30 March 2005

Reads & Listens, March 2005

Reads:

The Trouble With Valentine's Day by Rachel Gibson
I've read other Gibson books and, yes, they were pretty fluffy, but they were also fun. This book was not fun. Rob just seemed like a jerk. Even in the end, when he said he really did want love and marriage, I couldn't believe him. And all those big horrible things that happened in their pasts? Couldn't that have been dealt with? And couldn't we have had more about Kate's sexual fantasies and less about Rob's?

Much Ado About You by Eloisa James
I think the problem with this romance is that there are so many characters and stories in this little book that there simply isn't enough space to flesh anything out. Supposedly, this book was about Tess and Lucian, but with so much of it spent setting up the series, I never got a real feel for either of them. Will I read the rest of the series? Probably not.

Asking For Trouble by Elizabeth Young
This is the novel that the film The Wedding Date is spawned from. The novel is pretty god awful -- I never really got a handle on why Josh/Dominic liked Sophy when she was just a neurotic bitch and her constant carping about her "wobbly bits" made me want to slap her something good. However, I can see how vast chunks of crap storyline could be winnowed away or rewritten to make a charming little piece of film fluff I would happily borrow from the library for free.

Lord of Fire by Gaelen Foley
Virtuous spinster and an orgy-hosting rogue are thrown together ... will she turn him from the dark side? Will he corrupt her utterly? Do we ever give a damn? The virgin/whore dichotomy, one dimensional characters, and unecessary subplots are annoying to the extreme.

Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America by Laura Shapiro
The rise of processed food in American cuisine and what it meant (and means) for society.

Albert the Bear written and illus. by Nick Butterworth
Albert the Bear is a sad looking bear and all the other toys in the shop badly wish to make him happy. But, Albert is happy -- looking sad and being sad are not the thing, you see. Illustrations are quite lovely.

For Her Own Good: 150 Years of the Experts' Advice to Women by Barbara Ehrenreich & Deirdre English
Paints a rather nasty picture of the impact of various social and economic movements on women over the last 150 years.

The Golem's Eye (Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 2) by Jonathan Stroud
No disappointments here -- as good, if not better, than the first. Can't wait to read the third book.

Listens:

Crescent [abridged] by Diana Abu-Jaber (read by Nike Doukas w/ Marcelo Tubert) Sirine, an Iraqi-American chef for a small Lebanese restaurant in Berkeley, falls helplessly (and hopelessly) in love with Han, an Iraqi expat professor at the local university. Abu-Jaber's use of language is simply stunning and Doukas is a skilled reader.