This book was a throwaway from my little sister, who couldn't finish it. I actually loved it - I couldn't put it down! There are several reasons for t...moreThis book was a throwaway from my little sister, who couldn't finish it. I actually loved it - I couldn't put it down! There are several reasons for that.
First of all, it's written by a former model and it gives a great insider's look at the fashion and modeling industries. I LOVED reading about that; I mean, she even included beauty tricks that the models and designers use (it's in the narrative, not a separate section)! The beautiful is complemented by the ugly (cocaine and double-timing modeling agents). It's just great.
Another reason I couldn't put it down was because of the glorious double entendre that the title suggests: Will the main character (can't remember her name!) be a model, a student, or can she pull off both? (Hint: You won't find out 'til the end, so keep reading!)
Anyone interested in the fashion industry or modeling should totally pick this up and give it a chance. (less)
This was a really cute book - better than I thought it would be. I put it in my "Coming of Age" category because it really is a story about a girl who...moreThis was a really cute book - better than I thought it would be. I put it in my "Coming of Age" category because it really is a story about a girl who matures significantly throughout the course of the book. The characters are remarkably well drawn for a chick-lit-type book, and the scene of the Hamptons is fascinating fodder for an inside look at bartending. I also enjoyed learning what it's really like to be behind the bar - since reading this book, I've been more patient with bartenders because I know they're doing a million things at once. And I assume it's accurate because the author is a former bartender, herself. Cheers!(less)
Although I consider Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition to be an absolutely essential addition to any library, this book is also good for those in b...moreAlthough I consider Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition to be an absolutely essential addition to any library, this book is also good for those in business, especially those new to the business world (college grads!). It includes when and how to accept and give business cards, gift ideas for bosses and assistants, how to give the best handshake, how to write an effective business letter, and the best way to handle a job search (such as how to build and write your resume, what to wear and how to act in an interview, etc.). Also includes a section on handling business overseas, which is helpful because other countries have different business etiquette than the U.S.(less)
I am kind of obsessed with etiquette. This book is a bible of propriety. It seriously addresses EVERYTHING you could possibly wonder about. Along with...moreI am kind of obsessed with etiquette. This book is a bible of propriety. It seriously addresses EVERYTHING you could possibly wonder about. Along with the basics, like when to write a thank-you note, which fork to use, how to act at various religious ceremonies, what to wear to a semi-formal wedding in November (for example), at what age children should be saying "please" and "thank you," the "who pays?" date dilemma, how to handle a party guest who stays too long, and how much to tip for various services (hotel room-service, wine stewards, pool cleaners, etc.), this book has additional sections on modern society. Some of my favorites:
-Does the man or woman go first through a revolving door? (If it's already moving, the woman; if it's not, the man goes through first to get the heavy door going.)
-What DOES "business casual" actually mean? (Men and women: khakis or slacks, open-colllar shirt, etc.)
-How fast do you have to respond to e-mail? (One to two days for personal e-mails; within 24 hours for business)
-What's the rule on how much an engagement ring should cost? (Traditionally, two months of the groom's salary. More modern grooms should spend as much as they can afford without going too much into debt. And negotiating on the price with a jeweler is acceptable practice.)
Seriously, there's even a section about text-message etiquette. I love this book. And yes, I'm a dork. :)(less)
This is a surprisingly quiet novel. It is, at times, a little dull, but toward the end it is impossible to put down. I'm just getting to know Austen's...moreThis is a surprisingly quiet novel. It is, at times, a little dull, but toward the end it is impossible to put down. I'm just getting to know Austen's style and I like her scathing satire and subtle wit. The twists at the end were great, but I think she copped out a little bit on the final chapter; instead of having the characters live out the rest of their lives, she just had a narrator explain what happened. That would have worked from the secondary characters' points of view, but come on! Fanny is the main character - she should live out her own future.
