These Books Aren't All New??

Books are expensive. I tend to pick and review books that are both new & old. Many of these books you will be able to find on the shelves on your library as opposed to the front of your bookstore.

I believe that there are many hidden gems from years gone by & I enjoy highlighting those as well as today's best sellers.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Queen Takes King, by Gigi Levangie Grazer

A story about a high power divorce by the author of The Starter Wife.

There lesbian daughter storyline seemed out of left field and didn't really mesh that well with the rest of the plot, but this book has an ending you don't see coming.

This story has a little more meat to it than I expected and I thought it was a great weekend read.

Twenties Girl, by Sophie Kinsella

Kinsella is best know for her popular Shopaholic series.

This story is a little different, as our heroine is suddenly accosted by the ghost of a great aunt Sadie at a funeral for the woman.

Sadie comes through loud and clear from here on out in every aspect of Lara's life whether Lara wants here there or not.

Kinsella stretches the bounds of our imagination on this one, and not always in a good way.

Not a favorite of mine, but not terrible either, kind of middle of the road.

Why Is My Mother Getting A Tattoo, by Jancee Dunn

This is a great collection of essays about realizing that you really are a grown up at some point & letting your parents move on with their new lives.

Dunn is a great comical writer who lets her sentimenality show through, as well as some great insight.

A terrific short read with lots of laughs.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Black Girl Next Door, by Jennifer Baszile

Jennifer Baszile and her sister grew up in wealthy suburbs of California, where they were generally the only black family in the neighborhood.

Tormented in school and having the outside of their house painted with racial slurs seem like standart protocol in the racially charged 70's, but the story is uneven.

Her father who is made to be a hero in the beginning of the book turns into a cheating abuser suddenly later in the book.

The story deals with bad dating situations, her feelings of ugliness next to her sister, "the pretty one", and eventually her escape from her overbearing home situation when she leaves for college.

I wouldn't call this book a waste of time, but I wouldn't go out of your way to find it either

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Best Friends Forever, by Jennifer Weiner

I love Jennifer Weiner and this book is another great one.
Addie and Valerie were childhood best friends from very different backgrounds. Addie's family provides stability that Valerie doesn't have and Valerie and her mom provide excitement that Addie isn't used to. A terrible break in the friendship occurs during high school.

Fifteen years later Valerie shows up on Addie's door bloody and in trouble.

The books weaves current day with flashbacks beautifully, showing that sometimes years don't matter and hurts can heal.
This is one of those books that you don't want to end. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Addition, by Toni Jordan

This quirkly little book is a lot of fun. Grace suffers from OCD. She has to count everything. Steps to her coffee shop, number of bananas she buys, and even her silverware.

One day at her coffee shop her regular table isn't available. Her orange cake that she eats everyday with her coffee if not available. What is available is a man named Seamus. The same Seamus who she stole a banana from in the check out line at the grocery store, because she only had 9 & she has to buy 10.

Seamus gradually leads Grace towards a normal life, but when that backfires everything is in danger.

Definitely worth the read!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It Sucked And Then I Cried, by Heather B. Armstrong

Check out me review of this book by blogging legend Dooce, over at Girls With Books.

Hope In A Jar, by Beth Harbison

I wanted to like this book, I really did! There's just not much here to like except for the catchy flashback advertising references.

Ally encounters her boyfriend in bed with another woman & takes Sephora by storm to mend her broken heart. Former best friend Olivia is the beauty editor at a fancy fashion magazine. Ally used to be the hot one, but has gone down hill a bit, and mousy Olivia is now a knock out. Stop me if you've heard this one before.

They meet ackwardly at a class reunion and both learn that they must fight to keep an old friend from making a terrible mistake. I can keep you from making a terrible mistake, don't read this book!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Wedding Girl, by Madeleine Wickham

Anyone who has read the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, will enjoy this book, by her nom de plume, Madeleine Wickham.

This book about a "good deed" wedding long forgotten about is charming, light and fun. The characters are all well rounded out (with the notable exception of the Godmother), and while there are many different plot lines whirling about in this book, they come together nicely in a way which didn't leave me rolling my eyes, or yelling at the characters.

This is a great read for a rainy day, curled under a quilt with a cup of tea or cocoa.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fabulous Terrible, by Sophie Talbot

This book is written in 2nd person and the main character is never named. The use of second person was off-putting for me, but I mustered on. A foster child gets a free ride to a super exclusive boarding school. She has visions, or shimmers as she calls them and doesn't understand whether this is a gift of a curse.

Mayhem enuses when a theif starts to frame our narrator and her friends. This whole book in actually a long introduction to a series and the last pages make that clear. I prefer books in a series that are able to stand on their own, but this book has virtually no ending. The Fabulous Terrible leaves you with more questions than answers, and if I had it to do again, I wouldn't waste my time with this book.

Friday, September 18, 2009

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, by Janelle Brown

When Janice's husband Paul walks out on her and their 14 year old daughter, Lizzie, fter making millions in the stock market their lives go haywire. Oldest daughter Margaret comes home to lend support, but is really there to hide her failures. Lizzie starts to equate sex with love & mom Janice starts doing something so crazy that lesser writers wouldn't be able to pull it off.

