Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Forever (March 1, 2009)
3 out of 5
The Manchurian Candidate meets South Park—Chuck Palahniuk’s finest novel since the generation-defining Fight Club.“Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67 on arrival Midwestern American airport greater _____ area. Flight _____. Date _____. Priority mission top success to complete. Code name: Operation Havoc.”Thus speaks Pygmy, one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the United States, disguised as exchange students, to live with typical American families and blend in, all the while planning an unspecified act of massive terrorism. Palahniuk depicts Midwestern life through the eyes of this thoroughly indoctrinated little killer, who hates us with a passion, in this cunning double-edged satire of an American xenophobia that might, in fact, be completely justified. For Pygmy and his fellow operatives are cooking up something big, something truly awful, that will bring this big dumb country and its fat dumb inhabitants to their knees.It’s a comedy. And a romance.
About the Author
CHUCK PALAHNIUK’s nine previous novels are the bestselling Fight Club, which was made into a film by director David Fincher; Survivor; Invisible Monsters; Choke, which was made into a film by director Clark Gregg; Lullaby; Diary; Haunted; Rant; and Snuff. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, a nonfiction profile of Portland, Oregon, published as part of the Crown Journeys series, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
I was warned about this book and almost didn't finish it. The author tries to write the whole book without the word "the" being used when the protagonist speaks. Other characters use the word but with great restraint. I almost couldn't read it due to the graphic nature of certain scenes and don't think I could recommend this book to anyone except those that like the truly bizaare.
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition, First Printing edition (May 5, 2009)
4 out of 5
From a powerful new voice in nonfiction comes this electrifying chronicle of a married man who leaves his wife to pursue a carefree bachelorhood - only to plunge into an abyss of shame, regret, and penis envy. Thirty-year-old Alan Wieder has everything a man could possibly want: a nice home in L.A., a thriving Hollywood career, and to top it all off, a beautiful and adoring wife. Then one day in 2005 - the Year of the Rooster - he wakes up with questions: Have I settled down too soon? Am I consigned to a humdrum future of marriage, kiddies, home-cooked meals and hybrid SUVs? How the %&! did this happen to me? And just like that - after ten years in a committed relationship - Alan decides to walk out on his wife to pursue his fantasy of becoming a hardcore bachelor. Explaining very little, thinking even less, he dives into his exhilarating new single existence - buying a vintage Porsche, moving into a tastefully decorated bachelor pad, ignoring his wife, and bedding as many chicks as possible. However, to Alan's surprise and dismay, becoming a single dude also unleashes in him a torrent of crippling insecurities that he didn't even know he had. And soon, his would-be swingin' bachelorhood is cut short - very short - by a strange and shameful obsession that drives him to utter madness. Some men leave their wives only to discover that the grass isn't greener. What Alan Wieder discovers - about the perils of newfound freedom, and about his own fragile male psyche - is far more agonizing and wretched. In this riveting and brutally honest memoir, Alan recounts the true story of his impulsive, wild, and ultimately disastrous foray into bachelorhood. A tragicomic tale of betrayal, sexual (mis)adventure, and ultimately redemption, Year of the Cock marks the debut of a remarkably talented new writer.
About the Author: Alan Wieder is a writer and producer living in Los Angeles.
Be warned-- this is not a book for anyone who doesn't want to read about a guy and his relationship with his, well, you know. This is a very funny book in parts and will appeal to guys in their 20-30's, much like Tucker Max. A memoir that is much like a train wreck, in that you can't imagine that guys think like this and can't stop reading it, but know they are more neurotic than women about their body parts. I know that was a run on sentence, but there were a few chapters in this book that had that quality as well. You just can't possibly imagine that someone could share their obsessions like this, but I am glad the author did.
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (July 22, 2009)
5 out of 5
Lil is an old woman who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights at home in her apartment. But Lil has an intriguing secret. Tucked and bound behind her back are white feathery wings–the only key to who she once was: the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball to unite with her Prince Charming.But on that fateful night, something went terribly and beautifully wrong. Lil allowed herself the unthinkable: to feel the emotions of human beings and fall in love with the prince herself, going to the ball in place of Cinderella in her exquisitely gorgeous human guise. For her unforgivable mistake, she was banished to live among humans, far from her fairy sisters and their magical underwater world. But then one day she meets Veronica–a young, fair-skinned, flame-haired East Village beauty with a love of all things vintage and a penchant for falling in love with the wrong men–and suddenly it becomes clear to Lil that she’s been given a chance at redemption. If she can find a soul mate for Veronica, she may right her wrong and return to the fairy world she so deeply longs for. . . .
