Monday Bites

It's Monday, least favorite day of the week. Let's avoid the unpleasantness by talking about something much more fun - books. Here are some quick takes on books I read recently, and highly recommend:

Star Island
by Carl Hiaasen
It's a familiar tale - famous young singer is snorting and drinking her way through her fortune while her family looks the other way so they can continue to use her as an ATM. But with his usual satirical slant, Hiaasen adds a twist in the form of a smart body double hired as a stand-in for the singer when she's too tanked to be seen in public. Set in Hiassen's favorite Florida venue, the hilarious story includes a kidnapping, a former governor with a serious taste for roadkill, a bodyguard with a weed whacker for a hand, and the singer's own retinue of self-serving crazies. (2010 - Grand Central Publishing Edition)

The Imperfectionists
by Tom Rachman
Here is something you're going to learn about me in this blog: If a book is super-popular and/or has the critics buzzing, I will avoid it. I've been burned too many times. And yes, I am aware that I will occasionally miss a good book along the way, but so be it. I almost missed this one, as a matter of fact, because it had the book world all a-twitter (literally). I decided to read it for the simple fact that it was about a newsroom and I have a newspaper background. It is a unique type of person (now fast vanishing) that chooses to work in a newsroom for, let's face it, very little money. Rachman perfectly captures the quirky personalities, petty jealousies, and heady atmosphere of the news biz. Despite the fact that his English-language newspaper is based in Rome, anyone who has worked for an American newspaper will laugh out loud in recognition of the old-school print world, and will wince in empathy as the reporters and editors face the new digital era. (2010 - Random House)

The Bolter
by Frances Osborne
Idina Sackville was part of the very blue-bloods in England and could trace her family to William the Conquerer's day. She was also the inspiration for writers, artists, poets, and fashion houses, as she lived life to the fullest in an endless cycle of parties and champagne. Idina pushed against the restrictions of pre-War society in the early 1900s, driving fast cars, smoking cigars, and taking any lover she liked. She impulsively married anyone she loved (five total) and "bolted" from those she tired of. One of Idina's bolts took her to Africa, where she continued her upperclass parties against a more exotic backdrop. As the "gay world" spun out of control, Idina's own life turned darker and more chaotic, finally ending in addiction, betrayal, and murder. The story of this fascinating woman is told by her own great-granddaughter, Frances Osborne, who meticulously researched the story through her family's letters, diaries, and memories. (2010 - Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)


  1. I had seen this book in our library and decided to read it after your post. I need to read the reviews more carefully.....Chemo totally freaks me out!.... but I sure could use that when working in my yard!

  2. Ha! Yes, that is one appendage I'd prefer not to have.