Book Binge: July 11, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010


So once every two weeks I order about 3-4 books from Better World Books. The books are used and cost $3.98 per book, with their profits going to various literacy campaigns (Awesome, right?). Today I noticed for the first time that they have a Bargain Bin section, where you can buy 5 books for $15. I figured the books would be crap but, VOILA!, I was wrong and now I'm so stoked!!

Today's buy consisted of: (summaries are from Goodreads)

Love Walked In by Maria De Los Santos: When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. Charming and debonair, the spitting image of Cary Grant, Martin sweeps Cornelia off her feet, but, as it turns out, Martin Grace is more the harbinger of change than the change itself." Meanwhile, on the other side of town, eleven-year-old Clare Hobbes must learn to fend for herself after her increasingly unstable mother has a breakdown and disappears. Taking inspiration from famous orphans (Anne Shirley, Sara Crewe, Mary Lennox, and even Harry Potter) Clare musters the courage to seek out her estranged father. When the two of them show up at Cornelia's cafe, Cornelia and Clare form a bond as unlikely as it is deep. Together, they face difficult choices and discover that knowing what you love and why is as real as life gets.

I've been wanting to pick this one up for a while. I used to look at it every shift I worked at Borders but never got around to actually reading it. I figured it's about time.

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison: She has a precocious 3-year-old sister who tends to leave wet nappies at the foot of her bed, an insane cat who is prone to leg-shredding "Call of the Wild" episodes, and embarrassing parents who make her want to escape to Stonehenge and dance with the Druids. No wonder 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson laments, "Honestly, what is the point?" A Bridget Jones for the younger set, Georgia records the momentous events of her life--and they are all momentous--in her diary, which serves as a truly hilarious account of what it means to be a modern girl on the cusp of womanhood. No matter that her particular story takes place in England, the account of her experiences rings true across the ocean (and besides, "Georgia's Glossary" swiftly eradicates any language barriers).

I don't even have a reason for this one. I just bought it to buy it. *shrug* I remembered a former colleague arguing with someone about how this book was too racy for teenagers and that is shouldn't be sold in the children or YA section. Now I'm curious...

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See: In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

Just because...

Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner: For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She's even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body. But the day she opens up a national women's magazine and sees the words "Loving a Larger Woman" above her ex-boyfriend's byline, Cannie is plunged into misery...and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

I like reading chick-lit about plus-size women as I am a...ahem...healthy girl myself. I read Best Friends by Jennifer Weiner and found it to be okay but everyone says this book is delightful so I, for $3, I thought I'd give it a shot.

Now those were my main choices for the week. However, I also snuck in Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Needless to say, I 'm covered for a while.

Have you read any of the aforementioned books? What are your thoughts? Any other recommendations? (Btw...check out the reviews for my books at LitSnit! )

Netflix Queue: He’s Just Not That Into You

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Who knew Justin Long was HOT??

That's all I can say about this movie. Oh, wait...that's not true. I have something to say to the following people:

• Scarlett Johnanssen
• Kevin Connelly
• Bradley Cooper
• Jennifer Connelly
• Drew Barrymore
• Jennifer Aniston
• Ben Affleck

You ALL have more than enough money. Stop making crap movies just to get a paycheck. I’m not delivering this message to Justin long and Jennifer Goodwin because they were the highlights of this movie (although I hated, hated, hated Jennifer Goodwin’s character in the beginning. Hated her!)

I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt—it’s pretty impossible to base a movie on a self-help book. That’s why you DON’T DO IT. Instead of realizing that, they went forth and made a movie with a bunch of unlikeable characters, each beating their heads against a brick wall for 90 minutes until they discover that the object of their affection is JUST NOT INTO THEM.

I watched this movie several days ago and I’m still left cranky from it. This book, while not exactly introducing a brand new idea (the message is pretty basic), still manages to slap you in the face with a dose of reality. The movie? It makes you watch people, ridiculously pathetic people (yes, I’ll take my phone into yoga just in case he calls during my sun salutation; yes, it’s okay if I sleep with this married man because he might be the one, never mind the fact that if he cheats on her then he very well may cheat on me) struggle to figure it out for two hours. The message gets old after the first 30 minutes.

A complete waste of two hours. Ugh. Ooh…except for Justin Long. Ooh baby, ooh baby, ooh. (In this movie ONLY.)
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