Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gone Girl: A Novel, Gillian Flynn (2012)

Reviewer:  BeezusKiddo

Rating:  3, maybe 4, pierogies

Review: Gone Girl just KEPT coming up over and over again in my recommendations on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. Initially it didn't look too interesting to me, but then stupid Gwyneth Paltrow included a blurb about it in her stupid GOOP newsletter, and I decided I did want to read it. (Gwyneth's newsletter fills me with rage at her elitism and her obliviousness to HOW NORMAL PEOPLE LIVE, yet I feel COMPELLED to continue reading it, even though it makes me cray-cray.)

I can't say too much about the plot of this book, because there are a lot of twists and turns, and I don't want to give anything away. The novel begins with Amy-- a New York transplant to Missouri, who agreed to move to her husband's hometown after they both were laid off-- going missing. Her husband, Nick, appears to have been caught unawares, but after some unusual behavior from him, the police begin to suspect him.

The rest of the novel tracks down the suspicious circumstances around Amy's disappearance, as well as explores their sometimes blissful but other times rocky marriage. Gone Girl really was the kind of novel I was looking for right now. It is a light read, requires little thinking, but is full of action.

The plot was engaging enough that I stayed up late a few nights reading it, but not so gripping as to keep me at the edge of my seat, an up all night reading just to find out what's coming next.

If you're looking for something to read on the beach or on a plane, Gone Girl is a good pick. I can't see it winning any literary awards, but it does have the chops for bestseller lists.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Horizontal Life, Chelsea Handler (2005)

Reviewer: BeezusKiddo

Rating:  4 pierogies, of the light summer reading variety

Review:  Chelsea Handler's got a solid line of comedy-- she knows what works and she sticks with it. My Horizontal Life is the same mix of self-depricating and hilarious stories of Chelsea's sex life, with a few anecdotes about her crazy family thrown in. I find that readers run hot/cold with Chelsea. Either they think she's hilarious or they think she's boring and gross, and don't get what the hype is about. That seems to be how comedy works in general, though, either you love it or you don't.

I have an Amazon Prime membership (that free 2-day shipping is a lifesaver, for all those millions of times I've forgotten to pick up Diaper Genie refills), which includes 1 free rental per month from the Kindle Lending library. The Kindle Lending Library touts itself as offering thousands of books for free check-out, but with the exception of a few bestsellers, it's one huge dollar bin. In June, I made the mistake of checking out a book so terrible that I could not go beyond the 10th page (I suspect it was written by an angry high school student). I couldn't check it back in for another rental, thanks to the 1-free-rental per month limit, so I was anxiously awaiting July 1 so I could return that garbage and get something new.

In those long weeks of waiting I discovered that hidden between all the lending library books that NO ONE wants, a Chelsea Handler book was actually offered. Yesterday morning, when the calendar turned to July, I greedily downloaded the book and read the whole thing that same day.

The book is a super-fast no-brainer, and just the kind of light reading I was looking for to kick off this summer. It's an ideal book to bring on an airplane or to the beach, or in my case, camping. The book is a lot of fun, you don't have to think, and when you finish you feel super accomplished for reading the whole thing in just one day. Wins all around!