Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Beach Book Bingo

I just finished the new Sophie Kinsella book,Undomestic Goddess(Kinsella is best known for her Shopaholic series)and thought it was OK. The story is about a stressed-out lawyer named Samantha Sweeting(name's a little too cutsey)who after discovering a major error she made that cost the company 50 million ,has a panic attack and winds up in the middle of the countryside, taking a housekeeping job regardless of the fact that she can't cook or clean.

The storyline is rather sitcomish but Kinsella creates such a likability about her characters that you're willing to extend your suspence of disbelief more than usual. It's not that this is a non-Shopaholic title;I read Can You Keep A Secret? last year and it was a more solid story. Undomestic Goddess has it's moments of good characterization as when Samantha rushes to a birthday dinner in her honor,only to be greeted by her mother and brother calling in on their cell phones to cancel on her and later in the book when Sam's new friends throw her a much better party-corny but it works. If I were to compare UnG to a movie,I would match it with While You Were Sleeping-Sandra Bullock's charms carried that one(not to mention the esemble cast).

Another good fun read is Adored by Tilly Bagshawe(I love that name)-it's an old school style of Judith Krantz glamgirl writing about an up and coming actress/model,Sienna McMahon the granddaughter of Duke McMahon,who seeks fame and true love. Some might mention Jackie Collins but trust me,I've read some Jackie C and Adored is not as sleazy as Hollywood Wives. I know Jackie C likes to compare herself to Charles Dickens(writing for the common folk)but Dickens never had blowjob scenes or people humping in elevators in any of his books,so methinks the lady knows not of what she speaks.

Adored is out and out fun-a soap opera with sizzle. Tilly Bagshawe is the sister of Louise Bagshawe,the author of several Brit lit books;haven't read her yet but might grab The Go To Girl when my reading pile gets low. Tilly's next novel is about horseracing-don't know much about that but looking forward to checking it out.

If you want some more stimulating reading for your beach blanket time,here's a couple of non-fiction titles that are easy on the eyes but good food for thought(both are in paperback):

So Many Books,So Little Time by Sara Nelson-it's about a year of reading and how it relates to her life,also comments on various book trends such as that one book that's the flavor of the month which everyone seems to have in their hands except you. I was happy to discover that I liked many of the books that she does too(Crimson Petal and the White I totally adored but wasn't drawn to Michel Faber's earlier novel like Sara was)and many of the chapters are touching,such as the one about getting her son to enjoy Charlotte's Web. Sara Nelson now is Editor-in-Chief at Publishers Weekly(THE magazine in the book business)and they made a good pick in her,lady knows her stuff.

Shelf Life by Suzanne Shrempek Shea:If you want to know what it's like to work in an independant bookstore,look no further. Suzanne is the author of several novels who,while recovering from cancer treatments,gets a job at her local bookseller,Edwards Books in Spiringfield,Mass. She gives you the behind the counter scenes of bookstore life;working the register,setting up displays,store events and author signings,not to mention the interestingly
unusual customers you run across(one guy reads aloud the covers of each book he sees).Suzanne is a sweet lady(have had the pleasure of exchanging a few e-mails with her)and
her writing is as charming as she is.

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