Honest, shocking and real, this book is one that I couldn't stop reding until I finished it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

M Or F?, by Lisa Papademetriou & Chris Tebbetts

Marcus & Frannie are best of high school friends. Marcus is gay, Frannie is straight and neither of them are having any luck in love. A modern twist on Cyrano Debergerac, Frannie has Marcus be her voice in a chat room with the guy she has a crush on.

When Marcus takes it further than expected, these "brain twins" are at a loss as to how to restore their friendship.

Surprising and fun to read, you really don't see the ending coming and that's one of my favorite things to say about a book.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Diary Of An Exercise Addict


This thin book is an inside look at bulimia and exercise addiction. Triggered by an emotional breakup, Peach copes with her pain by not allowing her body the food it needs and exercising until she is literally exhausted.

I had trouble deciding if her family was too enabling, but I guess one can't judge if you're not in those shoes.

Good, bad & lots of ugly, Friedman puts it all out there on the table in a moving account of her road to recovery.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Summer Blowout, by Claire Cook

This was a fun & breezy book. Was it over the top at times? Yes. Did the theme of Lucky Shaughnessy, the Irishman who embraces EVERYTHING as if he was Italian grow old? Yes, it did. Is this a very light fluffy concoction? Yes, it is.

But for a short end of summer read, I was able to get away with it. If you're looking for substance, don't look here, but a fun story is here to be found.

Identical strangers, Elyse Schein, Paula Bernstein

Subtitled "A Memoir of Twins Separated and eunited", this book follows the journey of identical twins who were separated at birth and met for the first time at age Thirty-five. Originally part of a secret study on separated twins, the memoir is written turns by the sisters.

While interesting and at time wrenchingly honest the book focused more on trying to figure out information on the nature of the secret study than the sisters actual journey. It just never gave me any warm fuzzies.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pretty In Plaid, by Jen Lancaster

To see my review of this awesome book, click here.

Conversations With The Fat Girl, by Liza Palmer

Let me just say I loved this book. Ms. Palmer truly understands how overweight women feel. Now that Maggie’s best friend Olivia has had gastric bypass surgery, she has left Maggie and their shared history behind.

Forced by a shrewish landlady to move out of her home, jumpstarts Maggie’s motivation. This book does, however, hit one of my pet peeves with everything tied up neatly in a bow in the last few pages; Maggie’s journey is a fun one to read about.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Technical Hitch, by Jane Sigaloff

This book is different and fun. I love finding books that aren’t cookie cutter chick lit books. I really liked these characters and this book just seemed to fly by.

When wedding planner Jess flakes out on her big day, people think she’s crazy. Add in a cute secretary with a marriage of convenience to England’s poster boy wild child & a marriage that may not really be a marriage and you’ve got a recipe for a great book.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Ivy Chronicles, by Karen Quinn

When Park Avenue mom, Ivy gets a pink slip, she struggles to keep her head above waters. Transferring her two daughters to public school was the last straw.
Ivy takes her marketing talent and sets up an exclusive business designed to coach the little darlings of the rich and famous into the most elite New York kindergartens.

Written from experience, Quinn too lost her job and started a company to help get kids into Ivy League schools; this book is a fun peek behind the scenes of a life that most of us can only imagine, thank goodness!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Wife of Reilly, by Jennifer Coburn

Get ready to suspend all disbelief and common sense if you want to finish this one.

Prudence is not so happily married when she meets up with her college love & becomes engaged to him (not mentioning her husband at home). Prudence then involves her friends in finding a new wife for her husband, Reilly so she can leave him with a clear conscience.

I made it through this book, but it’s not one that I would recommend.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mafia Chic, Erica Orloff

Mafia princess Teddi Gallo is tied to her familia tightly. Whether she wants it or not. The only girl among 17 grandsons, they weren’t about to let her out of their sight.

Things get somewhat complicated when handsome FBI detective Mark jumps into the mix sniffing around both the Mafioso family & Teddi herself.

Big on Italian hoopla with a sweet story line, this book is great summer fluff.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Lost Recipe For Happiness, by Barbara O'Neal

Click here to read my review for this book at Girls With Books.

Farewell to Manzanar, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

This slim book is an eye opening look at the Japanese internment camps during WWII. Interned at age 7 this Wakatsuki Houston and her husband tell a story all too often forgotten in today’s history books.

From her childish point of view things didn’t seem that bad, but looking back through the lens of time Wakatsuki Houston can see the steep price her family paid for a nation’s hysteria.

Starting from Square two, by Caren Lissner

If you were lucky enough to read lissner’s first book, Carrie Pilby, you’ll know that in your in for a fun time.

At 29 Gert was done with dating, that is of course until her husband was killed.

Torn between bridging the gap between with her party loving, man crazy girlfriends and her settled down wife role she had gotten so used to, Gert struggles to start anew.

This book was fun, fresh & not too predictable. Thumbs up!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Microthrills: True Stories From A Life Of Small Highs


Microthrills: True Stories From A Life Of Small Highs, by Wendy Spero

From the picture of the procreating ladybugs on the cover I thought his book of short stories would be fun & I was totally right.

The stories of her sex therapist mother and hairy funny grandfather are well written and hilarious. Some things I wouldn't have believed if there weren't pictures, really wait until you see her grandpa, you'll laugh out loud.

Perfect for beach or vacation because it's short stories, this book is for any lovers of David Sedaris, Laurie Notaro, or Jen Lancaster.