----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: February Book Report

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Monday, March 13, 2006

February Book Report

This is my very late February book report! I spend most of my day on the Internet, so by the time I get home, I have lost my motivation to turn the damn computer on again. That's why my so-called "adventures" have been lagging a bit lately, in case you were wondering.

Wickett's Remedy--Myla Goldberg
If you have any concerns about what the next pandemic (bird flu?) might be like, read this fact-based novel. Set in the early 20th century, it starts out as a love story and evolves into something completely different. It explores the devastation of the Spanish flu pandmic, but despite some of the heavy subject matter, the story moves along briskly. The book actually intertwines two narratives, and various "bit players" are allowed to have their say in the side notes on the margins of each page--a clever device.

The Position--Meg Wolitzer
Remember when you first saw The Joy of Sex? Remember the thrilling feeling of a slightly dirty discovery? Now imagine how you'd feel if your parents not only wrote the book, but also posed for those ridiculously dated pen-and-ink illustrations. How would it affect you for the rest of your life? This novel tries to answer that question, and comes up with a satisfying, although not necessarily happy, conclusion. I actually like Wolitzer's novel The Wife better, though, because the story had a more interesting twist.

The Thing About Jane Spring--Sharon Krum
A very light, fluffy read. Your typical "makeover" story, where a woman who's unlucky in love changes her look and personality to win people over. The twist here is that Jane Spring doesn't just change her look for a guy. She also uses her new persona to get ahead in her career. Wholly unrealistic, but somewhat entertaining.

Everyone Worth Knowing--Lauren Weisberger
Also wholly unrealistic, but not particularly entertaining. The Devil Wears Prada was much better, although it was also irksome to me. Do these people seriously not know where to draw the line between their personal and professional lives? In this novel, the main character's transformation from clueless banker (or something) to sophisticated event-planner-about-town just didn't ring true. I mean, she was living in New York. How could she never have heard of Bungalow 8 or not know what a Birkin bag was? I mean, I live in the suburbs on the other side of the country, and I know those things. Making it all the more unbelievable was the fact that the character did, in fact, read US magazine, so she couldn't be totally ignorant of pop culture and celebrity lifestyles. This novel had no real point. The main problem seemed to be that our little protagonist got too fabulous too fast and didn't enjoy being used as a pawn in her event-planner boss's quest to keep a high public profile. Oh, how terrible! Yawn.

Chasing the Devil's Tale--David Fulmer
Jass--David Fulmer
Rampart Street--David Fulmer These three novels are all mysteries/crime stories set in early 20th-century New Orleans, with a private detective named Valentin St. Cyr as their protagonist. They are grounded in history, and I enjoyed reading about the long-past New Orleans. The novels have a spare, downbeat tone, and they don't exactly offer nonstop action, but they do an excellent job of evoking a certain mood. Once I read the first one, I was eager to read the others. I would definitely recommend reading them in order (Chasing the Devil's Tale was published first), because certain characters recur throughout all the books. These were the most enjoyable novels I read in February. I read them all in quick succession, and now I'm a little sad I've finished them, because Rampart Street was just published, so I will have to wait a while for the next installment.

1 Comments:

  • At 3:43 PM, Blogger debbiecakes said…

    Devil Wears Prada got on my nerves as well. Too many pages spent describing the designer clothes. You have to SEE the clothes to really get them.
    Too much hub bub. It was ditsy and disapointing. And as a "non professional writer", it pisses me off that these are the books getting published.
    boo hoo for me.

     

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