06-08-2011 01:02 AM
Burden offers up her version of growing up Vanderbilt in this amusing, often-heartbreaking, poor-little-rich-girl tale. As the great-great-great granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, Burden experienced a childhood populated by a cast of suitably wacky WASPs, whose personal and professional ambitions had progressively declined over the course of several overindulged and dangerously inbred generations. Born in 1955, she and her brothers spent their kaleidoscopic childhood raised by rich, eccentric grandparents, Gaga and Popsie, and an extensive surrogate family of servants, while their jet-setting mother—strangely liberated by their father’s suicide—galloped around the globe, gin in hand, desperately seeking her next husband and the perfect tan. This blueblood tale is spun so deftly and so charmingly that it is easy to forget that this it is essentially a sad story of family neglect and degeneration. Burden joins the ranks of such memoirists as Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris, who have successfully mined their dysfunctional childhoods for comedic gold. --Margaret Flanagan
06-08-2011 02:44 AM - edited 06-08-2011 02:50 AM
06-08-2011 07:41 AM - edited 06-08-2011 07:42 AM
06-08-2011 05:03 PM
Just started this one:
From the book's description:
Bittersweet and biting, elegiac and sharply observed, Waterloo is a portrait of a generation in search of itself--and a love letter to the slackers, rockers, hustlers, hacks, and hangers-on who populate Austin, Texas--from a formidable new intelligence in American fiction
06-08-2011 07:31 PM
Listening to this on CD during my work commute
I am going to be so lost when I get to the end of this series! I have loved every book so far. I will have a little break between them because I will finish "T" and "U" a while before "V" comes out.
06-08-2011 10:15 PM
Very good book... even more poignant when you read and consider the events of Nemirovsky's life... highly recommended.
06-10-2011 06:59 PM
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Born in a refugee camp in 1955, Palestinian physician Abuelaish suffers a catastrophic loss when three of his daughters are killed in their home by Israeli fire in 2009. An Israeli television journalist's live broadcast of his call for help captures Israeli public and world press attention. "Most of the world has heard of the Gaza Strip," as Abuelaish says, "ut few know what it's like to live here, blockaded, impoverished, year after year, decade after decade." Abuelaish portrays everyday life in Gaza and tells the remarkable story of how he came to be "the first Palestinian doctor to be on staff at an Israeli hospital." The "tortured politics of Palestine, Israel, and the Middle East" are rendered graphic by his personal accounts of "the humiliation, the fear, the physical difficulty" of border checkpoints and bulldozed homes. Abuelaish tells of the "satisfying, even wonderful" moments, "the good chapter of a bad story," as well; an infertility specialist, he is as "thoroughly smitten" with his research as he is appalled that "Gaza hospitals are rundown and can't be repaired because of an embargo is preposterous." Abuelaish knows anger, but in this impassioned, committed attempt to show the reader life on the sliver of land that is Gaza, he demonstrates that "nger is not the same as hate." (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
06-10-2011 11:42 PM
It's a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, with a little from Column C thrown in for good measure...
The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium Trilogy Series #2)
Currently sitting at the start of Part 4, but I'm taking a break to run through...
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
... which I'm reading prior to the release of Alice: Madness Returns this coming week on PS3. Between the two stories though, I also started up...
My Booky Wook
... which I bought my sister in Hardcover a couple of years ago for Christmas. Looked kind of good, and I'm not disappointed with it thus far.
