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Lauren has been reading since she was born
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I love books for children that don't talk down to them–that are just as gothically creepy and macabre as something written for adults in the Victorian age. I know that's oddly specific, but The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddenfield is such a book! Not only would I have loved it as an oddball child, I love it as an oddball adult! Sophie Blackall (of whom I'm a huge fan!) drew the perfect illustrations to accompany such a story and I hope she and John Marciano pair up again. I foresee this book selling in equal numbers for kids and adults!
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Ooh I love this book so much! Not only is it a fascinating look at the founding of Jimmy Choo, it's the chic, gossipy story of the founder herself, Tamora Mellon. $500,000 weddings! Diamond-encrusted shoes! Hobnobbing with celebrities! These are just some of the excesses described in In My Shoes, along with courtroom drama, fabulous parties, and the most beautiful shoes in the world. Tamara's voice is what makes this memoir so fun: she holds nothing back and is full of dishy anecdotes. For instance, when she was at finishing school (Finishing School!), she was one of the few girls the cook/ski instructor didn't try to seduce. Apparently Roger Moore (AKA James Bond) had warned him that Tamara's dad would break his legs if he did. I live for stories like that! The media has compared Mellon's life to that of a Danielle Steel character's, and her memoir reads like exactly that: an over-the-top chronicle of fame and luxury with a "plucky heroine" at its heart!
I love, love, love this book! I've been reading Jezebel.com daily since its inception and the book (which has fantastic pictures and illustrations) is even better than the website: smart, funny and no arguments between readers in the comment section! This is the kind of coffee table book I actually display on the coffee table and give as gifts. Christmas is just around the corner and this the perfect gift for all your favorite women–and enlightened men!
I'll be honest, I never expected to read this book–let alone love it. I'm the kind of stubborn person who refuses to read a book once it achieves mass popularity and such was the case with Eat, Pray, Love, but I gave this one a shot, and I'm so glad I did! Gilbert plunged me into the life of Alma–a smart, unconventional woman (my favorite kind!) born at the dawn of the Nineteenth century. Not only did I get to witness her fascinating life: dinner parties with the greatest minds of her time, an unfortunate "mariage blanc" and travels all over the known and unknown world, but there were also so many turns and twists throughout this sprawling tale. There were lush descriptions of flowers, Tahiti before the missionaries arrived, and after and even how to preserve plant cuttings (and your virtue) on a ship. I was absolutely captivated and I couldn't put it down. I'm recommending The Signature of All Things to everybody!
Imagine a world with total transparency: no secrets, no lies, no hiding, no privacy. This is the highly plausible, frightening world Eggers writes about in his newest book. The “Circle” of the title is a web conglomerate, a giant sprawling company reminiscent of Google, if Google wanted to take over the world. The Circle is all-encompassing, all seeing, demanding total openness and devotion. They control everything except the government...for now. Reading The Circle is like reading a prequel to 1984--chilling and engrossing!
Is it sacrilege to say I liked Doctor Sleep even better than The Shining? In this sequel I loved seeing Danny's life as an adult and the wonderful villains: polyester-clad, camper-driving vampires--of a sort--who feed off the "steam" kids with the Shining emanate after being tortured to death. This book kept me awake all night, jumping at every noise! Stephen King fans, new and old, will devour his latest novel and celebrate the return of the King of Horror!
I saw Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? years ago and I absolutely loved it: creepy, campy and endlessly quotable--it's everything I love in a movie! So I was excited to see that the story that inspired the movie was coming back into print, along with several previously unpublished stories. Farrell's writing is sharp--more literary than I expected and completely enjoyable. I would call this a guilty pleasure, but I feel no guilt--it's the perfect book to enjoy with a box of chocolates and a growing sense of unease!
Faye's follow-up to Gods of Gotham is just as thoughtful, chilling, and fast-paced as I had hoped! "Seven for a Secret" picks up where the last book left off, with Timothy pining after his unattainable dream girl and doing his best to navigate the rough streets of 19th-century New York. As in Gods, he plunges into a case that is seemingly straightforward, but ends up having unimaginable depths. In this instance, Timothy is going against the wishes of his increasingly corrupt peers and is tracking down free African-Americans who have been kidnapped by "blackbirders" and sold into slavery. The investigation that follows has risks and implications he could have never imagined, with an ending no one will see coming. Historical fiction fans and mystery buffs have a new series to be addicted to!
