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…yet again.  I thank all my visitors who still come back every day (I don’t know who you are, but I appreciate it) and make me consistently add “blog” to my to-do list (which I conveniently misplace when it gets too long).

I’ve still been reading and imbibing, but also have branched out and taken a pilates class (my abs were sore for days), saw my first off-broadway play (fabulous), gone to brunch and NOT had a mimosa (painful) and had a huge spring cleaning session with the roomie (worthwhile – we celebrated with our first patio party!).

Instead of me attempting to write reviews of the books I’ve read lately, I’ve decided to highlight a few special reviews that really jumped out at me from fellow book bloggers, often who express my thoughts more eloquently:

THE HOUSE OF TOMORROW by Peter Bognanni

This book was a hugely pleasant surprise for me.  Now that I am far too old for 16 year old boys (that would be illegal), I hadn’t anticipated to feel the connection with the teenagers in this debut novel.  I was wrong. Their voices came through clear, though their feelings and emotions were muddled.  Jen at Devourer of Books says it so well in her review:

This book is made of awesome…Bognanni used punk rock skillfully to explore the alienation of teen years, without creating obnoxiously alienated teens.

PRETTY IN PLAID by Jen Lancaster

Ever since I discovered Jen in BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG ASS I’ve had a girl crush (similar to the one I have on Chelsea Handler – these ladies are funny!).  Jen’s one of those authors for whom I have a hard time reviewing, because there are so many facets: her Chicago details which cause me fits of nostalgia, her pet antics, her husband and her modesty all make the pages fly by.  Another blogger whom I really enjoy reviewed this book last year and I was so happy to discover Nat’s wonderful thoughts – take a look at this excerpt from her review on the wonderful blog, Book, Line & Sinker.

Lancaster takes the mundane and spins it into a giant, literary confection of equal parts humor, hubris, and habiliment.  This book should come with a Surgeon General’s Warning printed on it–Reading this book should be done only in private and may induce:

  • laughing until your mascara runs down your face in twin, black rivers
  • laughing until you snort (Swine flu be damned!)
  • laughing yourself into a wheezy, cartoonish fit
  • laughing yourself into hyperventilation (as your husband frantically dials 9-1-1 for help)

THE POSTMISTRESS by Sarah Blake

Another book, which I’ve mentioned in the past but never really reviewed, is THE POSTMISTRESS by Sarah Blake.  My new friend Rebecca over at Book Lady’s Blog did a wonderful job of, eh, attempting to review this title:

Don’t let the pretty cover and the nice purple rose fool you, people. Sarah Blake’s The Postmistress is no fluffy romance novel… Because I’ve been trying to write this review for more than two weeks but have continued to find myself reduced to gushing (a good problem to have, but not exactly one that contributes to an articulate review)

–I know this isn’t the best excerpt from her review, but you really should go visit her site to get the full impact of her thoughts.  Also nice to note, she and I have similar tastes in liking books on weird religions!

ANGELOLOGY by Danielle Trussoni

Now this is partially cheating, since I’m not totally done with this book yet (half way at best)… But what I’ve read I love, and the reason I even made a point to get this bestselling new release is due to Swapna’s review.  So I wanted to make sure you all read it her thoughts as well, in hopes that you’re driven to immediately acquire it yourself:

Angelology was one of the best books I’ve read in recent memory…Trussoni has crafted an intricate and impeccably researched history for the reader in this book.  She creates an entire world simply through her words.  The details are vivid and her prose is descriptive, such that the reader can picture events in the novel clearly in their head.  She is thorough, yet strikes a balance between not enough information and overwhelming the reader with details.  It’s a beautiful construction, and one that I can’t praise highly enough.

I hope you all enjoyed these snippets from well written reviews as much as I did! Please visit the blogs listed above, as they’re wonderful and I am consistently impressed with how much these ladies read, then review, and have lives – my juggling skills are not yet at their level!

FTC disclosure: Many of the books listed above (the Penguin ones) I read due to having the best job in the world so received them from my desk. Others were bought or borrowed. Thanks for caring.

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My booklist has taken an R-rated twist

I consume books regularly and try to be open to all genres (except Twilight and Harry Potter; I refuse based on principle), but tend to stick with titles that offer some literary content or even just a thrill.  Lately, my titles have been more suspect and less something I would proudly read while riding on public transportation (yet another reason I need an EReader!).  Strippers and womanizers have dominated a few of my recent literary ingestions.

 

Tucker Max

Tucker Max

Drunkenness & Debauchery with Tucker Max: To some, Tucker Max is a hero: One to emulate, live vicariously through and high-five. To me, he is a cringe-worthy example of all that’s wrong in society today – a mediocre looking man who somehow has managed to find innumerable women who willingly exploit themselves and become a topic of Max’s only talent – writing.  I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is written as a memoir, filled with vignettes of stories, aka one-night stands.

For Max, sex is an activity akin to my shopping habit.  He just walks out on the street, sees something he likes and takes it home – nothing personal or even especially friendly.  I don’t even care enough to go on a tirade about this, because the strongly offensive nature is exactly why this exaggerated content is so popular.  If everyone just ignored it, Max would hopefully disappear, and suffer from some STD, alone.

  • Novelwhore’s Grade: C (Mediocre, like the author)
  • Title: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
  • Author: Tucker Max
  • Publisher: Citadel Press (Kensington)

candygirlOn-Stage with Juno’s Screenwriter, Naked: The blockbuster success of the Summer Movie of 2007, “Juno”, about the pregnant high-school giving her baby up for adoption, resulted in an umbrella effect of PR for the author, Diablo Cody.  Not the typical glitzy Hollywood Screenwriter, Cody had already been around the block before achieving fame and there is no doubt many people who became fans experienced her naked at multiple strip clubs in Minnesota.

Yes, Minnesota.  The cold state in which the taking off of clothes makes me shiver was the setting of Cody’s memoir Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper. College-educated with a normal childhood (if there is such a thing), she had a job in an advertising agency before wandering into an Amateur Stripping contest and becoming rather addicted to the thrill.  This memoir reminds me of Chelsea Handler’s Confessions of My Horizontal Life, as both women managed to maintain a conversational, self-deprecating voice while describing intimate things.  Entertaining throughout, this memoir offers a subversive thrill to a taboo subject and ends before getting overly disgusted from the vivid descriptions of what is done for cash.

  • Novelwhore’s Grade: B+
  • Title: Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
  • Author: Diablo Cody
  • Publisher: Gotham (Penguin)

Expected Stripper-Tale, with Political Twists: From my experience, Carl Hiaasen takes a normal murder/suspense/power plot and adds tidbits of sex and humor to keep the reader engaged.  Striptease (an old title, found at library sale for $1) stays to this obviously successful formula and follows a young mother, driven to strip by the piling up of legal bills as she fights her ex-husband for custody of their young daughter (typical stripper sob-story, right?).

Seedy tale with the emotional mother-daughter pull, Hiaasen weaves his web of politics, blackmail and murder through the sleazy Governor of Florida, who’s in love with the stripper (like that Akon song!) and in bed with $millions$ behind the illegal farming of sugar cane.  The stripper is realistic and smart, the bouncer muscular and clever, the Congressman aging and not aware of all that’s happening for his behalf, this book is another look at the different cogs in society and what happens when they interact.  Definitely entertaining, but without the introspective angle of Candy Girl or the disgust-worth content of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.

  • Novelwhore’s Grade: B-
  • Title: Striptease
  • Author: Carl Hiaasen
  • Publisher: Vision

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