Reading is Sexy

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Wow. It’s been a long, long while since I started this blog and a long, long while since I have posted anything. In addition, my life has turned on a dime and my list of major life events consists of: having a baby, moving away from San Francisco, buying a house and ACCIDENTILY getting pregnant AGAIN.

Some things haven’t changed. I’m still reading (as much as I can with a 14-month old). I’m still watching far too much reality television. I’m still perfecting and honing my cooking skills. I’m still crazy for my husband. And now I’m just crazy for my daughter too.

I’d like to get this blog up and running again. I might have to modify content a little bit b/c although reading IS very sexy, there is nothing sexy about my life right now and I’m not really doing enough reading to justify calling this a book blog.

But blogging was a lot of fun and my friends got a little insight into slightly crazy head.

I’ll be talking to you all soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I left my heart in San Francisco

I am an obsessively proud San Francisco resident. I love this town with the same vigor that New Yorkers love their town. I love the fog, the food, the hills, the Lyon Street steps, the parks, the beaches, the Gays, everything.

The day I drove my 1989 Nissan Sentra from Chico to San Francisco with my futon shoved in my back seat was the most excited I have ever been. After exiting the Bay Bridge to my tiny Nob Hill apartment, I: nearly ran over a very accentric prostitute in the Tenderloin; almost hit a cable car on California Street and; nearly killed my clutch trying to navigate my 5-speed up the hill. As I miraculously found parking a block away from my apartment (the one and only time that ever happened in Nob Hill), I took a deep breathe of the fog and realized that I was Home.

After 13 years here, my husband and I are facing the unpleasant truth that, although we are both still in love with this city, we can’t afford to buy a home here AND raise children here. We have a baby due in 5 weeks, so we are beginning the very unpleasant task of looking for a home in the DREADED East Bay.

To deal the depression of my inevitable departure from my favorite city, I decided to pick up the Tales of the City series again, written by Armistead Maupin. Set in San Francisco from the early 70s to the late 80s, the books chronicle the lives and adventures of the residents of 28 Barbary Lane: Mary Ann, Michael (aka Mouse), Mona, Brian and their all-knowing, pot-growing landlady, Mrs. Madrigal.

Maupin, a long time resident of San Francisco, was one of the first authors to write about AIDS in literature, and has an intimate knowledge of the city that reader/residents will recognize immeidately when reading these highly entertaining stories.

My next few entries will focus on the six volumes: Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others and Sure of You.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I do love a list.

I picked up this list from Sarah at Reading, Writing and Musing. Here's how it works.

Look at the list, and:
Bold those you have read.
Italicize those you intend to read.
Underline the books you LOVE.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. 1984 - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (I have tried, I really have)
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving (again, I tried)
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92.The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's been a long while, hasn't it?

All two of my readers must have missed me terribly.

Yeah, I lost a little bit of interest in reading and blogging for much of this winter. What can I say … getting pregnant takes a lot out of a girl.

A lot of things that I used to enjoy doing … eating, sleeping, cooking, reading, writing … have taken a back seat to crashing on the sofa every night after work willing myself to not throw up, while watching re-runs of the West Wing. I’m happy to say that as I’m approaching my 5th month of pregnancy, I’m starting to feel slightly more like myself …albeit a slightly puffier version of myself.

Dear readers, I must confess that I’m not a good pregnant person. Don’t get me wrong. Ryan and I are THRILLED to become parents. In fact, I think we established on our 3rd or 4th date that becoming parents was on the “short list” of things we wanted to do very soon. I can’t wait for my baby to be here, keeping me up all night (I’m up anyway) and spitting up all over me (I have too many t-shirts anyway).

But being pregnant? No thanks. Let’s see … constipation, constant fatigue, shortness of breath, gassiness, nausea, bloating, burping, hiccups, acne, mood swings, no appetite for anything but carbs, pelvic cramping, leg numbness, insomnia … these are just a few of the symptoms that I experience EVERY SINGLE DAY. I’m already counting down the days until this little miracle gets here … and I’m only halfway through my pregnancy.

Why am I telling you all this, you ask? Because I need an outlet. I think my lovely husband is getting sick of hearing me complain and probably more than a little worried that I won’t ever do this again (I will). I don’t want to burden my friends and family with my constant whining, so I’m putting it out there in the Webosphere. For those of you who have been pregnant before, it's an all consuming thought process and I need to get it out of my head and onto paper to speak.

