Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Princess Diaries, Princess in the Spotlight, and Princess in Love (by Meg Cabot)

After the lit GRE, I will possibly get further along in Infinite Jest (I'm still at the filmography in the notes, which, are you kidding me with this?)or start The Blind Assassin which is next on my list of reading list books by women, but in the meantime, I used some birthday money to pick up this special volume at Borders with the first three Princess Diaries books. My friend Annie had suggested them as a possible model for my YA novel.

A cursory glance through Amazon tells me there are 10 books, which, yay! I loved the first three. It's much slower paced than I expected, most likely because I'd seen the movie, and a lot of action was crammed into it. But I love the main character, Mia, and the supporting characters (particularly Lilly and Grandmere, who are very vivid, and gives me some ideas about bringing my supporting cast to life). Anyway, most of my brain was spent just LOVING THE HELL out of these books; the rest of my brain was swirling with ideas for my own YA thingie.

I know I'm late to the P-Diaries party, but really. So much fun. And I feel far less guilty about liking these than the Shopaholic books...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Shopaholic and Baby (by Sophie Kinsella)

Fluffy, ridiculous, blah di blah. Fun to read, but I can see the point of negative Amazon reviews, such as:
But now, the main character, Becky Bloomwood, is just annoying and irresponsible. The foreign bank accounts, credit cards, etc. are just ridiculous. Her husband has become a joke. What man, of any means, would put up with this amount of lying and trickery. I realize that there are people out there who have shopping disorders such as this, but it's an addiction. I think that the next book should be Shopaholic and Therapist.

It definitely requires a huge suspension of disbelief, because in real life, I couldn't stomach Becky's compulsive lying and complete inability to face reality. Luckily it's a book! So I just say la la la to myself and forget about it as soon as I turn the last page. Still, this reviewer has a point.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Shopaholic Ties the Knot (by Sophie Kinsella)

At some point this weekend, I realized I need to start studying for the lit GRE, as it is in less than a month. So the odds are I will read nothing but fluff until April 4! Like these books!

This one was good; it made me laugh a lot. Of course, the main character is not only ridiculous about money but also a compulsive liar; the idea that someone rational would want to marry her is kind of a stretch. Also, the solution to the central conflict was obvious from the very beginning, and in fact could have been solved way more easily than it was.

Still, I loved little things like her buying the canoe, and the details of the wedding were fun to read. I'm a sucker for weddings, I guess! That also reminds me that we've been going through wedding pictures this weekend too---very fun.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (by Sophie Kinsella)

I know, I know. You don't have to say it. And right now I'm reading the third one. Ian says I'm a Shopaholicaholic. I can't help it! They are like candy for the brain.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Price of Salt (by Patricia Highsmith)

I've never read any of the Ripley novels or anything else by Highsmith, but I was intrigued by this book when I saw it on a friend's bookshelf. It was published under a pseudonym because Highsmith didn't want to be pigeonholed as a "lesbian writer" and this is the story of the erotic awakening of a young girl when she meets an older, more worldly woman at the department store where she works.

Absolutely pitch-perfect, I thought. Has a vaguely ominous tone at times, but is ultimately not a suspense novel in the way that I imagine her other novels are. Definitely makes me want to read more Highsmith... like Shirley Jackson, I have a feeling she's one of those underappreciated writers, relegated to "genre" status when she doesn't deserve to be. Anything else I say will give away too much of the plot... but I recommend it.