Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bergdorf Blondes: A Novel by Plum Sykes

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

The tenth anniversary edition of New York Times bestselling author Plum Sykes’s timeless satire

Bergdorf Blondes are a thing, you know, a New York craze. Absolutely everyone wants to be one, but it’s actually très difficult. You wouldn’t believe the dedication it takes to be a gorgeous, flaxen-haired, dermatologically perfect New York girl with a life that’s fabulous beyond belief. Honestly, it all requires a level of commitment comparable to, say, learning Hebrew or quitting cigarettes.

Our heroine, “Moi,” described as a “champagne bubble of a girl about town,” gets into misadventures with fellow socialite and best friend Julie Bergdorf, a department store heiress. When Moi notices that getting engaged brings about a glow unattainable by facials, she and Julie scheme and shop to attract the perfect PH (Prospective Husband). Sykes’s debut is a pitch-perfect examination of the glittering lives of the young, rich, and fabulous living in New York.

my thoughts:

Chick lit is my vice.  Its my guilty pleasure.  I can't help it.  Its similar to my addiction to reality TV - Housewives, Rich Kids, Kardashians, Million Dollar Listing, etc.  I love watching these shows and reading these books about these insanely wealthy people and their over the top, ridiculous behavior.  I find it frivolous, fun, and totally unputdownable.  Especially after a chaotic day, I like the idea of settling down for some fluff reading/TV watching - its my escape from my reality.  So, when I got offered the chance to review Plum Syke's book, Bergdorf Blondes, I leapt at the chance.  First of all, the new 10th anniversary book cover drew me in - I loved it!  And secondly, the summary of the book - well, it most definitely sounded like my cup of tea - the search for a PH (how fun!).

Bergdorf Blondes is a smart, funny book about NYC PAPs (Park Avenue Princesses) and their fabulous lives.  These young women are rich, superficial, and uber-competitive.  They are obsessed with becoming Bergdorf Blondes and living in excess.  And they have just discovered that the latest "hot" accessory is the PH (Prospective Husband) - apparently being engaged makes your skin glow!  Of course the fun in having a PH is the actual hunt for a PH.  So, BFFs Julie and Moi are determined to find Julie a PH - because what else does the woman who has everything need?  Except, Moi is the one who becomes engaged to a famous photographer, while Julie continues to meet one eligible bachelor after another.  Life in NYC is turning out to be better than fabulous for these two besties.  Until Moi realizes that her PH is not exactly the man she fell in love with.  Hmm....maybe a PH isn't the answer after all.  As these two women navigate the world of shopping, facials, highlights, and dating they begin to discover that friendship and love is what its all about.

Plum Sykes has written a fantastic novel about the socialites in NYC and their seemingly vapid lifestyle.  She has created a cast of hilarious and unforgettable characters that are more than their Prada handbags and Marc Jacobs jeans.   Sykes appears to be poking fun at these women, but in a manner that lets you know they are in on the joke.  Witty one-liners and drama after drama fill this delightful book in a fast-paced speed.  You will devour it in one sitting!  I absolutely loved getting to know these Bergdorf Blondes and believe that you will, too!  I would definitely recommend this book to fans of chick lit - you will LOVE this read!

To find out what everyone else has to say about this book, check out the TLC Book Tours schedule: Bergdorf Blondes
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gone Reading...

Too busy to post anything new as I'm currently engrossed in Haruki Murakami's latest book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.  I am obsessed with it!
What book(s) are you obsessed with?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What I'm Reading...

Short stories are where its at!  Seriously, I'm loving the short so hard right now, its all I can think about.  I'm actually in the middle of two short story books at the moment and absolutely loving it.  Okay, well, one of them is actually a book of novellas, but that just means the short stories are longer, so I'm letting it count as a book of shorts.  Here are the two books:
Talk about two vastly different authors and writing styles.  The King book consists of four novellas and I'm currently in the midst of one titled, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.  And let me just say that I am hooked.  This story is unputdownable, but I'm making it putdownable as I don't want finish it just yet.  I am so engrossed in Red's story of life at Shawshank and of his friend, Andy.  I must admit that as I read this story I can't help but imagine Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman as the characters - heck, I even want to watch the film version again when I'm done with the story.  Stephen King has really outdone himself with this short - makes me realize how much more I prefer his non-horror stories.

As for the Vonnegut, it is terrific! KV is my all-time favorite writer, so in my completely biased opinion - he can do no wrong when it comes to his writing.  Look At The Birdie is a collection of unpublished short stories.  They are quirky, funny, and filled with his dark humor.  I am loving them all!  Right now I'm in the middle of one where the characters are falsely accused of murder in a corrupt town where they have no chance of beating the rap.  Its pretty intense and I'm on the edge of my seat reading it (which I love!).  Plus, I am really enjoying looking at Vonnegut's drawings interspersed throughout the book - they are fantastic!

