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See, I Read!

Well, the summer’s essentially over. And for once, I’m thrilled.

While I only made it to the beach one time, I did manage to squeeze in a few beach reads. But not your typical chicklit by Jennifer Weiner or Sophie Kinsella or Lauren Weisberger or Candace Bushnell. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

And I didn't swipe a single virtual page on a Kindle, or Nook, or iPad. I went old school and bought actual books.

Remember those?

Well, I’ve been on this non-fiction kick the last few years -- with the exception of my vampire infatuation, which I think is now cured. To be honest, I don’t read as much as I should (I burned out loooong ago when I worked in book publishing and had to read 2 books per week). When I DO read I plow through a few at a time. I guess you could call me a binge reader.

Then, my eyes get tired and I go back to my first love: TV.

Anyway, fluffy summer romance wasn’t really where my head was at. At ALL. But my life definitely influenced my reading list. First up was a book that took me back to my youth, when matters of the heart were far simpler…

By Rob Sheffield

IN A NUTSHELL: Music can transport you back to a specific time and place like nothing else. So I hopped in my Delorean, plugged in my Walkman, and dove headfirst into this Reagan-era coming-of-age memoir set to a soundtrack by the Go-Go’s, Prince, Bowie, Madonna, and of course, Duran Duran. Each chapter is linked with a song that offers a lesson that made him the man he is today (a writer for Rolling Stone), and reminds you that everything you need to know about the opposite sex, you learned from pop music. The more I read, the puffier my hair got. It also confirmed what I always knew… EVERYBODY had a crush on John Taylor (and probably still does).

LOVED THIS AS MUCH AS: But Enough About Me by Jancee Dunn

Once I got my appetite back (I lost about 20lbs following my breakup, mainly because I was so sick to my stomach I couldn’t eat), I decided I needed to start reading about food and stop eating it…

The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner
By Jay Rayner

IN A NUTSHELL: An arrogant but charming British restaurant critic explores the haute cuisine scene from Vegas to Paris (via Moscow, Dubai, Tokyo, NY, and London). This guy gets paid to eat. You want to hate him. But you don’t. Even when he racks up a $2000 dinner tab at a 3-star Michelin restaurant in Paris (just one of the SEVEN he visited during his week in the City of Lights). His writing is so vivid, it should come with a snack, and he’s witty enough (especially when he’s had a bad meal) that you should take care not to shoot that snack out your nose.

FITS IN PERFECTLY WITH: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica

Finally, I began reading Eat, Pray, Love (which has been sitting on my bookshelf for about 4 years) because even though she was the dumper and not the dumpee, I could relate to the desire to disappear for a year. But it was too schmaltzy. That’s when I found its unsentimental counterpart…

Drink, Play, F@#k: One Man’s Search for Anything Across Ireland, Las Vegas and Thailand
By Andrew Gottlieb

IN A NUTSHELL: This one’s fiction, but it’s a parody of a true story. And it’s about as deep as a puddle, but that’s what I liked about it. Unfortunately, it’s pretty tame, given the awesome title’s promise. I was looking to live vicariously through a scorned dude as he boozes, gambles, and screws his breakup blues away (especially since I’m pretty tame and have done exactly none of those things myself). What I got was a lukewarm adventure. Lite beer dressed as stout. All foreplay, no happy ending. Except for the actual happy ending where he meets his future ex-wife. I mean, new girlfriend.  Blech.

MADE ME WISH I WAS READING: Are You There Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler

As I type this, I’m lying in bed strapped to a heating pad because I hurt my back. Again. Somehow, I was able to move tons of boxes THREE times without incident. But reaching down to help my mom move her seat in a rental car on Sunday pushed me over the edge. I think that’s summer’s final FU. Message delivered -- a cruel summer indeed.

So, any other reading to recommend? Hurry up and tell me before my back gets better and the fall TV shows start!

tags: entertainment


Anonymous said...

Just read "I'm Down" over the weekend, you might like that too. You may have seen it before. It's the one with the little white girl in a giant afro on the cover. Hoe your back feels better soon!

jessica said...

You've given up on vampires? Say it isn't so!

Anonymous said...

i can't wait to read tim gunn's book :)

Anonymous said...

also, you might like rob sheffield's 1st book, love is a mixtape :)

Roger said...

Ahem... ;)

bookworm said...

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest & The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo & The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Help
The Shack
Water for Elephants
Unaccustomed Earth

Jenny From The 'Brook said...

Anon #1 & #2/3: I just actually picked up both of those books on my way home the other day! Love, love, love Tim Gunn, and I saw I'm Down when I was in FL visiting my parents, and it looked right up my alley. Definitely want to read Love Is a Mixtape since I enjoyed his last book so much.

Jess: I dunno. I guess I'm not totally over them, since I spent an entire Sunday catching up on True Blood on HBO on Demand, and my DVR recorded Vampire Diaries the other night. I think I'm more over the Stephanie Meyer stuff -- reminds me of someone too much.

Bookworm: Thanks for all the suggestions! I actually read Unaccustomed Earth last summer, my ex-future mother & sister-in-laws loaned it to me. Not something I ever would have picked up on my own, but the writing was beautiful and I was fascinated by the Indian culture. The short story format was great to read in small chunks on the train to and from Long Island (where we spent most weekends).

Rog: YES!!! Everyone who reads this blog - including me - should run out and buy a copy of my dear friend Roger's book, The Zombie Combat Manual. Doesn't matter if you don't know anything about zombies, you just need to like supporting good people. Also, I hear it's quite funny. I'm ordering one today!