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Showing posts from March, 2009

Book 28 of 52: A Duke of Her Own

Ladies and gentleman, we have a bodice ripper! Well, not quite. If you look at the cover, you see an undone dress of a very frilly matter, and indeed, Eloisa James' A Duke of Her Own (pub. date July 28) is a historical romance, but this isn't your grandmother's romance. It involves a woman who would fit in modern day times (without the classic manners of course). Eleanor Lindel does not have a husband. Given that she's in her early 20s in 1784, she's frightfully close to being called a spinster. She still holds a candle for her teenage love, who was forced to marry another woman to whom he was betrothed at birth (and they actually had sex -- scandal!) She has announced that she will marry no one under the stature of a Duke. Sounds haughty" Sure is. But it was her way of sending a message to said teenage love, who happens to be a duke. In strides the Duke of Villiers. He's a rake in every sense of the word, from his dark brooding looks to his six illegi

Book 27 of 52: Comfortably Numb

I've taken an antidepressant exactly once. I damaged the nerves in my shoulder, and my doctor prescribed something to literally calm my nerves. While the medication was for the nerves in my shoulder, he told me that the drug was also given as an antidepressant and I might feel different the next day -- either hung over or a little bit fuzzy. The next morning, I woke up and indeed felt fuzzy. I walked to my car to see that someone was literally parked on my bumper. My reaction? A shrug. Now, I'm not as temperamentally anymore as I was as a teenager, but someone parking ON MY BUMPER? That'd be sure to get my back up, but in the fuzzy state, I just didn't care. It bothered me the entire day, and I never took the medicine again. Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation by Charles Barber is about the place selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (i.e. Prozac, Paxil) has taken in American society -- to the point that 230 million antidepressant prescription

Book 26 of 52: Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception

Back to the romances! Yes, folks, I'm back on the romance bent, at least for a little while -- and, yes, it's for an assignment (Yahtzee! I love my job!) Up for this round: Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception by Lois Winston . The gist: Emma Wadsworth is a widow -- a widow not really in mourning. She'd been married to a lout for 16 years, and when she found him dead after a party (a party she wasn't invited to), she didn't really mourn the loss. He'd gotten her pregnant young, married her, and used her social status (she's apparently on the level of Grace Kelly) to make even more money -- and make her miserable. Enter Logan Crawford (GREAT NAME!) He's a billionaire businessman (I'm not making that up -- I highlighted "billionaire businessman" in the book) with loose morals and business deals that need to be done in Philadelphia, which happens to be where Wadsworth lives. How do they meet? He bumps into her in a bookstore, spilling

Book 25 of 52: Hell of Mercy

What an odd, interesting little book. A Hell of Mercy: A Meditation on Depression and the Dark Night of the Soul by Todd Farrington is a meandering look at the author's relationship with depression, which he calls "the dark night." For most of his life, Farrington was not medicated, and not through stubbornness. He suffered through a time when most anti-depressants were shiny and new, and not exactly proven, and long term effects were not surely known. She he suffered on, staggered through somehow and looked for answers in a lot of places. Those places, mostly religoius, wrap around the story. If you don't like religious overtones, or expect your narratives to be told on a straight and fast steady line, A Hell of Mercy is not going to be your kind of book. But if you like the tangents, and have an interest in depression, it might be worth a read. And it's short, so it won't gobble up your life time wise. I'm writing this review (and one for a newspaper

Slew of Reviews

Things have been hopping over at the St. Pete Times -- well, at least as far as my reviews are concerned! Here's reviews of Winter Girls ( book 24 of 52 ); Normal at Any Cost ( book 23 of 52 ); and Your Big Fat Boyfriend ( book 22 of 52 ). Someone said to me that these reviews must be easy to write. My answer? Not necessarily. I have to cram a lot of information into a tight space, which can be difficult, especially when reviewing a book like Wintergirls . They take about the same amount of time to write (I still have to read the book all the way through). But I'm not complaining -- no sir. And for the section they're in -- a health/fitness magazine type -- they work. Nifty idea on their part.

Book 24 of 52: Wintergirls

I knew that one of my sorority sisters had a problem. She was rail thin, always drank too much on party nights, and never ate anything. But how could I point to her and say "something's wrong?" Maybe she really did have a high metabolism. Then, one night when my roomates and I were getting ready to go out, she came over. Her pants were so baggy they were falling down, so another roommate offered to lend her a belt. "Oh, I'd never fit in your belts. You're so much skinner than I am," she said. She probably weighed 95 pounds. My roommate weighed about 120. What do you do? Could we force her to eat, force her to stare in the mirror and say "do you see how small you are?" My roommate tried, but it didn't work. Wintergirls (pub date March 19) by Laurie Halse Anderson , shows why. It's a novel about Lia, an anorexic high school senior, whose best friend, Cassie, dies. Cassie was bulhemic, and the two supported each other on the quest to

Book 23 of 52: Normal at Any Cost

When I was in grade school, my doctor predicted that I'd grow to be 5'8" tall. I hit the 95th percentile in both height and weight. My father is 5'10" and my mother 5'8", so the prediction seemed accurate to everyone involved -- and he thought maybe I'd grow a little taller. Not the case. I'm just under 5'6" tall, which is fine. I mean, really -- it's an average height. But for a long time, I was bitter because I never got those extra two inches. If I was a few inches taller, I'd be a better sports player, I thought. I certainly would have been a better first baseman. Heck, I might have even made varsity my freshman year. What if someone had told my parents there was a way to press me toward 5'8" as my final height? What would they have said? I'm going to guess "no way," knowing my parents, but I'm not sure others would have been so or are so quick to say no, especially if a few thousand dollars to get