This past summer, my friend Brittney and I went to Montauk for a long weekend. We spent one of our vacation days in East Hampton, where we made an appointment to get our nails done and have a fancy lady day. We had an hour or two to kill until our appointments, so we (of course) went to Book Hampton, where, after much discussion of how we had somehow missed out on reading it, we both bought a copy of Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train.
We finished that book over the course of that day, spending our time getting our nails painted wishing we could be reading and then returning to Montauk to sit outside at a cafe in complete silence and just read. For me, personally, the last 40-50 pages got a bit too melodramatic, but by then, I was hooked, and I needed to know how it ended. Continue reading Slip beneath the surface with INTO THE WATER
Let me begin by stating how disappointed I was to read in a recent New York Times article that you do not read books. I can only imagine how stressful the job (and it is a job, Mr. Trump–you work for us, the American people) in which you now find yourself must be on a daily basis, but I’ve always found reading to be a wonderful way to both relax and educate yourself on any number of topics. There are books out there on the U.S. government and world history and war, and there are instructional books on everything from how to knit a scarf to how to resist a fascist regime. I believe that books are powerful, reading is essential, and universal literacy should be a top priority in any country that claims to be “the greatest.”Continue reading Donald Trump should read ROLLING BLACKOUTS
For lovers of verbosity, sumptuous descriptions of meals, and magnificent tall tales (that are impossibly, magically [mostly] true).
Technically, I started reading A Gentleman in Moscow at the tail end of 2016, sometime in mid-December. I only just finished it a few days ago, in mid-January–but that’s absolutely no indication of my enjoyment of the book. Normally, it’s a bad sign when it takes me so long to finish a novel, especially as (barring work priorities) I can usually push through a work of fiction in a few days to a week, at most. I read on the train, to and from work, and at night when I get home whenever I can.
If it takes me much longer, and I don’t have anything I should be reading, writing, or editing for work, it’s normally because I abandoned the book in favor of other reads. Sometimes, I circle back. But that’s normally a purgatory from which few books return. (I’ll come back for you, Moneypenny Diaries, I promise!)
Months ago, I stumbled upon Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and I knew I had to make it my own. It’s the story of Abby and Gretchen, best friends since an ill-fated, ET-themed fourth-grade birthday party brought them together, who seem to be successfully transitioning into teenager-dom. That is, things are grand until one night the girls, joined by two other friends, decide to drop acid at a sleepover and Gretchen runs off into the woods, missing in the darkness for hours on end.
When Abby finally stumbles upon her best friend after searching for her all night, Gretchen is naked and terrified. She seems to have been attacked, but she won’t elaborate on what happened in the woods. And then things get weird.
“Two Books” is a new feature on the blog — I’ll write up short descriptions of two books or comics I’ve read recently that seem to be on a similar wavelength, and then explain why I loved them and why I think they fit together so nicely.
THE SCULPTOR, written and drawn by Scott McCloud | First Second
The Sculptor tells the story of David Smith, a struggling sculptor whose career has begun to lag in the aftermath of a less-than-impressive showing of his work. While drinking away his sorrows one afternoon, David strikes up a life-changing conversation with his Uncle Sidney…though Sidney has been dead for many years. David soon finds out that Sidney is simply the form that Death took in this lifetime, and he has a proposition: the ability to sculpt and mold anything — any materials, into any shape — for 200 perfect days. At the end of the 200 days, David will die. Continue reading Two Books: THE SCULPTOR and POLARITY
“I’d rather be chewed up and spit out than swallowed whole.”
When I received Kara Thomas’ The Darkest Cornersthe other morning at work, I thought it was going to kill me. It was a great piece of bookmail — a UPS package wrapped in crimson tape labeled “EVIDENCE.” When I finally worked out up the courage to open it, I found a plastic evidence bag, filled in with information that only just now makes sense to me, having finished the book. Within was a copy of The Darkest Corners and fake newspaper clippings from the Fayette News, detailing the murders of multiple girls in the small town of Fayette, PA.
“Ernest’s work was good, it was fresh and new. And Scott wanted the world to know that. But that didn’t mean they had to love Ernest more.” –every writer ever, fully agreeing with F. Scott Fitzgerald
Villa Americais a beautiful, beautiful book, inside and out. The cover immediately caught my eye when I first saw it in that fateful Shelf Awareness newsletter, and once I’d read the synopsis, I was overjoyed to see that I could request a galley to read and review. And it did not disappoint.
Villa America follows Gerald and Sara Murphy, the glittering couple who, in part (and much to their chagrin) inspired the Divers in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. The Murphys were American ex-pats who hobnobbed with the likes of the Fitzgeralds, Cole Porter, Dorothy Parker, Ernest Hemingway, and basically anybody who was was anybody in 1920s Paris, and their home on the French Riviera — Villa America — became a center of beautiful people, late-night parties, and enough drama to last any person a lifetime. Continue reading The legitimately tragic #whitepeopleproblems of VILLA AMERICA