April 29, 2003

Fortune's Rocks, by Anita Shreve

[I never got around to filling this in.]

Posted by Shmuel at 7:49 PM

Read My Lips: Sexual Subversion and the End of Gender, by Riki Anne Wilchins

[I never got around to writing this entry. In a nutshell, I liked the book.]

Posted by Shmuel at 7:47 PM

April 24, 2003

Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us, by Kate Bornstein

As Anne of Green Gables might have put it, I think I've found a kindred spirit.

[I never got around to finishing this entry. In a nutshell, I liked the book a lot.]

Posted by Shmuel at 11:41 PM

Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery

[I never got around to writing this entry. In a nutshell, I liked the book.]

Posted by Shmuel at 11:38 PM

April 20, 2003

Steel Beach, by John Varley

[I never got around to writing this entry. In a nutshell, I liked the book.]

Posted by Shmuel at 10:25 AM

April 12, 2003

Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Parody, by Michael Gerber

[I never got around to writing this entry. In a nutshell, while there were a few cute bits in this parody, on the whole, I wasn't very impressed.]

Posted by Shmuel at 11:06 PM

Bridget Jones's Diary, by Helen Fielding

124 lbs. Alcohol units: 0 Cigarettes: 0 Calories: 1490 (approx., as, unlike Bridget, am not proficient calorie-counter).

Reread Bridget Jones's Diary, in part to refresh memory re: style, for Camelot VSDs. Enjoyed v. much.

As aside, some time back, cited BJD as example of British book that was not Americanized in U.S. edition. Manifest nonsense; heavy editing clearly done to bring spelling and word usage into line, while still conveying impression of British flavo(u)r. This is not a criticism, though; would not have liked to have done conversions from stone to pounds. Editing appreciated.

Also: saw film just after finishing rereading book. With exception of v. bad bit at the end, loved it. Brilliantly done. (And those who claim that the actress wasn't remotely fat missed the point: neither is Bridget.)

Posted by Shmuel at 11:05 PM

April 6, 2003

Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg, by Barry Williams with Chris Kreski

[I never did get around to writing this entry.]

Posted by Shmuel at 5:04 PM

Exhibitionism for the Shy, by Carol Queen

This isn't bad. I'm a bit... uncomfotable? Unconvinced? Uncertain? about Queen's advocacy of naming and developing different sexual personae for different situations. I can see how it could work, but I'm not sure sliding towards Muliple Personality Disorder is a universally contructive approach for adding new elements to one's life. I'd kinda prefer an approach towards developing a single, unified personality.

Then again, not having tried it, I probably shouldn't knock it.

Otherwise, it's interesting, it's well written, it's worth checking out.

Posted by Shmuel at 4:59 PM

April 4, 2003

Seinfeld: The Totally Unauthorized Tribute (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Whether you're a Seinfeld fan or not, you're probably not going to want to bother with this one. It might serve as an object lesson in what not to do in writing a book about a TV show. Overbearing author; almost useless capsule summaries of the shows that leave lots of stuff out; completely pointless trivia questions that add nothing to the body text. And it's missing the last batch of episodes, 'cause the book was rushed to market to capitalize on the Seinfeld mania that accompanied the end of the series. Pretty much a wash all around.

Posted by Shmuel at 5:02 PM

April 3, 2003

Iron Chef: The Official Book, compiled by Fuji Television; translated by Kaoru Hoketsu

If you're an Iron Chef fan, you'll probably want to read this; if not, you probably won't. It's a quick, momentarily diverting read, with lots of photos.

On the bright side, it includes a list of all the battles. It doesn't however, say who won (presumably so as not to give away the end for those who haven't seen a given episode yet), and I would have appreciated even a one-sentence summary giving a highlight from each episode, but I suppose that would've required too much effort. Also, there are a bunch of photos of various dishes made on the show, but in most cases, they're unaccompanied by actual recipes. Maybe those who are into epicurean eye candy will appreciate this; I didn't.

On the other hand, this book was originally written in Japanese, and some of the translations are, well, kinda charming. "This program is too demanding so I hope it stays in an eternal sleep," says Kenji Fukui, for instance. Love it.

Anyway. It's got profiles of the Chefs and others associated with the program, a history of the show, various highlights, and lots of photos. So, again, if you like the show, it's worth a read.

Posted by Shmuel at 8:15 AM

April 2, 2003

Four to Score by Janet Evanovich

One of the funniest books in the Stephanie Plum series. This is -- you probably already guessed it since it's a book that I read -- a mystery novel that's part of a larger series. Fortunately they're numbered so they can be read in order by those who aren't so OCD they check publishing dates. I'm firmly in the OCD group, so I've been going through them for a little while; this was a re-read at Adelle's recommendation.

It's a hilarious book that's lightweight and just FUN. There are no pretensions to literary greatness and there's a whole lot of tongue-in-cheekness in these books. I mean, what else could you do when you're writing about a bumbling bounty hunter from Jersey with a penchant for fried chicken, getting her car blown up or otherwise mangled, and men who make her bones melt?

Yep. That's not even bringing Grandma Mazur or Lula into the mix. As an aside, I love these but they seem to appeal primarily to women. I'm not too sure why. Of course, I'm biased toward a novel that talks about the protagonist's crush on a hockey player.

Posted by Erin at 12:59 PM