Esme S. (esme) - Reviews

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100 Women's Stage Monologues from the 1980's (Monologue Audition Series)
Review Date: 11/17/2006


Great for auditions-- most choices aren't very dated.


As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl
As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl
Author: John Colapinto
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 4/11/2007


I was going to start this review by listing categories of people that should read this book: people interested in gender roles, people interested in family, people interested in science, people interested in human folly, women, men... I couldn't stop listing. Everyone should read this book. It is a fascinating chronicle of of one man's life that serves as an allegory for the hubris of science and all sorts of other trouble. It's also an indictment of Freud, which I like, too.


Basket Case
Basket Case
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 298
Review Date: 2/18/2007


One of my favorite Hiaasens. A page-turner of old fashioned newspaper journalism, a yummy reluctant romance, and of course, murder (but always interesting amusing murder-- cartoon violence, nothing I can't handle). Oh, except this one has less environmentalism and more rock and roll. And you can tell Hiaasen really believes in his narrator. Totally fun and satisfying.


Bitch : In Praise of Difficult Women
Bitch : In Praise of Difficult Women
Author: Elizabeth Wurtzel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 71
Review Date: 4/20/2007
Helpful Score: 9


I found this almost unreadable. I'm sure she has some good ideas, but I had to read 30 rambling pages before I got to her thesis, and even then I was underwhelmed. I'm sure I agree with a lot of what she's saying. Unfortunately, too many references, too much flowery language and a manic pace do not make me wait to hear her point.


The Bluest Eye
The Bluest Eye
Author: Toni Morrison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 114
Review Date: 10/21/2006


The simplest Morrison I've read, but very accesible and a good introduction to her amazing work. Great for middle schoolers.


Broken for You
Broken for You
Author: Stephanie Kallos
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 192
Review Date: 8/5/2006
Helpful Score: 1


A wonderful, wonderful first novel. Impressive in scope and beautifully painted characters. I can't recommend it enough. If you like Anne Tyler or Nick Hornby, you will love this book.


Cesar's Way : The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems
Review Date: 8/5/2006


A little repetitive if you watch the show, but interesting in parts. Nice examples.


The Cheap Bastard's Guide to New York City: A Native New Yorker's Secrets of Living the Good Life--for Free!
Review Date: 8/10/2006


very fun, very useful!


Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table
Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table
Author: Ruth Reichl
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 131
Review Date: 9/11/2006


A great sequel to an interesting memoir, especially if you love food. A little overly self-conscious at times, but hey, it's a memoir.


Consumed: Why Americans Love, Hate, and Fear Food
Review Date: 11/30/2006


A series of essays focusing on the increasing fat/sugar fears of the 1990's. Nice, self-contained chapters, like pieces in the _New Yorker_. Recommended, but it's got more breadth than depth.


The Contemporary Monologue: Women
The Contemporary Monologue: Women
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 5/28/2007


A great book for amateur auditions. I post it as I sadly accept that my acting days are over (well, at least acting that requires an audition...).


The Corrections
The Corrections
Author: Jonathan Franzen
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 135
Review Date: 11/27/2006
Helpful Score: 7


A fascinating portrait of a midwestern family... aging. Grown children, their interactions with their parents, spouses, etc. Sad and trenchant. Like John Updike, but less wordy, like Anne Tyler, but less quirky. Well sketched characters. Enjoyable, but hard to swallow in parts (recognize too much of my own family, maybe?).


Cut
Cut
Author: Patricia McCormick
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 302
Review Date: 7/30/2006


An interesting first novel; as a psychologist, I found the main character's pathology a little too "tidy," but the book was enjoyable. Fine for YA.


Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood
Devil in the Details : Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood
Author: Jennifer Traig
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 89
Review Date: 12/17/2006
Helpful Score: 3


Fantastically funny and well-written story of a youth plagued not by garden variety OCD, but by scrupulosity, a more rare form that's possibly more fascinating. She also reflects eloquently on her half-Jewish, half-Catholic upbringing.


The Distinctive Book of Redneck Baby Names
The Distinctive Book of Redneck Baby Names
Author: Linda Barth
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/8/2007


Amusing baby shower gift.


Electroboy : A Memoir of Mania
Electroboy : A Memoir of Mania
Author: Andy Behrman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 1/26/2007
Helpful Score: 1


A fast-paced (of course, he's manic!) account of a more-manic-than-usual man enduring and ultimately understanding the throes of bipolar disorder. A court drama and New York references thrown in for good measure. A nice read.


Fever Pitch
Fever Pitch
Author: Nick Hornby
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 77
Review Date: 9/17/2006
Helpful Score: 2


Hornby's first book-- a wonderful missive on fans and fandom, even if you don't care about English football.


For Her Own Good : Two Centuries of the Experts Advice to Women
Review Date: 6/23/2007
Helpful Score: 4


This goes pretty darn far back in time (early 1900s, anyone?) but is an excellent indictment of the male-centered "expert culture" in Western society. Fun and infuriating. Funfuriating.


Forever
Forever
Author: Judy Blume
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 171
Review Date: 4/30/2007
Helpful Score: 1


ah, nostalgia.


Go
Go
Author: Holly Uyemoto
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 10/21/2006


A wonderful first novel from an exciting young Japanese writer. Interestingly, her protagonist in her other novel is an HIV positive white teenager, but this one goes to her roots and is perfectly told.


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