Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Review of Good Girls Gone Bad

Good Girls Gone BadI finished Good Girls Gone Bad this weekend. I promise I did other stuff too (like brave Macy’s during its Friends & Family Sale… be impressed), but I like the feeling of accomplishment I get from finishing a book so I’ll focus on that for now.

As an aside (did I say I’d focus?), the title of this book is a bit misleading. As I discussed it with some friends this weekend, they may have thought I was going in a more girls gone wild direction than I actually was. Alas.

I wonder what I would have thought of Good Girls Gone Bad had I not had contact with the author. At times it seemed a little zany. The characters are certainly out there. I’d call them crazy but that’s not nice when you are talking about a bunch of women who all met at group therapy. They have terrible relationships with men and together they try to work on these slash carry out revenge on those who have wronged them. Like I said, it gets a little zany.

However, author Jillian Medoff, gave me a heads up that she intended more than just a wacky tale of girl friends gone awry. She described it as a dark satire about family. So I went into it with that mind frame. At times, the hijinks were so over the top that it was harder to see the message. But I think I got it.

The importance of family, and finding a way to deal with the past and present, is a major part of Good Girls Gone Bad. So is friendship. It was these parts, more than the scheming, that made the biggest impression on me.

Ellen Degeneres Narrates Fifty Shades of Grey?

I was planning on being done with talking about Fifty Shades of Grey. Been there, blogged that to death. I swear I actually had something else to talk about. Then this video came out.

How could I not post about this? Not only does it involve a book I just read, but it is also focuses on audiobooks! I love audiobooks! Add Ellen Degeneres into the mix and it’s a no-brainer.

Watch as Ellen attempts to read for the Fifty Shades of Grey audiobook. Hilarity ensues.

Book Club Changes It Up With Fifty Shades

Fifty Shades of GreyI almost didn’t write this post because I was tired. Then I decided I am always tired and if I used that excuse all the time there would be no blog. And I had to tell y’all about the Fifty Shades of Grey book club! (And yes, I’m marrying a Southern boy so I can say y’all now).

Last night book club gathered around a box (or two or three) of pizza and a thematic cake to discuss the already much discussed “mommy porn” slash erotica novel sweeping the nation. It was one of our best turnouts for book club and our best level of reading participation. Who knew – all we needed to do to get people to read was add lots of crazy sex. Duly noted.

The feelings were a little mixed but most people really liked the book, with the majority having already sped through the rest of the trilogy. We all agreed the writing left something to be desired, but it was a pleasant suraprise to find that the book contained an actual plot. My (similar) thoughts and feelings are described here. We had plenty to say about it all, and the talk only involved a little cringing and blushing from those participating.

While I was against picking E L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey for book club, I now take it back. Perhaps due to super low expectations, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and it made for a very fun book club.

Janey Lives Where I Work

23rd StreetI love when books are set in New York. It’s fun to decide what’s realistic, what’s not, and how many places I recognize. Jillian Medoff’s Good Girls Gone Bad hit very close to home.

Her main character, Janey, lives right around the corner from my office. She writes, “I live in a high-rise on the corner of Twenty-third Street and Second Avenue. Every morning on my way to the subway, I pass a residence for the deaf, a halfway house for the mentally ill, United Cerebral Palsy, and a school for the blind. Twenty-third Street is not a forgiving place, even for New York City.”

My office is in this same neighborhood. I can’t verify all the claims, but it is definitely right near United Cerebral Palsy and a school for the blind, so I’m apt to believe the rest of the description. It’s neat (to people my age use that word?) to recognize the places I see everyday in a novel.

Of course, I don’t have the feeling that the area is unforgiving. That’s perhaps because I’m not quite as crazy as Janey, but who knows. Maybe I’m just an optimist.

A Very Literary Vacation

Los AngelesI love when other people find things for me to blog about. Andrew doesn’t usually chime in with too many book-related suggestions, so when he does I get extra excited about it.

This week he mentioned an article he’d read in New York magazine which features unexpected types of vacations in famous cities. For example, a trip to Los Angeles for bookworms. As the article explains, “There’s more to the land of sunshine and celebrity fluff than screenplays and tabloids.” The itinerary includes a stop at Hemingway’s Lounge, a literary-themed bus tour and a visit to Library Bar.

I must admit, though, that if I’m flying all the way to Los Angeles, I want a little of the sunshine and celebrity fluff. Still, it’s good to know there’s some reading fun if I needed a break from all that bronzing and celeb-stalking.

Either way, Andrew and I are a little busy this year so it doesn’t look like L.A. is in the cards. Maybe next year…

A Jonathan Tropper Update

One Last Thing Before I GoAs a quick refresher, my mom introduced me to Jonathan Tropper’s novels a few years ago with This Is Where I Leave You. I went on to read The Book of Joe and have since been a big fan.

Then back in December, a tweet alerted me to the fact that Tropper would have a new book this fall. Now, a BookPage post has given me more information about this highly anticipated (by me) novel.

For one thing, it now has a title and a cover. The title is One Last Thing Before I Go, which just sounds like a Jonathan Tropper title, and the cover is, well, seen here. But best of all, there’s a description. The publisher describes the book as such:

Silver has begun to accept that life isn’t going to turn out as he expected. The exwife he’s remained friends with is about to marry a terrific guy Silver can’t quite bring himself to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter has just confided in him that she’s pregnant—because he’s the one she cares least about letting down. As the wedding looms and the pregnancy sinks in, this broken family struggles, bonds, and wrestles with each member’s individual anxieties. Lives begin anew, change radically, or, in Silver’s case—as he discovers that he could die at any moment without an operation he refuses to have—may be about to end in an instant.

Yes, it sounds a lot like Jonathan Tropper’s other novels, full of fun family dysfunction. Then again, I liked Jonathan Tropper’s other novels so I’m not complaining.

With an on-sale date of August 21, this sounds like the perfect honeymoon read.

[Update: Jonathan Tropper just tweeted that the book actually goes on sale September 25. Sigh, so much for honeymoon reading. Unless someone out there can get me an advance copy. Anyone? Anyone?]

Next Up: Good Girls Gone Bad

Good Girls Gone BadIt has been way too long since I’ve read something from my mom’s list. Work books and book club books all got in the way, but I’m back and ready to check another one off.

Since Jillian Medoff just recently (and very generously) sent me a signed copy of her book, Good Girls Gone Bad, it seems like the perfect choice for my next read.

The book jacket copy goes a little something like this:

When Janey Fabre joins group therapy, she’s convinced the other women she meets are ten times loopier than she is. Over time, however, Janey and the girls learn to trust each other, so much so that the outrageous scheme they concoct for asserting themselves actually beings to make sense, and suddenly they’re embroiled in a reckless misadventure that wreaks havoc on their lives but ultimately illuminates the power of loyalty and true meaning of friendship.

But Medoff is quick to point out that all is not as it seems. In her email to me, Medoff explained that Good Girls Gone Bad was marketed as a tale of female hijinks when in fact it is a dark satire. She elaborates on her website where she says, “This book is dark, certainly darker than how it’s described by the HarperCollins publicity department. In fact, in some ways, the book I wrote has no relationship whatsoever to this jacket copy. To me, this book is about families; the whole girl-on-girl, madcap hijinks are merely a device for the narrator to get to her past.”

With all that in mind, I’m looking forward to reading it and figuring out what’s really what.