Thursday, June 28, 2007

New eBooks about (not quite about) and inspired by earthquakes

Earthquakes have been on my mind lately – it is, after all, the 15 year anniversary of the Landers Quake; the biggest earthquake in 40 years – 7.3! I vividly remember being shaken out of bed.

So, with earthquakes on my mind, it is no surprise that I ended choosing with the following eBooks: Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner and I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen by Wilentz, Amy

This was a very fun read -- probably too much like "chick lit" for the guys in the audience -- I am willing to bet that every mother can relate to the story in this book.
Babies are wonderful but change is hard, marriage is a challenge and sometimes the best you can do survive with the help of friends and a little humor.

Now, in Jennifer Weiner's richest, wittiest, most true-to-life novel yet, this highly acclaimed storyteller brings readers a tale of romance, friendship, forgiveness, and extreme sleep deprivation, as three very different women navigate one of life's most wonderful and perilous transitions: the journey of new motherhood.

Rebecca Rothstein-Rabinowitz is a plump, sexy chef who has a wonderful husband, supportive friends, a restaurant that's received citywide acclaim, a beautiful baby girl...and the mother-in-law from hell. Kelly Day's life looks picture-perfect. But behind the doors of her largely empty apartment, she's struggling to balance work and motherhood and marriage, while entering Oliver's every move (and movement) on a spreadsheet, and dealing with an unemployed husband who seems content to channel-surf for eight hours a day. And Ayinde Towne is already on shaky ground, trying to live her life to the letter of a how-to guide called Baby Success, when her basketball superstar husband breaks her trust at the most vulnerable moment in her life, putting their marriage in peril -- and their new family even more in the public eye.
Then there's Lia Frederick, a Philadelphia native who has just come home, leaving Los Angeles behind, along with her glamorous Hollywood career, her husband, and a tragic secret, to start her life all over again. With her trademark warmth and humor, Weiner tells the story of what happens after happily ever after...and how an eight-pound bundle of joy can shake up every woman's sense of herself in the world around her. From prenatal yoga to postbirth sex, from sisters and husbands to mothers and mothers-in-law, Little Earthquakes is a frank, funny, fiercely perceptive Diaper Genie-eye view of the comedies and tragedies of love and marriage. "

I totally recommend this book. Lots of fun!

The juxtaposition of Earthquakes and Schwarzenegger grabbed my attention. I’m a native Californian; we do earthquakes. Obviously, this is a book written by “one of them-there fr'reigners”. It's always amusing to see how others view us.

Past California governors include an almost-Jesuit, an actor, a Supreme Court Justice in waiting and at least one certified crook. We once had “Slick” Willie Brown as Speaker of the House. All infinitely more strange than an Austrian bodybuilder.

The official synopsis should have said:
---- Warning: East Coast Snob Disses all things Californian ----
What it says instead is:

From Amy Wilentz, comes an irreverent, inventive portrait of the state of California and its unlikely governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. As a lifelong easterner and an outsider in the West she takes the reader on a picaresque journey from exclusive Hollywood soirees to a fantasy city in the Mojave desert, from the La Brea Tar Pits to celebrity-besotted Sacramento, from the tents of Skid Row to surf-drunk Malibu, from a snowbird retreat near Mexico to the hippie preserve of tide-beaten Big Sur, along the way offering up sharp observations on politics, fund-raising, the water supply, the Beach Boys, earthquake preparedness, home economics, catastrophism, movie-star politicians, political movie stars, Charlie Manson, and location scouts who want to rent your house in order to make television commercials for bathroom wall cleansers or Swedish banks.

Wilentz moved to Los Angeles from a Manhattan wounded by September 11, only to discover a paradise marred by fire, flood, and mudslides. In what seemed like a joke to her, a Democratic governor nicknamed Gumby was about to be ousted by an Austrian muscleman in a bizarre election promoted by a millionaire whose business was car alarms. Intrigued, she set out to find the essence of the quirky, trailblazing state. During her travels, she spots celebrities but can't quite place them, drops in on famous salons with habitués like Warren Beatty and Ariana Huffington, and visits the neglected office of one very special 9,000-year-old woman.

Plunging into the traffic of California, Wilentz noodles out meaning in some of the least likely of places; she sees the political in the personal and the personal in the political. By now an expert on tremors real and imagined, she offers readers on both coasts insights into where California stands today, and America as well.

Sounded pretty good; so and why not? I'm always up for a little wit and sarcasm.

Unfortunately I did not find it witty. There were little pieces that were amusing, but mainly it is a dull, mean spirited and incredibly repetitive rant on everything wrong with California and everyone she has ever met here.

The title is great; the book -- not so much.

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