Monday, June 30, 2008

Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress

Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo -- Frida Kahlo remains one of the most popular artists of our time and yet no volume has ever focused on one of the most memorable aspects of her persona and creative oeuvre: her wardrobe. Now, for the first time, 95 original and beautifully staged photographs of Kahlo's newly restored clothing are paired with historic photos of the artist wearing them and her paintings in which the garments appear.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Punch

The Punch -- David believes that at heart, people are inherently rotten. Scott, his brother, believes that his life is going to fall apart, and that everyone he loves will leave him. Doris, their mother, believes that she has nothing to lose by revealing a 60-year-old family secret. This hysterically biting and ultimately redeeming novel by Noah Hawley proves them all right—and wrong—while answering some of life's biggest questions. Like, how did Scott end up with two wonderful wives simultaneously? And why can't David manage to keep even one dysfunctional relationship going? It all comes down to love and families and what you believe in—and, maybe, forgiveness.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Accidentally on Purpose

From Harper Collins website about Accidentally on Purpose: At thirty-nine, movie critic Mary Pols knew she wanted to have a baby. But never—not in a million years—on her own. To take on the physical, emotional, and financial challenges of motherhood without a perfect soul mate/husband would be absurd, kind of like not bothering to use a condom during a one-night stand with an adorable but jobless guy ten years her junior.

Pols spends the ensuing weeks despairing over everything, from the financial nightmare of single motherhood to the end of her hopes for a traditional life. Not the least of her worries is finding the right way to drop the bombshell on loved ones, including her five siblings and eighty-four-year-old father, who has a German temper and an Irish Catholic attitude toward babies out of wedlock. Yet faced with the frightening, lonely truth that this might be her only chance at motherhood, she plunges ahead with the pregnancy and an Odd Couple version of a co-parenting relationship that looks like one more disaster in a long line of romantic disappointments. But even as she tries to give her son’s young father a radical makeover, she realizes that his devotion and love for their child matters more than his spotty résumé or his inability to remember to put oil in the car. With humor, insight, and compelling honesty, Pols reveals what it means to compromise in the name of love and to find joy in an accidental life, suddenly brimming with purpose.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Persuading Annie

Persuading Annie: After years as a sweet, good-natured pushover, Annie Markham has had to face up to three hard truths:

1. You've got to be tough to succeed in business and romance.

2. Sometimes your meddling loved ones are right about your worthless, no-good boyfriend being worthless and no good.

3.The only reliable thing about men is that they're totally unreliable.

Okay, she's been persuaded. So now, seven years after wisely and abruptly dumping the "love of her life," Jake Mead, things should be going better for Annie Markham, right? Unfortunately, her life's going nowhere, her family's going mental, and the family business is heading straight down the tubes. Could it get worse? Of course! Jake's back, Annie's getting ready for bankruptcy, and no one's ready for Christmas ... let alone a happy New Year.

And no amount of persuasion will ever convince Annie that magic does happen and dreams do come true, not even at the stroke of midnight on December 31 at New York's Plaza Hotel ... will it?

Description via Harper Collins

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fabulous Nobodies

Before Bridget Jones, Carrie Bradshaw, and the Shopaholic, it was a world of Fabulous Nobodies.

Now, back in print after fifteen years, it’s your chance to experience this hysterically wild cult-status novel for the first time.

Get ready to meet:

Reality Nirvana Tuttle
A self-described "doorwhore" at one of Manhattan’s hottest clubs. She never gets up before 2 P.M. and has vivid, two-way conversations with every dress in her closet.

Hugo "A Go-Go" Falk
Gossip columnist and documenter of all things fabulous in the fashion scene. This man is the key to turning Reality into a true Somebody.

