The follow-up to The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, this book came in the mail at the exact perfect time, when I was making no headway witThe follow-up to The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, this book came in the mail at the exact perfect time, when I was making no headway with any of the books I had been picking up over the past month or so, and when I needed something light and fluffy and moderately escapist to read. The thing is, in my review of the last book, I described how it was the exception to my no-chicklit rule, that it was a slightly trashy guilty pleasure.
But the sequel isn't quite the same, and it's a pleasure that doesn't feel guilty at all. It's lighter on the dirty details, and in fact Belle isn't even a call girl for the majority of the book. What it is is a brilliantly written book that made me laugh when I needed to laugh, gave me some seriously down-to-earth and surprisingly effective advice, is refreshingly honest (and hugely entertaining with its Brit-speak), and basically painted a picture of a boyfriend twelve times more... well, undesirable, than any I hope to ever pair up with.
I have - for the most part - been avoiding "girly" books for the past two years... chicklit isn't exactly part of my reading goal, and while some of tI have - for the most part - been avoiding "girly" books for the past two years... chicklit isn't exactly part of my reading goal, and while some of the novels I read aren't exactly any more challenging than the pink-covered fluff I've read in previous years, you can only read so many of those books about girls and boys and dating and "finding yourself" without wanting to pull your hair out.
I will make an exception every once in a while though - last year it was for I'm With the Band (which was campy and gossipy and ridiculous and awesome) and this year Belle de Jour was my guilty pleasure. I got sucked into watching the show on Showtime - Secret Diary of a Call-Girl - and then I got sucked into reading the blog that inspired the book that inspired the show, and then I decided to just add the book to my BookMooch wishlist. I ended up scoring a copy, and I polished it off pretty darn quickly.
Yup, it's a little trashy - it is about a London Call Girl, after all - but while there's a liberal dose of the dirty details, the reason I enjoyed it was because it's almost as heavy on the traditional girly book relationship stuff. And not the super-sappy Bridget Jones variety - I'm talking painfully realistic hookups and breakups and boys who make you pay twice for your own tomatoes. To top it all off, the anonymous author is a HELL of a writer - which is why most people think she's making all the whoring stuff up.
Anyway, an entertaining read, though if you're familiar with the Belle de Jour archives, almost the entire book will sound familiar. ...more
I LOVED this book - Nick Hornby's About a Boy has always been absolutely one of my favorites, and I've been meaning to read this for ages. When I finaI LOVED this book - Nick Hornby's About a Boy has always been absolutely one of my favorites, and I've been meaning to read this for ages. When I finally nabbed a copy on BookMooch, I was semi-disappointed when I checked the table of contents and realized that Hornby wrote about many songs I either had never heard or had never been particularly interested in, but then I started reading I realized that his essays really aren't about the specific songs at all. This isn't an exercise in critical music writing, this is about how music makes Hornby feel, and that's the kind of music writer I feel like I'm always trying to be. Practically every essay had several paragraphs worth quoting, and I feel like I'm going to pull this out to read again and again now that it has a home on my bookshelf.
Recommended - no, necessary - if you're a fan of music and a fan of Nick Hornby....more
There's something about Chuck Klosterman's writing that speaks to me - something I identify with, something in his voice and style that immediately maThere's something about Chuck Klosterman's writing that speaks to me - something I identify with, something in his voice and style that immediately makes me think "wow, that's exactly how I think." And this book, for me, proves that I'm going to love his fiction as much as I love his non-fiction - Downtown Owl was a wonderful book. While the story itself wasn't particularly exceptional, his style translates very well to this format, and his narrative devices and list-making are some of the reasons that he has potential to become one of my favorite authors. I can see myself re-reading this book over and over again, and I'm sure it's going to be just as good every time. ...more
Sheesh, I should be grounded for falling so far behind in my reviews - I finished this book a week before the end of November, and here I am on DecembSheesh, I should be grounded for falling so far behind in my reviews - I finished this book a week before the end of November, and here I am on December 17 finally getting around to writing my review.
Anyway, this book was recommended to me by my friend Jay - it's one of his favorites and when he and I started talking books that was the very first one he mentioned. Months later I finally scored it on BookMooch, and then in November I picked it up and started reading.
I'm actually very glad I read this in a year I chose to re-read The Catcher in the Rye, because I could draw a lot of parallels with the Salinger fresh in my memory. And the thing is, I enjoyed this book a great deal more than Catcher - while parts of it are just as awkwardly painful as tales of Holden's exploits, I thought that Charles Highway was more likable, similarly despicable at times but overall you could kind of see where he was coming from, and kind of understand the reasoning behind his misguided attempts to woo Rachel and to figure out his life.
The funny thing is, I keep describing this book to friends, and in explaining the elaborate preparations Charles makes for dates - the way he stages his room, maps the gallery the day prior to going, drafts speeches and prepares each and every clever thing he's going to say - my guy friends tend to say something along the lines of "wow, that book gives away all my secrets." Terrifying....more