Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review Tuesday

If it's Tuesday, and I need a blog topic, then it must be Book Review Tuesday!

As I've mentioned, I've been reading Nancy Drew books to fall asleep.  Alas, I finished the last book we owned [The Secret of Pumping Out These Books for Fifty Years, or some such title] and as I have also mentioned, I am grossed out by library books.  As you may imagine, that goes double for books that germy children have had their grubby hands on, so I'm done reading the Nancy Drew books for a while.

But as I was reading, I realized that Nancy Drew is AMAZING. I mean, I knew she was a super-sleuth, and that her father, the renowned River Heights attorney Carson Drew, asked her to help him with his cases sometimes [I want to see: 1. The billable hours on that; 2. The reaction of his clients when they find out an 18 year old girl {who somehow becomes 17 in the newer books, WTF, Caroline Keene?} has been given the information on their case; and 3. The Disciplinary Board's reaction to Carson Drew sharing information about his clients.  I know, I know, suspension of disbelief.], but I had no IDEA that she was so gifted in so many areas.  For example, Nancy Drew can:
  • Understand and use Morse Code
  • Tap Dance [and even tap dance MORSE CODE!]
  • Ice Dance [well enough to be in a show at the last minute!]
  • Model
  • Calm savage dogs
  • Read Middle English
  • Drive a motor boat
  • Read and speak French
  • Ski
Is there anything she can't do?


I listened to The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon.  I actually liked this for the most part, which surprised me because not only was I meh about the whole idea of the book from the blurb on the cover [a murder in Alaska in an alternate universe and something about chess], but also because Michael Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman make me want to punch them repeatedly. They just rub me the wrong way. They come off super smug. 

But, I needed to listen to something and there were very few options at the library [no, I do NOT want to listen to Nicholas Sparks] because evidently all the old people checked everything out, so I got it and it was surprisingly engaging.  I think it was about 3-4 CDs too long [maybe 100 - 150 pages?] but I really liked the mix of noir and Yiddish languages and the way the book [mostly] kept moving. So, I guess if you are in a bind and need to listen to something, this would be . . . something.


When I work out and am at physical therapy, I like to have a book to take my mind off of what I'm doing.  My physical therapist says that if you're working hard enough, you can't actually read a book.  I say, if I'm working that hard, I'd just be crying instead, so I'll take the book, thanks.

The most recent workout book I finished was Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes.  This was . . . just beyond bad. I mean, even for frothy chick lit, this was terrible.  How terrible?
  • I have absolutely no idea who the main character is.  I know she's supposed to be a writer, but beyond that? Nothing. For a minute, I thought she was an omniscient narrator, and then I realized that she was the main plot and she wrote in first person. For the life of me, I have no idea what her name is.  It's not Bergdorf, because that's her best friend, who, frankly, was super self-involved and far more engaging. So, yeah, the MAIN CHARACTER is so dull you can't remember anything about her, including her name, WHILE YOU ARE READING THE BOOK.
  • The main plot was how Main Character's mother kept wanting her to marry the Earl Next Door, but Main Character wasn't interested in living on an English estate, she wants to be a New York Girl, and she keeps meeting this cute movie producer who helps Main Character when she ends up in all kinds of jams and then [SPOILER ALERT] it turns out HE'S the Earl Next Door.
  • I keep calling the author Plum Skies.  And then wonder who names their child Plum. Besides Gwyneth.
This book was miserably bad, but I kept forgetting to grab a different book and ended up reading the whole thing.  I should have just cried the whole time instead.

Which just goes to show you how god-awful The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory is.  I got through 2 CDs before I returned it because instead of being about magic or intrigue or even sex, it was all lameness and boredom. I mean, it was ostensibly about all three of those more interesting things, but it moved at a glacial pace and actually made me scan through regular radio to find something else to listen to.

What are you reading?


  1. I just read The House of Silk because I am super into Sherlock Holmes, but I was irreversibly psychologically damaged by how it turned out and I may never read another Sherlock Holmes story again. I'm considering doing a blog post/book review about it, just to warn people off reading it for the protection of their innocence.