Phoebe Johnson
Junior shoe editor of Perfect Woman magazine who has dedicated her life to looking like Audrey Hepburn—and the one woman Reality can trust with her frocks.

and Freddie Barnstable
A transvestite with an uncanny knack for finding fabulous fashions, and his sidekick, a little dog named Cristobal Balenciaga. These Fabulous Nobodies will take you on a quest to be Truly Somebody, in a city long gone but never to be forgotten: New York City of the 1980s.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Live Alone and Like It

The New York Post recently reported that New York City has changed in 70 years, but the plight of its single women hasn't. Live Alone and Like It: The Classic Guide for the Single Woman, a new reissue of the best-selling 1936 guide for "bachelor ladies" by then-Vogue assistant editor Marjorie Hillis, warns them: "The lonely male is an elusive creature, once he realizes he is being fished for. He is too shy or too cunning to be caught, or else, once hooked, he proves to be so unbelievably dreary that he has to be thrown back again." Sounds like it was written yesterday.

Friday, June 13, 2008

He's a Stud, She's a Slut

He's a Stud, She's a Slut... - Fun title right?

From Amazon: Double standards are nothing new. Women deal with them every day. Take the common truism that women who sleep around are sluts while men are studs. Why is it that men grow distinguished and sexily gray as they age while women just get saggy and haggard? Have you ever wondered how a young woman is supposed to both virginal and provocatively enticing at the same time? Isn’t it unfair that working moms are labeled “bad” for focusing on their careers while we shake our heads in disbelief when we hear about the occasional stay-at-home dad?

In 50 Double Standards Every Woman Should Know, Jessica Valenti, author of Full Frontal Feminism, calls out the double standards that affect every woman. Whether Jessica is pointing out the wage earning discrepancies between men and women or revealing all of the places that women still aren’t equal to their male counterparts—be it in the workplace, courtroom, bedroom, or home—she maintains her signature wittily sarcastic tone. With sass, humor, and in-your-face facts, this book informs and equips women with the tools they need to combat sexist comments, topple ridiculous stereotypes (girls aren’t good at math?), and end the promotion of lame double standards.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Personal Days

Personal Days:In an unnamed New York-based company, the employees are getting restless as everything around them unravels. There’s Pru, the former grad student turned spreadsheet drone; Laars, the hysteric whose work anxiety stalks him in his tooth-grinding dreams; and Jack II, who distributes unwanted backrubs–aka “jackrubs”–to his co-workers.

On a Sunday, one of them is called at home. And the Firings begin.

Rich with Orwellian doublespeak, filled with sabotage and romance, this astonishing literary debut is at once a comic delight and a narrative tour de force. It’s a novel for anyone who has ever worked in an office and wondered: “Where does the time go? Where does the life go? And whose banana is in the fridge?”

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Up for Renewal

Up For Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex, and Starting Over: By age thirty-seven, Cathy Alter had made a mess of her life. With a failed marriage already under her belt, she was continuing down the path of poor decisions, one paved with a steady stream of junk food, unpaid bills, questionable friends, and highly inappropriate men. So she sat down and asked herself what she truly wanted. A decent guy. A nicer home. More protein. When she took a closer look at her wants, she noticed something that seemed very familiar -- with the addition of exclamation points, her list could easily be transformed into the cover lines on every women's magazine: Find the love you deserve! Paint to the rescue! Eggs-actly perfect meals! So Cathy gave over her life to the glossies for the next twelve months, resolving to follow their advice without question. By the end of her subscriptions, she would get rid of upper-arm jiggle, crawl out of debt, host the perfect dinner party, run a mile without puking, engage in better bathtub booty, ask for a raise, and rehaul her apartment.

Well, at least that was the premise of her social experiment. What actually happened was much less about cosmetic change and much more about internal transformation. Singular in its voice and yet completely universal, Up for Renewal will appeal to all who have ever wondered if they could actually make their life over.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hamburger America

Hamburger America: One Man's Cross-Country Odyssey to Find the Best Burgers in the Nation by George Motz (a fellow CUA graduate) is the Hamburger Guru - the book also comes with the outstanding DVD which started the whole thing. His blog can be found here.

