EVPL Communities: librarianinheels@evpl's Blog Postshttp://evpl.org/community/blogs/All of librarianinheels@evpl's blog posts on the EVPL Communities site.en-USCommunityServer 2008 SP1 (Build: 30619.63) <![CDATA[With friends like these...]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/21/with-friends-like-these.aspx Mon, 21 Sep 2009 17:06:00 G9T 1861 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/21/with-friends-like-these.aspx to post your comments!

I'm So Happy for YouWow.  When I started reading Luncinda Rosenfeld's new book I'm So Happy for You, I thought that there might be some character growth in the novel.  I was wrong.  Touted as "a novel about best friends", and lauded on the cover by Publisher's Weekly and authors like Zoe Heller (Notes on a Scandal), I was expecting something along the lines of a black comedy about jealousy in a female friendship.  It's not a comedy - it's pretty much just about one-sided, irrational (at least as far as I could tell) jealousy in a female friendship.

The story follows Wendy, a thirtysomething editor at a left-wing New York magazine who lives modestly with her writer husband, Adam.  Wendy has been the 'successful' one in her friendship with Daphne, a college girlfriend who has drifted from job to job and man to man since graduation.  When Daphne finally gets her life in order, Wendy, who we might all expect to be happy for her 'best friend', couldn't be less happy. Why?  Well, you never really know why - other than that Wendy just seems to blossom as long as Daphne is a misfit.  As Daphne literally walks into the perfect relationship, and apparently gets all that Wendy didn't know she wanted out of life (until she saw Daphne get it), Wendy becomes more and more bitter and recalcitrant toward her friend.

The novel was a fast read, and mildly enjoyable.  The main character, Wendy, is just not likeable, and that made it hard to like the book.  And we really don't get to know Daphne, so it wasn't really possible to root for her.  In addition, the book is wrapped up too quickly and not in a particularly satisfying way.  I just couldn't help but wonder more than once while I read this why these women ever stayed friends after college in the first place.  And then, frankly, I wondered if it was some kind of a roman a clef.   Which I think it might be.

chick lit
<![CDATA[Remembering 9/11]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/09/10/remembering-9-11.aspx Thu, 10 Sep 2009 12:30:00 G9T 1836 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/09/10/remembering-9-11.aspx to post your comments!

As a student of history, I am fascinated by the interactive ways in which New Yorkers (and others who were in NYC at the time the World Trade Center was attacked) are contributing to the memory of 9/11.  The outpouring of personal stories, videos, photos, items from loved ones and other ephemera is staggering and impressive.  The National September 11 Memorial and Museum has just launched (today) an online initiative to collect as much material on a special website as folks want to contribute.  It's a browsable, real-time collection of photos, videos and audio material contributed by those who experienced 9/11 first hand.  It's called Make History, and invites citizen journalists of the world to contribute to the memory of the terrorists attacks.  The site contains largely unedited material, however, and may contain graphic and disturbing images and some foul language, so be forewarned.  Still, this huge collection of grass-roots data is a fitting tribute to the memory of those who perished in the attacks, and it's fascinating to look at what's being contributed.  (Click here for a link to the Yahoo article discussing the new site.)

Note:  The site may not load right away, due to the large amount of anticipated traffic as the 8th anniversary of the terror attacks passes.  Additionally, if you arrive at the site and it takes a longer than usual time to load, try clicking on the "Skip to low-bandwidth story search" option.

history research 9/11
<![CDATA[Notes on Cooking]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/26/notes-on-cooking.aspx Wed, 26 Aug 2009 12:43:00 G8T 1799 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/26/notes-on-cooking.aspx to post your comments!

Notes on CookingWhether you're a total novice or a more seasoned cook, Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft is a great basic book on the ins and outs of cooking - just basic cooking.  Not French cooking, or Indian Cooking, or sushi-making  - just the basic rules of the kitchen.  For instance - did you know that you can test the freshness of an egg by cracking it on a plate and observing whether or not it spreads?  If the white and the yolk spread, the egg is not fresh - it should be thrown out.  If the white and yolk maintain their typical dome-like appearance, go ahead and use the egg.  If you're wondering whether or not to use a piece of meat or fish because you fear it might not be fresh, have you ever heard the axiom "When in doubt throw it out?" (My mom told me that one, but it's in here, too.)

