Thursday, May 25, 2006

Book Report

I have most of the big, scary, has to be done yesterday stuff done on my to-do list, but then getting that out of the way only revealed the remaining items on the list. Ugh. I think I'm going to start by finally dealing with my e-mail that came in while I was gone, and then I'll update my web site a little bit to change outdated parts. Later I'll start working on behind-the-scenes features for Once Upon Stilettos.

I've been reading like a madwoman lately (one benefit of travel when you're stuck on a plane for hours), so here's a quick book report on some of the things I've read:

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell -- one of those books based on a blog. A New York secretary decides to cook every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. This wasn't quite what I expected it to be, which I suppose is more my fault than the book's fault. I was hoping for humorous adventures procuring odd ingredients and then trying to cook these insane dishes in an apartment kitchen, and there is some of that in there, but she mostly seems to do a lot of whining about her life, and if in her own narration she looks like a huge brat, I can only imagine what she's like to other people. Still, it was an interesting book, and I think the basic concept would make a really fun novel (now, if only I could think of a way to write it without it sounding like a total ripoff).

He's Just Not that Into You by that guy who's been on all the talk shows (sorry, too lazy to look up names and spellings) -- it was on the library's new books shelf, and I'd never wanted to shell out the money to buy it, so I picked it up out of curiosity. I do have to stay up on pop culture trends, but I must say, I came up with almost exactly the same theory about ten years ago, only I wasn't a stand-up comic or a writer for a popular TV show, so I doubt I could have sold a book on my theories back then. It's not exactly brain surgery to figure out that if you're not hearing from a guy and if you're having to ask him out all the time, he might not really be interested. I haven't dated much since I had that epiphany, but I also haven't spent much time wondering if he's going to call. If I don't hear from him, I cross him off my list and move on. If I have to do more pursuit than being friendly and approachable, then chances are, I'll spend the relationship having to chase him, and I don't have the energy for that. If he isn't interested enough to do something about it, he's not that interested. (There's a long story behind that, and it may someday make it into a book.)

Apocalipstick by Sue Margolis --- funny British chick lit book about the mystery behind the secret ingredient in a new skin cream, as well as what you do when your widowed father's choice of new bride was the girl who bullied you in school.

Your Big Break by Johanna Edwards -- this was a former Girlfriends Cyber Circuit feature, and I finally got around to reading it. It's a warm, funny chick lit book that I read in one sitting (though that sitting was on an airplane). It was exactly the kind of book I was looking for.

Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham (aka Sophie Kinsella) -- I guess I'd have to check the copyright date to see if this pre-dated her success with the Shopaholic series, but it was a classic British chick lit book about three professional women at different stages in their lives trying to maintain their friendship as they go through life changes. Supposedly fluffy, but it really made me think.

Size Twelve is Not Fat by Meg Cabot -- What would happen if the teen pop tart du jour gained weight, lost her recording contract, caught her boy band singer boyfriend with another woman and then got a job supervising a college residence hall where students started mysteriously dying? That's what this book is about, and it was tons of fun. It looks like the start of a series, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club by Susan McBride -- I picked this up at the RT convention because I've known Susan online for a while. It's a really cute mystery set among the upper crust in Dallas. I don't exactly move in those circles, but in my first job out of college, I had to deal with the donors to the medical school where I worked, which meant attending fundraising events and parties for that set, or else filling in seats at society luncheons so the place wouldn't look empty (thus the fun lunch where I found myself sitting with Margot Perot at a Chanel fashion show, on a day when I'd worn an obviously Chanel-esque knockoff suit from Casual Corner. Awkward!). Anyway, I kind of enjoyed seeing some of those people killed off. :-) Now I have to get the earlier books in the series.

While I'm doing book reports, it's time for an Out of the Blogosphere feature. Out of the Darkness by Jaci and CJ Burton tells the story of a psychologist who studies vampires and werewolves. And then she finds out that she may actually be part vampire and part werewolf and the future leader of both enemy clans. But they have to find out which part is dominant in her so they can decide which side gets to claim her, while she just wants to get away and survive. Jaci writes really sexy books, so you can get an idea of exactly how they go about testing her. For more details, you can visit Jaci's web site.

In other news, my agent posted yesterday about my dressing up like my book cover at her blog, complete with photo. You can also read my list of bad almost boyfriends (aka ten of the reasons I'm still single) at E. Lockhart's blog. I'm now wondering if I changed the identifying details of the guilty enough, considering Mom knew right away who I was talking about in the Bad Boy Quiz the other day. And Cindy Cruciger, who kept me laughing throughout the RT convention, has my writing tip on a post it. I think that's all the moderately fun new stuff for the day. Now off to tackle my e-mail.

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