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book review: Wish I Could Be There (6-March)

Posted on 2011.05.16 at 15:41
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This book was totally not my normal read. I don't even remember where I found this title. It was all science-y but sort of interesting. This guy has lots of phobias, about bridges and tunnels and therefore his life if quit small. He wrote about how he got this way, is it nature or nurture? Sort of a little of both. He talked about parents and their parents and his dad had some major issues. It didn't help that he (the writer) had a twin sister who was mentally disabled and put in a home at a young age and was only seen a few times a year by the family as they grew up. The book was supposed to be a mix of science and personal, but I found it way more science based and wish he had written more about his family life and growing up and how he is doing now, but that wasn't mentioned much. I don't really understand people with lots of phobias, but it wasn't that annoying of a read that it could have been. I should pick up more books that aren't normally what I read. I just get so annoyed, so easily. This was one of the better ones.

Grade: C

book review: A Week at the Airport (5-March)

Posted on 2011.05.13 at 16:10
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This book was the quickest read I have had in some time! It seemed like more of a promo pitch then anything else. Heathrow T5 asked some writer to come and experience life at the airport for a week and write about it. Was this for maybe a magazine? Could have been, over a series of articles. But you know how it is, to make money, lets combine these articles, make a book and charge $14! So not worth the money, just I read it over a weekend morning and it was perfect and interesting enough for that. Stuff we knew about airports, stuff we didn't know and learned about. A decent quick read.

Grade: C

book review: The War for Late Night (4-March)

Posted on 2011.05.12 at 15:37
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Yay Bill Carter! One of my favorite writers. He writes about TV for the New York Times and has written books in the past, which I have generally enjoyed. This book was okay too. Not as good as the first book I read from him (just about tv in 2004 or something) but not as dated as his book about the late night wars in the 90's, which was definitely different because I didn't know anything about it. This book might have been just too recent and too played out in the public eye. Ugh, so many names! That was probably the worst part. Lots of background that I didn't ask for, but was definitely interesting about Kimmel and Stewart and oddly even more so, not enough on Fallon!

What did I learn about CoCo Chris...He is even more self-doubtful then we could ever imagine. I kind of had forgotten, but there was a whole thing that he did not want to go to cable, no matter what. (Whoops!). And of course, shit we already knew about Leno. For me, it looks like Leno kind of got screwed when they made the backroom deal with Conan back in 2004 and this time, unfortunately it was Conan who got screwed on the backroom deal that NBC made with Leno. The worst part of the deal, and no one could have even predicted it, is that Conan didn't put a time period cause into his Tonight Show deal and that is really how NBC "won" and how everything got fucked up. If Conan had put that in his deal, that the show had to start before midnight, then Leno might have been out on his ass now and Conan would still have Tonight. I love thinking about alternative worlds like that. NERD ALERT!

Anything, this book was just as interesting as the others, but since it was the most recent, I didn't enjoy it as much as some previous books. But still a good read, if you are interested in this tv news making story of last year. (or is it 2 years ago now? damn, how time flies).

Grade: C++++++++

book review: Welcome to My World (27-Feb)

Posted on 2011.05.10 at 14:03
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My other Olympic love, Johnny Weir! As much as I love the poise Olympians have, I like his brashness when it comes down to it. Some things he is a total ass and diva about (and I just want to slap him) but at the same time, I totally love what he does. Guess that is his charm.

This book talked a lot about his rise in the ice skating world, just a small part on his personal life and fall out from competing and what or what not does the future hold? Some things he says I totally agree with (like actually sort of "campaigning" to win a medal and being the whole package and not just good on the ice and based on one or two performances) and some things I totally don't (demands his own room, when everyone else shares (get over yourself!) and wearing a Russia jacket at an international competition (domestic, fine, everyone knows everyone is from the US, but yeah, If you are out there to represent one country, don't go wearing something from another!)).

I always wondered why J didn't participate in ice dancing, as I think he would be much better at it, but this book didn't really answer that question. All I know is that he is done with the olympics and moving on to the next stage. And I will keep an eye on him all the way. I love his tv show too! Can't wait for new episodes to start!

Grade: C

When I first picked up this book, I was like, have I read this before? I get all confused when I pick up anthologies where every chapter is different because there isn't a fluid story for the whole book that I can follow. And this was one of them. But unlike the anthologies that I have picked up lately, where I haven't enjoyed them very much, just tolerated them as I don't have to pay much attention, I liked this one a lot! I think it was mainly because of the writer and how she writes. Very simply, which is my favorite and kind of conversational, except that she is only having a conversation with herself, which is how I write (see this blog).

While every chapter was different and I didn't have to follow anything, I still paid close attention. Too bad I can't remember much of it now. There was a chapter on how she can't tell directions, which was actually very interesting as someone who is pretty excellent with directions. Usually something like this would piss me off so the fact that I actually liked it and found it interesting, tells you something about the book. Another chapter I remember is about her trip to Alaska. It sounds so crazy up there, I totally want to visit now. I wish she would write a whole book about her travels in Alaska. That is how interesting it is. Totally adding this authors stuff to my list.