Notes on Cooking is broken down into sections, like "Understanding the Recipe" and "The Cook's Role" and separate sections for different kinds of food.  There's even a section on mise en place, which, if you're a fan of the Food Network or the reality show Top Chef, you've probably heard a lot but never really understood.  And it's not a girthy book, mired in explanations and definitions.  It's short and to the point - with numbered entries that are essentially short paragraphs.  There is a lot in this book that I already knew (thanks, mom) - but just as much that I didn't.  So whatever your level of interest in cooking is, check out Notes on Cooking and to see what you might not know!  It's a great basic resource, and it will save you a lot of long-distance phone calls to your mom. Yes

cookery cooking
<![CDATA[Evernote]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/16/evernote.aspx Thu, 16 Jul 2009 09:23:00 G7T 1655 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/16/evernote.aspx to post your comments!

I spend a lot of time trying to find things on the Internet.  Not just for other people - for me, too.  And a lot of times, I will find a web address, write it down, and promptly forget about it - or find it days, weeks, even months later - with absolutely no idea of why I jotted it down in the first place.  I've recently discovered a handy way to keep track of all of those sites I've been meaning to check out, but never had the chance to, for whatever reason.

I subscribe to a lot of tech blogs, because I like gadgety things, and one entry a few months ago praised this little emerging site called Evernote.  With Evernote, you can 'clip' items from the web and save them to personal folders...similar to Google Notebook, or Yahoo Notebook.  Evernote is different, however, in that it can be synched with iPod Touch or iPhone, so you can access your notes at any time from your mobile device.  A free account allows you to clip and save a lot of material - but for a nominal fee (something like $5 per month), you can have access to all the bells and whistles Evernote offers.  For more information about what it is and how it works (I'm still learning myself!) click here.

technology ipod free stuff organization
<![CDATA[Iconic Great Depression photos viewable at Flickr]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/23/iconic-great-depression-photos-viewable-at-flickr.aspx Sat, 23 May 2009 15:19:00 G5T 1531 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/23/iconic-great-depression-photos-viewable-at-flickr.aspx to post your comments!

If you're not aware of Flickr, or what it is/does/can do, it's an online community for photo sharing...check it out at http://flickr.com.  The White House has a photostream, as does the Library of Congress, which is making available to the public via flickr digitized versions of many of the most recognizable images from the  Depression-era photdocumentary project conducted by the U.S. Resettlement Organization and the Farm Security Administration, and later the Office of War Information.  The project was most active between 1935-1943, and the entire collection was transferred to the Library of Congress in 1944.  Perhaps the most iconic and recognizable of all the images is "Migrant Mother" by Dorothea Lange, a landmark photo that put real faces on the plight of regular Americans during the Depression and the Dust Bowl.  A set within the LOC's photostream, entitled FSA/OWI Favorites, contains staff picks and other favorite and famous photos from that collection. 

It is amazing what's available to the general public via Flickr.  It's worth it just to go to the site and see all of the glorious photos taken by people all over the world - but the LOC and White House Pages are a marvel.  Some photos are available for download and use for things like research and school projects - however, please keep in mind that copyright restrictions do apply to content posted on Flickr, if you want to use a photo for something more than your own personal edification.  At any rate, check it out!




technology photography Web 2.0 Flickr photo sharing
<![CDATA[Google Public Data Search]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/01/google-public-records-search.aspx Fri, 01 May 2009 09:48:00 G5T 1463 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/01/google-public-records-search.aspx to post your comments!

One of the great things about Google that not many are aware of is its versatility when it comes to finding information.  For example, if you want to know how to convert $500 into Euros, go to www.google.com, type in 500 dollars in euros, and hit enter.  You'll get the value of US Dollars to Euros at the current level of exchange.

Now it's possible to search for public data records using Google that may be otherwise difficult, or at least cumbersome, to find.  For example, if you want to know the Unemployment Rate in Vanderburgh County, go to www.google.com, type in "unemployment rate Vanderburgh County Indiana" (without the quotes), and hit enter.  You'll get a direct link, with a graphic, at the top of the search page.  When you click on the graphic, or the accompanying link, you're directed to statistics from the US Department of Labor housed on Google. 

For more information, visit the Official Google blog on how to perform these public records searches and what more will be added. 


google technology public data
<![CDATA[Apple's app counter]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/10/apple-s-app-counter.aspx Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:17:00 G4T 1421 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/10/apple-s-app-counter.aspx to post your comments!