06-12-2011 02:23 PM
From Publishers Weekly
John Brinkley, who grew up poor in rural North Carolina but attended Rush Medical College in Chicago, got his start touring as a medicine man hawking miracle tonics and became famous for transplanting goat testicles into impotent men. Brinkley built his own radio station in 1923, hustling his pseudoscience over the airwaves and giving an outlet to astrologers and country music. His nemesis was Dr. Morris Fishbein, the buoyant, compulsively curious editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association whose luminary friends included Sinclair Lewis, Clarence Darrow and H.L. Mencken. Fishbein took aim at Brinkley in JAMA, lay publications and pamphlets distributed by the thousands. Even after the Kansas State Medical Board yanked his medical license in 1930, Brinkley ran twice for governor of Kansas and almost won. Finally, Brinkley sued Fishbein for libel and lost in a spectacular showdown. Brock (Indiana Gothic) did tremendous research on this rollicking story, but the result is at times unfocused, overwritten and digressive, borrowing just a little too much from the overblown rhetoric of its subject. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. (Feb. 5) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Publishers Weekly
Franklin's third novel (after Smonk) is a meandering tale of an unlikely friendship marred by crime and racial strain in smalltown Mississippi. Silas Jones and Larry Ott have known each other since their late 1970s childhood when Silas lived with his mother in a cabin on land owned by Larry's father. At school they could barely acknowledge one another, Silas being black and Larry white, but they secretly formed a bond hunting, fishing, and just being boys in the woods. When a girl goes missing after going on a date with Larry, he is permanently marked as dangerous despite the lack of evidence linking him to her disappearance, and the two boys go their separate ways. Twenty-five years later, Silas is the local constable, and when another girl disappears, Larry, an auto mechanic with few customers and fewer friends, is once again a person of interest. The Southern atmosphere is rich, but while this novel has the makings of an engaging crime drama, the languid shifting from present to past, the tedious tangential yarns, and the heavy-handed reveal at the end generate far more fizz than pop. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
01-16-2012 04:29 PM
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06-18-2011 06:20 PM
*Starred Review* The Charlie Chan we know from the movies (played by Swedish actor Warner Oland) had two strands to his DNA: E. D. Biggers’ immensely popular Charlie Chan novels and the actual man on whom Biggers based his tales. The model for Biggers’ canny Honolulu detective was Chang Apana, who rose from Hawaiian paniolo (cowboy) in the 1890s to Humane Society officer to Honolulu cop and detective in the early twentieth century. Chang’s beat concentrated on the notorious gambling dens, scenes and seeds of drugs and violence in the labyrinth of Honolulu’s Chinatown. Huang, who was born in China and is a professor of English at the University of California, brings a wealth of perspective on the treatment of Chinese, both historically and in fiction, to this work. Readers will learn a great deal about how the Chinese fared as plantation workers in Hawaii, about Hawaiian history, about Chang, about Biggers, and about the meaning of the Chan oeuvre, both books and movies. Huang also works in his own story of immigrating to the U.S., which is both stirring and illuminating. This is a beautifully written analysis of racism and an appreciation of Charlie Chan and Chang Apana, made credible by Huang’s background. As Huang says, As a man from China, a Chinese man come to America, I say: ‘Chan is dead! Long live Charlie Chan!’ --Connie Fletcher
06-19-2011 09:02 AM
06-21-2011 03:46 PM
When the Navy sends their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six
SEAL Team Six is a secret unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue, and counterinsurgency. In this dramatic, behind-the-scenes chronicle, Howard Wasdin takes readers deep inside the world of Navy SEALS and Special Forces snipers, beginning with the grueling selection process of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S)—the toughest and longest military training in the world.
After graduating, Wasdin faced new challenges. First there was combat in Operation Desert Storm as a member of SEAL Team Two. Then the Green Course: the selection process to join the legendary SEAL Team Six, with a curriculum that included practiced land warfare to unarmed combat. More than learning how to pick a lock, they learned how to blow the door off its hinges. Finally as a member of SEAL Team Six he graduated from the most storied and challenging sniper program in the country: The Marine’s Scout Sniper School. Eventually, of the 18 snipers in SEAL Team Six, Wasdin became the best—which meant one of the best snipers on the planet.
Less than half a year after sniper school, he was fighting for his life. The mission: capture or kill Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. From rooftops, helicopters and alleys, Wasdin hunted Aidid and killed his men whenever possible. But everything went quickly to hell when his small band of soldiers found themselves fighting for their lives, cut off from help, and desperately trying to rescue downed comrades during a routine mission. The Battle of Mogadishu, as it become known, left 18 American soldiers dead and 73 wounded. Howard Wasdin had both of his legs nearly blown off while engaging the enemy. His dramatic combat tales combined with inside details of becoming one of the world’s deadliest snipers make this one of the most explosive military memoirs in years.
06-21-2011 06:31 PM
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.
Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for....
06-22-2011 06:34 PM
06-22-2011 07:32 PM
The Demon's Surrender (Demon's Lexicon Trilogy Series #3) This is such a terrific trilogy, each book full of twists and surprises! I love it!