I’m afraid it’s going to be a book review extravaganza for my next several posts. I’m reading Caitlin Flanagan’s book, so I’ll review it here shortly. I’m also going to be posting a review of Jennifer Margulis’ new book Why Babies Do That on the 21st. But in the meantime, on Saturday my husband said, “You look like you could stand to get out of here alone for awhile, I’ll take the kids this afternoon if you want to.”
And he didn’t have to make the suggestion twice… I was out the door before he finished his sentence. So I spent a good chunk of Saturday at Borders.
First I went to the Fitness section and checked out a book by Joey Shulman that I’d seen at MUBAR. I learned that green tea increases metabolism. Did you know this? So I’ve been drinking green tea and let me say that it’s heinous (I’m a coffee drinker. Period.), but I’ve lost 1.2 pounds since Sunday so I’m going to keep choking it down. I was also inspired to cut out refined carbohydrates and sugar, but the rest I can’t do. Not enough red meat & dairy, too much soy!
Then I saw a book called How the Rich Get Thin. It’s long, dense and boring and in a nutshell, according to this doctor, everyone who lives on Park Avenue exercises for at least an hour every morning and doesn’t eat carbohydrates. So there you have it. Easy as pie (or, rather, easy as no pie).
But then I found the book that was really annoying. Any other aspiring writers out there? I’m trying to find an agent or publisher for my book and I’ve been advised by many books and many people that agents and publishers only care about seeing something they think they can sell. And, among other things, it’s important to have a great title. Now I’ve written a marketable book, but no one wants anything to do with it anyway. So I’m perusing the diet aisle and I see a book called The Rice Diet. The Rice Diet. The Rice Diet for gods sake! And I can’t help but wonder, who thought that was a catchy title for a book? I can see The Fat Diet or The Ice Cream Diet or Your Long Erotic Weekend… these are all good titles. But The Rice Diet? Who wants to buy that? And then I can’t help but wonder who the author had to blow to get it published.
Oh no, I’m not bitter, why do you ask?
And then I saw Dr. Weil’s books. I can not believe that anybody actually buys his books either. First of all, he advocates eating nothing but raw tree bark for the most part. And second, just look at him! I can totally see why you might see Suzanne Somers doing the thigh master and think, Gosh, maybe I ought to do that too. But looking at Dr. Weil doesn’t exactly inspire me to eat like he does. Evidently I’m in the minority and a lot of people aspire to eat raw foliage and look as healthy as Dr. Weil. Perhaps I have no understanding of book marketing at all.
The book I was planning to buy is Mommy Knows Worst by James Lileks. I was very impressed by the concept (taking old parenting advice from the 40s and 50s and making fun of it), but not impressed by the execution. It did make me giggle a few times, but didn’t make me want to own it. It’s worth taking a look at it though just to see the picture of a baby-sleeping apparatus for use in apartment buildings. It’s sort of like a crib that hangs out the window in much the same way an air conditioning unit does (because babies need fresh air!). I hope they didn’t actually sell too many of those.
And finally, on to kids’ books. I’m reading the old A.A. Milne Pooh books with J and they are the best children’s stories I’ve read so far. I was surprised at how literary they are and still keep a kid’s attention. I might be enjoying them more than J as I think some of the subtle humor might be over his head. But I’ve underestimated him before so maybe not.
And if you’re looking for politically incorrect, good lord, look no further than the Curious George series. I’m awfully hard to offend and even I cringe while reading it. The series begins when Curious George is captured in Africa by the “man in the yellow hat” and put on a zoo-bound boat. And he goes to prison, gets himself drugged up on ether & blacks out, and has all kinds of other silly adventures every four-year-old should read about. Oh but they’re classics, right? So it’s okay.
So please stay tuned for the Flanagan and Margulis reviews and after that, I promise to think of another topic!