word

July 19, 2013

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my eyebrows haven’t seen a tweezers in weeks, and the expiration dates on my unused, preservative-free nail polish giggle at me every time they espy my un-pedicured feet, but by golly my summer reading is being attended to.

from memorial day on i’ve devoured novel after novel like the sweet juicy peaches from the saturday farm stand; i double-fist stories and sagas into my face any chance i get: at the dinner table, in bed, at stop lights, in the bath tub, and in spin class….yes tis true…i have my books now on my iphone and secretly {although not any more} have been sneaking chapters amid the pre-class, welcome wagon of bike set up. 

here’s what’s been going down on my bookshelves:

camperdowns

elizabeth kelly if you’re reading this will you please call me? we need to be best friends. i’m totally serious. we can start slow, coffee here and frozen yogurt there, but once you get to know me i have no doubt, you and me sister, will each be wearing the other half of a 14 carat gold heart around our necks. you are the bottom of my peanut butter jar. my spoon no longer needs to scrape empty glass. 

i am savoring the last summer of the camperdowns  like i would the best curated combo bite of eye-watering, stinky french cheese, smeared atop bread so soft you don’t even need teeth, a big, fat, spicy leaf of basil, and a glob of blackberry jam to finish.  

this novel has it all: suspense, drama, nostalgia, but most of all it has what my friend linda burns and i deemed yesterday as maybe one of the best literary characters of all time: greer camperdown: a chain-smoking, perfectly manicured, razor-tongued, beautiful, former actress now in the role of political wife and mother. greer has some of the best lines i’ve ever read or heard in books or cinema. 

although greer is the novel, it is plot driven nonetheless. i’m reading this purposely slow; for i do not want it to end.

i’m sure there are already movie rights sold.

dinner

so i’m going to mention linda again. she’s my extra smarty pants friend, and she loves to read as much as i do. she recommended the dinner by herman koch. so satisfying. 

that’s all i’m going to say because i don’t want to give ANYTHING away. 

well, i’ll also say this: the dinner has been billed as this summer’s gone girl. um…no. it’s SO much better and smarter. 

{did you hear rosamund pike and ben affleck are set to star in the movie adaptation….i do like them.}

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how angry am i? you don’t want to know. nobody wants to know,” opens the psychological thriller, the woman upstairs by claire messud whom i think is one of the raddest writers out there right now. to me her writing is always tight, rigid, and withholding. you desperately want to be in claire’s cool club.

come on claire! just give me one, little succulent alliteration; maybe a mellifluous sentence or two describing a pretty bonnet or flowery meadow? a simple cliché maybe?

nope.

she’s paleo with her words and descriptions, and still gives great story.

book

ok, the next works weren’t great literary feats, but definitely served the beach read genre. the yonahlossee riding camp for girls by anton disclafani is your typical coming of age, young girl on wrong path and finds herself, blah, blah,blah….it got a little v.c. andrews for my taste, but i’m such a sucker for this era {1930’s,}  and part of the country {the south.}  a hundred summers by beatriz williams reminded me of last summer’s hit tiger’s in red weather or rules of civility; nothing you’re racing home to read, but not danielle steele.

17book "The Light in the Ruins" by Chris Bohjalian.

yesterday linda took me for my birthday present, a reading and meet & greet with the author chris bohjalian. he’s penned such bestsellers as midwives, the double bind, before you know kindness, skeletons at the feast, and secrets of eden, and many more, but these are just the ones i’ve read. all are pretty good, the double bind is my favorite.

chris’ new novel is his take on the romeo and juliet story with a dark, lisbeth salander twist. available this week, the light in the ruins, is already receiving high praise.

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my girl. my joan. my heart. 

major inappropriate crushing going on her for this 78-year-old.

i’ve been reading “slouching towards bethlehem” for months now, nibbling up one of joan didion’s iconic short stories every time i can pirate an extra half hour or two, under the veil of a running bath, where, hidden and clean, i re-sully myself with joan’s tales of california depravity in the 1960’s. 

reading joan didion seals the deal that i will NEVER be a professional writer.

dv

a few months ago my lovely friend lorraine sent me DV: the autobiography of diana vreeland. it was one of those REALLY lazy days for me where i drove to the mailbox first before parking the car in the garage. for some reason this book never made it into my house, and i’m so happy. i bring it everywhere with me and escape to diana’s glamorous world of european royalty, manhattan society, and of course…the fashion: “pink is the navy blue of india.” if any of the books were to be a fiction read, it’s this autobiography.

absolutely delicious. 

so now it’s your turn…what are you reading this summer?

  • For as much as I adore being outside, I can't pry myself out of a library. I just checked out "Valley of the Dolls". I've always wanted to read it and that pink cover with the little pill "cut outs" just looks so cute on my nightstand.

  • Ooh! Those all sound so good! I’ve been plowing through one novel after another as of late, and my most recent was “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.” Loved it. Wish I didn’t read it so quickly; should have instead savored every witty line. Oh yeah, and the last sentence left me sobbing. Even when I told my hudband about it the next day, I couldn’t fight the tears. So good.

    Another that I just finished is “The Fault In Our Stars.” It was beautiful and tragic and hopeful and heart wrenching all in one tidy little story. You will love it. Go get both of these!

    • goodniteirene

      dude!!!
      so i go and buy your two recs…and my friend just told me that the second one is a kid's book!? huh?!??!

      • OK – so, first of all you're making me laugh… and yes, this book is technically considered a "youth" book. BUT my very adult, 30-somethings bookclub read it, and we all agreed that the subject matter was very much adult-friendly as well as weighty. I don't think you'd be disappointed, and if you are, SORRY! 🙂

  • "The Virgin Suicides", "Paper Towns", and "Beautiful Ruins" are all on my nightstand now. I need to dedicate some time to them, but I always put off sitting down with a book, because I know that it means I won't be getting up again for a really, really long time. Added a few of your recommendations to my to-read list. Thanks!

    • goodniteirene

      tell me what you think of "beautiful ruins."…read that last summer….such a pretty cover…

  • "is your typical coming of age, young girl on wrong path and finds herself, blah, blah,blah…" bwhahahahaha

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