I stumbled across the news today that Apple is just about to the 1 billion mark in app downloads since last July, when the app store for the iPhone and iPod touch went live.  They've posted a nifty countdown webpage that runs in real time, and also allows you to view the top 20 apps of all time.  Check it out!  A fun and interesting diversion.

technology downloads ipod touch apple iphone
<![CDATA[Still waiting on that stimulus check? Don't hold your breath...]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/10/still-waiting-on-that-stimulus-check-don-t-hold-your-breath.aspx Fri, 10 Apr 2009 10:34:00 G4T 1417 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/04/10/still-waiting-on-that-stimulus-check-don-t-hold-your-breath.aspx to post your comments!

If you've been checking your mailbox every day, looking for that fat stimulus check that may or may not have come around this time last year, check this out: an interesting article appeared in Kiplingers.com, outlining some of the major misconceptions regarding the Obama stimulus package.  And, you mayb have already guessed the #1 misconception...that a paper check will be issued, as it was in 2008 with the Bush simulus plan.  The article goes on to list other common misconceptions and provides useful links for further reading about stimulus-related personal finance issuues.  Click this link to view and read the article.


stimulus payment Obama Administration
<![CDATA[Outside my comfort zone - a fun place to be!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/02/03/outside-my-comfort-zone-a-fun-place-to-be.aspx Tue, 03 Feb 2009 18:20:00 G2T 1208 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/02/03/outside-my-comfort-zone-a-fun-place-to-be.aspx to post your comments!

beat the reaper
I once saw the librarian Nancy Pearl speak at this library, and she advised 'reading outside of one's comfort zone'. I tried recently it with Beat the Reaper, a debut novel by Josh Bazell, and frankly, I liked it.

Ok.  To start with - I am not a fast reader. That'll come into play at the end of this post.

Secondly, the best way to describe Beat the Reaper is this: it's one part House, one part Sopranos. If that appeals to you, read on.

And ok, so I've never been much for thrillers, or crime novels...but Beat the Reaper was pretty darn good. First of all, it met my first requirement for any book - it had me from page one. A mugging, a pigeon vs. rat smack-down, and the tables completely turned on the mugger in question...are all a part of the introduction of our protagonist, a former hit man in the witness protection program, now fulfilling his potential as a doctor. The next eight hours of his life - the scope of the novel - are critical to his survival.

What drew me into it Beat the Reaper was a fairly rich, quickly moving subplot...the backstory of the protagonist prior to his medical training, and the impact of the lives of others on his, rather than the impact his life had on others. It's darkly comic, especially in the abundant footnotes that explain (in sometimes almost hyper-colloquial detail) the circumstances of the plot. At other times, the footnotes are full of interesting little medical factoids that you may otherwise never have known - but which may someday come in handy at cocktail parties.   The author, has a Bachelor's in writing from Brown University and an MD from Columbia University. He's now a medical resident at the University of California, San Francisco, and is working on his second novel.  And he clearly has a rich imagination, in addition to, as my mother says, "knowing whereof he speaks" - at least in terms of the medical portion of this book. Almost chillingly, painfully, stunningly so, near the end of the book. 

I finished this book in two days. Which is lightning speed for me!
humor debut novel bestsellers funny witness protection program thriller mafia
<![CDATA[How to be fabulously green]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/01/14/how-to-be-fabulously-green.aspx Wed, 14 Jan 2009 11:57:00 G1T 1105 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/01/14/how-to-be-fabulously-green.aspx to post your comments!

Eco-Chick cover

Looking for a way to maintain your super-fab lifestyle without ruining the planet? Then pick up The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to be Fabulously Green by Starre Vartan.  This tiny book is packed with information on 'greening' your life in every way possible - from beauty and clothing to food, housekeeping, and lawn care. 

Vartan gives lots of good, pratical advice on how to remain fabulous and help save the environment at the same time.  She includes links to producers of eco-friendly makeup and personal care products, advice on purchasing eco-friendly clothing (vintage, anyone?), and easy-to-follow directions on how to do things like compost in your backyard, grow your own organic tomatoes, and stuff like that.

So.  If you want to save the environment, but you really can't give up those girly-girl routines, products, and other potentially eco-harmful ways, check out the Eco-Chick.  She's got some good advice for you.

nonfiction books teens sustainable living
<![CDATA[Historic 'Life' Magazine photos on Google]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/01/14/historic-life-magazine-photos-on-google.aspx Wed, 14 Jan 2009 11:33:00 G1T 1129 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/01/14/historic-life-magazine-photos-on-google.aspx to post your comments!

