Mean Girl to the Rescue!

How'm I gonna save the world when the world ain't ready?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

When in doubt, make lists

These are the books I have waiting for me to read while I finish up Kitchen Confidential (which is fascinating, although Tony Bourdain is a smacked ass and I got to this one about 5 years too late):

Cold Truth, by Mariah Stewart
This is listed as "romantic suspense," which makes me think of Victoria Holt and raven-haired ladies running away from castles on dark, stormy nights. Some of the reviewers on Amazon were pissed that there wasn't enough romance, which I can only take as a good sign, because I've read too much Mary Higgins Clark in my time (where the harrowed but spunky heroine is saved by the hunky policeman, and all of her female friends also make fitting love matches by the end of the book, as well).

Milkrun, by Sarah Mlynowski
I read a reader's copy of her book Fishbowl that was silly fun. This one was a huge selller, so I thought I'd give it a go as a mental palate cleanser.

Panicking Ralph, by Bill James
Top Banana, also by Bill James
I can't decide whether I love this series or hate it. I have a deep affection for British police procedurals, but the cops in these books are so defiantly amoral that it's tough to know whom to root for. The dialogue is pretty amazing, though. Quite gritty.

The Speckled Monster, by Jennifer Lee Carrell
A story about smallpox that looks great, but a trifle academic. Sometimes I have to force myself to read non-fiction to exercise the small part of my brain that accepts things that aren't total fluff.

The Big Nap, by Ayelet Waldman
Her blog was pretty amusing, but reading it made me tired because she's so hyper. And then she defected to Salon, which was understandable, but ... ugh. I figure her books will be funny.

Mean Season, by Heather Cochran
More soap operatic fluff to read before bed.

Gallows View, by Peter Robinson
Again, British police procedural, but a new author for me. This title is about a peeping tom and looks to be heavy on character development, which I always enjoy (sometimes more than a great plot).

Dead I May Well Be, by Adrian McKinty
Northern Irish career crims in New York City. What could be better?

Death's Little Helpers, by Peter Spiegelman
This is one of those high finance-themed mysteries, so it might stink. It grabbed my attention while I was at the library.

Miss Pym Disposes, by Josephine Tey
If you're a mystery fan and haven't tried Ms. Tey, Georgette Heyer or Mary Roberts Rinehart, you're missing out. These books are fascinating period pieces, usually taking place in remote English country houses, and they're just rife with odd characters. This one is about an unpopular schoolgirl found dead after she wins a scholarship, and it sounds fairly fascinating.


At 5:53 PM, Blogger Arabella said...

I really enjoyed _I Am Not Myself These Days_, by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. You can borrow it, if you'd like, although it looks like you've got plenty of reading material. :)

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Katherine said...

I've read the Big Nap and her other books - I liked them, let me know what you think. I never read her blog but the books didn't seem overly perky, lol. Love, love British mysteries so I'm going to check out those you mentioned. Good God woman, did you win the lotto and spend it all on books? Not that there's anything wrong with that...I'm just insanely jealous because I'm forced to go to a dinky library with crap selection.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

Arabella, is that the book you were reading on the train? I loved the cover. I'll borrow it next time we see each other if that's OK.

Katherine, I got almost all the books from That site is a godsend! They have all the trashy novels and mysteries I could want, and all I have to do is mail out other books for credit. When you move, maybe your new town will have a better library system!

At 12:07 AM, Blogger wordgirl said...

I think I read one Ayelet Waldman book. I wasn't in the right place for it...don't ask me why. I've been having trouble concentrating on books lately. That NEVER happens. So what's wrong with me?

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Arabella said...

Mrs. Harridan, yes, that's the book! I'll bring it to you next time I see you.

Wordgirl--this has happened to me, on occasion. It always concerns me, but it also always goes away. I usually shift my focus to short stories in the meantime. Perhaps that would work for you? I'm sure it'll pass soon.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Mignon said...

Wordgirl, I hear you. I've been trying to read both a David Sedaris book and Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose for three months now. I'm failing miserably. I hate that! That's never been me.

Mrs. H, have you read Rose? Martin Cruz Smith also wrote Gork Park and others, but Rose is a great mystery. And I'm not a big mystery fan (although I do suck up Dick Francis books like some kind of vacuum).

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Mignon said...

umm, I mean Gorky Park. Gork Park sounds like somewhere dogs go to vomit.

And on second thought, I am a mystery fan - I just remembered all these mystery series I used to read but the authors quit writing for some reason: Spencer for Hire, Nevil Shute, the ones about the guy with the cats, etc.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger MrsFortune said...

Wow, thanks for this reader's list. Ayelet Waldman is the wife of one of my absolute fave writers, so I'm gonna check her out based on that. I also LOVED Kitchen Confidential but also found Bourdain to be SUCH an unbearable ass ... did you happen to see his short lived show on the Travel Channel, it pretty much sucked.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Suebob said...

I gotta stand up for Anthony Bourdain. I interviewed him one time and he was incredibly generous and nice and humble. He has these eyes that are a little guarded and I could tell that he is actually a nervous skinny kid at heart. He treated his assistant, a young woman, like an equal and praised her to me.

He said he has become famous for eating anything because he refuses to insult people by not eating what they eat.

Did I mention that he is incredibly hot? I tried to keep my blushing and babbling under control.


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