Friday, July 20, 2007

A Little More Fluff, Please

In the true spirit of summer reading, I've completed Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich, and The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister. None of these novels will be in any danger of winning the the Nobel Prize for Literature anytime soon.

Dedication, by the authors of The Nanny Diaries (looking forward to the movie of that one!), follows a woman as she confronts her former boyfriend from high school--the one who stood her up at the prom and then went on to become a famous rockstar whose lyrics detail all the specifics of their relationship as well as her mother's shortcomings. This book is a quick, fun read. I stayed up late one night finishing it because I just had to find out how the heroine resolved the conflict with the ex.

Lean Mean Thirteen is the latest installment in the Stephanie Plum series. For those of you unfamiliar with these books, Stephanie Plum is a single woman living in New Jersey who, because of job difficulties, has gone to work for her bailbondsman cousin as a bounty hunter. There are a number of continually colorful characters, including Stephanie's two love interests, Ranger, a fellow (and much more effective) bounty hunter, and Morelli, a local detective.

I didn't discover the Plum novels until Evanovich was on book eight or so. Once a friend of mine passed on the first one, One for the Money, I quickly sped through all the ones in print. Trust me, Adventure Guy loves it when I find a series I really like. He was so excited by this reading spree that he asked, "How many of these things are there?" You can tell he was just wanting to be sure I was entertained. Since the time I finished those first novels, I've been able to count on Ms. Evanovich to provide me with one new Plum novel per year. I have to say, the last few have not been nearly as exciting or interesting as the first part of the series was. Stephanie is always trying to figure out whether she should marry Morelli and settle down. I think it's about time she did. Having said that, I'm sure I'll buy number 14 next summer.

I had high standards for choosing my latest read, The Corset Diaries. Whatever I started reading on Wednesday had to be something I could complete by this evening. After all, I'll have Harry Potter to keep me company as of tomorrow. The same friend who introduced me to the Stephanie Plum series passed this book along to me. I don't read a lot that could be classified as "romance," but this one was a fun read. There was plenty of romance included but also a lot of humor. I literally laughed out loud on more than one occasion. The premise is that a group of people are recruited to reenact life in Victorian England, similar to Frontier House on PBS. The main character is added as the duchess at the last minute, and, quickly falls in love with the man playing the duke. The humor comes in the difficulties of living without modern conveniences and with some decidedly inconvenient aspects of Victorian life, such as corsets. The romance comes from plenty of love scenes between the duke and duchess. I recommend this is you're looking for a nice escapist read at the beach or poolside.

And speaking of the pool, after what seemed to be an endless monsoon season, summer has arrived in Suburbia. We have not had rain for a now record three days in a row! The kids and I celebrated today by heading to the neighborhood pool, and we're going swimming again tomorrow afternoon at my inlaws. Happy weekend everyone!

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