Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Senator's Wife

Wow I enjoyed this book. Sue Miller writes and writes women in particular so beautifully, so compellingly that even though very little happens in the book I'll put it up there as one of my favorite things I've read in a while.

This book is the story of two marriages -- one old, one new -- and in particular the women who inhabit them. Husbands and children are part of the story, but their role primarily is to spur reflection and choices in the lives of Meri and Delia. These are real women with real emotions. They are not idealized, well maybe Delia is, but that's by Meri, not by herself or by Miller. But then that projection of ideas on those around us is real too. A very good read.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Queen of Babble Gets Hitched

Boo hoo hoo! I've finished all the existing Queen of Babble books. One of my favorite features of all of these books are the things that precede each actual chapter. They have to do with Lizzie, our fearless heroine's, interest in fashion and in particular wedding fashion. They are full of pithy tips and what may or may not be actual fashion history.

I'm not sure if Meg Cabot is planning on pressing on with the life of Lizzie, but I would not be too sad if she did not. While I would miss her, I'm not really sure I want to read what would be the next logical life milestone or even worse the mundanity of what is in fact day to day life. So for now I'll bid Lizzie "best wishes" and wait to see what comes next.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Curse of the Spellmans

Sequel to The Spellman Files this book picks up laughwise not timewise exactly where Lisa Lutz left off. I find this family enchanting. Once again the Spellman family delights and I cannot wait to hear more from them. A great book for beach-style reading. The only problem is it doesn't last long enough.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Invention of Everything Else

What a strange book. It switches poins of view between 3 characters and then there are 2 additional main characters and several key minor ones. What's more it's a chronological jumble and to confuse the matter more it mixes in the possibility of time travel. Overall it was a decent read, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it unless you like arty novels about historical characters (in this case Nikola Tesla) and shifting view points and time frames.

Nikola Tesla was in fact the hook for me. Ever since seeing The Prestige I've been interested in him, and I hoped he would give me some LOST ideas. But alas, for the most part he did not.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Assassination Vacation

Another contributor to This American Life, author Sarah Vowell (pronounced Vail) has now taught me more about James Garfield than I ever dreamt of knowing. This book follows in a bit haphazard and more hysterical than historical fashion the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. There are also brief nods to assassination attempts and Kennedy though they are not her focus.

I enjoyed the book, but like reading David Sedaris I think I might have preferred to listen on tape rather than actually read Vowell's words. You have to slow down and add the sarcasm when you read for yourself as oppose to listen to the author's intended voice, so I'm sure there are laughs I missed by moving my eyes moving too fast over the page.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Queen of Babble In The Big City

Sequel to Queen of Babble and to me an even better read. There's something about these plucky heroines being in New York City that I really love. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan is my favorite of the Shopaholic series too. Or I think it also may be the case that by the second novel I understand the character well enough to really enjoy her travails and successes. And this has a wonderful ending. In fact I hope the 3rd book Queen of Babble Gets Hitched is available at the library.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


A vampire book in the vein of Max Brooks' zombie books. Takes place post Voodoo Wars where humans and Others exist uneasily especially the Darkest Others, vampires. Good imagination about how you might interact with these Other types. But all in all not my favorite vampire book. I much preferred The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova which I read back in late December/early January.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

How I Met Your Mother

Basic story -- In the year 2030 Ted Mosby is telling his teenage kids the story of how he met their mother. Flashback to 2005 where we meet our characters, Ted, his roommate Marshall, Marshall's fiancee Lily, ultimate Bro Barney and Ted's new crush Robin. This show will be heading into it's 4th season come the fall.

This show is actually one of the good things the Writers Strike did. Since nothing was on I started recording HIMYM and watching it after my son went to bed. I managed to catch all of Season 3 that way. I had seen the occasional show in Seasons 1 and 2, at least enough that I could follow what was going on in S3. But now I've watched all of Seasons 1 and 2 -- thanks Netflix -- and I really enjoyed it.

The highlight is always Neil Patrick Harris' Barney. I especially loved Episode 2.5 "World's Greatest Couple" and you can never go wrong with Episode 2.9 "Slap Bet." I can't decide how I feel about the ending of Season 3. I won't talk about it here, but I'm a bit ambivalent about the ending of the main storyline. One of the subplots on the other hand, I can't wait to see how that will play out. Though I hope it doesn't go the Monica/Chandler route.

If you are looking for a LOL comedy about characters that you will come to care about check out HIMYM.