Lila Wilkins finds she's been laid off from her job at the local newspaper, a job she's held for years. Fortunately she immediately, and I mean immedi...moreLila Wilkins finds she's been laid off from her job at the local newspaper, a job she's held for years. Fortunately she immediately, and I mean immediately, finds a new job as an intern at a literary agency just one town over, actually in the town where her mother, a psychic, happens to live. Unfortunately, during the course of her first day she not only uncovers the drudgery of being a literary agent, but also meets a homeless many who regularly visits the agency, a homeless man who she will find dead, murdered, on the sofa in the reception area of her new employer. She spends the rest of the novel dealing with this man's death, her sometimes troublesome teenage son, her sometimes overbearing mother, and her libido, torn between two men new to her life.
I am an avid reader, and as such, honor and respect every aspect of the writing, editing, and publishing process. I have multiple friends who are writers and editors. To find a book that is so insistent on cramming down a reader's throat, the belief that the job of a literary agent is of the utmost importance, above and beyond all, seems a bit over the top. As if we avid readers did not already understand and appreciate the importance. Still the self-righteousness of this main character, not only about her current job, but about everything else concerning her, her mothering skills, her detective skills, even the fact that a house deserves a better owner, that owner being her, comes off so self-indulgent and shallow that Lila becomes unlikable. All of the characters seem to fall flat, and somehow the writing is both descriptive as well as stiff and stilted. It reads much like the work of a school child learning to write descriptive paragraphs, not like a skilled literary professional. The words are there, but the feelings, emotions, and connections are not. Unfortunately, the storyline is much the same. There is actually very little mystery to this mystery. There is little to no suspense. It becomes a focus on a large cast of characters, none of which are developed well enough to even be interesting. I most definitely will not be reading another edition of this series. (less)
Shakespeare would be rolling over in his grave...with laughter. (I'm pretty sure Poe would be too wrapped up in his melancholy to even notice.) In his...moreShakespeare would be rolling over in his grave...with laughter. (I'm pretty sure Poe would be too wrapped up in his melancholy to even notice.) In his newest book, Christopher Moore blends together the work of these two great authors, adds an extra dash of debauchery, a horny and homicidal sea creature, our favorite fool, a piratey Jewess, and of course a the ghost of his beloved. (There's always a bloody ghost.) As we catch up with our beloved Pocket, this time in Venice, wrapped up in a series of murder plots (including his own), war profiteering, and a wee bit of dragon shagging. In the midst of all this, he must save Othello, Shylock, and the entire city-state of Venice while also avenging not only his own murder, but his lost love as well. What should be a complicated story is actually quite an easy and entertaining read. It is both riotously funny and quite profound in its handling of love, loss, greed, racism, religious intolerance, and the horrors of modern warfare, all appropriate not only in 1299 when this story takes place, but also in today's world. Christopher Moore has proven himself a master of the literary mash-up. We walk away learning three important things from this tale: never drink wine that tastes of pitch, never underestimate a fool even when deprived of his motley, and Othello likes a bit of role play. A definite must-read for Christopher Moore fans and any who like sarcasm and a good bit of bawdy humor.(less)
I really wanted to like this book more, but I found the characters and plot naive. Sections of the story that seemed important, sections you wanted mo...moreI really wanted to like this book more, but I found the characters and plot naive. Sections of the story that seemed important, sections you wanted more information about, were truncated while sections of little important or interest were expounded upon much more than necessary. There was such good material there to work with, but it just fell so short.(less)
A wonderful cookbook full of beautiful photos and easy to follow recipes. I've already tried three: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Mustard-Cream Sauce, T...moreA wonderful cookbook full of beautiful photos and easy to follow recipes. I've already tried three: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Mustard-Cream Sauce, Tangy Red Cabbage with Apple and Bacon (a new favorite), and Apricot Oatmeal Bars. All have been wonderful, and I'm sure I'll be trying many more and making these again soon. Definitely a keeper!(less)
Rita Jewel has the perfect job, selling gorgeous clothing to the San Francisco elite. She has the perfect boss,Dolce, who understand and adores her an...moreRita Jewel has the perfect job, selling gorgeous clothing to the San Francisco elite. She has the perfect boss,Dolce, who understand and adores her and sometimes gives her free clothing from the high end boutique. She has three men she sometimes sees, not always in the best of circumstances. She's even taken a cooking class from a celebrity chef. Still she feels like something's missing. Her job doesn't seem as thrilling as usual, even with the gossip and fine fashions. Her boss thinks she needs more excitement in her life. Perhaps she's missing the thrill she found in the past when solving the murders of a customer and a fellow employee. Dolce suggests that maybe Rita should try to reconnect with some of the handsome young men in her life. Rita takes this advice and also decides that she should get back on her self-improvement track. When she goes to her cooking school to sign up for another class with Guido, he brushes her off and quickly shoves her out the door. Later that night, Rita finds out that Guido has been murdered, and that she may have been the last one, other than the murderer, to have seen Guido alive. Suddenly, her ennui is gone. As the last person to see Guido alive, and having solved two other murders already, Rita feels it is her duty to help her Detective, Jack, and solve this crime, for Guido and herself. Could the murderer be a member of the victim's family, on of his students, and a self-proclaimed 200-year-old vampire, or someone a little more close to home, and will Rita be able to solve this case in time to clear her own name or before becoming a victim herself?
Rita Jewel is self-involved and a bit ADHD, but underneath it all, she does have a good heart. She's a bit like a jaded and slightly darker version of Elle Woods from "Legally Blonde". Sometimes she comes off as naive and annoying, yet for some reason one can't help but root for her, or at least have a laugh when her mind suddenly veers off track and begins focusing on completely unrelated topics. This book may be a bit formulaic and the main characters a bit difficult to connect with at times, but it still manages to make for an entertaining read.(less)
A great collection of photos and information concerning vintage fashion and great fashion houses. The beautiful full-color photos alone are worth the...moreA great collection of photos and information concerning vintage fashion and great fashion houses. The beautiful full-color photos alone are worth the read. I do wish that as much focus was given to the early years included as was given to the latter years. Approximately 20% of the book is taken up by the 1980s while only approximately 6% is given to the 1900-1920s. I also wish more focus was given to accessories. Only two pages, mainly text, were given to hats and none was given to shoes, but an entire section was given to handbags. Included in that section were only handbags produced by Chanel, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton, many of which were newer items, including some from as recently as 2011 (only two years before this book was published and more than likely within a year of its compilation), surprising given this is a book concerning "vintage" fashion. I'm also surprised that so many great handbag labels were missing (Schiaparelli, Judith Leiber, Coach, Whiting & Davis just to name a few). While there are disappointments, this is still a wonderfully enchanting and informative compendium of vintage fashion that would easily be enjoyed by fashion students, aspiring stylists, and vintage enthusiasts alike.(less)