Month: April 2008

Book 51 of 52: The Book Stops Here by Ian Sansom

I’ve shouted the praises of Ian Sansom’s Mobile Library books on the blog before. They’re a series of mystery spoofs about a Israel Armstrong, a Londoner who goes to the north of Northern Ireland to run a library in about as backwards a town as you can get. They’re silly, fun mysteries, and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve recommended them. So you can imagine how I felt when I saw that the third book, The Book Stops Here: A Mobile Library Mystery, was coming out in August (hence why there’s no picture to go with this post). I even asked the Harper PR people about it before the summer catalogues came out. I literally jumped when I opened the package and saw The Book Stops Here: A Mobile Library Mysteryinside. I just finished it. My review? I hate to say it, but…eh. There’s two problems with…

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Redux: Omnivore’s Dilemma

As part of my review of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, book 40 of 52, I wrote about how I passed out during a wedding because of poor nutrition and dehydration. I knew I looked bad after it happened — members of the bridal party told me I turned white — but now I have proof.Picture before passing out. Picture after passing out. That second picture is frightening. I look like a corpse. Omnivore’s Dilemma is probably the book I’ve talked about the most from this series. I think of it whenever I make food choices, and when I see food prices skyrocket. It shows how much industrially produced food is reliant on oil. It makes me sick (though not enough to pass out). Anyway, that’s my soapbox for the day.

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Book 50 of 52: The Scandal Plan or: How to Win the Presidency by Cheating on Your Wife

So who’s tired of election stuff already? I know I am — after Pennsylvania became the epicenter of the latest primary vote off, I’m ready for it to be done — and the Democrats haven’t picked a candidate yet. Which is why Bill Folman’s The Scandal Plan: Or: How to Win the Presidency by Cheating on Your Wifeis the right book at the right time. The plot is ridiculous, which is the point — it’s a political farce, and a good one at that. The gist is that the good guy is down. Way down. He’s the perfect person for the Presidency job, but he’s being out campaigned by an incumbent who’s messed up the country and can’t find a complete sentence with two hands and a flashlight (sound familiar?) So the idea is to give the good guy a flaw by creating an affair, one that happened long ago…

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Twitter @jerseyshorejen

I finally bit the bullet and signed up for Twitter. My username is jerseyshorejen if you’d like to follow me!

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Book 49 of 52: Up Until Now by William Shatner

Another one I can’t say much about, but at least I can tell you what I read and, briefly, what I think about it. The book is Up Till Now: The Autobiography. My thoughts? Bizarre. Entertaining but bizarre. He lets it all hang out, that’s for sure. I’m more of a Star Trek: the Next Generation Fan, but you can’t like that part of the Star Trek empire without at least acknowledging the original series. What I found most interesting about this book, however, was learning how hard Shatner worked before and after Star Trek because, after all, that series only ran three seasons and was not an instant success. This is the only book in the series that has brought attention from strangers — at least to the point where a stranger approached me about what I was reading. I read this one before and in between the last…

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Book 48 of 52: ?

Last one for a while, dear readers. Promise. It’s nice to be done the “assigned book” sprint. I still have assigned books left to read, but at least I can blog about them after I’ve read the last page. But I have to give you something. In the comments section of the last review post (the one where I shared my new headshot), Abra of Abra Goes asked me what the back of my head looked like — a joke playing off my posts about ‘back of the head’ covers. Well, Abra, here you go: That’s a picture of me signing copies of my book at the Borders in Eatontown, NJ. You’ll have to excuse the messy ponytail — I’d been on the beach for most of the day. The ponytail on the back of The Department of Lost & Found, which was that first got me tuned into the…

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Redux: Guys Read

I few weeks ago, I posted an item about Guysread.com, which spurred me to write an article about the idea that guys don’t read as much as women. That article appeared in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer — read it here.

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Book 47 of 52: ?

Yup, another blank one. Sorry folks. I should be able to write about the next one, though. But I can share my new headshot, which was taken on Monday: I like it — a lot. As good as the old picture was, it was just that — old. And I’m a much different person now. I think this gives you a better idea of ‘me.’ And here’s some out takes. First, my office: Second, an action series with my dog: Fun day! And because I always give credit where credit is due: photos by Marc Steiner of Agency New Jersey.

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My Book is Here

We interrupt our regular book reading series for an important announcement. My book, The Jersey Shore; Atlantic City to Cape May: Great Destinationsis officially up for sale! Apparently a lot of people wanted this book, and my publisher decided to release it a few weeks early. So forget that May 5 publication date. Want a copy? I’m giving two away at my Down the Shore with Jen blog. Find out how to enter by clicking here. Here she is on the shelf at Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ. When I first saw it on the shelf on Saturday, I thought “hey, that’s cool.” It’s taken a few days — and a few emails from people who picked up a copy — for it to sink in that I wrote a book, and it’s for sale for anyone who wants to buy one. It’s dizzying.

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Book 46 of 52: ?

So begins a short stretch where I can’t tell you what I just read, let alone what I thought of it. Why? Because I’ve been contracted by a magazine to do a series of reviews, and I’m not allowed to say what I’m working on. Gives it all an air of mystery, eh? But I don’t want to leave you hanging, so I’ll take this post to remind you that Ellington Boulevard: A Novel in A-Flat, which was book 18 of 52 in this series (and reviewed before its publication date), is now out. Enjoy! You can also check out my article from today’s Philadelphia Inquirer about commuting from Philadelphia to NYC — that article is here.

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