Monday, November 9, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic- Sophie Kinsella

Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, Book 1) Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
While I was standing at the Redbox rental kiosk, this seemed like a cute movie to watch while my husband wasn't home. After I watched the movie, I decided I wanted to read the book also. The premise is funny and I knew it had done well both as book and movie, so I thought I would see how the two compared. Honestly, there isn't much of a comparison. The book and the movie, while they have similar themes and some similar plot points, are very different. I like the movie a little bit more... I know... blasphemy. The movie had a stronger conflict and more drama; plus, I love Isla Fischer.

The book was cute, pretty simple and good chick lit. I'm not a huge chick lit person, but I do love a quick and easy read every now and then. Becky Bloomwood, the heroine, is a journalist who works for Successful Saving magazine. She is a strong financial voice, but her own financial life is in shambles. She's being harassed by a collector, can't stop herself from buying nearly everything in sights and is completely overwhelmed. Her harebrained solutions for conquering her debt range from winning the lottery to making fabric frames. Eventually she realizes that she does actually understand finances far more than she gave herself credit for and is able to use her knowledge to help others and herself.

Overall, this books was okay. Not the best book I've ever read, but a quick and easy read. The characters were endearing, though a little stereotypical. The plot was decent, but events were a little convenient at times. It was funny enough. Not amazing, but decent. Now, I love to shop. I love sales and could totally relate to that thrill of buying something. However, I wasn't really a fan of all of the name dropping of brands and stores. It just wasn't my style and got a little irritating after a while. I'd saw both the book and movie are worth reading and watching, especially if you have some time to kill while your husband is out of town, want a good girls' night flick, or something easy to ready while traveling.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mysteries of Pittsburgh- Michael Chabon

A couple of weeks ago, Michael Chabon was at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver for a reading from his most recent book Manhood for Amateurs. As he read selections from the book, I could see that his prose had grown since this first novel of his, but it still had the ring of truth and beauty found in all of Chabon's works. He is funny, witty and eloquent. He was a wonderful speaker and gave some great writing advice (to be blogged about later). I look forward to reading even more of his work.

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh: A Novel (P.S.) The Mysteries of Pittsburgh: A Novel by Michael Chabon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am ridiculously jealous that Chabon was able to create a novel so beautiful his first time out of the gate. Mysteries of Pittsburgh is Chabon's debut novel and abounds with his lyrical prose and intriguing characters.

Art Bechstein has graduated from college and is spending the summer following working at a book store and playing with his new found friends. Arthur LeCompte entices Art into a world of interesting people and even more interesting parties. Between Art's new girlfriend Phlox, his increasingly sexual feelings for his friend Art and new friend Clevland's interest in Art's father's mobster ways, Art is lost and confused. This novel is reminiscent of Fitzgerald and a bygone era of sophisticated parties and debauchery.

Chabon's prose is lyrical and striking. His descriptions are always unique and the characters are beautifully written. I am always impressed by his way of viewing the world. The details that he sees are vivid and intriguing. I always turn to Chabon's work when I'm feeling like I need inspiration for my own writing. He has not disappointed me yet.

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