I read this book at the urging of my lil' sis and I was immediately hooked on the series. I now am reading the rest of the series and am eagerly await...moreI read this book at the urging of my lil' sis and I was immediately hooked on the series. I now am reading the rest of the series and am eagerly awaiting the movie (the trailer looks pretty rad :) )(less)
A great beach read. Nothing ground breaking or anything, but if you are interested in the fashion industry the author, a former model and she delivers...moreA great beach read. Nothing ground breaking or anything, but if you are interested in the fashion industry the author, a former model and she delivers a tale that is half cautionary, half pure fun.(less)
Addiction memoirs are a dime a dozen, but this one, written by the father of a meth addict, offers a unique perspective. It is heart wrenching, but if...moreAddiction memoirs are a dime a dozen, but this one, written by the father of a meth addict, offers a unique perspective. It is heart wrenching, but if you've ever known someone who has struggled with addiction my guess is you'll find it relatable & insightful.(less)
When I picked this book up I thought I knew quite a bit about Cleopatra only to find out everything I had previously thought to be true was in fact dr...moreWhen I picked this book up I thought I knew quite a bit about Cleopatra only to find out everything I had previously thought to be true was in fact dramatized fiction.
Cleopatra was once the most powerful female ruler in the world, and her strength & intelligence have been marginalized to a great degree by portraying her as a seductress. Schiff goes to great lengths to tell the true story of Cleopatra. When accounts diverge, Schiff provides the reader with different accounts and possibilities to complete the timeline. The end result is a wonderfully researched and beautifully reconstructed bio of Cleopatra. (less)
I always wondered who Carrie was before Sex and the City. I never would have imagined her an ordinary, awkward teenager in the suburbs of Connecticut-...moreI always wondered who Carrie was before Sex and the City. I never would have imagined her an ordinary, awkward teenager in the suburbs of Connecticut-- it was just too far reaching. Of course, we all have to start somewhere! The novel begins in Carrie's senior year of college in 198... (the author makes a pointed effort to disguise Carrie's age), where she is just beginning to find her sense of self. She is a late bloomer on almost all fronts: she doesn't smoke, is a virgin (gasp), loves a Singapore Sling, and is just beginning to experiment with fashion. Her two younger sisters, namely "Dorrit", are far more rebellious, and probably more interesting then Carrie at least in their youth. The real story isn't the sex, drugs, or fashion but the friendships, relationships, and their evolution. I think this is a great book for the younger set who will surely relate to this aspect of it, and fun for fans of SATC to see the history of a beloved character. (less)
This was one of my favorite books of 2008, which is pretty impressive given it is the author's first novel. The story is centered around Chase, a 25 y...moreThis was one of my favorite books of 2008, which is pretty impressive given it is the author's first novel. The story is centered around Chase, a 25 year-old who went to art school in NYC but finds himself working as a high school teacher in Las Vegas (his hometown) with hopes of meeting up with his girlfriend Julia who is working on her MBA in California. Of course his plans never truly materialize as he is hung up with childhood crush Michele. Michele and her boyfriend Bailey (Chase's other childhood friend) are running a call-girl operation, which would be fine in Vegas except for the fact that Michele is the only of-age girl taking clients. Chase finds himself "helping" with the business, by driving the underage girls to their calls. He quickly finds himself in over his head, and in an action packed turn of events Chase finds himself simultaneously running from new enemies and ghosts from the past. (less)
I purchased Elizabeth Kostova's book "The Historian" when it was released but it sadly went ignored on my bookshelf (a problem I am addressing in bibl...moreI purchased Elizabeth Kostova's book "The Historian" when it was released but it sadly went ignored on my bookshelf (a problem I am addressing in biblio-rehab). But I read this book first because someone mentioned Swan Thieves to me in conversation- told me that I would enjoy it because of my interest and dabbling in art. They then promptly lent the book to me (along with the 600 page Steve Jobs book despite my above mentioned problem.) In the face of being labeled a delinquent borrower (a title I deserve twice over), I forced myself to read this book so that it could finally be returned.
