March 28, 2009 The library is a dangerous place too
I went to the library today to return a book and I ended up borrowing six more books! I know they are free, which is great, but still - I guess I really can't resist new books, no matter how much they cost!

I'm also about halfway through my 22nd book, which will put me ahead of my final total for 2006 and within one book of my final 2007 total. I am definitely on track to hit 50 books without a problem by the end of the year. I guess having an hour to read 4 days a week during my lunch really does help. Yay!

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March 23, 2009 Dating Without Novocaine by Lisa Cach
The title sorta gives the ending away, but it's a fun read and I finished it in a day. I definitely think I'll look for more books by this author.

There was a lot more ... "realities" of sex in this book than you usually find in chick lit. There were times I felt like I was back in sex ed with the amount of discussion of spermicide, condoms, etc. I suppose that is the reality of life these days, but it was different to actually read about it in detail.

I could relate to a lot of themes in this book - turning 30, looking for Mr. Forever, etc. I think it made some of the unevenness and obviousness of the ending go away for me. Nothing earth-shattering, but still a good, quick read.

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March 19, 2009 Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro
This book tackles a few themes that you don't see often in chick lit and I really enjoyed it. What is elegance and why do we strive to be elegant? And if we don't, where does that come from?

The main character was interesting and well-formed as was the narrative. Plenty of chick cliches abound, but it seemed to rise above them instead of embracing them or trying to wink at them. I recognized a lot of myself in her, but at the same time, she was far different than most heroines I read about. I totally got her obsession of trying to do everything "by the book" in the hopes that it would get her want she wanted.

I didn't really understand the need for the "Elegance" book excerpts at the beginning of most chapters, though they did make nice chapter titles. I skimmed most of them, though, because they didn't really have a lot to do with the plot and they were hard to read. The publisher used a scripty font that just wasn't very easy to decipher. I know it was supposed to be "classy," but it was just ridiculous.

All that to say, definitely picking up another one of her books when I see one at the library.

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March 17, 2009 Summer in the City by Robyn Sisman
Another hit from Robyn Sisman. One more fab outing and she'll earn my "" tag.

This was a fabulous story about two people who swap jobs and apartments (London and New York, natch) and discover things aren't always what they seem and perhaps you can fall in love with someone you've never actually seen in real life. The work scandal plot actually played out fairly unexpectedly and had a pretty good resolution. And there were fewer chick lit cliches (i.e. the characters work in advertising instead of publishing, one of the main characters is male, etc.), which is always a plus in my book.

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March 14, 2009 Weekend in Paris by Robyn Sisman
This book appealed to me right from the beginning - an underappreciated secretary finally tells her boorish boss where to shove it - and didn't let go the whole time. I could relate to the heroine quite a bit, even as I was jealous of her - living in a place where one can just on the Eurostar from the Tube station and be in Paris in a matter of hours. I mean, I guess I could hop on the Metro to West Falls Church, then onto the Washington Flyer bus to Dulles and grab a $3000 flight to Paris, but it's just not the same. I really did have to stop myself, several times, from getting out my passport and driving to the airport. If you have wanderlust, you may to lock up your documents while you read this book.

It's a book about a wonderful adventure in a magical foreign city by a goody-goody girl who would never do anything like this, but has the time of her life when she surrenders to the joie de vie of a weekend in the City of Lights. The people she meets are colorful and larger than life, but have enough reality to them to make it seem like they really exist on the streets of Paris. There's a twist at the end that I wasn't expecting, but it really does pay off in a fabulous way. Lovely, fun read!

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March 10, 2009 Diary of a Mad Bride by Laura Wolf
This book would have you believe that single girls who say they don't care about getting married are just lying to everyone and themselves until their boyfriend proposes. Then they turn into crazy Bridezillas, imposing upon their co-workers, families, future inlaws, and close and not-so-close friends to do their bidding until the Big Day. After which, they realize What's Really Important - being married - and feel silly about being a total nutcase for the better part of a year.

Now, I haven't been married and I do freely admit that I would like to get married some day. I hope I don't turn into the aforementioned Bridezilla, though with my control-freak, perfectionist tendencies, the over-under on that is ... well, I'm sorry in advance. But the switch from normal human being, ARGUING about NEVER getting married to freaked out fiancee that's pissed people are falling over themselves to congratulate her on getting engaged was a bit harsh and ridiculous. I guess it wouldn't be a book without drama, but the drama just seemed cliche. I think I would have enjoyed it more if the crazy happened around our sane heroine instead of the heroine going insane.

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March 07, 2009 Crossing the Line by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
I think the thing that fascinated me most about this book was the way it dealt with race and the different way the Brits connote racial issues that us in America. I'm sure it all has to do with our respective histories, but it was fascinating nonetheless.

If I didn't know that this book was a sequel to the last book I read, I'm sure I would have even believed it was by the same author. Sure, the main character does some weird and "not what a normal person would do" things, but they seem to come from another emotion/feeling than just self-absorption or greed. I do not buy for one second that having a baby completely changes a woman into some selfless, Mother Earth creature, but having a baby did change this character into someone likable and just a bit nutty as opposed to be stark-raving mad for no apparent reason. In this book, you could see why people would be friends with her, why the man loves her and why she might be useful to have around. I was actually sorry to see this one end, even if I could see the ending coming from a mile away.

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March 05, 2009 The Thin Pink Line by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
This book has been on my list for a long, long time. It's a Red Dress Ink book, which is, I'm sure, how I first heard about it and added it. I obviously didn't read anything about it before I started reading it though.

The back cover's Publishers Weekly raves " so charmingly audacious, that readers will be rooting for her." And I have to say, at least for this reader, that is a ridiculous lie. In the first chapter, Jane's period is like four hours late, so without taking a pregnancy test or going to a doctor, she decides to tell her live-in boyfriend the news. Oh and did I mention that she stalked several pregnant women and noticed that people give up seats for them and open doors for them, so it must be the awesome-ist to be pregnant? Then she gets her period cause she was never pregnant and ... decides to just keep pretending to be pregnant because she told too many people she was and that would be embarrassing.

I kept reading to see when it would get interesting, believable or at least when Jane would have SOME redeeming quality in her self-absorbency, delusion and greed. I was disappointed.

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