Monday, August 23, 2010

With Friends Like These

With Friends Like These -- Have you ever been a less than perfect friend? To whom does your first loyalty belong—your best friend or your husband? With her trademark wit and empathy, Sally Koslow explores the entangled lives of women in this candid, fast-paced novel.

Quincy, Talia, Chloe, and Jules met in the early nineties after answering a roommate ad for a Manhattan apartment. Despite having little in common, the women became fast friends. A decade later, their lives have diverged, though their ties remain strong.

Quincy, a Midwestern introvert, is trying to overcome a set of tragedies by hunting for the perfect home; Talia, a high-energy Brooklyn wife and mom with an outspoken conscience, is growing resentful of her friends’ greater financial stability and her husband’s lack of ambition; timid Chloe, also a mother, is trying to deflect pressure from her husband, a hedge fund manager, to play the role of trophy wife; while Jules, a fiercely independent actress/entrepreneur with a wicked set of life rules, is confronting her forties alone.

When Jules gives her new boyfriend the inside scoop on the real estate gem Quincy is lusting after, and Talia chases a lucrative job earmarked for Chloe, the women are forced to wrestle with the challenges of love and motherhood. Will their friendships and marriages survive? And at what price? Punchy yet tender, a high-five to sisterhood, this book will hit an emotional bull’s-eye for anyone who has had—or been—less than a perfect friend.

Note: I enjoyed Little Pink Slips also by this author but not so much her one after that which was The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nina Garcia's Look Book

Nina Garcia's Look Book: What to Wear for Every Occasion -- Every woman, at one time or another, has contemplated an all-important job interview, first date, formal party, or important presentation and wailed to herself and to her closest girlfriends, “ What should I wear?” In Nina Garcia’ s Look Book, style guru Nina Garcia solves this universal quandary with an inspired and unbeatable combination of fashion knowledge and common sense. She shows us the pieces, the accessories, and the strategies to create the looks that will take us from the first day on a job through the day we ask for a raise and beyond, from the first time we meet our boyfriend’ s parents (or his children) through the day we see our own children walk down the aisle. With Nina by your side, you can’ t go wrong. You’ ll have all the tips you will need to navigate every day looking your best.

True style is not about having a closet full of expensive and beautiful things— it is instead about knowing when, where, and how to utilize your collection.

Note: I loved Nina's previous book and this one too!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Slicker -- Even life in the greatest city in the world can sometimes feel like a little too much. For this New Yorker, running away to the Heartland may be just the antidote.

When New York City native Desirée Christian-Cohen flees her sometime-boyfriend, unhappy mother, Nina (who’s recently learned her soon-to-be ex-husband Patrick is gay), and failing grandfather, she picks the flight plan by randomly dropping her finger on a map and hitting: Honey Creek, Kansas, population 1,623. And if being a “tourist” in Honey Creek weren’t noticeable enough, try hanging out in the Sweet Tooth luncheonette, where you’re referred to as “half a Jew.” Wary of , but wanting to, fit in with the local populace, Desirée is forced to defend herself and define herself in a world that feels vastly different from her own. Her Yale boyfriends were never like Bobby McVicar, the son of two ageing hippies, who finds all he needs in his pinprick of a hometown. And never—even as an only child of typically doting Manhattan parents—has anyone paid so much attention to Desirée.

Over one surprising, transformative and sometimes very funny summer, Desirée Christian-Cohen, member-in-good-standing of the Self Esteem Generation, discovers how an impulsive escape from home and family turns out to be much more than that.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Surf Guru

The Surf Guru -- Dorst's acclaimed debut, Alive in Necropolis, folded sci-fi, horror, and noir elements into a layered coming-of-age story, and a similar mix of lively imagination and love of craft are on display in this excellent collection. "Splitters" hilariously recreates a scholarly treatise, replete with bloated footnotes and period photographs, by a biologist unloading personal grudges upon colleagues. In the title story, dozens of short vignettes have the effect of snapshots or glimpses that the reader is challenged to piece together. A similar method is used, but to a grander effect, in "Twelve Portraits of Dr. Gauchet," which borrows its title from a Van Gogh painting and depicts the life of the famous artist's physician. The narrative in the poignant and surprisingly suspenseful "Dinaburg's Cake" coils in the obsessive mind of its protagonist, a cake maker in pursuit of a lost client with whom she imagines a significant connection. Whether it's the campaign adviser shackled to a loser in "The Candidate in Bloom" or the hapless dreamers in "Vikings" and "What Is Mine Will Know My Face," the humanity in Dorst's characters can break a reader's heart.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Last Night at Chateau Marmont

Last Night at Chateau Marmont-- Brooke loved reading the dishy celebrity gossip rag Last Night. That is, until her marriage became a weekly headline.Brooke was drawn to the soulful, enigmatic Julian Alter the very first time she heard him perform “Hallelujah” at a dark East Village dive bar.Now five years married, Brooke balances two jobs—as a nutritionist at NYU Hospital and as a consultant to an Upper East Side girls’ school, where privilege gone wrong and disordered eating run rampant—in order to help support her husband’s dream of making it in the music world.Things are looking up when after years of playing Manhattan clubs and toiling as an A&R intern, Julian finally gets signed by Sony. Although no one’s promising that the album will ever hit the airwaves, Julian is still dedicated to logging in long hours at the recording studio. All that changes after Julian is asked to perform on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno—and is catapulted to stardom, literally overnight. Amazing opportunities begin popping up almost daily—a new designer wardrobe, a tour with Maroon 5, even a Grammy performance.At first the newfound fame is fun—who wouldn’t want to stay at the Chateau Marmont or visit the set of one of television’s hottest shows? Yet it seems that Brooke’s sweet husband—the man who can’t handle hot showers and wears socks to bed—is increasingly absent, even on those rare nights they’re home together. When rumors about Brooke and Julian swirl in the tabloid magazines, she begins to question the truth of her marriage and is forced to finally come to terms with what she thinks she wants—and what she actually needs.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Patterns of Paper Monsters

The Patterns of Paper Monsters -- Jacob Higgins's teenage rage rarely simmers below the surface for long. He despises his negligent mother and her alcoholic boyfriend, Refrigerator Man, and he's indifferent to school and his friends--though a little less casual about girls and marijuana. His antics have landed him in a North Virginia detention center, where nihilism, freedom, and redemption all take on unexpected guises. In a voice filled with confusion, yearning, and sardonic humor, Jacob narrates his improbably sweet romance with Andrea, an inmate with whom he shares rare glances, melodramatic conversation, and waxy cookies at rigidly chaperoned "socials." But when David, a mysterious, conniving adolescent, handpicks him to assist in a plot to bring about the center's demise, Jacob has to weigh the frail new optimism of his relationship with Andrea against the allure of destruction, rebellion, and escape. In her pitch-perfect debut, Emma Rathbone adroitly captures the drama, both comic and deadly serious, of growing up.