The name was what caught my eye originally: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. For some reason, I couldn't stop thinking about it--repeating it to myself, wondering about it. That it would be amazing is a given--it was written by Holly Black after all. Finally I got my hands on a copy and devoured it in one sitting; I couldn't get enough! I loved the brave, determined and snarky main character. I loved the dark appeal of Coldtown and the violence and beauty of the vampires (don't be turned off by the presence of vampires, they are blood-thirsty and bad-ass--I promise). An amazing read that should appeal to teens and adults!
In Mother, Mother--her first fiction novel after her bestselling non-fiction debut Smashed, Koren Zailckas demonstrates exactly the kind of damage a mother can inflict. It is a subtle abuse that escalates or as one character puts it, the Josephine--the manipulative matriarch at the heart of the novel--goes, "all Joan Crawford on the kids." Zailckas's engrossing book pulls the reader in with its fury and fear. I couldn't put it down and I sincerely hope the author wasn't writing from experience!
Although I missed out on the majority of the 1980's, reading Ready Player One was intensely enjoyable despite being stuffed full of 80's references, from the common to the obscure. Wade is a teen who lives in the incredibly grim future–year 2044, where most of the world's resources have been used up and there's little hope for improvement. The only thing keeping him and the rest of the impoverished world sane is Oasis, a sophisticated virtual reality that far surpasses our current reality. When the founder of Oasis died he left keys buried around the many planets he created. The person who solves the clues (all involving his obsession with the 1980's) will inherit his massive fortune. No one has made any progress on the challenging puzzle–until Wade. Now he's fighting for a fortune and his life. I foresee this being a huge crossover hit with both adults who miss the sweet sounds of synthesizer-laden music and teens who've never had the privilege of playing a coin-operated arcade game. Don't miss this one!
As a self-professed "hater", I was expecting to love this book based on the title alone. Fortunately the story lived up to the hype! Caprice Crane has written a fun, snarky and at times poignant young adult novel that even the adults can enjoy too. I look forward to seeing more from her!
I love books about stylish, difficult women. I find them fascinating, and Patricia Volk's mother was such a person. She was impeccable and cruel - charming and cold, and she struggled to relate to her. When she was 11 Volk read Shocking Life, a memoir by another difficult woman named Elsa Schiaparelli. Not only was Ms. Volk fascinated by Schiaparelli's unconventional story, she drew parallels between the designer and her own mother. Now in Shocked she tells the story of them both. I loved this book - I couldn't look away, and now I'm definitely going to buy myself a copy of Shocking Life!
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Masterman's amazing debut novel is unlike anything I've read before and features a unique protagonist: a 59-year old woman, retired FBI agent and a complete bad-ass. I couldn't get enough of Rage Against the Dying which is part twisted thriller and psychological exploration of the main characters choices and complicated feelings. I'm hoping this is a series, and so will anyone else who reads this book!
What to say about Joe Hill's latest book? I'm a fan of all his novels, each more twisted than the last, this one being the very pinnacle of all that is grotesque. It is a no-holds-barred horror show (both in the regular sense and in theClockwork Orange sense), a wild ride that leaves the reader unsettled and re-checking all the locks in the house, and I enjoyed every minute!
Don't be fooled by the tawdry black velvet cover (on the hardcover edition) - while Tampa is sordid, it's not your standard beach-romp fare. Nutting's debut, about a beautiful sociopath who preys on the middle school students she teaches, is meant to, "draw attention to the ways we view predatory female sexual behavior and to the limitations of sexual discussion in our culture." Tampa is an engrossing, horrific, important read. One that everyone will surely be talking about. I highly recommend it, but be forewarned, it is extremely graphic.
Life isn't so sweet for Mr. Caper - no one wants him! Some adults maybe, but no kids; all kids want is Lollipop! So Mr. Caper hatches a devious plan, a caper if you will, that involves the world's supply of lollipops. But will it work? Will everyone, kids included, finally love him? I won't spoil the ending, but I will say that everyone will definitely love this sweet and sour story and its colorful illustrations!
Everyone loves Unicorn: he can make it rain cupcakes, he has sweet dance moves that outshine everyone else and he's got that impressive pointy horn. But Goat doesn't see what all the fuss is about - he can do cool things too! He can make delicious cheese and stand on mountaintops with his cloven hooves! Perhaps he and Unicorn should team up and fight crime... I laughed the entire time I read this sweet, silly book, and so will you!