faster than the first 2 in this

series. I had it on my bed, and did puzzles in the morning,

and puzzles before going to sleep, and it was done in about a

month.

 

"Please Excuse My Daughter" by Julie Klam - Julie Klam grew

up Jewish in a WASPy suburb, with a mother who took her out

of school for shopping trips (hence the title). This

upbringing left her well cared for but unprepared for life in

the real world. She marked time working in her father's

insurance office, had a gangster boyfriend, and then emerged

to find work in media and a boss who became her husband.

Money wasn't always rolling in, but they managed, and now

have a young daughter. Funny and likable (and it turns out

the author's a friend of 3 friends on Facebook).

 

"Fun With Dirk and Bree" by Alice Kahn - Laura Gloriana (nee

Gurvitz) is an '80s San Francisco journalist who has become

famous by chronicling yuppie couple Dirk and Bree. When they

threaten to split up on television, she tries to save their

marriage and her career. I wasn't too interested in or

sympathetic to this cast of Bay Area characters, and the 1991

book seemed a tad dated.

 

"My Husband's Sweethearts" by Bridget Asher (really Julianna

Baggott) - The book jacket calls this a "sophisticated

romantic comedy" but I call it self-consciously cute. Lucy's

much older husband is dying, but he's been a cheater so she

goes through his little black book and calls in his exes for

a last good-bye. A few of them stick around, as well as his

newly discovered son from a former relationship. Eh, not

really believable.

 

"Getting In" by Karen Stabiner - I often read

CollegeConfidential.com for fun. I'm not a parent so I have

no horse in the race (though one nephew is in college and the

other will be in 2 years), but I find the frenzy over college

admission fascinating (maybe because of my own experience in

1969). This novel is like a fictional CollegeConfidential.com, with elite LA

private school students and their helicopter parents and

dedicated counselors, and the nearby public school where the

"perfect" daughter of Korean immigrants won't allow herself

to consider a future without Harvard. Loved it.

 

"Maiden Rites" by Sonia Pilcer - Most of this novel takes

place around Columbia in 1967-68, just before I got there, so

the milieu is very familiar. Hannah Wolf lives at home in

Flushing and goes to Queens College but wants something more.

She hangs out at the Columbia Bookstore hoping to meet

someone, and does (two someones, actually). Moshe is

hyperintellectual, horny and generally icky. He's sad in some

ways, too,  but I really disliked him. And her. I don't have

to worry about hurting their feelings since they are

fictional. The book is subtitled "A Romance" but if that's

romance, no thanks.


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