Tag Archives: Books

And She Was – Page turner, thriller – Coming March 2012

9 Feb

I just put down And She Was by Alison Gaylin and it is with pure satisfaction that I do so. This book, from the very first pages, has proven to be an addiction. For days I had been passing by it at work, reading the same first few pages over and over again when I decided to pick it up and read it start to finish. My first idea was to save it for my upcoming travels – some very long flights ahead – but “Oh, only one chapter” turned into “Oh, only the first 100 pages” which then turned into me, in the middle of the night, 3 hours with my eyes glued open and only ten pages to go. I promise you…it was THAT good.

Absolutely captivating. A page-turner.

Normally, my recreational reading revolves around humorous memoirs, chick lit,  and some historical fiction. Mystery-thrillers usually aren’t my go-to because I get so engrossed in the novel that I scare myself silly if I’m reading any time after 7 at night and this book was no exception to that rule. Let’s just say that at 1 am two nights ago I could have sworn someone was breaking in to kidnap someone in my home. No, no, not irrational at all :-O My unwarranted fears only prove that Gaylin is very effective at creating nail-biting, page-turning suspense magic with her words. Take  a peek at her website: http://www.alisongaylin.com. She has penned several other mystery novels that I will need to check out of the library ASAP since I already devoured As She Was and loved it.

Happy Reading!


Thank you, E.L. Doctorow

4 Oct
Cover of "Homer & Langley: A Novel"

Cover of Homer & Langley: A Novel

For this poignant quote:

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”

And we all know it to be true.

Characters invade our brains, our lives, our dreams and unveil themselves to us through writing. Their voice, their mannerisms, their attitudes may come from an author’s observations of others or of themselves, but in the end a fictional character comes alive thanks to an author’s ability to create an alternate reality in which each character lives and breathes.

Here’s a fun exercise to help yank on your latent writing-induced schizophrenia:

Describe, in every detail, your character’s kitchen sink. Are there dirty dishes? Is it pristine? What food do you find on the counter or gunked up in the drain? Take a look around. What type of stove, if any, do they use to cook? Are there windows over the sink? What is their view while washing dishes…or while avoiding doing them? Can you tell who cooks in their kitchen – the mother, the father, the children, the room mate? 

I reference the kitchen sink and its organization because this post was inspired by an article about E.L. Doctorow‘s novel, ‘Homer & Langley’, which follows the lives of 2 brothers who happen to be hoarders. The novel was based on the true story of the Collyer brothers who lived in early 20th century Harlem in a lavish Victorian- style mansion. The two died and were discovered years later in their home having died in their own mess. Very tragic story, but one that I’m sure had E.L. Doctorow feeling a bit schizophrenic trying to imagine the cramped world these two characters created for themselves. The mess in the kitchen sink was the least of their worries!


Dr Seuss vs. Madonna : Can Celebs Write Good Children’s Books??

22 Sep

The Atlantic published a great article online titled Dr. Seuss vs. Madonna: Can Celebrities Write Good Children’s Books? Good question!

Working in the publishing industry, I’m always curious to see what the bestselling books are around the world. In the US, we have a great selection of titles by a slew of authors and a large part of them are marketed like anything else…excessively. When it comes to celebrity authors, the hype is even more exaggerated.

Normally, the titles marketed here are by American celebrities. There’s no way, I thought to myself last year, that Lauren Conrad‘s tween series “LA Candy”, “Sweet Little Lies” or “Sugar and Spice” were of any consequence outside of the realm of teenybopper Americans. Boy was I wrong! Ms. Conrad’s titles sold like hot cakes throughout Europe and the rest of the world and I had to bite my tongue. Apparently, “The Hills” wasn’t banned for its scripted impersonation of reality outside of the US…shocking! OTHER people outside of this country are watching it and swarming bookstores in the Netherlands, Germany and Spain to get a hold of her novels. I don’t really get it, but my friends who are addicted to The Hills/The City/Etc were not surprised at all. Apparently, this seemingly American reality star has made it big abroad and she’s only Lauren Conrad. Included in the article’s list are big shots like Madonna, Tyra Banks and Jimmy Buffet. Surely, they must have outsold Lauren Conrad…

Here’s a slideshow of a few titles that popped out at me from their original list:

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