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books

Oct 13 2013

Paper Life, a

author: 
O'Neal, Tatum

I love all of Tatum O'Neal's child-star movies and her in them--especially Paper Moon (well, yeah, the book was better, but what can you do?), The Bad News Bears and Little Darlings. O'Neal's autobio fills us in on the horror behind her success. The nine-year-old youngest-ever winner of an Academy Award went to the ceremony sans her selfish, druggie parents. If this tell-all is even half-true, O'Neal's parents, stepmother Farrah Fawcett and husband John McEnroe were serious douches to her.

reviewdate: 
Oct 8 2013
isn: 
0-06-054097-4
Oct 06 2013

Astronaut Wives Club: a True Story, the

author: 
Koppel, Lily

I'm in a bad mood and don't have a descriptive review in me. Basically, Lily (I can call her Lily because she interviewed me for a story once) provides a bio-history of the 1960s and early 70s space program from the point of view of the women married to the astronauts. The wives always had to be perfect and patriotic, and any display of insecurity or anger could threaten a husband's job and what assignments he might get. Indeed one astronaut did get fired after he left his wife for a Susie. (Susie was a popular name for Cape Cookies, it seems.)

reviewdate: 
Oct 6 2013
isn: 
978-1-4555-0325-4
Oct 06 2013

Unbreakable

author: 
Norris, Elizabeth

In the follow up to Unraveling, teenager Janelle Tenner is once again called upon to race a clock to prevent deaths. I was less into this version and annoyed by the romance angle, which felt thin and inorganic. Upside: Janelle is a powerful badass, taking out adult men with her weapons and even her bare hands.

reviewdate: 
Oct 1 2013
isn: 
978-0-06-210376-5
Sep 29 2013

Full-Blooded

author: 
Carlson, Amanda

When the first-ever female werewolf is born, the boys are not excited to share their toys with her. There's even some legend about a female wolf causing the destruction of werekind. Dudes can be so lame!

reviewdate: 
Sep 28 2013
isn: 
978-0-316-20566-5
Sep 29 2013

Unraveling

author: 
Norris, Elizabeth

A San Diego teen gets hit by a car and killed. Then she is brought back to life and learns she has about three weeks to stop the world from being destroyed. Yes. I've hit the point in the academic year, when I can really only handle YA dystopias and novels about werewolves.

reviewdate: 
Sep 24 2013
isn: 
978-0-06-210373-4
Sep 29 2013

About Yvonne

author: 
Masini, Donna

You know you're in for something from the very first sentence, "I have been stalking my husband's lover." You can tell that a poet wrote this book. The images she chooses are downright provocative. She describes the lover Yvonne's toothbrush, "I didn't come up with much but at least now I know what kind of toothpaste she uses. I bought it. And a toothbrush the same color as hers. Green with those little silver sparkles. The kind that tapers at the tip to fit easily into your mouth. I like it better than the kind I've been using. The square kind." That sets up this crazy opposition and emulation, and in a playful, sexual way. Also: this book reeks of sex.

reviewdate: 
Sep 19 2013
isn: 
0-393-04091-7
Sep 15 2013

No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood

author: 
Mantel, Henriette, editor

You know how I'm always complaining about the uneven writing in anthologies, especially Seal Press anthologies? Well that's not a problem in No Kidding. As promised in the subtitle, the contributors are all writers, most of them currently writing professionally. If anything, I felt that the stories were too even, too alike. Basically, the childfree/childless contributors love their nieces, nephews, dogs, cats and careers.

reviewdate: 
Sep 14 2013
isn: 
978-1-58005-443-0
Sep 15 2013

Eleanor & Park

author: 
Rowell, Rainbow

Why on earth is it stepmothers who have the epic bad rep, when it's stepfathers who are known to be dangerous, especially to girls? Eleanor and Park is a story of teen love where the main thing getting in the way of the kids' bliss is one of the partner's shitty home life. Eleanor lives with her mother, stepfather and four siblings, sharing a bedroom with all four of the sibs.

reviewdate: 
Sep 10 2013
isn: 
978-1-250-01257-9
Sep 08 2013

Heavy Hangs the Head

author: 
Hipp, Taryn

The intro to Taryn Hipp's "memoir novella" begins, "The first time I decided to write my story of sobriety, I was somewhere around two years sober. I put my story down on paper, copied it and shared it with strangers and friends, even my family." I love that "even my family." It's such a zinester thing to say and feel. I also love that she writes toward the end of the intro "I am a zine maker, not a book writer, and this is a perfect bound zine as much as it is a book." Heavy Hangs the Head does read like an extended-play zine, rather than like a short memoir/memoirvella, but the package is for sure a full-fledged book. Sage of Sweet Candy did a beautiful job with the production and publishing.

reviewdate: 
Sep 6 2013
isn: 
978-0-9897098-0-4
Sep 08 2013

Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, the

author: 
DiSclafani, Anton

Oh, I don't know, I guess I liked this book okay. The depression-era protagonist has been sent to a girls' camp that turns out also to be a boarding school after doing a bad thing. We slowly find out what the bad thing is. As we begin to realize that 15-year-old Thea wasn't really responsible for the bad thing she gets involved with another bad thing, but with more agency this time.

reviewdate: 
Sep 5 2013
isn: 
978-1-101-61628-4