Month: October 2013

Book 40 of 52: Her Dearest Sin by Gayle Wilson

I don’t have too much to say about Her Dearest Sin (Harlequin Historical). This is another Collingswood Book Festival buy, though instead of $.50 I paid $.25. Her Dearest Sin is a historical action romance that’s pretty typical of the genre: woman in distress, soldier who saves her, they fall in love, happily ever after ensues (and I’m not giving away the ending here – it’s a romance, and they’re all supposed to end that way). The “sin” in the title doesn’t come from something naughty the heroine does – it’s not that kind of book – but from the last name of the hero, Sinclair. Why did I pick it up? Because $.25 is a cheap way to try a new author. I tend to read everything in a romance writer’s backlog if I really like her work, but it takes a leap for me to try someone new. Even though…

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Book 39 of 52: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Helpby Kathryn Stockett is one of those books where I’m not sure I can add anything else to the pile of criticism. It was a wild success and turned into an Oscar-winning film (in an acting category). So I will say only this: the book made me angry. Not just because of what the book portrayed or that Stockett is a white woman who wrote in three difference voices here, two of them black (which she addressed in an afterword to the book), but that while so much has changed since 1962, so much has stayed the same. I didn’t need to go back too far to illustrate why – I didn’t even need to leave this week. On Tuesday, Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court Justice, said that the 14th amendment was for all, not “only the blacks.” Last night, Cory Booker became fourth black person to be elected…

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Book 38 of 52: Ingenious by Jason Fagone

I’m not a car person. I drive a 2002 Honda Civic that I won’t replace when it either dies or fails inspection. I do, however, spend more than a fair amount of time on Bring a Trailer, a fascinating blog that aggregates cool cars for sale, and provides commentary on why they’re cool. Jason Fagone says he’s the same thing. “I’m not a car person,” he writes in the introduction to Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, Automotive Daring, and the Race to Revive America. You can argue that Ingenious is about cars, and it is, but what makes this book accessible to everyone is that it’s more about the people trying to reach a crazy dream. They just happen to be dreaming about cars. In 2007, the X Prize Foundation said it would give $10 million to someone who could create a safe car, mass produceable car that was more efficient…

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Book 37 of 52: Hotel Babylon by Anonymous and Imogen Edwards-Jones

When I do my taxes, I spend a lot of time organizing and tallying up receipts, so I pick a random show streaming on Netflix, and watch that while I work. A few years ago, that choice was Hotel Babylon, a BBC show that ran from 2006 to 2009. When I re-subscribed to Netflix, I found that I still had two more seasons to watch. And I loved every minute of it. I didn’t know until after I’d finished with the series that the TV show was based on the book Hotel Babylon: Inside the Extravagance and Mayhem of a Luxury Five-Star Hotelby an anonymous reception desk clerk and Imogen Edwards-Jones. Hotel Babylon is a cover, and it’s pretty obviously why Anonymous chose that name – he names names, and even though the book was published in 2004, some are still big like Kate Moss, Johnny Depp, Princess Diana and even the…

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