Monthly Archives: May 2011

Next Up: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Perks of Being a WallflowerI hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend! I had a nice mix of family time, Andrew birthday festivities, and Memorial Day barbecuing with friends. Of course, in the world of Manhattan apartments, a “barbecue” involves a George Foreman and a grill pan instead of an actual barbecue. Still, the rooftop picnic was great.

I also spent the weekend reading a lot. Two flights in two days will do that to you. While I didn’t quite finish the book I’m reading now, I’m already looking ahead. I’ve decided that the next book from the list will be The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I figured it was about time. Maggie says I’ve been talking about the book since starting this project and Steph returned it to me this weekend so might as well!

Here’s what I’m in for:

This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

If nothing else, at least I’ll get to read the book before the movie comes out.


And Away I Go… Again!

Carmen SandiegoIn this latest installment of Where In The World Is Samantha Beerman?, I’m heading to Florida. I’ll be celebrating my second cousin’s Bat Mitzvah this weekend. Of course, I will also be using this as an opportunity to get in lots of reading.

I’m about 20% of the way through a book right now (by the way, isn’t it funny how e-readers have changed the way we talk about how far we are in a book?), and I fully intend on finishing it on my travels. So far I’m really liking it, but I’ll share more info on that later.

Once that’s done, on to another pick from my mom’s list. I’m trying for an every other book sort of thing – one from her list than one from my list/my book club/my work then back to one from her list. I’m not sure what’s next from the list yet though. Any suggestions?

More to come on that when I return. Have a good Memorial Day Weekend everyone! And a very happy birthday to Andrew! πŸ™‚

My Busy Book-Filled Week

BEASo you may have noticed a lack of blog posts the past couple of days. I have not (quite) disappeared… I have just been super busy.

Ever since returning from Maryland, I have had a jam-packed schedule. That includes hosting my awesome friend Laura who will be departing for the Peace Corps in Africa in just one week! Don’t worry, in case she needs a taste of American culture, I did in fact buy her Tina Fey’s Bossypants audiobook. (I also need to get in all my Laura shout-outs now before she has limited internet access and thus limited Reading For Robin access).

But getting to the book-filled part of my busy book-filled week, I’ve also been taking part in Book Expo America and some loosely related publishing events. There have been audiobook awards given out, a few seminars attended, and a bit of wondering amongst the booths. It might not sound glamorous, but oh it is, it is. I have rubbed elbows with celebrities. I almost followed Julianne Moore to the bathroom, I observed Kathy Lee Gifford from a not so far distance, I watched Star Jones moderate a panel, I heard Diane Keaton talk about her upcoming memoir, and I told Mindy Kaling that I love her on The Office andΒ  on Twitter. We’re pretty much best friends now. (My mom would be so proud – she liked her too!)

However, it hasn’t all been Hollywood hijinks. I also got to hear some really great authors speak, from Brad Meltzer, Tony Horwitz, and Karin Slaughter to Charlaine Harris and Jeffrey Eugenides. I now want to read everything Jeffrey Eugenides has written. His upcoming The Marriage Plot will come first, but I will get to Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides. I am embarrassed to admit I haven’t read them already.

Anyway, I hope you all will find this description a somewhat suitable explanation for my absence. At least the chaos has provided a few good stories. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

A Review of Lush Life

Lush LifeI’m back in New York (for now) after a weekend of fun graduation festivities. There are now two Dr. Beermans in the family! Congrats, Adam!

Almost as impressive is the fact that I finished Richard Price’s Lush Life this weekend. Okay, maybe a little less impressive. But it did take me quite a while.

As I explained last week, it didn’t necessarily take me so long to read Lush Life because it isn’t good. I think it probably is. It’s just not my type of book. The story starts with a shooting on the Lower East Side and follows the aftermath. The reader knows who the shooter is but watches as the events unfold from the perspective of the witness, the shooter, the police, the victim’s family and more.

The book is well written and Price does an excellent job creating an three dimensional portrait of the Lower East Side. My problem was just that it was slow going. And when I was so busy that I only have 10-15 minutes at a time to read, it didn’t grab me. Which led me not to find more time to read.

But the train did the trick. And I’m happy I finished. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. Just not my usual choice and not my mom’s usual choice so an interesting read.

I’ve Been Bad…

AmtrakAnd I don’t mean that in a scandalous or exciting way. I’ve been bad when it comes to reading lately. I started Richard Price’s Lush Life more than two weeks ago and I’m still only about 100 pages in.

Part of the problem has been my schedule. What can I say, I’ve been busy. The other issue is that the first few chapters of Lush Life have failed to hook me. It’s not that I don’t like them, per se, it’s more that I’m not invested in the story yet. This makes me less likely to squeeze reading time into my day which then makes me less likely to get into the book which makes me less likely to squeeze… okay you get it.

However, that is all about to change! …I hope! Tonight I board the train to Maryland to see my brother get his Ph.D. (Yes, he is a rocket scientist and yes, he does use that line frequently.) This is my first time riding Amtrak and I’m looking forward to a few hours of uninterrupted reading time where I am determined to become more attached to Lush Life. You can force that kind of thing, right?

Gossip Girl Meets Publishing

Gossip GirlSo in other not quite timely news, last night I watched the season finale of Gossip Girl. Now I don’t want to give away too many spoilers because I know you’re all big fans, but there was a bit of a publishing storyline involved.

Jonathan Karp, the publisher of Simon & Schuster, made a cameo. It turns out the scene was filmed not in his actual office, which does not have his name engraved on the window, but on a set in Long Island City (thanks for the info, Daily Intel!). The fake office did feature real Simon & Schuster books though. In the background were posters for Little Bee and So Much Pretty, both of which I read/listened to in the past year.

As you can clearly see, Gossip Girl does have a literary element to it. And this isn’t the first time. So, I can practically consider watching this guilty pleasure a work activity. I mean I should certainly get paid for it.

The Walk To Defeat ALS: Complete!

ALS WalkIn all the hubbub of my dad and brother being in town and lots and lots of eating, I forgot to tell you about the ALS Walk.

Saturday morning, Robin’s Walkers headed out to Hudson River Park to complete the 5K and show our support for people with ALS. It didn’t rain, which was a success in and of itself, but the bigger success was that together we raised $2,828.49!

So with that I can only say thank you! Thank you to everyone who donated! (And no this isn’t my way of copping out of writing thank you notes… they’re coming… eventually). Thank you for supporting me as I try to support those with ALS.