1.29.2008

Lunch Break Treats

I'm sitting here on my lunch break at work eating some boring beans and browsing online for some new books to buy. I finally settled on these. I'm in desperate need of some new things to read, seems like I got stuck in a rut there. So here is what I'm going to pick up today after work.
Oprah Book Club® Selection, May 2000: In her still startling debut, The Good Mother, Sue Miller explored the premium we put on passion--and the terrible burden it places on a mother and child. Her fourth novel, While I Was Gone, is another study in familial crime and punishment. But this time, her wife and good mother is accessory to more than emotional malfeasance. Jo Becker has everything a woman could desire: a loving spouse, contented children, and a nice dog or two. When her New England veterinary practice takes on a new client, however, her past comes back to haunt her. Long ago, it seems, Jo had escaped her family and identity for a commune in Cambridge. Her Aquarian illusions came to an abrupt, bloody end when one of her housemates was brutally murdered. Now this unhappy era returns in the person of Eli Mayhew, who had been the odd man out in Jo's boho household. His appearance is both tantalizing and upsetting: "Inside, I slowed down. I felt numbed. I had two last patients, and then I told Beattie to go home, that I'd close up.... I refiled the last charts, sprayed and wiped the examining table. I reviewed my list of routine surgeries for Wednesday. All the while I was thinking of Eli Mayhew, and of Dana and Larry and Duncan and me, and our lives in the house. Of the horrible way it had all ended."

Relationships are brought to the limit in Delinsky's splendid latest exploration of family dynamics. On a rainy night, Deborah Monroe and her teenage daughter, Grace, are driving home when their car hits a man. The victim, who turns out to be Grace's history teacher, is unconscious but alive. Although Grace was driving, Deborah sends her home and takes responsibility for the accident when the cops show up. Deborah is juggling a lot: as a family doctor, she is in private practice with her über-demanding widower father, who is trying to hide a drinking problem; her son, Dylan, is vision impaired; her mother's death continues to affect the family; Deborah is still dealing with her ex-husband's new, separate life; and her unmarried sister, Jill, has just announced she's pregnant. Grace's guilt about not taking responsibility for the accident makes her withdraw from friends and family, and the accident victim turns out to have a more complex private life than anyone imagined. The author seamlessly resolves relationship issues without sentiment, throws in a promising romance for Deborah and offers a redemptive scene between Grace and her grandfather.

Sex, lies, crushed dreams and slot machines are paramount in McGinniss's flashy, fast-moving debut. Chase is a struggling artist who couldn't hack NYU and moves back to Vegas, where he is reunited with his adolescent flame, Michele. After being fired from his teaching job for beating up a student, Chase plans to hook up with his girlfriend, Julia, in California, but instead spends his summer as a chauffeur for Michele's call-girl business. Michele has plans for herself (buying a house, getting an advanced degree in women's studies), but for the time being is running the call-girl service out of a suite in the Versailles Palace Hotel and Casino with her boyfriend, Bailey. Girls too young for the job, readily available cocaine, untrustworthy business partners, memories of a family tragedy and glammed-out Vegas goons make Chase's summer more stressful than he had hoped for as he attempts to finish a few paintings for a group gallery show. The novel is action-packed, though the character development—particularly with the women—is sometimes superficial. McGinniss (son of another Joe McGinnis you may have heard of) successfully gambles with the notion that whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what does that mean for Chase and his plans to escape?

Andrés Faulques, a world-renowned war photographer, has retired to a life of solitude on the Spanish coast. On the walls of a tower overlooking the sea, he spends his days painting a huge mural that pays homage to history’s classic works of war art and that incorporates a lifetime of disturbing images.
One night, an unexpected visitor arrives at Faulques’ door and challenges the painter to remember him. As Faulques struggles to recall the face, the man explains that he was the subject of an iconic photo taken by Faulques in a war zone years ago. “And why have you come looking for me?” asks Faulques. The stranger answers, “Because I’m going to kill you.” This story transports Faulques to the time when he crossed continents to capture conflicts on film with his lover, Olvido, at his side. Until she walked into his life, Faulques muses, he had believed he would survive both war and women. As the tense dialogue between Faulques and his visitor continues, the stakes grow ever higher. What they are grappling with quickly proves to be not just Faulques’ fate but the very nature of human love and cruelty itself.