Kostova created a very intriguing opening, and I was immediately drawn in. However, no one prepared me for the fact that this initial suspense would have to propel me through nearly 600 pages of text. Kostova deftly describes the paintings and sketches, making me feel as though I have seen the paintings she described in the book- something I believe to be a great achievement. I am often drawn to books with multiple perspectives, but the letters Beatrice to Olivier intertwined with the perspectives of Marlow, Kate, & Mary is frustratingly disjointed. The perspectives are oddly very similar to one another. I mean I find it a bit odd that three modern day people would have similar views on art & artists of all things. There just isn't much contrast between the different perspectives. They all seem to justify one another- how unrealistic is that? Overall, this book offers a glimpse of what it might be to be an artist with immense talent and dangerous obsession. In the end, nothing really happens in the book, and the more interesting story is the one that caused Robert Oliver to go mad. In the end I decided I would rather edit the perspectives of Marlow, Mary, and Kate (ESPECIALLY KATE, I loathed her) right out and read THAT book instead.
I must admit, I like hearing/reading Chuck Klosterman's thoughts on things via podcast or in his essays. This isn't my favorite Klosterman book, but I...moreI must admit, I like hearing/reading Chuck Klosterman's thoughts on things via podcast or in his essays. This isn't my favorite Klosterman book, but I sort of expected it would be when I started reading it. Maybe that is my own fault. That said, there are some interesting theories, arguments, and conclusions made in this book that made it worth reading. Batman, Taylor Swift, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Joe Paterno, O.J. Simpson, Perez Hilton, and even Hitler are in the book. Still my favorite line in the book is one the author used to describe Rick Perry “Perry didn’t scare anyone; sure, he might sentence you to lethal injection, but he also might confuse the potassium chloride with Diet Dr Pepper.” Overall, it was an enjoyable book with highs and lows...if I could give it 3.5 stars I would.(less)
This was my first purchased download on the e-reader I was given for Christmas. I chose this title primarily out of curiosity--I wanted to know where...moreThis was my first purchased download on the e-reader I was given for Christmas. I chose this title primarily out of curiosity--I wanted to know where the authors were taking our beloved Nan Hutchinson, who first appeared in "The Nanny Diaries." When we left Nan, she was getting the last laugh (after her firing) ranting into a nanny cam of her former employers Mr. and Mrs. X.
With "Nanny Returns" 12 years have gone by, Nan has recently returned to New York after traveling the world with her husband Ryan and his UN job. Nan, Ryan, and their dog Grace are living in a dilapidated home they optimistically hope to renovate. Nan is also getting her own HR consulting business off the ground.
Soon after returning to NY, her former charge, Grayer, tracks her down partly to confront her for abandoning him all those years ago and partly to seek her help with his 8-year old brother Stilton who is in need of a parental figure. Nanny finds that Grayer is, not surprisingly, a privileged, drug & alcohol abusing teenager and his parents' ability to raise their children have only deteriorated since she last saw them.
In addition to helping out with the X gang, Nan starts hanging out with her old friends who have married into money and are starting to produce their own privileged offspring. She also snatches up a consulting gig at a fancy prep school, Jarndyce, where her job consists primarily of stomping out fires. The prep-school kids are misbehaving, the faculty is abused and under-appreciated, and the wealthy parents are uninterested, absent, and, of course, image obsessed.
When her husband presses her to start a family, Nan stalls. Her view on family, marriage, and children is seriously negative. Ryan is still traveling with his job, their home is not at all livable, and she is juggling the X family issues, her friend's issues, and the prep school issues. The majority of the book has her erratically running around the city trying to solve everyone's problems when she seems to be the least qualified candidate for the job. Moreover, Nan's problems seem to be manufactured or of the type that could be easily avoided. Throughout all of it Nan seems jaded, overly self-righteous, and far less likable then she was as a young Nanny.
The character development in this book is lacking, and there are too many inconsequential sub-plots to keep up with. Even the Jarndyce plot was given the hack treatment ending in the most abrupt way. I feel like the whole Citrine/Clark sub-plot could have been cut out entirely. In doing so the authors could have taken the time to develop & re-work the rest of the story and characters within more fully.