Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Report Monday

I've been reading old Nancy Drews when I go to bed.  As I've said before, I like the soporific story telling and cadence to the books.  It's easy to read a few pages and fall asleep drooling on the husband's pillow. 

But I have to admit, I'm not really engaged in the stories.  To wit: I've been reading "The Secret in the Diary" for the past few nights, and I'm about mid-way through, and I keep wondering, vaguely, when Nancy, Bess and George are going to go to the dairy, and what they might find there.  Do you see what I did there?  I have continually been misreading diary [the journal] as dairy [the cow home].  And this, despite the fact that Nancy had been discussing the diary she found by the burning house on just about every. fucking. page. 

Maybe I'm just entranced by the appearance of Ned Nickerson.  He's kind of suave.


On our way back from dropping the girl at boarding school [god, can I just shut the fuck up about this already?], the husband and I listened to Jimmy Breslin's The Good Rat.  I'd forgotten how much I like Jimmy Breslin's writing style, and his affinity for writing about gangsters.  The Good Rat is a really compelling book, a brief precis of the New York mob and the move from guys who would stand up and do their time without opening their mouths to the guys who would rat out their mothers to stay out of prison and a more in depth look at Burton Kaplan, the rat in question, and the two NY police officer / mob hitmen he turned on.

The husband and I both really liked listening to this, and the readers do an excellent job evoking the story.

My favorite thing about Jimmy Breslin, though, is this [I wish I could find the exact quote]:

Years ago, I remember reading an anecdote about how, when Jimmy Breslin was making a name for himself as a writer, he was asked to star in a malt liquor commercial.  He did so, and found that when he was in the projects, getting information on stories, everyone knew who he was, and he was quite popular.  The commercial stopped playing after a while, and he had to go into the projects for another story.  His editor was concerned, but he blew it off, saying something like, "They know me down there." And then he got there, and they didn't know who the fuck he was, because, of course, he wasn't on tv anymore.  He was just some old white guy asking questions.


So I've been rereading Bossypants and I realized - hahahahaha.  I'm not going to do another review of it, even though I have been rereading it and am looking for a relatively inexpensive audiobook.  And I heart Tina Fey so fucking hard.


I just started reading The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington and I LOVE IT.  Where the fuck have I been, not knowing about this great writer? Snarky, eloquent and deftly portraying life at the turn of the century [the last one, not the one that just happened, which is weird because it makes me feel like I'm 1,000 years old or something].  I really like it so far.

What are you reading?  Anything you want to pass along?


  1. I just read The Magician King by Lev Grossman. It's a sequel to The Magicians, which was good but not great. The sequel was much better. If you like fantasy, or at least aren't opposed to fantasy, I'd recommend it.

  2. Well, I was reading The Bell Jar and then I tried Revolutionary Road - both classics, both brilliant and both made me want to fucking kill myself.

    So now I am reading Super Freakonomics.

    I'm a total pleb.

    Bossypants? I want to go to there...

    Sarah xxx

  3. Never was a big Nancy Drew fan, but I adored Trixie Belden with an unholy level of passion. I've recently read State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and The Snow Man by Jo Nesbo, and both were very good.

  4. I just finished reading Outlander (I know, I KNOW I'm about two fucking decades behind), and it was, of course, awesome. So now I've moved onto Dragonfly in Amber. But before that, to score some extra smart points, I ready Crime and Punishment. Every word. 'Cause I'm a goddamned soldier, that's why.

    I'm going to put Tarkington on my list, and should get to him before retirement. Maybe.

  5. The dairy/diary thing just killed me. Very very funny. And I wish Tina Fey was my best friend!

  6. Really want to read Tina Fey's book. Currently reading Kevin Nealon's book about becoming a first-time dad at 53. Funny. And before that read Sarah Silverman's autobio The Bedwetter which was awesome.

    For some flavor from my neck of the woods, you should read The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. Really murder mystery series with colorful characters. Wow, that sounded really bookreview-ish.

  7. NED NICKERSON!!!!! You have me swooning over here with the memories (I had very vanilla taste as a tween). I'm impressed that you're reading. My latest project was getting through the back of the cereal box in one sitting.
    p.s. When is your bday? I plan on getting you a body pillow with Tina Fey's picture plastered across it.

  8. I just finished A Dance With Dragons by George RR Martin because I'm a geek and have the decoder ring to prove it. I wish the story would progress more in every book, though.

    I'm nearing the end of The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan because I'm obsessed with finding books that I'll enjoy reading with the kids as they grow up . . . . this is firmly in the "elementary school" area, I think. Maybe? I don't know. They'll like it, though.

    And I'm about halfway through The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which is truly engrossing, in a way that I never thought a medical documentary could be.

  9. The Book Thief by Mark Zusak is one of the best books I've read in a long time.

    Highly recommended.


    p.s. You need a Boff/Kill/Marry for Nancy Drew...except I don't think any of those characters are capable of having sex.

  10. Oooh Nancy know I just saw the whole series for sales (and the Hardy Boys as a gift set too) in a popular 'here's what to buy people for christmas' magazine that came to the house. I was swooning.

    I wish I was reading something more than blogs lately...I miss books...with a fire in my belly..I miss them. I will read Bossypants before Christmas...and I owe you a big long's coming soon! Xo

  11. The secret in the dairy is that it's dog milk. Don't know who this Jimmy Breslin is, but he doesn't sound very socially astute. May be a brilliant writer though.

  12. I'm going to start saying "legend-diary" to be more like you.

    I often don't pay attention when I'm reading. Did I mention I'm a copy editor? Yeah.

  13. This is my kind of book report - quick, succinct, bam, bam, bam! Perfect. I've been so remiss in my reading, but am proud to say that I actually finished a novel and loved it - The Keep by Jennifer Egan. So spooky and creepy and otherworldly. Perfect for October.

  14. Bossypants is hilarious!!! I'm finishing My Life As An Experiment by AJ Jacobs. Also really great. But mostly I've spent my time watching Better Off Ted reruns. God I LOVE that show!!! Whoever canceled it should be shot.
    Also, I love that you used the word soporific. Awesome!

  15. i am SO glad i'm not the only one with a tina fey bossypants obsession. i decided not to listen to my audio book in my car for a few days. and i've been a real bitch. turned it back on today. and voila - not nearly as bitchy.


Every time you comment, I get a lady boner.