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alternately, i enjoyed this one much more than i had the first three times i read it. with the knowledge of book six, book one is that much more interesting and darkly foreshadowing. i'm planning to start "chamber" after i finish the book i'm reading this week.

[hp and the sorcerer's stone - rowling]


taltos - anne rice

this is the first time i've re-read an anne rice novel since i finished blackwood farm three years ago. disappointing is the word i'm going to have to go with on this one. i will try again, maybe with queen of the damned, but anne's penchant for retelling hundreds or thousands of years of personal histories just makes me tired now. and the way she manipulates her characters into the perfect settings and times to have one character actually tell this long, rambling, involved history to another is pretty laughable.

i just don't know. i didn't hate it, but i just wasn't impressed. of course, she still has her moments. i'm not giving up on anne yet.

although, i have to admit, i tried to re-read servant of the bones after i finished taltos and i couldn't get through the first chapter.

[taltos - anne rice]


bookends by jane green

this review contains spoilers.

i don't think jane green knew what kind of book she wanted to write when she thought this one up. it starts with a pretty interesting story about a group of friends who break up when one of them does something to deliberately hurt another. fifteen years down the road, and the friends are offered a chance to reconcile. it would have been nice to follow on through that, but the plot veers left of field with a trite boy-meets-girl will they or won't they storyline. when the friendship stuff crops up again, it's exiting to think that maybe all this drama will come up and need to be resolved, but instead, it desolves into a cheap subplot in which the only gay character tests positive for hiv. everything ends in roses and sunshine for everyone, but by that point i just could not give two shits.


it's especially frustrating to only enjoy half of a book. especially when that half is the first bit. sigh.

[bookends, jane green]


a dirty job - christopher moore

hilarious. christopher moore at his best. an average joe named charlie is appointed as an agent of death and um, hijinks ensue. i can't say enough good things.

it's brilliant.

a dirty job - christopher moore


adverbs - daniel handler

daniel handler loves words so much, and he always uses them well. what i love most about his lemony snicket books is how funny and clever they are. and that humor and cleverness are very much present in adverbs. the absurdity is here and the joy that comes from a really good sentence. but something is just not quite right. maybe it's the short story format, but this book didn't hold my attention the way i'd hoped it would. some of the stories were surprisingly poignant, and others were immediately forgettable.

i liked it, and i'd probably give it a better rating if my expectations hadn't been so high.

adverbs - daniel handler


the book of joe - jonathan tropper

i chose this one at random from the bargain section on the strength of a good review by augusten burroughs. the premise is cute: slightly depressed guy gets rich and famous by writing a book that is essentially a tell-all of his small hometown, including his strained relationship with his father, his crush on his best friends mom, and the repressed homoeroticism of his high school football coach. then, his dad dies and he has to go home for the funeral. no one is happy to see him, and hijinks ensue.

i liked reading this book, the writing is very good and the characters are fun. there's a really good redemption story here, tinged with a very dark thread that comes from the suicide of one of the main characters best friends from high school.

overall, though, something about the book didn't sit right. i can't really pinpoint what.

the book of joe - jonathan tropper


anderson cooper is one of those celebrities who i like a lot, but i can't really pinpoint why. during katrina, his coverage of the hurricane and it's aftermath just seemed really believable and un-sensationalized.

so i decided to read his book, because i want to read more non-fiction and i think he's hot. his writing style is very "journalistic," and it's not a style that not well-suited to narrative writing. journalist writing favors short sentences and small words. the best bits of the book were when he broke away from that style and wrote more informally about his family.

overall, i liked this book a lot. i wanted to see things from his perspective and you really do get to see that, and it's really touching to see how lonely he is. he doesn't come across as poor little rich boy, and his honestly about the exploitive nature of the current media is pretty chilling at times. i recommend it if you like anderson cooper or are interested in the media.

dispatches from the edge: a memoir of war, disasters and survival - anderson cooper


this is the best book i've read this year. i think grief, really bone-deep grief, can be really hard to capture in print. you can usually see it more in pulitzer-winning photos. but foer's book manages to combine that, a brilliantly honest and realistic portrayal of grief, with the naivety of a 10-year-old protagonist.

children will always be honest in a way that adults are incapable of. i think that having that added honesty helped create a narrative that is so raw and true that it's almost a relief to cry at the end of it. it's a healing sort of sobbing.

i can't really put into words how this book made me feel. it's just genius. i can't tell you enough.

[extremely loud and incredibly close]


mrs. shakespeare - robert nye

this one is written as the memoir of shakespeare's wife, anne hathaway. she writes mainly of her husband and children, the death of their son hamnet, and how much she hated that he loved the theatre more than he loved her.

it was utterly, painfully boring for the first million pages, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, they break out with the kinky romeo & juliet role play sex. plus, shakespeare is bisexual. a fun theory, but it doesn't make up for the boring, boring beginning.

don't waste your time.

[mrs. shakespeare] - there are so many good reviews on the website; i'm baffled.


bergdorf blondes - plum sykes

i really can't resist chick lit and for 4 bucks, i couldn't pass this one up. and while no one changes the world or cares to much or is poor, the story is fun, sweet and has a sastifying ending. plus the cover is sparkly.

what more do you want from a cupcake?

[bergdorf blondes]