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08:42 pm: aaannndd... books
Because that's how I catch up after not posting for a few weeks. Sorry. I hope to become a human again before long (but don't hold your breath or anything, m'kay?).

And what's more, they're almost all CRAP. woo hoo! And even the ones that aren't crap are crap-esque - romances 'n' chicklit 'n' stuff. F'rreelz: one really good, non-trashy book in the bunch (but it's a doozy).

Jude Deveraux' Stranger in the Moonlight is the latest Edilean installment, and I liked it just fine. Mildly funny, well-written characters (including glimpses at those from the others in the series), no egregious grammatical errors. Good stuff.

Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly's Love in a Nutshell is neither as idiotic as the between the numbers books nor as good as the numbers. :sigh:

Lori Foster's A Perfect Storm was fine, as I recall. It's a Harlequin/adventure type o' thing. Interesting protagonist. Damaged woman saved by Her Perfect Guy, which is idiotic on its face but Foster does it reasonably well.

I picked up three more Emily Giffin's: Baby Proof, Something Blue, and Where We Belong, each of which tells the story of another woman in the circle of friends introduced in Something Borrowed. I quite like that type of series and these are entertaining. I don't necessarily like her protagonists very much, which is... odd, I suppose, for chicklit.

Lisa Jackson's Secrets and Lies is two Harlequins (in the same book) about sisters and (of course) the men they love. Total brain candy. The kind of thing I'll read in the tub because I don't much care if it gets wet.

Lorelei James' Rough, Raw, and Ready is pretty good porn. Cowboys. Quite explicit. Straight and gay, with some mild kink. Fun.

Lisa Kleypas' A Wallflower Christmas was a pleasant surprise from Ocean State Job Lot, someplace I've not found any good books before... And it's not a particularly good book, but it's a reasonable crappy book with the added bonus of being about Christmas, so it goes in my seasonal stash.

Not sure quite how I ended up with so many Harlequins this month (OSJL + CostCo + Supermarket, I guess), but Susan Mallery's Summer Nights is a respectable example of the (not entirely respectable) genre. Silly opposites-who-aren't-really-opposites-attract story. Meh. I'll read it again before I decide whether to keep it.

I got three Linda Lael Miller's this time around: Big Sky Mountain, High Country Bride, and McKettrick's Heart, which are pretty much interchangeable cowboy romances. :yawn: They'll go in the stack with the Mallery to re-read before deciding their destination (swap shop or slow rotation).

How to Be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran, is a fantastic book about feminism (or one woman's thoughts about her experiences and philosophy, anyway). Jenny Lawson recommended it, which was bound to be a good sign. I don't agree with everything she says - her (brilliant) definition of feminism excludes men, for instance - but I love how she says it, and I love her attitude. The aforementioned definition, for example:

"Put your hands in your underpants.

a. Do you have a vagina? and
b. Do you want to be in charge of it?

If you said 'yes' to both, then congratulations! You're a feminist." (page 75, U.S. paperback edition) (My definition, FWIW, would add "or c. Do you know someone with a vagina and think she should be in charge of it?"

No one could ever call her writing a screed (one of my pet peeves with criticism of feminist writing is that it's so often described as such). It's often hilarious, never preachy, and quite direct and explicit. Fantastic stuff. One of the best nonfiction books I've read this year.*

Nora Roberts' The MacGregor Brides and the McGregor Grooms are collections of three stories each (each of the stories is about the length of a regular Harlequin). They're quite silly and forgettable, but reasonably well written and worth another read before tossing.

Jennifer Weiner's The Next Best Thing is probably my favorite of hers so far. TV writer struggles, makes good, falls in love, rides off in the sunset (more or less). I like the heroine, who is not Weiner's usual chubby Jewish chick (definitely not chubby and, if Jewish, it's not a plot point of any sort). The (eventual) hero is quite nontraditional, which I loved. And the (sadly few) sex scenes - at least those between the hero and heroine - are hot. A winner all around.

* These last few book posts notwithstanding, I do read quite a lot of nonfiction. Apparently. I'm coping with the guilt for not reading more of it, but it seems that one book every couple of weeks is a bit more than many people manage. So there!

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