WWII sailor VJ day

I just discovered a really nifty tool for anyone interested in using, or just browsing, some of the iconic photos from Life magazine.  Google has an online photo archive of millions of photos that are part of the Life photo archive:

"Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google." (from the Google/Life photo archive website). 

This resource is perfect for school projects, or for any research project that requires photographic documentation.  As a bonus, framed images can be purchased if you just like old photos, and you want something interesting to hang on your wall.  The images are tagged so that searching within a subject is made easier.  Here's an interesting blog post about the archive.

The photos are searchable and organized by decade.  To search and view the collection, go to http://images.google.com/hosted/life

google photography useful web sites Life Magazine
<![CDATA[My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/12/18/my-last-supper-50-great-chefs-and-their-final-meals.aspx Thu, 18 Dec 2008 11:18:00 G12T 1026 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/12/18/my-last-supper-50-great-chefs-and-their-final-meals.aspx to post your comments!

My Last SupperI love food, and I am a sucker for a man who can cook. So when I heard Melanie Dunea being interviewed on NPR about her book My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and their Final Meals, I knew I needed to check it out, especially since the Introduction is written by Anthony Bourdain, one of my all-time favorite chefs and creator and star of the Travel Channel series No Reservations.

This is more of a coffee table book than I expected it to be - but it's still full of great interviews with great chefs like Anthony Bourdain (once again - a personal fave), Eric Ripert, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pepin, and others.  Dunea is a photographer, so the book includes a wonderful portrait of each chef, accompanied by a scripted set of questions about his or her last meal.  Some of the answers given are surprisingly simple meals - others are sophisticated and complex.  The portraits are also wonderful and each seems to perfectly fit the character and style of the chef being interviewed.  The book also includes recipes for these final meals, if you are so industrious that you want to attempt to make some of them. 

I really enjoyed sitting and looking through this book, and reading what some of these amazing chefs have to say about food, life, and love.  My Last Supper would make a great Christmas gift for the food lover in your life, too!

Food cookery Anthony Bourdain chefs cooking Melanie Dunea
<![CDATA[The Gossip Girl Wears Prada]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/12/04/the-gossip-girl-wears-prada.aspx Thu, 04 Dec 2008 17:50:00 G12T 965 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/12/04/the-gossip-girl-wears-prada.aspx to post your comments!

Imagine graduating from a top-notch liberal arts college, and finding out that your life's ambition to be a teacher is "disappointing" to your parents.  Imagine that in their extreme disappointment, they cut you off financially.  Imagine still that you find your dream job, move to New York City to begin your dream life - and then find that teaching is not all its cracked up to be....financially or otherwise.  Schooled by Anisha Lakhani is a tongue-in-cheek look at what happens to an idealistic young woman when she encounters the reality of her life's choice.  This is Lakhani's first novel, and I am betting it's a bit of a roman a clef, since, according to her website, she taught English until 2006 at the Dalton School on Manhattan's Upper East Side.  Part Gossip Girl for grown ups, part The Devil Wears Prada, Schooled is a fun book that won't disappoint.  Maybe Anna, the main character in Schooled, is the real Gossip Girl? She certainly could be. XOXO...

chick lit women authors -- Fiction
<![CDATA[Perfect fireside reading for Fall]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/10/20/perfect-reading-for-fall.aspx Mon, 20 Oct 2008 15:58:00 G10T 750 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/10/20/perfect-reading-for-fall.aspx to post your comments!

When I was a kid, I loved to prop myself up in a wing chair by the fire, stick my feet out, and read a good book.  While I don't have a fireplace in my house, I have established a comfortable little reading ritual for myself when the nights are cool, and this fall I'm reading a few books that I think the casual reader might enjoy.

For those of you out there who really enjoy material that might be classified as "chick lit", but you like your fiction served up with some humor and a little bit of social criticism, try anything by Marian Keyes.  Keyes is an Irish author and one of my favorites -  her books are alternately entertaining and thought-provoking. Right now, I am reading Angels, an installment in her non-sequential saga of the five Walsh sisters. I have read Watermelon, Rachel's Holiday and Anybody Out There?, about Claire, Rachel and Anna - this book is about Maggie and I'm still waiting for the book about Helen, the most outrageous of the Walsh sisters. (hopefully Keyes will write one soon...it should be the best, the most hysterically funny of the bunch...maybe that is why it's taking her so long to write it?)   This Charming Man is Keyes' latest novel (and for those of us old enough to remember - it's also the name of a song by the Smiths)...about the interworkings of toxic relationships between four different women and one man.  The subject matter is more intense than Keyes has tackled in the past - but this one really seems like it will deliver, as hers always do.  It's our November selection for our chick lit book discussion at Oaklyn.

