Saturday, February 09, 2008

"All you zombies, hide your faces..." *

I know you all want a labor story, but I am still too exhausted by it to even think about it, so here, have some book reviews instead.

But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous – Jancee Dunn. Gina recommended this to me and I gobbled it up. Lots of fun and very amusing, it’s about the author’s experiences writing about celebrities for publications like Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and GQ – and the path that got her there. Anyone who grew up in the late 60s/early 70s, ESPECIALLY if you grew up in Jersey, is going to appreciate Dunn’s experiences and influences. I knew I would enjoy it as soon as I finished the first chapter, in which she attends a Hooters concert. If you grew up near Philly in the eighties, you were a Hooters fan. That simple. I still have all their albums, albeit on tape. (I do not have a crush on Eric Bazilian anymore, though.)

The Tin Princess - Philip Pullman. The fourth book in the Sally Lockhart “trilogy.” (I know, I know…) As good as the other three, containing the same level of excitement and over-the-top Victorian melodrama. I am trying to decide if my friend’s 9-year-old would enjoy these, or if they are a tad too old for her yet…

Gastroanomalies: Questionable Culinary Creations from the Golden Age of American Cookery - James Lileks. My friend E gave this to me as a present recently. She knows me well. I had to stop reading it while in labor though because the laughing hurt too much. But that was ok because then it kept H entertained while I was stoned out of my skull on Nubain. Anyone who enjoyed The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan: Classic Diet Recipe Cards from the 1970s is going to enjoy this one, maybe even more.

The Heroines - Eileen Favorite. This book has a fabulous premise – the main character’s mother runs a B&B at which various heroines from classic novels show up for "vacation" or some rest. Promising as the plot was, the execution could have been better. I really felt like the two halves of the book were written for two separate novels, and although reading it so soon after A Good and Happy Child probably skewed my perception, the parts of this book set in a psychiatric hospital were just boring. Nonetheless, it kept me engrossed for a day in the hospital.

Then I moved on to Jennifer Donnelly’s The Winter Rose. You really want to go read Jess’s review as I haven’t finished the book yet, but *its* over-the-top Victorian melodrama was precisely the sort of brain-comfort food I wanted whiling away the second day in the hospital. I was all politicked out from Super Tuesday and just waiting around on bilirubin levels for Quarto, so I needed something light but relatively un-put-down-able and this fit the bill. Although I have to admit, I hid the cover from my doctor : ) I am such a literary snob.

I was really pleased I had borrowed both James Collins’ Beginner Greek and Marie Phillips’s Gods Behaving Badly from the library as I didn’t get further than forty or so pages into each before I knew I wasn’t interested in finishing either. Beginner Greek was pretty badly written – stilted and pompous (sort of like the main character) and overly laden with dull, unnecessary detail. Gods was just too contrived and precious for me; although, Gina liked the plot well enough but felt it wasn’t very well-written.

I have been skimming through Logan Ward’s See You in a Hundred Years: Four Seasons in Forgotten America, about a family from New York who decides to buy a farm down South and live as if it were 1900 for a year - which is exactly the sort of book I normally enjoy. Parts of the book are really interesting, and Ward is a spare and honest writer, but I find myself getting very impatient with him – maybe I just fail to see the point of this particular experiment.

I have Chris Bohaljian’s The Double Bind and Allegra Goodman’s The Family Markowitz waiting, and I just bought Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father and Hilary Clinton’s Living History. As Caro correctly pointed out, what the heck else can you do but read, when you are nursing pretty much nonstop an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow-polka- er, jaundiced baby?

*************
*The Hooters, "All You Zombies"

11 comments:

Badger said...

I've decided the the Sally Lockhart books are a bit too mature for my 10 year old girl child, but I'm setting them aside for her because I think in a few years she'll LOVE them.

Meanwhile my almost 12 year old BOY child has read the entire His Dark Materials series and is now working his way through Lyra's Oxford. I think I'll put him on to Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising sequence next!

Sinda said...

I persevered through Beginner's greek, since I'd heard good things AND bought it with real money, and honestly, it was worth it. Yes, it's stilted, but he pulls it all together and I enjoyed the process.

I only had to make myself read a little further than I would have before I was drawn in.

I hooted out loud - not just laughed - when I realized where he was heading with some of the characters. If you still have it, don't completely write it off.

Joke said...

No, really. Take your time on the labor story. No rush.

-J.

Amy A. said...

Love the baby pics! I'm so happy for you. Blessings!

Caro said...

As soon as I saw that title, I started singing the song. Luckily the kids didn't hear me and cover their ears.

Katya said...

I bought The Heroines based on that fabulous premise. Hopefully it will at least entertain me.

Sarah Louise said...

Skim read as usual. I have B.Greek out from the library and intend to get to it soon. I'll have to see if I agree.

nutmeg said...

The Hooters - that threw me back on my '80's spiral perm and shoulder pads days.

Gastronomalies - now that sounds like something that would interest me!

D said...

Just wanted to delurk long enough to say congrats on your beautiful boy! As a dedicated "birth junkie", I can't wait to hear your birth story...I won't hold my breath though, the first weeks are so busy I know! Be well...

Poppy Buxom said...

Yes, the first weeks are so busy, so how in the HELL are you getting all this reading done?

I mean, I'd get to the end of a paragraph and there would be a diaper that needed changing or some such.

BabelBabe said...

you're supposed to change diapers? i was just dangling the baby over the toilet a la Michael Jackson when he needs to go....