Some Hot Reads

Just got back from Palm Springs, which was lovely. Spent Friday by the pool, sunbathing, then Saturday went to the outlet in Cabazon–Gucci, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada!

I haven’t been shopping in so long so I was soooo excited when we got there. I immediately wanted to buy everything. But in the back of my mind was our continuing house-hunt so I had to restrain myself.

In the end, I only came home with some hot nude patent-leather chunky-heel Yves Saint Laurent platforms. They are SO this season (even if they were um, last season) and I can’t wait to bust them out when I am in New York in two weeks. I always have to have new shoes for New York. What was it Joan Didion said? Something about how New York City makes the “good” clothes you’re brought from home seem suddenly really cheap. So I come armed to the city everytime I visit. As a former New Yorker, I have to pay my respects!

My only complaint about the outlet stores is that Gucci is SO picked through, and everything at Dior was sooo label-lover and very 90s. Blecch. They need to restock with some good stuff. The YSL outlet is the only one that is consistently rewarding to shop in. I hope I can get to Woodbury Commons while I am in New York — that is a GREAT outlet –Chanel, Frette, Dolce & Gabbana. Yum!

I did a lot of reading by the pool (I got brain dead from putting together those 30 pages for the ANGELS on SUNSET BOULEVARD promo) and discovered some really great books.

DOING IT by Melvin Burgess – Have you guys read this book? It is AWESOME. It is my new favorite teen book. It’s about three guys, Dino, Jonathan and Ben, and how they are obsessed with, you know, doing it. The story is really great- so funny, so real, I literally felt sick reading it because I was so jealous. It just captured that highly hormonal excitement of being a teen so well–and the lovestory between Jonathan and Deborah is SO sweet and HOT I was really into it. I really felt put to shame, something that is hard for an author to go through–who was it who said, authors read everything with either “a grinding envy or total contempt”–it’s all envy and admiration over here.

Which brings me to the next book I read:

LUNAR PARK by Bret Easton Ellis — I’ve been a huge fan of Bret Easton Ellis. Him and Jay McInerney and Tama Janowitz were the writers I read when I was in high school, and their books made me want to move to New York and become a writer. (Even if Less Than Zero is set in L.A.) All I can say is WOW! This was a GREAT book. The writing was hysterical, it was really inspiring. And the ending is everything they said–so moving and deeply felt. It was a total pleasure to read–I love how MEAN and FUNNY he is… something you don’t get as much anymore. The book is about a character named “Bret Easton Ellis” – a famous writer who moves to the suburbs with his movie star wife. It’s a horror story – like a Stephen King book, but also filled with satire and sex and insidery things about publishing. I couldn’t put it down. I was really inspired by how this is his sixth book or something, and it’s definitely his best. (So maybe we writers get better as we age? Hopefully!) If you like mean, funny books that are also sad and moving, read this book!

Some books I wasn’t so hot for:

The Wonder Spot by Melissa Banks. Eh. I kept waiting for the book to take off and it never did. The main character was so annoying. It’s interesting that I really liked the mean/deplorable/druggie character of “Bret” in Lunar Park and yet I couldn’t bring myself to like Sophie Applebaum who’s supposed to be “just like us” at all. I thought the book was boring and not particularly well-written or observant.

The Shadow of the Wind: Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I bought this book under the recommendation of a good friend who is a manager at Border’s. She RAVED about this book and I was so excited to read it. There are like pages and pages of raves from all the book establishment papers–The NY Times, Washington Post, etc. And what is it? Just an overhyped Spanish soap opera. I mean, puhleeze! I really thought it was just cheesy trash hidden underneath this so-called “lyrical” prose. Blecch. I was definitely underwhelmed.

Like most avid readers, I always have to finish a book even if it’s bad. There are very few books I haven’t finished, it just seems such a waste not to finish them. Did anyone read The Historian that Dracula book that came out last year? Hated that. It was SO BORING. Dracula only appears in like, the last twenty pages, and hello, didn’t we all put together that Helen was related to Dracula like, four hundred pages before it is “revealed”?

I buy most of my books from this great used bookstore in Cleveland (I know, how weird right?) Mike and I go home to Cleveland where his parents live twice a year, and I buy like, fifty to sixty books every time we go. I only buy new books that I really want from Barnes and Noble and Borders if I *must* have them and will then pay full price. Like, I just bought Zadie Smith’s On Beauty and Joe Keenan’s My Lucky Star. And I get some free books from my publishers once in a while, although I tend not to read YA books so much because I just don’t want to get too influenced by other writers.

What else I’ve been reading:

Ooh, in my stack from Cleveland I found The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet. I’ve never read any Hammet so I read it, and I REALLY enjoyed it. So I went and bought The Thin Man too- the one with Nick and Nora Charles, the fabulous detectives. The Hammet books are so fun because there’s all this great cocktail drinking in it and I love all the “hard-boiled” dialogue. Like Sam Spade calls all the chicks ‘babe’ and ‘sweetheart’ and it’s so retro macho.

Anyway, we’re getting ready for our Open House now so I should go. I have to put together some pages of Blue Bloods 2 Masquerade for my editor before we see each other in New York, so I need to work on that now.