Book 1: Francie, the 11 year old girl, on life in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, before it got hip. Life in poverty, wrangling a week’s worth of food from stale bread and bones with meat clinging to it. A drunk father whose on-again off-again job as a singer/waiter didn’t do much to pay the bills. Collecting junk to sell on Saturdays and clinging to the precious pennies, half for the bank, half to be spent on treats. A mother who cleans 3 apartment buildings. Francie the avid reader, going to the library every day, working her way through the authors alphabetically, reading a book a day. On Saturdays, breaking from this, and asking the librarian for a recommendation. The unfriendly librarian doesn’t know she is being worshipped by Francie, and continues to recommend the same 2 books over and over.
I meant to catch up with this after each book, but travel got in the way.
I love this book! Fabulous fabulous! I can’t believe I read this in 6th grade- I wonder what I got from it then? It is such a great book I think I will give it as Xmas gifts to everyone I know.
Continue reading “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn”
Finished this one on the plane; I really enjoyed her words. There were parts of this that had me tearing up & actual tears rolled down my face. Lily gradually decends into poverty & futility, turning into a working girl (at a hat shop) after being on the heights of fashion for years. Her beauty works against her, and her gentle spirit that refuses to accuse Bertha Dorset of her crimes. Bertha cuts Lily in Europe, by throwing her off the yacht. This in turn causes all of Lily’s other friends to follow suit, since they sheepishly follow what the monied class does. Morbid look into the olden days when women were raised to look lovely and have no other skills or goals except marriage.
Continue reading “The House of Mirth”
I love Ozeki. She knows how to weave disparate threads into a unified story. Environmentalist “Seeds” group descends upon Liberty Falls, Idaho, to protest the genetically engineered seeds that don’t allow themselves to propogate. Yumi descends upon Liberty Falls again to tend her dying father, for the first time since running away post-abortion at age 15. Cassie, Yumi’s best friend from ages ago, trying to have kids but sterile from fertilizers in the soil. Yumi lives in Pahoa, Hawaii on the Big Island. She brings her 3 kids: Phoenix, Ocean, and the baby. Her history teacher, Eliot Rhoades, who got her preggers at age 15, returns as a PR man. Recommended, naturally.
Continue reading “All Over Creation”
Gritty, noir novel. Usually localized dialect bothers me, but this was well done.
Continue reading “Her Last Call to Louis Macneice”
Blech, as much as I liked Fargo Rock City, I cannot finish this book– it pollutes my mind. Perhaps I’ll whisk through it one afternoon to get it off my bedside table, but for now, I’m stranding it.
Continue reading “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs”
mmm, yummy! so far enjoying this one very much.
Continue reading “Manifesta”
Guilty pleasure. The Tina Brown expose… summer means summer reading, right? I can take my beach reading on the shores of SF bay.
Twas on the upper echelons of beach reading– decent writing.
Continue reading “The Devil Wears Prada”
Not my favorite, which you could probably guess by the 4 months it took me to actually finish.
Continue reading “The Moving Target”
Scary inside look into the Bush administration. Scripted cabinet meetings where everyone knew their lines and people were cued to talk. Paul O’Neil a wise voice in the circle, thus excluded when he didnt’ toe the line. His openness about importance of water to Africa what got him outed? President Cheney manipulating people at every turn, from behind a screen (literally, during Cabinet meetings). Powell & Condi intelligent voices confused by the lack of direction in the administration. Paul went from being nicknamed “Pablo” to “the big O” by Dubya. Recommended.
Continue reading “The Price of Loyalty”
I’m naturally suspicious of any book that pertains to business development. But there is some good advice among this book’s pages- specifically the importance of having the right person as a receptionist, as your clients’ first impression when they visit the office is of 1)the decor & 2)the friendliness (or lack thereof) of the receptionist. Simply welcoming people does a lot to creating a good relationship. Some obvious stuff about listening, and implying that the client matters to you. Following up with a personal note, not simply sending all clients the same holiday gift, cutting down on response time, finding a name that makes sense and is memorable.
Continue reading “What Clients Love”
Bleh. Why does everyone get all excited about Gatsby? It was average at best. Not sure why this is deemed a classic even. Maybe I harbor a grudge b/c of the whole Zelda thing (F. Scott stealing her journal, etc.).
Gatsby a self-made man, in love with Daisy, who’s married to Tom. Tom having an affair with Wilson’s wife, who is killed by Daisy in yellow car on way back from the city. Wilson kills Gatsby, then self. Nick, Daisy’s cousin, the narrator for the story. Lives next door to Gatsby in West Egg.
Continue reading “The Great Gatsby”
Same premise as the Professor & the Madman (details on making the OED). Thus I couldn’t really get into it.
Continue reading “The Meaning of Everything”
Ugh. Would not venture into Bushnell territory again.
Continue reading “4 Blondes”
Beginning quote was from The Great Gatsby, which was a bit freaky b/c I’m currently reading that as well.
Well written & great plot- discovery of a “smart drug” changes Eddie Spinola’s life. He goes from toiling as a copywriter with writer’s block to being an integral part of the largest corporate merger/acquisition in history. The drug (MDT-48) enables him to read & understand at an increased rate. He learns Italian in a night, teaches himself complex financial formulas, becomes a successful day-trader who makes $250k in 2 days after borrowing $100k from a Russian mobster named Gennady. Naturally, Eddie’s upping his dosage to continue climbing the heights of the financial world. When Gennady comes by for his first payment on the loan, he steals 5 of the pills that are sittting in a ceramic bowl on a shelf in Eddie’s apartment. Gennady becomes hooked and begins bullying Eddie to put him in contact with his dealer. Meanwhile, Eddie is working on the merger of an ISP and a media company (AOL Time Warner, anyone?). And he begins having extensive periods of blackout, not sure where he’s been and what he’s been doing, just clicking ahead and finding himself mid-sentence eating dinner with a group of strangers. After one of these nights he finds walking to Brooklyn, unsure why. This was the night he killed a woman in a hotel room, punched a guy in a bar, and had sex in a club bathroom. Thus his world begins to unravel. If he stops taking the MDT, extreme headaches ensue.
Why am I telling you all this? Go read it!
Continue reading “The Dark Fields”