Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Straight Up and Dirty how I always order my martinis - kidding! - is the title of the book club pick for this month! (I just realized I've never had a 'real' martini, guess its about time...)

From Publisher’s Weekly: (via
One month after discovering her husband was having an affair, 20-something Klein made him her "Wasbund" and started trying to find a man to date again-or better, a "pair and a spare," as her telephone therapist advised. She "rodated" desperately, searching for someone to repair her wounded ego. She even found a reasonably suitable boyfriend-only she broke it off when he suggested living together. At one point she faced the truth she'd avoided from the beginning, that she had to learn to appreciate herself for her own accomplishments before she could have a healthy relationship with a man. While there's nothing new about that story line-indeed, it's curiously proto-feminist for a recent Barnard grad-Klein's sense of humor is downright wicked. Her ex-mother-in-law was a "shrub of a woman" who "sounded like she'd swallowed a southerner" and looked "like a transvestite who had a one-night stand with a disco ball." Then there's "Mr. Madras Pants," who "carried a degree in poplin with a minor in seersucker... the type of man who was at complete ease when sending his order back to the kitchen." In the end, Klein's is a great, fun read.

I have a friend who read it with her group a few months ago and raved about it so much that I went ahead and read it in February just to see what all the fuss was about. (Unfortunately she does not have a blog so I can’t link to hers on here – I’m hoping this comment in here will just be something else to make her start one though! I’ve been trying!) When her group read the book she told me that she really learned a lot about relationships and that she saw different aspects of several of our friends and things that had happened in their relationships. I was very curious to read this to see where I fell into this and it was all very interesting. One thing I know we have in common is a severe aversion to Chardonnay - don't get me started! - which comes up a few times in the book. But there were other things that she thought and felt that made me think of myself as well. The writer is witty and the language will probably catch you off guard at times but it’s a great girly read. Perfect for the beach!

This book is also a memoir of sorts which, to me, made it all the more interesting because I was actually thinking about this specific person the whole time and how these things actually happened to her. There is a disclaimer at the beginning of the book saying that a few things were embellished to make things a little more humorous or exciting, but I think the big things are all true. (Smart move by her. We don't want another "Million Little Pieces" scandal on our hands!) Then when the book was over I found myself wondering what she was doing now and how things turned out. Luckily she has kept up with the daily updates on her life on her blog so you can still follow along and see how things are going for her now. So far everyone who has finished it for book club has really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to getting together with everyone and discussing the book later this month.

So, because I have already finished the book for book club this month, I started a new non-club book last night, “The Friday Night Knitting Club” by Kate Jacobs. I have been seeing this around for a few years now and finally bought it for myself with the last round of books I got on (By the way if you haven’t bought books on yet you are missing out!) A few years ago (2003, I think) I decided I wanted to learn to knit and asked for yarn, knitting needles and some instructional books for Christmas. I taught myself, and my mom, to knit from a book and spent the better part of a week working on a scarf that I still love years later. I feel like I go through phases with knitting, sometimes I’m just totally addicted to it and then I’ll go for months, or even years lately without picking up the needles. I hadn’t made anything in at least 2 years (Its hard to knit when you get a puppy, then also when that puppy grows up and wants to be in your lap ALL the time!) and then started up again a few months ago during a long weekend at the beach with my family. It took me a little while to remember exactly how to start and I think I may have to get the books back out when the scarf is done to figure out how to finish it up but I just love it. The only thing I know how to knit is scarves which do not require much talent but something about it is just addicting. I have bags of scarves I’ve never even worn, I’ve just wanted to make them. I love picking out the yarn and imagining how the finished product will turn out.

I’m only about 20 pages into this book but just that little bit has me hooked. I read online that USA Today calls it “Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan” – sounds pretty good to me! Oddly I’ve heard a lot of other people talking about this book lately even though it was released 2 years ago. Its even the book club pick for my local Borders bookstore this month! I have heard some talk of it being turned into a movie with Julia Roberts so now I’m glad I’ll be finishing before the movie comes out – the books are always so much better. I’m hoping it will also inspire me to branch out beyond scarves. Guess we’ll have to wait and see on that one!

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