This is an oft-heard word around my house, what with the 7 and 10 year old running around. They love the potty talk. So, one day, as we were walking through the library, it came as no surprise to me when one of them pointed out a book with a toilet on it, which resulted in much snickering and giggling and pointing and what-not.
Before rushing them away from a potty-word-laced gigglefest, I looked up and saw the book, Would it Kill You to stop Doing That? A Modern Guide to Manners by Henry Alford. So of course I checked it out.
I renewed it twice before I actually sat down to read it and was pleasantly surprised by this mannerly tome. The author’s chatty tone and Tim Gunn name checks (could have turned that into a drinking game but that might not have been very mannerly) made this a fun look at modern manners, both in the states and abroad.
I found this to be a snarky but informative read that also remind us to be gentle when in public, to think of good manners as an extension of ourselves. Yes, my kids have learned to drop a poop joke thanks to me but they’ve also learned personal responsibility. If someone calls them out on their humor as not being so, well, humorous, they will apologize and regroup.
Fans of both humor and manners will find something to adore about Alford’s book, available at your library or favorite bookseller.
It was the book that I wanted to love.
Like Duckie dreamed of Andie (in Pretty in Pink) or Keith idolized Amanda Jones (in Some Kind of Wonderful) I yearned to fall in love with Jen Lancaster’s fiction debut, If You Were Here. Having read my way through Lancaster’s catalog of memoirs, I anxiously awaited this title. And then anxiously awaited again while Kindle figured out how to streamline those pesky (and much loved) footnotes that define Lancaster’s style. And I finally sat down to read it.
And I did not fall in love (which is why I name-checked Duckie and not Blaine, Amanda and not Watts). There are so many points that should make me fall in love with it, but it just didn’t happen. The book features multiple John Hughes movie references (including a house that plays a pivotal role in a movie that also featured the song that is the same name of the book. Too obtuse? Sigh; Sixteen Candles! It’s Jake Ryan’s house!), an almost gang war with a gang of bumbling idiots and a self-important heiress with a name out of a reality show and ripped-from-the-tabloid antics. And then she threw in two obscure, awesome references from my childhood — Mr. Yuk stickers & Gamera the Japanese monster movie turtle for whom my pet turtle is named.
But it didn’t mesh like I wanted it to. And it might be just because Lancaster’s other books are so damn well-written, this one just doesn’t reach the bar that she’s set.
I read Discovery of Witches the minute it came out and waited an agonizing 18 months for this sequel. In the recent past, I worried–will I like it as much as the first one? Will the character arcs resonate with me? Will this time-travel construct be effective?
Within the first few pages I knew my worries had been in vain. The continuing saga of Diana and Matthew was as fun to read as the first book, and Harkness handles her dip back into time effectively and believably, addressing things that others have overlooked (as far as I’ve seen) and addressed the time of Queen Elizabeth with a fresh wit.
We pick up Diana and Matthew right where we left off in the first book, and new characters are introduced (historical figures both actual and fictional) and woven together with the modern characters to create another seamless chapter in the saga. We all know that a third book is to come, so there is no illusion that the mystery will be solved in this title; but the lush world that Harkness creates is exciting and fresh.
Vampires have been overwrought by so many authors, but it’s wonderful to read new rules applying to these creatures of imagination. As Diana seeks to find out what is the key to her power, we are introduced to a rich pageantry of supernatural life in history.
My only complaint? Now I have to wait for the third book. But I enjoyed this book so much it’s re-piqued my interest in the first book, and I’ll be re-reading the pair of them in anticipation of the final book in the series
There are certain things that you can expect when you read Anne Rice. Lush, Gothic descriptions; beautiful settings; conflicted characters; internal struggle. The Wolf Gift delivers all that and more.
When I picked up this one, I was anticipating another supernatural werewolf tale; but it had clearly been too long since I’ve read Ann Rice, and I forgot the skill that she has in creating characters and worlds that defy the reader to question their legitimacy. She writes of a strange otherworld that lingers just above our own; a shadowy place where her stories play out.
I read most of this book with a smile on my face, because I felt as though Rice was telling the other writers of the genre, “back off kids–mama’s home,” as Rice has been writing amazingly lush supernatural tales for nearly 30 years. Here, Rice recreates the werewolf as the “Man Wolf,” a creature that takes the legend of the werewolf and turns it on its ear, ignoring what we’ve come to expect (“turning” at the full moon, for example) and providing a new history (and future) for these furry supernatural beings.
In the story, fictional journalist Reuben Golding is introduced to this shadowy world of the wolf through an interview with Marchant Nideck about the sale of her beautiful family manse in the redwoods of Northern California. As Ruben recuperates from the tragic end of their encounter, his life changes in unfathomable ways when he becomes privy to a world that lay just beyond the realm of logical thinking.
Rice continues in her tradition of modern Gothic supernatural tales in this unforgettable tale. Find it where your favorite books are sold. Keep up with Anne Rice at her website.
I am a tough chick. I’m a tattooed, beer-drinking, swearword-slinging broad who loves punk rock and outlaw country.
And? Nicholas Sparks books.
I recently picked up The Lucky One in paperback after being barraged by the commercials for the film (which isn’t so bad, because that Zac Efron is easy on the eyes) and I knew I would see it when it came out on DVD someday, but also, I wanted to read the book.
Nicholas Sparks has a gift for writing sweet stories; he has flawed characters who have interesting (if sometimes predictable) story lines. His stories are almost always focused in North Carolina (I can’t say all of them because honestly, I haven’t read them all), and some of them have been made into great movies… some not so great movies. But he always weaves a great story.
The Lucky One focuses on a soldier (Logan) who finds a picture and he believes this picture keeps him lucky in the face of danger. He finds the girl in the picture (Elizabeth) using his problem-solving skills and, well, luck; drama ensues. The conflict for Logan is trying not to come off like a crazy person (when, by all apparent facts, he is) and trying to figure out why he really went to find Elizabeth… was it just to find this girl who was considered his lucky charm? Or is there more that he’s meant to find?
Though not for everyone (not if you’re not a fan of slightly formulaic, sweet stories), this one was for me. Find it where you find books–and if you see the movie let me know how it was!