Of course, the new Murakami comes out today, so these books will be put on hold.  I'm just waiting for my book to arrive and then I'm settling in to read my new favorite book - Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.  I can't wait!!  Happy Reading!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sweet Water: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline

about book:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a novel about buried secrets and the redemptive power of forgiveness.

Cassie Simon is a struggling artist living in New York City. When she receives a call from a magistrate telling her she has inherited sixty acres of land in Sweetwater, Tennessee, from her grandfather, whom she never knew, she takes it as a sign: it’s time for a change. She moves to the small Southern town where her mother, Ellen, grew up—and where she died tragically when Cassie was three.

From the moment she arrives in Sweetwater, Cassie is overwhelmed by the indelible mark her mother’s memory left behind. As she delves into the thicket of mystery that surrounds her mother’s death, Cassie begins to discover the desperate measures of which the human heart is capable.

my thoughts:

As a fan of Christina Baker Kline's novel, Orphan Train, I was excited to read her first book, Sweet Water.  I knew that I would be in for an uputdownable story filled with fascinating characters and oodles of family drama.  Well, I was right.  Sweet Water is the story of Cassie, a big City gal, who decides to embrace country living in Tennessee and winds up finding out more about her family than she bargained for.

Life in NYC is not going all that well for Cassie, so when she inherits her grandfather's house in Tennessee, she thinks its the perfect opportunity to start fresh somewhere new and finally meet her mother's family. Of course, life in Tennessee is not at all what Cassie expected.  From suspicious relatives to dark family secrets, every one and every thing seems to be pushing Cassie to head back to NYC.  Except, she doesn't want to leave her new home just yet.  Inspired to create, Cassie begins to sculpt and envision a new life for herself.  Her new job at a local dive bar introduces her to some new friends and a new love.  Life is inching toward livable, when gossip, family squabbles, and burglary occur.  Cassie realizes that her mother's family is not one for embracing new relatives. 

Kline's debut novel is engaging, well written, and unputdownable.  I was hooked!  I found myself following Cassie's big move to Sweet Water with excitement.  I wanted to see her enmeshed with her mother's family and embarking on new adventures.  Of course, I wanted a little family drama to spice things up a bit.  Well, I certainly got what I wanted - in spades!  Cassie's family is not too happy with her relocation to their family home - why did she get the house?  Her grandmother, Clyde, is not welcoming and tends to look through Cassie instead of at her.  No one seems to really want her around, well, except for her cousins.  Although one of them happens to be her new love interest and that just about put me off reading the rest of the book.  Why Cassie had to fall for her cousin is beyond me, but that's what Kline wrote.  I didn't like this pairing and found myself rather disturbed by it.  However, that is my only quibble with the story.  I really enjoyed reading everything else, especially Clyde's musings at the beginning of each chapter.  I liked learning about this unhappy woman - we get to learn about her past and present state of mind.  Plus, we get to learn more about how/why Cassie's mom died and the dark, horrible secret that Clyde has kept buried for much too long.  This is one entertaining read!

I really loved Sweet Water and would recommend it to fans of Christina Baker Kline and fans of women's fiction.  This is a terrific book filled with family dramas and secrets.  If you want to find out what everyone else is saying about this book, check out the TLC Book Tours schedule for: Sweet Water.
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Non-Bookish Thoughts...

I'm 36.  It happened earlier this week and I have to admit that it wasn't so bad.  I thought I would be in tears when it happened - crying over getting older - but I wasn't.  Instead, I was too busy enjoying celebrating my birthday with loved ones.  There was lots of yummy food, a delicious ice cream cake (my favorite!), lovely cards and birthday wishes.  It was a very happy birthday.  I even received some books - hurrah!  Here are my new lovelies:
I'm so excited about my new reads that I'm not sure which one I should read first.  Any suggestions?  I'm leaning toward My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff.  Of course, it will probably make me want to re-read Salinger after and then I'll be adding more books to my TBR pile.  Oh, the woes of being a bookworm.

Aside from my birthday, my week has been filled with writing.  I've been writing a lot more lately, but I've also been throwing out a lot of it as well.  Its rather frustrating.  So, I've been watching too much TV, listening to the new Jenny Lewis CD on repeat, and reading to distract myself from thinking about how badly I've been writing lately.  I plan on culling my bookshelves later today as another means of distraction.  Well, the book culling is actually something I've been mulling over for a while.  You see, I'm thinking of only keeping the books that I absolutely LOVE - books by favorite authors and books I will most definitely re-read.  All of the other books will get donated to the local senior citizen's center (the ones that I read and liked, but have already forgotten about).  My only worry is that I will regret getting rid of some of the books, because I think I secretly am a book hoarder (ugh!).  Hmm...what to do?  What do you think?  Should I just keep them all?

Well, Bergdorf Blondes is beckoning me, so I'm off to do some reading. And I'm leaving you with Jenny Lewis, so that you can get a taste of her music.  Enjoy!