Grade: C+++++++++++++++++++


book review: Admission (26-Feb)

Posted on 2011.05.04 at 15:17
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Oy, this book was a tomb. So completely massive for no reason. Simple story, way too much background. But not completely boring! Woman works for the admissions office in Princeton. Book starts off with her traveling to some schools around the Northeast and she comes across a newer school. She and the head of the school have some history. But she also has a very long term boyfriend back in NJ who also works at the school. They have been together for a long time, but not long after she returns to town, they break up and he has another kid with a new, horrible women. He also had a kid with a previous, crazy, girlfriend. But not with the Women. This book then turns to her background. Turns out she had a kid while she was in college and gave it up. She never knew anything about it and then she realizes that this years incoming class will be the same age as her kid is now. She takes a liking to a kid from the new school she visited and even though the rest of her department declines him, she switches some things around and offers him admission anyway, knowing she will be fired.

That is the part of the story I hated that most. For most of the book, I didn't mind the Women, she seemed fine and normal. And then she goes essentially crazy and does some shit like this and makes me not like her anymore. I hate when characters totally change in the blink of an eye. Blah. I liked her take on the college admission part. I liked how honest and fairly truthful they were to the process. It's interesting to see how a private school does things vs a public school where it's all based on numbers. I don't really know now which I like better. Just different. And also, the process when it comes to wooing the kids once they have been accepted. Sounds like a very hard balancing game. I liked that part of the book the best. But the story, meh.

Grade: C

book review: Lost on Planet China (21-Feb)

Posted on 2011.05.03 at 15:27
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Another book from the same author of those South Pacific books I read. This one was way more recent then the others as the author talked about like the internet, 9/11 and some other recent world-wide events. Except this time, the trip was just about him and his travels. A good mix of experiences with expats who live there now as well as locals. I liked hear how much has changed recently in this fast moving country. The names of people and places didn't mean much to me and I glossed over most of it.

The main point of this book is the author has kids now and to make them more well rounded, he wanted to check China out to see if it would be a good place to raise a family. He spent a lot of time bitching about the smog and didn't say his answer at the end of the story, so I am going to guess that his family did not make the move. It's one thing to teach kids Chinese or whatever in school, but to actually live there, just because. That seems like a big move for little return. I liked this book just as much as the others. Maybe slightly more because it was more recent, but still didn't love it.

Grade: C

book review: Perfect - (19-Feb)

Posted on 2011.04.27 at 15:00
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Another Pretty Little Liars book that took me FOREVER to read. I actually had it a few months back, the show came back, so I had to return it before I finished it (I hate leaving books in the middle, but what you can do) and when it came up immediately the next time I requested it, I thought I would have longer to read it again. Guess not! And I had to jam through like 1/3 of it in an evening. Not that that is really hard, with a book like this. And of course, I can't remember a thing that happened. Oh! From memory, Toby is dead, gone and buried and not mentioned at all in the book. In this book, Spencer goes crazy!!! I hate perfect girls who go crazy for pretty much no reason, only to make the story more interesting, so that was a lame twist. Emily is all up in arms because her parents want to send her to boarding school or something to turn her away from being a lesbian. Lame. Aria is back with Fitz and nearly gets caught a million times. Stop being so stupid about him! Annoying. Hanna has issues with her other friend Mona, but she is so lame, I totally don't care. God, I really need to stop reading these books, but since they are so easy, it's so hard! I hate leaving a series in the middle. And I do want to find out who A is, if only to trace is backwards. I should just jump to the end, but I am not that lame. Seriously, these books take me like a day or 2 to read. I'll finish them eventually.

Grade: C-

book review: Based Upon Availability - (18-Feb)

Posted on 2011.04.26 at 16:34
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Another one of those simple stories where it's the location that all the characters have in common, not each other.
Story takes place in a hotel and half the book was about the hotel manager and her personal life and dealing with co-workers as well as clients at the hotel. All the other stories were also about girls too, a co-worker, a client, family. It was interesting how it all connected, which I hate to fall into that trap, but I like stories like that. I like that it isn't totally obvious how the characters connect when you first start each chapter or section but by the end it revels it or you can guess before the revel. I like trying to guess.

A simple read, but I like stuff about hotels as my sister used to work at one, so it's interesting to learn the ins and outs out of something you rarely see behind the scenes of. This book wasn't too detailed and of course, it is a work of fiction, so who knows what really could be real or not.

Grade: C

book review: The Abstinence Teacher (14-Feb)

Posted on 2011.04.25 at 15:16
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In looking for author's to recommend to a friend who usually reads pretty highbrow stuff (no Twilight for her!) I remembered an author whose stuff I always enjoyed, Tom Perrotta. I have read nearly everything he's done and as a bonus, liked all the movies that have been based on his books! Double score! In looking through his past stuff, I realized that I hadn't read this book yet, so I immediately requested it.

Unfortunately, this is probably my least favorite of his books up to now. Just not enough happened on the page and too much happened "in the past". Women teaches sex ed in a local school that an outside religious group is gaining more influence in the town and wants to change the class. Of course, the women fights for it and ultimately fails. She is divorced and starts to crush on her daughters soccer coach until she realizes that he is part of the religious group. Stuff happens and they become friends anyway. Oddly, it's not what you think!!! There are lots of 2nd tier characters and smaller stories in the book as well, but they don't have a lot to do with the main story, they just enhance the main characters.

I don't know, I mean, the book was better then most that I read, but compared to the other stuff I have read from the same author, I would recommend some of his other titles.

Grade: C


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