Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

There’s pride, there’s prejudice, and there’s also text break-ups, reality tv, ‘hate sex’, Bitcoin, jogging, and Ivy League schools in Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld’s fabulous, frothy take on the Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice.

The brilliance in Sittenfeld’s rendering of Pride is that she stayed absolutely true to the story (a ridiculous social-climber plots to marry-off her five daughters to suitable, wealthy men), and yet made it very much her own.

All five  girls had then gone on to private colleges before embarking on what could euphemistically be called non-lucrative careers, though in the case of some sisters, non-lucrative non-careers was a more precise descriptor.

The story is set in Cincinnati (Sittenfeld’s hometown) and we find Liz as a magazine journalist; Jane, a yoga instructor; Mary doing her third online masters degree; and Kitty and Lydia gadding about eating high-protein meals and attending CrossFit. Continue reading

Advertisements

20 Books of Summer (except that it’s winter)

Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. I’m joining in, with a particular effort to read from my stacks of hard copies. The challenge is straightforward – read twenty books between June 1st and September 3rd. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Midnight’s Children to Sisterland

six-degrees-midnights-children

It’s time for #6Degrees – join in! Link up! Get into it!

We begin this month with Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (as picked by Jenny). I haven’t read it but my husband has – this is significant because my husband rarely reads novels. Continue reading

Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR

top-ten-tuesday-new-releases-2016

2016, the year of buying no books, does not mean the year of no new releases for me. Bless you and your generosity, publishers.

Here are ten ARCs hovering near the top of my staggering TBR stack –

1. Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma – twentysomethings in New York. Brilliant. Continue reading

Best Books of 2013 – a List of Lists

131202_SBR_BestOf2013_ILLO_jpg_CROP_original-original

I made a (little cranky, ranty) mention yesterday about the number of ‘Best Books of 2013’ lists being published in November. Because clearly the people who compile these lists don’t read in December.

I read in December – I guess I have time because I don’t write a column about books for the New York Times…

Anyway, one of the best books I read last year was Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears, read in the last half of December. So readers, you may still have THE book of 2013 ahead of you.

But if you are yet to discover THE BEST BOOK OF 2013, here are some ‘Best of…’ lists. It’s a list of lists – go forth and add to your TBR stack. Continue reading

Well that’s pissed me off…

spring-lamb

So I’m half-way through Jonathan Grimwood’s The Last Banquet. It’s fluff, dressed up in a pre-revolutionary French costume. I’m loving it.

And then I read a particular review (which I will not name*). The review is jam-packed with spoilers. In fact, the ‘review’ is essentially a retelling of the entire book with a few flimsy thoughts on style tacked on the end. It is a supremely lazy review and I’m cross with myself for having read it. But it did get me thinking – what do I want in a book review? Continue reading