Thursday, May 29, 2008


Does anyone have recommendations for a cross-country plane ride (and then a five-hour drive to Vegas)? Suggestions of audiobooks are most welcome. I'm about to attempt a trip sans laptop, so I won't have my usual access to DVD entertainment for 10 days.

I'm especially interested in portable books (no "War and Peace").

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Our Next Book

"Blindness" it is! Prepare yourselves for some crazy punctuation...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Take Your Pick

Hey, ladies! Lisa and I need your help. We're hosting next month (7 p.m. June 7) and we can't decide between two very different books. So you have to decide for us (feel free to post in comments). Here are your options:

"I Was Told There'd Be Cake," by Sloane Crosley

"Blindness," by Jose Saramago

Sorry, I was gonna put in reviews, but I had issues copying and pasting. So follow the links!

Monday, May 12, 2008


Spotted in Adams Morgan: L, J, K, A and D, giving up the wait at the Diner and venturing for good eats at Bourbon instead. As befits a group of gals lazing about, brunch cocktails were ordered (with the waiter delivering a "backup Bloody Mary" by accident).

K mentioned liking "Gossip Girl" more than she had expected. Everyone at the table had seen the CW series, so how scripts diverge from the novel was fodder for conversation. The consensus was that the Vanessa character seems a lot cooler in the book, but the Humphreys lose something in paperback by living on the Upper West Side instead of in Brooklyn.

References to boozing, sex and bulimia were mentioned as turnoffs for recommending the book to the younger set (ironic, as that's the target audience). Serena's "diet plate" of lettuce, lemon yogurt and hot tea didn't appeal to anyone. (A mentioned celebrity diets seeming to fall into line with that nutritionally questionable assemblage, and the table agreed that teenage girls eat weird things.) One thing the book taught us is that hotel bars don't card. Who knew! If only we could turn back time -- and gain Upper East Side penthouse apartments in the process.

The remainder of a leisurely lunch was spent on actual gossip. Shh, I'll never tell.

Btw, for a peek into the TV wedding plans of Lily van der Woodsen, check this out.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Book Ideas: True Stories Edition, Part 1

Sorry for dearth of blog posts. What can I say? I've been lazy!

It occurred to me that after a run of novels, we might be ripe for a nonfiction tale. Here are some ideas, all available in paperback!

Something to plug us into the eco-friendly trend: Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." Time magazine named it one of its top 10 nonfiction books of 2007. Cribbing from its review:
When Kingsolver and her family moved from arid Tuscon, Ariz., to verdant Appalachia, they upped the ante by deciding to eat only food they grew themselves, or which grew locally, for a full calendar year. They're not the first to try it, but they may be the funniest. Kingsolver and her family — who chip in on the writing — are never shrill or scoldy about their project, just quietly convincing, and they make the food in their agricultural epic practically vibrate with seductive organic intensity.

Hungry for the great outdoors? We could take on "Into the Wild" or "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. The former follows the adventures of Christopher McCandless, who was born in Annandale, took off after college and ended up in the Alaskan wilderness, where he died at age 24. You no doubt know about last year's movie adaptation by Sean Penn -- we could do a DVD screening as a tie-in! "Into Thin Air" is another wilderness adventure tale that details Krakauer's ascent of Mount Everest. He survived (obviously), but let's just say things did not go well. A good friend recommends both.

I know I don't have to sell this once, since we were all excited about reading it at the first book club meeting: "Kabul Beauty School" by Deborah Rodriguez. Amanda has even bought the book already! Tie-ins include a documentary, "The Beauty Academy of Kabul," and an NPR report.

Want any of these to be a book club pick? Host a meeting! (Hint, hint.)

I've got a few more nonfiction suggestions that I'll try to write up soon. Stay tuned! And if you have your own, let us know in the comments!