About the Author: CAROLYN TURGEON is the author of Rain Village. She is working on her third book about a mermaid. Visit her website and blog at carolynturgeon.com.
This book does for Cinderella what Maguire's Wicked did for the Wizard of Oz. I love to read books where a minor character tells an alternate tale of a well known story. It is beautifully told with every word counting just where is should. It did leave me with a lot of questions about the ending, was Lil really Cinderella's fairy godmother or was she just a delusioned old lady?
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1 edition (March 3, 2009)
Can you differentiate between the Amish and the Hasidic Jew?
Do you know the single, shocking difference between the Redneck and the Appalachian? Can you successfully identify -- and avoid -- the Charismatic, Verbose Nigerian Cabdriver or the Honda-Driving UCLA Korean Gangster Wannabe? If the answer is "no" to any of the above, then Hechinger's Field Guide to Ethnic Stereotypes is the book for you.
Home to people from over 168 nations, the burgeoning ethnic melting pot we call America can be a frightening and disorienting place for the uninitiated. In order to successfully navigate this culturally rocky terrain, it's essential that one understand the ethnic landscape we inhabit. Hechinger's Field Guide to Ethnic Stereotypes, by world renowned cultural anthropologists Kevin and Curtis Hechinger, is a comprehensive, groundbreaking, and painstakingly assembled collection of everything you need to know about this puzzling world in which we live.
Whether tracking the migratory pattern of the Northeastern Jew, cataloging the breeding habits of the Passive Asian Male, or highlighting the almost imperceptible differences between Cubans and Dominicans, these two fearless naturalists have devoted their lives to the study of human variety.
An instant classic and invaluable tool for the professional cultural anthropologist, the amateur enthusiast, or anyone lost on the subway, Hechinger's Field Guide to Ethnic Stereotypes will reshape the scientific community just as surely as it will settle the age-old question of whether Vodka-Loving Stalin Haters can out-drink Irish-American Firemen.
Are we very different?
Or are we exactly the same? For the answers to these and other probing questions that may well be all that stand between happiness and despair, read Hechinger's Field Guide to Ethnic Stereotypes. Now.
About the Author
Drs. Kevin and Curtis Hechinger are world-famous cultural anthropologists. Home schooled for their entire lives, they awarded each other Ph.D.s upon successfully completing Hechinger's Field Guide to Ethnic Stereotypes, which also serves as their dissertation in a completely unofficial capacity. Kevin is eighteen months older than Curtis and can throw a football farther. When not in the field, they reside in New York. They prefer to keep any other personal details private until they gauge public reaction to this book. Drs. Kevin and Curtis Hechinger are world-famous cultural anthropologists. Home schooled for their entire lives, they awarded each other Ph.D.s upon successfully completing Hechinger's Field Guide to Ethnic Stereotypes, which also serves as their dissertation in a completely unofficial capacity. Kevin is eighteen months older than Curtis and can throw a football farther. When not in the field, they reside in New York. They prefer to keep any other personal details private until they gauge public reaction to this book.
This study guide of racial stereotypes can be very funny at times. Take this with a grain of salt and you won't be disappointed. I don't think I am the target audience for this book though.