Anyway, I liked it a lot, and will certainly read whatever other Austen comes my way.(less)
A delightful, quick little read. Although it was one of Austen's early books, it was not published until after her death, and it is a simple, though s...moreA delightful, quick little read. Although it was one of Austen's early books, it was not published until after her death, and it is a simple, though satirical, novel about her usual subjects: society and marriage. The character of Henry Tilney is wonderfully sarcastic and funny, Isabella such a wicked angel, and Catherine so placid and innocent, that one can immediately see that this book is primarily character-driven. In fact, there isn't much of a plot. I still liked it, but then, I love 19th-century literature, so I could be on my own here. (Yes, I realize it was written in the late 1700s, but I still categorize it as Victorian and 19th-century in style.)
If you fancy a quick foray into the Victorian love-and-marriage theme, grab this book -- and if you like it, read "Pride and Prejudice" and "The House of Mirth." Both are similar and very good. This theme is something I have yet to see played out in Dickens with his usual ingenuity and mastery, and the girly girl in me was enchanted with this glimpse of another author's take on late 18th/early 19th-century society.(less)
Although I heartily disagree with most of Samenow's conclusions, this book was thoroughly researched, and it is actually quite interesting.
I work in t...moreAlthough I heartily disagree with most of Samenow's conclusions, this book was thoroughly researched, and it is actually quite interesting.
I work in the criminal justice field, primarily with defendants, and I have a Master's degree in law, so this book was particularly of interest to me. I doubt that many people outside the profession would be too keen on it. People sympathetic to defendants' causes, such as criminal defense attorneys, probation officers, forensic psychologists, social workers and the like, will probably find the book fascinating but entirely void of accuracy. Samenow's notion that criminality is chosen (rather than being a product of both personality and environment) has zero merit, as far as I'm concerned. However, a few of his points are valid, and his writing is impeccably clear, which makes the book worth reading.(less)
I'm about 100 pages in, and so far, it's not nearly as good as "Oliver Twist," "Great Expectations," "David Copperfield" OR "A Tale of Two Cities" - t...moreI'm about 100 pages in, and so far, it's not nearly as good as "Oliver Twist," "Great Expectations," "David Copperfield" OR "A Tale of Two Cities" - the only other Dickens books I've read. But it could be picking up... will update.
Finished. It did pick up, and it got REALLY good in the last 300 pages... but 500 pages is a lot to read before you finally get to the part that you can't put down. Still, I'm a huge Dickens fan, and will continue to read his work until I've read it all!(less)
I picked out and read this book for an independent study course I am taking about mitigation in criminal sentencing. I had to write a review/paper on...moreI picked out and read this book for an independent study course I am taking about mitigation in criminal sentencing. I had to write a review/paper on it for my course, so instead of writing a fresh review, I'm just copying my old one (severely edited) here:
The members of the Cook County Public Defender’s office Murder Task Force routinely face scenarios that would disgust and repel many other lawyers: They fight for the rights and lives of vicious, violent killers. The task force, showcased by journalist and author Kevin Davis in his book, “Defending the Damned,” is composed of highly experienced criminal defense attorneys, who, Davis writes, are “the lawyers for the damned, paid by the people to represent the enemies of the people, working to thwart prosecution of those accused of some of the most vile, repulsive and cold-blooded killings in Chicago, and [who,] in doing so, … ask for a measure of mercy for those who were not [merciful themselves]” (p. 4). By a sort of lottery, these lawyers are assigned cases in which babies’ bodies are dismembered, fried and fed to dogs; cases in which women are raped and tortured for days on end before being sodomized and killed with the same shotgun; cases in which police officers are gunned down before their brethren. “Defending the Damned” not only memorializes the plights of these public defenders and their clients; it also explores what motivates the men and women of the task force to take on such a thankless – not to mention gruesome, stressful and unpopular – job.
..I had to cut about 5 pages here because it was too long..
In all, “Defending the Damned” is a fascinating look at the world of the public defender’s office, but probably only those interested in the criminal justice system would enjoy it. While the reporting and organization are excellent, the writing and copy-editing are sub-par. (I actually began to line-edit halfway through the book because I couldn’t stand all the grammatical and spelling errors.) Davis’s character development is also lacking, even though he seems to make a point of describing Placek and her wild wardrobe and personality. Even with whole chapters dedicated to the development of her character, I still couldn’t picture her – Davis should have included a photograph. Even with these obvious flaws, “Defending the Damned” is an important look at an often overlooked profession, and it lauds a group of people who seldom receive thanks for their painstaking, desperate work. (less)