    To erase that crap from my brain I started reading Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres, which is light & easy to read, but not laugh-out-loud funny.

  2. I am reading Mindy Kaling's new book. It is a delight, but I like you best.

  3. Land of Lincoln: Adventures of Abes America. Because I really like the author. Here's the link:


    And I read Bergdorf Blondes too. Ugh.

  4. I just finished The Fiery Cross. I figure if I read slow enough I can stay in this Outlander world forever, and will never have to read crap like you've described above. *fingers crossed*

  5. I love everything I've ever read by Michael Chabon, so now I'm going to cover my ears and go lalalalalala whenever anyone tries to tell me anything about him personally because I don't want punchiness associated with him. My cousin ruined the Nancy Drew thing for me when I was about twelve by pointing out the 'she's too perfect' thing. I didn't realize for the longest time that Carolyn Keene was a psu - psey - fake name. I thought she was just two hundred and eight years old.

  6. the mennonite in the black dress. i have to use a dictionary whilst reading it. i can't wait to be finished.

  7. For fun Friends in High Places by Kellogg; nonfiction Nowhere Near Normal- a memoir about OCD and I'm about as creeped out as is possible.

    I'm a librarian and avid library user but am with you on kid's books and microbial deposits. Won't even go in that room.

  8. When I'm not reading all my blog loves, I just re-read Milkrun by Sarah Mlynowski and Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.

    You are still my favorite though. :)

  9. I just finished The Help. I have the movie version. I enjoyed the woman power aspect of it & the stick-it-to-the-man. I'm glad it ended without any of the maids getting physically harmed.

  10. Anything by Maya Banks or Shayla Black. I suppose it's chick lit (if you consider erotica chick lit) but it's entertaining!

  11. I will always love the ferociousness of The Secret Life of Bees.

  12. If I can read the back of the Corn Flakes box once a week, it is considered a win. Please keep doing these reviews, because I'm counting them as books I've read.

  13. blah... Nicholas Sparks. I've never read his books, but have seen enough of his movies to not want to ever. "people who are unhappy become happy and improved. And then tragedy, the end. ps, bring kleenex."
    I'm reading a book called "Zen and the art of Paddling", written about paddling up the west coast of canada, and very entertaining. Plus, the guy who wrote it was selling it door-to-door, which is a really neat east-coaster tradition.

  14. 1) I can't read Nancy Drew because I just hate it when people are so gifted at so many different things. Frankly, it just ups my therapy bill.

    2) Hilarious review of Plum Skies or whatever her name is. I agree with you, you should have spent the time crying.

  15. And you thought a pubic hair in a library cook book was bad...

    Just imagine finding one in a Nancy Drew mystery.

    And you know it wouldn't be titian blond either.

  16. I thought I was the only one with a strange fear of library books.

    I think I'm going to start a meme from Chuck Klosterman's "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs," which I'm reading right now. Because, we all need more treatises on Saved By the Bell.

  17. You crack my shite up. (So? I use that word all the time.) Love carrying the Nancy Drew logic to its ridiculous conclusions. You can keep socking away at Ayelet Waldman, but I really like Michael Chabon except for the comic-related forays. And that's me, not him. Wonder Boys, Mysteries of Pittsburgh and his nonfiction... all thumbs up from me. Picturing them having sex? Pass. She seems more neurotic than smug to me. I'm reading Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller.

  18. Hey! It's been a while for me over here (or anywhere for that matter), and I'm a huge bookie (um, wait, not in that way) and this made me smile. Since the acquisition of my Kindle 45 years ago, I've read about 4500 books. Most of them not very good, but some of them were awesome, and discovered in roundabout ways.

    Did you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? Run, don't walk. What about The Last Letter from your Lover? Again, lace up.

    And finally, what is "titian blonde" exactly? I believe I might qualify in the titian department, but never blonde. Commit, Nancy, commit.


Every time you comment, I get a lady boner.