From Amazon: Whether you're an armchair traveler, a serious hamburger connoisseur, or a curious adventurer up for a road trip, Hamburger America will be your guide to reclaiming this precious slice of Americana. No other food says “America” like the hamburger, and documentary filmmaker George Motz has made it his personal mission to save our nation's unique burger identity. He has traveled across the country in search of the best burger joints - those that have survived outside the fast-food mainstream - and has documented their rich histories and one-of-a-kind taste experiences. This edition of the book includes George Motz's 1 hour documentary “Hamburger America” that profiles 8 burger joints across the USA.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Gossip of the Starlings

Gossip of the Starlings: When Catherine Morrow is admitted to the Esther Percy School for Girls, it's on the condition that she reform her ways. But that's before the charismatic and beautiful Skye Butterfield, daughter of the famous Senator Butterfield, chooses Catherine for her best friend. Skye is a young woman hell-bent on a trajectory of self-destruction, and she doesn't care who is taken down with her. No matter the transgression—a stolen credit card, a cocaine binge, an affair with a teacher, an accident that precipitates the end of Catherine's promising riding career—Catherine can neither resist Skye's spell nor stop her downward spiral.

De Gramont's chilling novel is a portrait of an adolescent girl so thoroughly seduced by a peer that she willingly follows her to ruin. Caught in a world that is both appealing and astonishing, these young women are sexual beings with the minds of teenagers: willful, selfish, daring, and cruel—all the while believing they're utterly indestructible.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What You Read Is What He Is, Sort Of

Nice article in the NY Times on David Sedaris today part of which I have posted below. I have read the first 4 stories in the new book. The first one was hilarious, the others were ok.

IN preparation for the interview David Sedaris cleaned up his living room. Which is to say, he removed the magazines — The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Review of Books, GQ — from the coffee table of his one-bedroom walk-up here, stashed them in a cupboard and closed the door. This left the room practically naked.

Mr. Sedaris likes a detritus-free room. And he was afraid of creating the impression that he is some sort of intellectual poseur. “If you leave them on the table, it looks like you set them out on purpose,” he explained, referring to the magazines. “It looks so phony.”

It was characteristically sweet of Mr. Sedaris to be concerned, but it was also unnecessary. He has reached a point in his career where it hardly matters what anyone thinks of his periodicals, his housekeeping or, indeed, of him. His books, starting with “Barrel Fever” (1994) and including the recent “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” (2004), are invariably best sellers, with a total of seven million copies in print and translations into 25 languages. He is about to embark on a 30-city United States book tour.

Critics love Mr. Sedaris as much as readers do. Publishers Weekly called him “Garrison Keillor’s evil twin.” Craig Seligman wrote in The New York Times Book Review that, laughing as he read “Naked” (1997) over lunch, “I spewed a mouthful of pastrami across my desk.” As Dave Barry said of Stephen King, another author for whom the world is his oyster: “Pretty much whatever he wants to do, he can do. Like if he said to his publisher, ‘I’d like to start a new state, and I’d like to be governor of it,’ they would probably do it.’ ”

Friday, June 6, 2008

‘Gossip Girl’ Author Aims Older

The New York Times reports: Hyperion said it would publish the first adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, the author of the best-selling “Gossip Girl” series of books for young adults. The first of the two books, “Cum Laude,” due out in 2009, tells the story of a group of characters who meet freshman year at a small college in Maine. “Gossip Girl,” a television adaptation of the series, is a popular program on the CW network that tells stories about wealthy young New Yorkers.

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

I just finished Three Girls and Their Brother (pretty good, I'd give it 4 stars out of 5) and All We Ever Wanted Was Everything was reccomended to me by Amazon. Here's the synopis: When Paul Miller’s pharmaceutical company goes public, making his family IPO millionaires, his wife, Janice, is sure this is the windfall she’s been waiting years for — until she learns, via messengered letter, that her husband is divorcing her (for her tennis partner!) and cutting her out of the new fortune. Meanwhile, four hundred miles south in Los Angeles, the Millers’ older daughter, Margaret, has been dumped by her newly famous actor boyfriend and left in the lurch by an investor who promised to revive her fledgling post-feminist magazine, Snatch. Sliding toward bankruptcy and dogged by creditors, she flees for home where her younger sister Lizzie, 14, is struggling with problems of her own. Formerly chubby, Lizzie has been enjoying her newfound popularity until some bathroom graffiti alerts her to the fact that she’s become the school slut.