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent is a novel based in truth, set in 1691-1692 Massachusetts Bay Colony and centers around a family's involvement the Salem witch trials. It's engrossing reading...particularly when you realize that Kathleen Kent, the author, is a descendant of the family portryed in the novel.  I am really enjoying it. Perfect fall reading...so curl up by the fire (or with a bunch of pillows, some cherry Hershey kisses, and a warm blankie - and a cat or two...) and dig in!
humor oaklyn branch fiction chick lit book discussions Marian Keyes witchcraft
<![CDATA[Changes for Oaklyn Chick Lit book discussion]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/18/changes-for-oaklyn-chick-lit-book-discussion.aspx Thu, 18 Sep 2008 13:46:00 G9T 595 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/18/changes-for-oaklyn-chick-lit-book-discussion.aspx to post your comments!

Oaklyn's Chick Lit book discussion group will continue to meet once a month on Wednesdays, but at a new time - 3:30 p.m.  We'll also be meeting in the large meeting room, which is directly behind the Information Desk, instead of the Oaklyn Cafe.

In addition, December's book, The Beach House by Jane Green, is being changed to Sex in the City by Candace Bushnell - the inspiration for the hit HBO series and movie (out on DVD September 23). 

As always, books for the discussion are available at the Oaklyn Branch Information Desk.

oaklyn branch chick lit
<![CDATA[Do you love "chick lit"? ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/09/do-you-love-quot-chick-lit-quot.aspx Tue, 09 Sep 2008 10:46:00 G9T 459 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/09/do-you-love-quot-chick-lit-quot.aspx to post your comments!

...Never fear - we have a support group for you!!!

If you're a fan of chick lit, and you're looking for a book discussion, why not try the Oaklyn Chick Lit book discussion?  The group meets monthly in the Oaklyn Cafe.  We've discussed books by Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner, Meg Cabot, Marian Keyes, Jane Austen, Helen Fielding, and Elizabeth Gilbert.  Each month this fall, our group will be reading a book selected by a member of the group.  The schedule for the remainder of the fall is as follows -

September 17  Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
October 15   Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood
November 19   This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
December 17   The Beach House by Jane Green

The Chick Lit Discussion Group meets at 3 pm on the given dates - copies of the discussion books can be picked up at the Oaklyn Information desk. 

oaklyn branch fiction chick lit Jennifer Weiner book discussions Jane Green Marian Keyes Julie Garwood jane austen Pride and Prejudice
<![CDATA["sTORI Telling" by Tori Spelling]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/09/stori-telling-by-tori-spelling.aspx Tue, 09 Sep 2008 09:41:00 G9T 455 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/09/stori-telling-by-tori-spelling.aspx to post your comments!

sTORI TellingTori Spelling is the daughter of Aaron Spelling - the famous, super-rich producer of classic cheeseball TV hits like Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat,  Dynasty, and Melrose Place, to name a few.  In 2006, Spelling died, and his daughter Tori learned of her father's death via text message.  Tabloids reported that Tori, who had recently divorced her husband of less than two years and married another man about six months later, had been virtually cut out of her father's $500 million dollar estate - her mother, Candy, received the bulk of it, while Tori and her brother Randy each received just $800,000.

In the last two years, Tori Spelling has married the love of her life, given birth to two children, co-written a book about her life, and starred in a reality show with her husband, Dean McDermott, entitled "Tori and Dean: Inn Love".  One might say that Tori's making a concerted effort to continue living in the style to which she is accustomed.  For that, she deserves at least some kudos...she's nothing if not resourceful.

Still, it's kind of hard for me to believe that Tori Spelling, of all people, has spent her whole life just longing to be "normal" - which is what she asserts in her recent autobiography, sTORI Telling.  Even though she was given hand-delivered white Christmases in her Beverly Hills backyard, received a champagne-colored BMV convertible for her 16th birthday (when all she really wanted was a VW convertible) and was thrown a $1 million wedding - all Tori Spelling has ever wanted is to just be "normal".  Finding some kind of "normal" seems to be the theme of the book. By the end, Tori seems to come to terms with her own version of "normal" and it's just difficult to not like her for that. 