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 17, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 0.6 inches
4 out of 5
A wry, wise new novel of Southern dreams and second chances.On the morning of her birthday, Vonda Thayer awakes from her American Dream to realize she’s living a domestic nightmare. She plays happy homemaker to two whiny, self-absorbed teenagers, a ranting, divorced monster-in-law, and her knocked-up oldest daughter, who’s just moved home to escape a deadbeat boyfriend. In her free time, Vonda stalks her no-good husband and his bimbo du jour. And now her ailing, cantankerous father-in- law—the monster’s very estranged ex—needs a nursemaid and a place to recover. Vonda seriously needs to replace that white picket fence with barbed wire. When a hurricane rips through north Florida, it threatens to tear her already fragile family completely apart. It’s up to Vonda to help them weather the storm and learn a few survival instincts in the process. The sun’s going down on this desperate housewife, and dawn’s breaking on a new, improved Vonda Thayer…
I loooove Chick Lit, so then why did it take me so long to read this one? I got this when it was first released and it sat here. I am sorry I didn't pick it up sooner. This is just the perfect book for us "older" Chick Lit lovers as it discusses events that seem to happen to us as we age. The perfect book for the summer.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (December 2, 2008)
4 out of 5
Mishna Wolff grew up in a poor black neighborhood with her single father, a white man who truly believed he was black. “He strutted around with a short perm, a Cosby-esqe sweater, gold chains and a Kangol—telling jokes like Redd Fox, and giving advice like Jesse Jackson. You couldn’t tell my father he was white. Believe me, I tried,” writes Wolff. And so from early childhood on, her father began his crusade to make his white daughter Down.
Unfortunately, Mishna didn’t quite fit in with the neighborhood kids: she couldn’t dance, she couldn’t sing, she couldn’t double dutch and she was the worst player on her all-black basketball team. She was shy, uncool and painfully white. And yet when she was suddenly sent to a rich white school, she found she was too “black” to fit in with her white classmates.
I’m Down is a hip, hysterical and at the same time beautiful memoir that will have you howling with laughter, recommending it to friends and questioning what it means to be black and white in America.
When I first started this book, I thought of the line from the Steve Martin movie, The Jerk..."I was born a poor black child..." This memoir could have gone horribly wrong at any point, but the authors pulled off a very funny and poignant story about her childhood. I admit parts had me almost in tears but then Wolff writes about something funny and pulls you back from despair. I highly recommend this one!
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (May 26, 2009)
3.5 out of 5
From Nadine Haobsh, aka Jolie in NYC ("The poster child for the blogger generation...you can't help but love her."—New York Post), comes a delectable novel that only a true beauty industry insider could have written!
Bella Hunter may be down but she's not out yet—and she's ready to take on the world of beauty...one bad makeover at a time.
Pity the poor twenty-eight-year-old beauty expert and columnist for ultra-chic Enchanté magazine, knocked right out of her Jimmy Choos—and out of a job—when her off-the-cuff comment to a reporter is blown way out of proportion. Once the authority on style, Bella's reduced to taking a position at Womanly World, a publishing dinosaur of no interest whatsoever to any woman under fifty. Suddenly she's got to take orders from a dreary and dowdy beauty director—and is soon at war with her male publisher, who might actually be appealing if he wasn't so totally frosty.
Bella's supermodel boyfriend, a hometown wedding, and a Paris junket are fine distractions, to be sure. But how can she face her friends and ex-coworkers now that she's stuck in an office where khaki—not Cavalli—is the way of life? And if beauty's not what it's all about...then what is?
This was actually a 3.5 for me. I almost quit this one after the first 25 pages but stuck through the main characters sob fest and was glad I did. Decent fiction debut with witty conversations, but could use a little paring down of the wordiness.
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon A (January 27, 2009)
4 out of 5
Serial dater and greeting-card artist Wollie Shelley goes undercover in a media-training company suspected of video piracy, but when a dead body appears on the company’s property, she’s caught up in a conspiracy that goes way beyond some stolen DVDs.Wollie Shelley isn’t happy about taking the job as a “social coach” at MediaRex, but the FBI makes her an offer she can’t refuse. If she agrees to infiltrate the company, they’ll guarantee that her schizophrenic brother will have a home at the federally subsidized halfway house he’s come to love. So Wollie launches into teaching three foreign celebrities how to cope with the customs of Beverly Hills, improve their English, and become Oprah-ready. And when a coyote-chewed corpse appears in the MediaRex compound, Wollie realizes that her colleagues are concealing some serious secrets of their own.
Another good story in the Wollie series with enough humor and mystery to keep the pages turning. I really wish the character of Simon played a stronger roll, but maybe he will in the future. This series carries me through the other six months when I am waiting for a new Janet Evanovich book.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Broadway (March 17, 2009)