Hello people! How goes it? Did everyone have a fun weekend and a decent Monday? I hope so! It was a cloudy one here in my neck of the woods today, but I don't mind because it was very mild and comfortable, temperature-wise... dare I venture to say it, but I think that we've seen the worst of the cold weather here and are getting ready for some springtime love! Of course, now that I've said that, I'm sure we'll get hit with a random, unexpected snowstorm, LOL.
So guess what? I finished Angels last night! I thought it was great- light and fun, the way a chick lit book should be, but also dove into real stuff too- troubled relationships, abortions, self-actualization and self-realization, etc. It wasn't all just breezy chick fluff all the time. Which is good, because too much of that can be annoying because it's too far-fetched, you know? Real life isn't all sunshine and kittens and rainbows and Manolos and lifestyles of the rich and famous, like some over-the-top chick lit can be. This was light enough to be chick lit, but dark enough for a little bit of reflection. A good solid combo!
My favorite parts of the book:
*I learned a fun new vocabulary word- meretricious. It has two meanings- being falsely attractive, and of or relating to a prostitute. In either instance, how fun is that word? Try using it in a sentence tomorrow (just kidding, just kidding, unless you're looking to throw an insult someone's way- then totally use it, haha!)
*I loved the main character's, Maggie's, synopsis of the reality of going to get your hair cut- "Bloody hairdressers. It always looks great when you leave the salon. (Well, it doesn't, but let's not get into the times when we've been fighting back tears even while we've been shoving them a tip. I'm talking about the rare occasions when we're actually happy with what they've done.) Everything is dandy until the first time we wash it, and for love or money we cannot recreate that just-out-of-the-salon look. Despite all the hype, there is one way and one way only to create that just-out-of-a-salon look, and that's when you're just out of a salon." I think every woman has felt this way at one point or another, wouldn't you agree, ladies? ;-)
*I also loved Maggie's philosophy about shopping: "But, as we all know, the first law of shopping says that when you're urgently looking for something specific, you've no hope of finding it." Too true!!!! As is her personal view on the beauty of generic department stores (JCPenney, Kohl's, Boscov's, take your pick): "I know it's bourgeois, but I love department stores- so much better than those funky little boutiques where you've got to ring a bell to get in. The type where they have only eleven items of stock, which you can survey and dismiss in 2.7 seconds but have to spend fifteen minutes going, 'Mmmm, lovely' in order not to seem rude in front of the assistant who is never less than ten inches from you- and explaining how the silk was handspun in Nepal, cold-dyed in natural plant colors, etc. What I love about department stores is that it's operation free flow. Apart from an occasional woman jumping out and offering to spray you with perfume, no one bothers you." I totally laughed out loud at this... I laughed out loud while reading this several times, actually!
*The family matriarch is referred to, sarcastically yet appropriately, as the "mickriarch". Irish pride right here!!!! As a certified Irish Eyes myself, I loved this phrase. Happy almost St. Patrick's Day!!!! Don't forget to sport your green tomorrow!!!! I plan on wearing fun Irish shamrock socks to work, and, if I can get away with it, my "Kiss Me I'm Irish" button, although I'll have to remember to take it off before my staff meeting, or that might be slightly awkward.
Overall, I found this book really cute and endearing, with just the right balance of reality and silliness. Two very happy thumbs up from this chick. :-)
Which brings me to my next book... we're staying in L.A., but on a more serious note... now we're plunging into the sad "E!True Hollywood story" of a movie star legend...
Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood, by Suzanne Finstad. I bought this a few years ago for $1. I really don't know much about Natalie Wood, only that she was in West Side Story and that she drowned mysteriously in a boating accident in 1981 (and, ironically, had a phobia of water... her mother instilled this fear in her, apparently, because when her mother was young, a psychic told her that she would drown, and she passed that fear on to her daughter). I know that she is considered a Hollywood icon and one of the most beautiful and talented film actresses of all-time, but that's about it. Oh, and that she was married to Robert Wagner. And I've been reading a lot of fiction lately, so I could get on board with a nice biography right about now.
I started this on my lunch break today. My thoughts so far? This will not be a light, fast read. This is a very detailed, factual history. How I know this? Because I read fifteen pages in the duration of an hour. Normally I can read a lot more pages than that over the course of an hour! But it's a GOOD read. It's a slower read because it's very heavily chronicled, not because it's bad or boring, you know? On the contrary, actually... those fifteen pages had a LOT of info packed into them! I think I'm going to really like it, and by God if I don't have a very astute knowledge of the life and times of Natalie Wood after reading this- but I just don't think it's one of those books I'm going to fly through in a few days. Hey, but that's okay! A good book is a good book, whether it takes you two days or two months to finish! One of my favorite books of all-time is an extremely detailed, vivid biography of the family that founded The New York Times- it's almost a thousand pages long and took me a few months to get through, but it was totally worth it!!! :-)
Oooh, I also have fun and exciting food updates to share with the group... but I'll have to keep you waiting until tomorrow. It's almost 11 PM, and I'm off to unload the dishwasher and get my pretty little self ready for a trip to Slumbertown... have a good night and a terrific Tuesday! :-)