The three Miller women retreat behind the walls of their Georgian colonial to wage battle with divorce lawyers, debt collectors, drug-dealing pool boys, mean girls, country club ladies, evangelical neighbors, their own demons, and each other, and in the process they become achingly sympathetic characters we can’t help but root for, even as the world they live in epitomizes everything wrong with the American Dream. Exhilarating, addictive, and superbly accomplished, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything crackles with energy and intelligence and marks the debut of a knowing and very funny novelist, wise beyond her years.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating with My Dad

Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating with My Dad: What would you do if your eighty-year-old father dragged you into his hell-bent hunt for new love? Bob Morris, a seriously single son, tells you all about it in this warm, witty, and wacky chronicle of a year of dating dangerously.

A few months after the death of his wife, Joe Morris, an affable, eccentric, bridge-obsessed octogenarian, starts flapping about for a replacement. If he can get a new hip, he figures, why not a new wife? At first, his son Bob is appalled, but suspicion quickly turns to enthusiasm as he finds himself trolling the personals, screening prospects, and offering etiquette tips, chaperoning services, and post-date assessments to his needy father.

Bob hopes that Joe will find a well-heeled lady—or at least one who is very patient—to get him out of his hair. But soon they discover that finding a new mate will not be as easy as they think: one date is too morose, another too liberal; one's a three-timer, another just needs an escort until Mr. Right comes along. Dad persists and son assists. Am I pimping for my father? he begins to wonder.

Meanwhile, Bob suffers similar frustrations; trying to find love isn't easy in a big-city market that has little use for a middle-aged gay man with an attitude and a paunch. But with the encouragement of his father (his biggest fan and the world's "most democratic Republican") he prevails. In the end, this memoir becomes a twin love story and a soulful lesson about giving and receiving affection with an open heart.

With wicked humor and a dollop of compassion, Bob Morris gleefully explores the impact of senior parents on their boomer kids and the perils of dating at any age.

About the Author: Bob Morris is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Sunday Styles section, where his "Age of Dissonance" column ran for eight years. He's been a commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, and Travel + Leisure, among other publications. He is also a playwright and the author of two picture books, one for children and the other for reading-averse adults. He grew up on Long Island and now lives (miraculously) partnered in New York City.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The End of Baseball

The End of Baseball: A Novel - a recent review from the NY Post: In Schilling's novel, set in the 1944 season, baseball maverick Bill Veeck buys the Philadelphia Athletics and, determined to field the best team, recruits ballplayers from the Negro League for his roster (he reportedly considered doing this in real life). Of course, the establishment - the cranky commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis and even J. Edgar Hoover - is aghast. But readers are sure to cheer both Veeck and players such as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige in this alternate take on baseball history.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Art of Keeping Secrets

The Art of Keeping Secrets (not to be confused with The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets which I have read and profiled previously). Here's the description: Annabelle has finally made peace with the loss of her beloved husband. Until she finds out he wasn’t alone when he died…

Since a plane crash killed her husband two years ago, Annabelle Murphy has found solace in raising her two children. Just when she thinks the grief is behind her, she receives the news that the wreckage of the small plane has been discovered—and that her husband did not die alone. He was with another woman. Suddenly, Annabelle is forced to question everything she once held true.

Sophie Parker knows the woman who was on that plane. A dolphin researcher who has lived a quiet life, Sophie has never let anyone get too close. But when Annabelle shows up on Sophie’s doorstep full of painful questions, both women must confront their intertwining pasts—and find the courage to face the truth.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Such a Pretty Fat: Book Review

I've been meaning to post this since I finished the book two weeks ago but keep getting sidetracked...If you don't know all about Jen already I highly reccomend you get up to speed first by reading Bitter is the New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass. Both laugh out loud funny and very entertaining (also great beach books because they are fast reads). Jen writes like she talks and you feel like you know her. People Magazine gave her 3 and a half stars a couple of issues ago. I am wondering why she didn't use the photo that appears in the magazine instead of the one on the inside of the bookcover. She looks way better now. Anyway, if you've ever struggled with being overweight this is an uplifting book - you will be nodding your heading in agreement over Jen's encounters with Atkins, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, exercising and personal trainers kicking your butt!