24 March 2007


It's my hundredth post! I thought about combing through the archives to bring you a top 10 of my entries, but I thought that was a little egotistical. So instead, here are some books I've read recently, in haiku form.

Steve Pond, THE BIG SHOW
Big fuss but small crowd:
If Oscar falls in L.A.,
does anyone care?
Cheryl Mendelson, LOVE, WORK, CHILDREN
She's in a coma.
Do we want her to wake up
While we fall in love?
Janet Hirshenson and Jane Jenkins, A STAR IS FOUND
Casting agents get
No respect. Also, no one's
Like Whoopi Goldberg.
Judy Renee Singer, STILL LIFE WITH ELEPHANT (advance review)
No pachyderm can
Replace your cheating husband.
Elephants are better.
Merde!Aspic's gross! But
in the making, fulfilling.
Wish that I could cook.

20 March 2007

Joseph Conrad sure loves the ladies!

Well, at least I could laugh at it:
It's queer how out of touch with truth women are. They live in a world of their own, and there has never been anything like it, and never can be. It is too beautiful altogether, and if they were to set it up it would go to pieces before the first sunset. Some confounded fact we men have been living contentedly with ever since the day of creation would start up and knock the whole thing over.
Oh, Joey. (From Heart of Darkness)

11 March 2007


...is the number of books I've bought so far this year. The latest is Steve Pond's THE BIG SHOW: HIGH TIMES AND DIRTY DEALINGS BACKSTAGE AT THE ACADEMY AWARDS, swiped off the 75-percent-off shelf at Barnes & Noble last night while I was shopping with my friend Jen.

In the same amount of time, I have
Checked out 27 books from the library
Gotten 9 books to review

I don't feel sorry about buying THE BIG SHOW, not only for its unbeatable price of $4 but because I was caught out with it last night for a long time and it kept me entertained. (Locked out of the apartment. Sigh.)

10 March 2007

79. E.M. Forster, A ROOM WITH A VIEW

Well, I said I was going to go back to my Modern Library dreams, and I just finished my first book of the year, E.M. Forster's A ROOM WITH A VIEW.

The room in question is a hotel room in Florence, Italy, in a hotel where two women, Charlotte and Lucy, are staying. Charlotte is older and is sort of Lucy's chaperone. Their first night at the hotel they meet a man and his son George who have the view, and offer it to the women. Charlotte turns them down, saying it wouldn't be proper for the two women to say where two men had been staying. Eventually she relents, and they take the room and become acquainted with the man and his son (the Emersons), as well as other characters staying at the hotel. Somewhat later, Lucy and Charlotte go home and the book changes to a more domestic scene.

I "got" this book via e-mail (Dailylit), which may be why I had a hard time getting into this one at first. Sure, we all have first and last names like the characters did, but keeping track of whose last name belonged to whom was a little distracting. And halfway through we get a whole new cast of characters as the trip ends. Still, there was a point at which it all fell into place. I only wish I could tell you where in the 89 e-mails that point lay...

If published today, I think this book may have been shelved under chick lit. "Lucy thought her life was perfect... until one trip to Italy and a sexy new suitor forced her to rethink it all." I'm thinking Marian Keyes. (And don't take that as a negative! While I lived in Spain I read a lot of Keyes books in Spanish, to pick up some slang and get a break from my course reading.) Then again, the whole social critique aspect of the book -- especially dealing with tourists abroad and the changing state of unmarried women -- would have to be updated substantially, although its questions are often still pertinent.

As for Dailylit, I'm going to keep using it, but I think it's best for shorter books. Some weeks I would let Monday through Friday's e-mails pile up, and I think if I had seen "Part 27 of 403" in the subject line I might have just given up entirely. So I'm going to take one of the shortest books, and one that I really should have read by now, Joseph Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS. Speaking of educational must-reads, I think everyone else I know was forced to read this in school at some point. Better late than never!

Ellen VS. The Modern Library: 41-59