Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Five Books

"Style A to Zoe; The Art of Fashion, Beauty & Everything Glamour" by Rachel Zoe with Rose Apodaca Grand Central Publishing 183 (largely useless) pages $24.99

If you are a woman in your early '20s, were raised by wolves and are contemplating a career as a pole dancer at the Dew Drop Inn, this book is for you!

"Something For the Pain (One Doctor's Account of Life and Death in the ER)" by Paul Austin W. W. Norton & Co. 297 interesting pages $24.95

Yes, I'm a medical narrative junkie. The writer (formerly a fire fighter,) found himself sliding into cynicism and emotional isolation due to sleep deprivation. So he went out and built a garage with a bedroom over it for himself. (His wife and three children slept in the house.) That's the way firemen think and I liked that.

"Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, A Memoir" by Susan Jane Gilman Grand Central Publishing 306 pages $23.99

In 1986, Gilman and her best friend graduated college, worked hard over the summer, saving their pennies and took off to visit the just-opened to visitors People's Republic of China. They believed they would be explorers! Brave new worlds! The night they landed in Hong Kong, Gilman (figuratively) turned tail and wanted to take the next plane home. I've managed to stay the course (page 83) and will probably like the book -- in very small draughts.

"The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday" by Alexander McCall Smith (author of "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series) Pantheon Press 240 pages $23.95

Isabel Dalhousie lives in Edinburgh where she is the owner and publisher of the Review of Applied Ethics. She is 40 with a lover some 12 years her junior. ("He was her north, her south" Auden.) Their son is 16 months old. The humor in this book is sly and very, very funny.

"Party Across America! 101 of the Greatest Festivals, Sporting Events and Celebrations in the US" by Michael Guerriero Adams Media 289 very well-organized pages $12.95

Guerriero starts on the East Coast and sweeps across the nation, ending in Hawaii (just after Alaska.) "Our" Coachella Music Festival (coachella.com) made the cut. I was amazed to learn that Butte, Montana, celebrates St. Patrick's Day for a full month. I was shocked at the goings-on at San Francisco's Exotic Erotic Ball (exoticeroticball.com.) To say that most of San Francisco is uninhibted is wild understatement. Don't let your kids go there for Spring Break whatever you do! The ensuing pyschiatric bills will kill you.

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