This book was an easy, somewhat juicy, but ultimately unsatisfying read.  Tori briefly delves into the interworkings of the troubled cast relationships on 'Beverly Hills, 90210' ~ the show that made her famous ~ but not with enough detail for me.  She spends a lot of time discussing her many dysfunctional personal relationships, most notably the one with her mother - who, if you believe all that Tori lays out, must be a real piece of work.  sTORI Telling is OK - but I'm sure the tell-all that comes out in 30 or 40 more years will be much more interesting.  Tori just hasn't lived long enough or, simply, enough to do much storytelling....YET.

There's not much else to say about sTORI Telling - it is just what you would expect it to be - fluffly, lacking substance, but it still keeps your attention - if only so you can find out what kind of weird thing Tori's mother will do next.  (Spoiler alert: they make up, but Tori still doesn't get any more money from her dad's estate.) If you're looking for a quick, entertaining read, pick up sTORI Telling.

nonfiction reviews oaklyn branch chick lit biography celebrities
<![CDATA[Chick Lit - it's not just for "Sex and the City" lovers!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/08/06/chick-lit-it-s-not-just-for-quot-sex-and-the-city-quot-lovers.aspx Wed, 06 Aug 2008 12:51:00 G8T 154 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/08/06/chick-lit-it-s-not-just-for-quot-sex-and-the-city-quot-lovers.aspx to post your comments!

Chick lit is not all about being Carrie Bradshaw fabulous and finding a man - some of the best of what is now designated "chick lit" deals with the broad spectrum of what women today deal with - motherhood, family crises, social and moral issues - and even heavier topics like spousal abuse or the death of a spouse or significant other.  Chick Lit can be light and fun - the classic "beach read" - or it can be deep, involving and sometimes disturbing.

The current members of the group chose some of their favorite chick lit books and authors for the fall discussion - which will represent this broad spectrum of what is generally deemed "good" chick lit.  Here's what we've chosen for the fall:

Good Grief  by Lolly Winston
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood
This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
The Beach House by Jane Green

The group meets Wednesday afternoons monthly in the Oaklyn Branch Cafe.  The complete schedule, including dates and times can be found here.

chick lit Lolly Winston book discussions Jane Green Jodi Picoult Marian Keyes Julie Garwood
<![CDATA[Weiner-fest (it's pronounced WY-ner!)]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/07/30/weiner-fest-it-s-pronounced-wy-ner.aspx Wed, 30 Jul 2008 14:42:00 G7T 108 librarianinheels@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/07/30/weiner-fest-it-s-pronounced-wy-ner.aspx to post your comments!

Jennifer Weiner is arguably the queen of American chick-yet.  Good in Bed, her first novel, was almost an instant best seller and is a perennial favorite here at EVPL (i.e. it almost always has a waiting list).  Her novels are eagerly anticipated by her Gen-X followers, myself included, and her most recent, Certain Girls, is no exception.  I've been waiting for this book for three years.  Seriously, I have.

To say that Certain Girls is a disappointment may be a little harsh.  That being said, it is certainly not what I expected from the plucky, plus-sized heroine of Good in Bed.  Gone is the Cannie Shapiro of yore - the woman who plodded through the remainer of her twenties finding disappointment and pain at virtually every angle - only to finish them with an unexpected upswing and blessing - her daughter, Joy, a movie-star friend, and burgeoning career as a "serious" writer.  Flash forward - Joy is twelve as Certain Girls begins, and Cannie has become a neurotic clone of c. 1984 Tipper Gore...ashamed of who she used to be (a best-selling author!) and refusing to allow her daughter to do things like use a Grease theme for her bat mitzvah - because it promotes smoking and promiscuity?  OK - I'm not Jewish, but even MY mom, born in the pre-war Midwest and coming of age in the 50s - wouldn't have been that careful about party themes - and for years I was not allowed to wear jeans in front of my grandparents.

I'm not finished with Certain Girls yet, so it may surprise me, and I may end up loving it as much as I did its predecessor.  But so far, I get the feeling that Jennifer Weiner, like her heroine Cannie Shapiro, was pressured into a follow-up of her successful first novel - and it shows.  Her characters so far resemble nothing of their former incarnations.  I'm just not feeling the love for Cannie yet.  I'll be sure to report back, though.  Hmm

chick lit Jennifer Weiner