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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.

“A beautifully written, thought-provoking novel that I’m telling everyone I know to read.”   –Kathryn Stockett, author of THE HELP

Tomorrow, my dear friends, is the day THE POSTMISTRESS will be on sale at your favorite bookseller.

There’s something very satisfying about seeing a project you’ve worked on for a long time come to fruition.  For so many of us here at Putnam/Amy Einhorn Books, I think that’s what THE POSTMISTRESS is.  This was the first title I read in manuscript form upon joining the Marketing department all the way back in July.  It’s hard to believe we’ve been gearing up for this novel for so many months, and I know I’m just one of many who are thrilled to unveil it to the world tomorrow.

Great excitement among reviewers has already been vocalized, including an Entertainment Weekly article that so eloquently says, “There’s both exquisite pain and pleasure to be found in these pages…”

Now, I’m excited to see what happens and have my fingers-crossed that the work of so many colleagues, and the wonderful language of Sarah Blake, is embraced by readers everywhere!  I welcome your thoughts.

I know this is rather a cop-out, but since I like to think so many of you are worried about me in my blogging absence I didn’t want to be a total failure!

Week in recap

Reading:

  • SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT by Beth Hoffman – very sweet novel of a young girl growing up surrounded by strong women.  Reminiscent of THE HELP, though not as epic.  Worth picking up – Beth Hoffman is an author to watch!
  • IMPERFECT BIRDS by Anne Lamott – My first experience with Anne Lamott, but I now understand why she has such a huge, devoted fan base.   A tough story to read about family struggles, mainly with a mom and her daughter doing drugs.  Will be sending to my own mom so she can better appreciate just how well-behaved I really was in high school! Will be available April 6, from Riverhead
  • THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusak – I’ve read several WWII novels lately, and this title (told from the perspective of Death), may be my favorite.  I also highly suggest another recent read, CITY OF THIEVES (which my friend Max guest-blogged about last month).
  • Also worth noting, this coming Tuesday, 2/9, marks the release of the highly anticipated THE POSTMISTRESS by Sarah Blake – a novel based on three women with intersecting lives in the time of WWII.  This deserves a far better written review, but since I am incapable of doing such high-level things at the moment, I invite you to wander on over to Serendipitous Reading and KellyVision for their takes (if you’ve also written a review, I’d love for you to leave your link!)

Imbibed (to be filed, eventually, in my “city-imbibing” page):

  • My roommate Liz and I have a couch-sleeper for a bit, and we went out to celebrate her return to NYC with our favorite sushi restaurant, Typhoon, which happens to conveniently be located two store fronts from our apartment.  During the week all sushi is 50% off and it is delicious.  I can’t recommend highly enough the green tea fried ice cream to top off the meal!
  • Drank: a delicious Red Rhone Wine, courtesy of my classy and cultured OUB & OAD.  I’ve been informed the grapes are from Italy – the wine was so tasty I would really like to go pick some of my own grapes from the countryside.
  • Nothing like some Spanish dancing to kick off Friday early (and by early, I mean late on  Thursday night).  I have no rhythm, but after several mojitos at the Meat Packing’s Son Cubana, even I could merengue!  The food was fabulous (the goat cheese croquettes were to die for) and the live band made it feel quite exotic.

Also, in my total nerdy, authors-as-celebrities mind, I got to meet Chang-rae Lee!!!!!!!!!!  If you’ve never experienced his writing, I highly suggest you pre-order his upcoming novel THE SURRENDERED and prepare yourself to become totally immersed.

I took this picture myself - one lucky photographer!

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