Monday, June 30, 2008

The Importance of Being Married

A Novel by Gemma Townley.
Quickie Recap: Jessica Wild has never lived up to her name. Jessica Wallflower, more like it. But that's all about to change, because her elderly, interfering friend has big plans and Jessica can't help but get dragged in, despite her better judgement...

Quickie Review: Okay, so I'm pretty sure it's not on the short list for a Nobel Prize. It is, however, sinfully fun to read while baking on a hammock by the pool with a daiquiri in hand. Sinful, I tell you. And I should know.
Quickie Recommendation: This review could also be titled The Importance of a Good, Light Read.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Everybody Bonjours!

by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Sarah McMenemy.
Quickie Recap: A little girl visits Paris and finds that all the people speak French!!
Quickie Review: Too cute for words. This was a delight to read aloud, no matter who the audience.
Quickie Recommendation: I'm a big fan of bonjouring.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Quickie Recap: Buster "Rant" Casey's life gets story get told from everybody's lips but his own. Friends and enemies alike gather to talk about the man, the legend, the superspreader of a vicious strain of rabies.
Quickie Review: I've never issued a cool book alert before, but I felt it was necessary to this time, absolutely necessary. "Mind-bending" is the best descriptor of this book that I've come across. It makes you think whoa on a regular basis. This is a fictional biography, but it may not be as fictional as we think. I love how Palahniuk takes us for a ride, we go in circles and we don't even see it coming. He's a master, layering subtleties upon each other without the reader even noticing it until it all starts to fall into place and you realize how cleverly he's been laying the bricks all along. It was exhilarating to be hand-fed by such an artist, to be dazzled by an alternative yet familiar existence where the Grandfather Paradox (if you travelled back in time and accidentally killed your grandfather, you wouldn't exist) get stomped on its ass by the Grandmother Paradox (far more incestuous, if you get my drift) and everything gets turned on its head and has you questioning just how fictional fiction really is.
Quickie Recommendation: Rant is one for the ages. It belongs on book shelves, and has me salivating for more, so stay tuned for the Snuff review, coming soon!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How Jesus Became Christian

Quickie Recap: So, Jesus was this cool Jewish guy who had some pretty strict views on living by the Torah, and somehow, other dudes twisted his words and made some shit up that sounded impressive until eventually this quiet rabbi became a Christian god. Weird, huh? How do you think something like that happens?
Quickie Review: Wilson raises some interesting questions, and the book starts off strongly with some hard-hitting views like the "Jesus Cover-Up" (no, it's not something he wore to the beach) and "The Trouble with Paul". Wilson uncovers the Paul "bombshells" that basically turn away from the actual teachings of Jesus and head toward Paul's own anti-semetic interpretations of Christ. Paul never even met the guy, but he sure put some words in his mouth. Wilson supplies many golden nuggets, but unfortunately, you really have to dig for them. They tend to get lost in an information overload. It's a good book, interesting if that's your kind of thing, but it's not great, it doesn't quite live up to its potential.
Quickie Recomendation: I think no matter what your religious background is, it's important to read up on this stuff because nothing else in our culture is referenced quite so heartily. Jesus, whether fictional or historical, is an important guy to know about.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What Was Lost

Quickie Recap: Kate Meany is a little girl playing a serious game of detective but the story takes an unexpected turn when she turns into a case herself.
Quickie Review: A great example of perspective writing, O'Flynn switches seamlessly between voices, telling the story as it evolves through characters and time. It's a little heartbreaking, surprisingly critical of societal values, and impressive in its ability to take you by surprise and keep you guessing.
Quickie Recommendation: I sped through it because it makes you impatient; like a series of bread crumbs, you take pleasure in each one, but can't wait to find out where it's all leading.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How To Really Stink at Golf

by Jeff Foxworthy & Brian Hartt.

Quickie Recap: Looking to make your golf game even worse? Look no further. Jeff Foxworthy will help you out, with plenty of hints like "swear a lot", and "download an annoying ring tone".

Quickie Review: I have a feeling that this book actually accomplished exactly what it set out to do. I have learned very little about golf and am confident that I would indeed stink (although, to be fair, I may not have needed Foxworthy's help for this). Luckily, the book's uselessness is offset by its funniness, and even if you don't know the first thing about golf, you'll be tickled by the lovely visuals of old men in plaid pants.

Quickie Recommendation: An easily-digested read, this would make an excellent gift.