So, my apologies to anyone who happens upon this site and finds themselves appalled by my whining. I'm appalled. I'm VERY lucky to have gotten pregnant so easily when I have friends who are trying so very hard to conceive. My sincere apologies to them as well.

And I’ll do my best to get some reviews up soon, because I fully intend to start reading again very soon.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I blog ...

For a pro-choice America.

Blog for Choice Day

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Review: The Memory Keeper's Daughter

I actually read The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards, a few weeks ago when I was travelling for work and completely forgot to review it.

I definitely wanted to cover this one because it was one of those rare books where I had to reschedule dinner plans so I could come home and finish the book. It probably wasn't the BEST book to read just days after having a miscarriage, because the first chapter is completely focused on childbirth, but the plot of this book just drew me in completely.

Here's the gist: David Henry assists his wife, Norah, as she gives birth to their first child in the middle of a snowstorm. The ob/gyn wasn't able to able to get to the hospital in time because of a snowstorm, so David, a physician, delivers his own child. David realizes that his wife is giving birth to twins. The first child, Paul, is healthy, but the second child, a girl named Phoebe, has Down's Syndrome.

The story is set in the early 60s, a time when Down's children rarely lived passed an early age, so David asked the nurse, Caroline, to take the girl to an institution and tells Norah the girl died. His goal was to save his wife the pain and humiliation he witnessed in his own experience with his mentally retarded sister.

Caroline takes the child, but is unable to abandon her and runs away with Phoebe to raise the child as her own.

However, David's knee jerk deception shapes the rest of all the lives involved for years to come. David withdraws from his marriage to deal with the guilt. Norah always feels the loss of a child who actually exists and pulls away from David. Paul, the remaining child witnesses his parents emotional separation from each other and is forced to choose sides, which most of the time was this mother's.

On the flip side, Caroline witnesses Phoebe grow much older and much happier than she would have imagined.

I won't spoil the ending, but this story was a very sweet and at times heart wrenching. I am always amazed when an author is able to write a book where every single character touches me somehow.

I heartily recommend this one.

Friday, September 21, 2007

"She is tolerable, I suppose"

Dear readers, I am not sure if I have mentioned my intense LOVE affair with Jane Austen books and movies. I have seen Pride and Prejudice countless numbers of times. I have read Emma so many times I have certain passages memorized. And don’t even get me started on how many times my friend Ann and I have watched Colin Firth coming out of that pond in Pemberley dripping wet in that white, see-though shirt, and …. Oh, goodness, is it hot in here?

I LOVE Jane Austen.

Anyway, aforementioned friend Ann informed me there was a whole genre of Pride and Prejudice prequels and sequels (not written by Austen, of course) that I simply had to start reading. Why, you ask, would I want to read a book about Darcy and Elizabeth that was not written by Jane Austen, when I worship her every written word? Because there is SEX in them.

I’ve decided to start reading any and all derivations of Pride and Prejudice. The other Jane Austen freaks in the internet claim that I should start with the series written by Pam Aidan, starting with “An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman.”

Where to start? First, I LOVED it.

The ONLY downside to Jane Austen novels is that because she was so intent on writing strong, yet often silly women, her leading men’s characters were often overlooked and therefore, mysterious. WHY was Darcy so proud? WHY was Darcy so arrogant? WHY did he fall so passionately in love with Elizabeth when his behavior indicated that she was “not handsome enough to tempt” him?

Aidan attempts to answer these many questions. Written from Darcy’s point of view, we learn that Darcy indeed had a sense of humor, that he and Mr. Bingley shared their disdain of Miss Bingley’s attraction to Darcy and that he had, in fact, a HUGE crush on Elizabeth.

It’s good ya’ll. Darcy is written as painfully shy, very human, afraid of rejection and still terribly worried about his younger’s sister obvious depression after Wickham’s thwarted attempt to elope with her. Some new characters in Darcy’s life are introduced, my favorite being his valet, Fletcher, who apparently schemes for ways to place Darcy and Elizabeth to interact with each other.

This is the first in a three part series. I’ll be soon reading part 2, Duty and Desire. The first in the series only takes us through ball that Bingley hosted and I'm anxious to read about Darcy and Elizabeth's time together in Kent, at his aunt's estate. That where the sparks really started to fly.

More to come.