Not your typical boring diet book, this is a tart-tongued, no-holds-barred wakeup call to all women who want to be thin. With such blunt advice as, "Soda is liquid Satan" and "You are a total moron if you think the Atkins Diet will make you thin," it's a rallying cry for all savvy women to start eating healthy and looking radiant. Unlike standard diet books, it actually makes the reader laugh out loud with its truthful, smart-mouthed revelations. Behind all the attitude, however, there's solid guidance. Skinny Bitch espouses a healthful lifestyle that promotes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and encourages women to get excited about feeling "clean and pure and energized."

Her Last Death begins as the phone rings early one morning in the Montana house where Susanna Sonnenberg lives with her husband and two young sons. Her aunt is calling to tell Susanna her mother is in a coma after a car accident. She might not live. Any daughter would rush the thousands of miles to her mother's bedside. But Susanna cannot bring herself to go. Her courageous memoir explains why. Glamorous, charismatic and a compulsive liar, Susanna's mother seduced everyone who entered her orbit. With outrageous behavior and judgment tinged by drug use, she taught her child the art of sex and the benefits of lying. Susanna struggled to break out of this compelling world, determined, as many daughters are, not to become her mother.

The smartest eating choices--made simple! The secret to looking, feeling, and living better than ever is not by depriving yourself of the foods you love. It's by making the best choices in a variety of real-life situations. Based on the most popular column in both Men's Health and Women's Health magazines, Eat This Not That is a comprehensive guide to what to eat at home, from the supermarket, even at a fast-food counter. Do you know why a hot fudge sundae is a good dessert option? Why potato chips are better than fries? And why Swiss cheese is three times healthier than Cheddar? With this simple, illustrated guide to hundreds and hundreds of foods--along with the nutrition secrets that lead to fast and permanent weight loss--now you will!

And I've decided I'm going to locate this on my home bookshelf and reread it. I haven't read it since high school and I want to give it another look. I'm looking for something new to read as you can see from the mishmash of shit up there. Can any of you recommend a good non scary book?

9 comments:

Kat said...

I love Wally Lamb. She's come undone is one of my favorite books.

Coffee Slut said...

I'm in the middle of "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop and I'm finding it hard to put down.

Humor Girl said...

Best books EVER....

BAR NONE

HILARIOUS!!:
Tales of a Drama Queen by Lee Nichols

CAN'T MOVE UNTIL FINISHED!! (Love story):
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

DID NOT LEAVE BED FOR 2 DAYS:

Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks

GREAT FOR A WEEKEND!:

The Washingtonienne by Jessica Cutler



ENJOY!!! :)

Missy Marshmallow said...

Anything by David Sedaris. "Dress Your Children in Corduroy and Denim" and "Naked" are my favorites. Hysterical.

Cheeziemommie said...

I REALLY wanna read that Barbara Delinsky book! I saw it at Costco and it has been calling to me! Have you read anything by Jennifer Weiner? Also I really have enjoyed the Stephanie Plum number series by Janet Evanovich. They are lil mysteries but not really all that scary and semi easy to solve with a lil sex & romance mixed in! Happy reading!

Steph said...

Looks like some great choices. You will have to let me know how they are...I just might invest in some as well.

Nicole said...

I just started reading "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" and it is very good annnnd it's not that long of a book, bonus! Also, I second Cheeziemommie on anything by Jennifer Weiner. Happy reading!

Jessa said...

Hmmm...I'm reading The Hours by Micheal Cunningham right now. I really enjoyed The Virgin of Small Plains...mystery without all the gore, but a good read IMO. The books you have picked out look interesting.

Rachel said...

Gosh- I wish I had the time and patience to read. These all look great.

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