Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The right frame of mind

There have been two books that I have recently started that I just haven't been able to get into. The first is Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have heard amazing things about this book, so many people have loved it. Yet, I didn't get terribly far. I am going to attribute this to the fact that my brain is needing something light and fluffy, not something that's about deep self discovery issues. I might try to pick it up sometime after graduate school is over, but for right now, I'm just not in the mood.

The second one I picked up is The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. Again, I have heard amazing things about this book - almost everyone I talked to either raved about the book or the author. But several pages into it, I just couldn't read anymore of it. Again, I will definitely pick this one up again to try it at a different time.

Instead, I've decided to read something that's going to make me laugh, Don't Sleep with a Bubba: Unless your Eggs are in Wheelchairs by Susan Reinhardt. This book has received so many reviews and comments exclaiming how funny it is. I've heard if you like Laurie Notaro you will LOVE Susan Reinhardt, and I do, so I probably will! I mean, it's aimed at anyone who has a funny bone - and I definitely have one of those!!

Reviews of all three books follow:

Eat, Pray, Love Review:
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Gilbert (The Last American Man) grafts the structure of romantic fiction upon the inquiries of reporting in this sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery. Plagued with despair after a nasty divorce, the author, in her early 30s, divides a year equally among three dissimilar countries, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. First, pleasure: savoring Italy's buffet of delights”the world's best pizza, free-flowing wine and dashing conversation partners”Gilbert consumes la dolce vita as spiritual succor. "I came to Italy pinched and thin," she writes, but soon fills out in waist and soul. Then, prayer and ascetic rigor: seeking communion with the divine at a sacred ashram in India, Gilbert emulates the ways of yogis in grueling hours of meditation, struggling to still her churning mind. Finally, a balancing act in Bali, where Gilbert tries for equipoise "betwixt and between" realms, studies with a merry medicine man and plunges into a charged love affair. Sustaining a chatty, conspiratorial tone, Gilbert fully engages readers in the year's cultural and emotional tapestry”conveying rapture with infectious brio, recalling anguish with touching candor”as she details her exotic tableau with history, anecdote and impression.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Post Birthday World Review
From Publishers Weekly
The smallest details of staid coupledom duel it out with a lusty alternate reality that begins when a woman passes up an opportunity to cheat on her longtime boyfriend in Shriver's latest (after the Orange Prize–winning We Need to Talk About Kevin). Irina McGovern, a children's book illustrator in London, lives in comfortable familiarity with husband-in-everything-but-marriage-certificate Lawrence Trainer, and every summer the two have dinner with their friend, the professional snooker player Ramsey Acton, to celebrate Ramsey's birthday. One year, following Ramsey's divorce and while terrorism specialist "think tank wonk" Lawrence is in Sarajevo on business, Irina and Ramsey have dinner, and after cocktails and a spot of hash, Irina is tempted to kiss Ramsey. From this near-smooch, Shriver leads readers on a two-pronged narrative: one consisting of what Irina imagines would have happened if she had given in to temptation, the other showing Irina staying with Lawrence while fantasizing about Ramsey. With Jamesian patience, Shriver explores snooker tournaments and terrorism conferences, passionate lovemaking and passionless sex, and teases out her themes of ambition, self-recrimination and longing. The result is an impressive if exhausting novel. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Don't Sleep with a Bubba Review
From the Publisher
Aimed at anyone with a funny bone, these all new stories by syndicated columnist Susan Reinhardt tackle domestic and office life with side-splitting observations and searing confessions.

Reinhardt candidly lets readers into her world as she faces off with the Bubbas of the world, reveals her husband's unusual experiments with a Norelco shaver and the family Pomeranian, and scrapes bare the bedrock truth about married life and love.

She also poignantly shares her struggles with a depression that secretly plunged her downward and her reaction to the unexpected helping hands that pulled her up.

Totally uncensored and blisteringly honest, Reinhardt is all heart - and a storyteller to savor and remember.

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