Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Secret Lives of Dresses - McKean

The Secret Lives of Dresses

Erin McKean

Dora is vagueness personified. She is getting a General Studies degree from a small and unnoticed private university, she has a job at a coffee shop working for a man she loves but won't give her the time of day and her personal style can best be described as dingy comfort. When grandmother Mimi takes ill Dora must drop everything to take over at her vintage clothing store, finding herself and a fabulous new wardrobe along the way.

Here's the thing. Erin's a blogger and I have a lot of love for bloggers who are able to take their daily grind and make it into something I can pick up at a closing Boarders (this is not to say that you can't get The Secret Lives of Dresses other places, but I got mine at a Boarders that is presumably now an empty building with a Boarders sign above it.) but I wasn't a huge fan of The Secret Lives of Dresses. I went in expecting A Vintage Affair, the only other slightly chick litty thing I've read in the past year, which I realize was totally my mistake. Dora's indifference makes her hard to understand, and even harder to root for. Truly the beginning of The Secret Lives of Dresses was a fight to see if there were in fact dresses somewhere in this story.

Once I got over how questionable Dora was I really did enjoy the story. Mimi's shop is a beautiful setting and the stories behind her dresses are thought provoking and sweet. It is a perfect place for characters to interact and grow and live. It is even a place where a manly man like Conrad can enter with a cup of coffee without things taking an odd turn. Which brings me to Conrad. Hello Mr. Stereotype of Perfect, we haven't seen each other in a while but it's good to catch up. Conrad's the good guy to Gary's flighty free loving self.  He's funny and charming and makes all the girls swoon in a the way Colin Firths sweater clad self does. Only, he lacks a Colin Firth type characters substance. Which kind of fits in with the rest of the novel.

Over all The Secret Lives of Dresses isn't going to be one of this years favorites, but it was definitely a fun read. Come for the fashion, stay for the cozy love story.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Hey guys! I'm a little late, but I'm super excited to partake in my 3rd readathon! I know you all are very busy reading and snacking on tasty things so I'll keep this introduction short. 

1)Where are you reading from today? 
Southeast Michigan, USA

2)Three random facts about me…

-I have a mild obsession with nail polish. 
-I once had a fish named Ophelia and something happened to her swim bladder so she spent the last year of her life swimming upside down looking crazy
-I really want mashed potatoes right now.

3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

I'm a little late, and once again I have failed to make my own advice and read short, easy books. As a result I only have two books that I'm definitely hoping to get though. 
-The Lady of the River - Gregory
-The Secret History - Tartt

4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?

Everything about today is kind of up in the air so I'm just trying for as much reading as possible!

5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?

take breaks, read short books, order take out. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sincere Apologies from a Lapsed Blogger

I've been a bad blogger lately. Between getting a new job, discovering addictive facebook games and generally just being kind of down because it's fall and that's what happens when it's cool but I can't wear my awesome winter coat yet I've fallen into a bit of a reading and reviewing slump.

This is my vow to you that I'll change my ways, spend less time upgrading avatar skills and rewatching episodes of Bones. Instead I'll pick up a book! Shocking, I know, since this is a blog almost exclusively about books (I know, I talk about nail polish too. humor me).
This is my fighting face.

I'll actually get around to reviewing things I've read, too! So don't give up hope on me just yet. I promise I'll check my google reader regularly and leave really deep and insightful comments and all that jazz.

In case you're wondering, Camp or Crap is still updated regularly in case you really really missed my friend and mines snarky movie humor.

Thanks for sticking around,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tree of Codes - Foer

Tree of Codes
Jonathan Safran Foer 

Tree of Codes is interesting in it's complexities, it is part novel, part artist book and part poetry. The story itself was made by taking Bruno Schulz's The Street of Crocodiles, Foer's favorite book, and cutting out entire passages, leaving words, sentences or punctuation to make an entirely new story. The end result looks like this -
 making an entirely unique reading experience. The pages are fragile and at first glance it's hard to see how this book, still meant to be read in a linear page-at-a-time pace. After a struggle I found that A. putting a sheet of paper under the page I was reading or B. holding the page up so that it wasn't flush with the rest of the book made the experiences much more enjoyable.  

The story itself is less important. While I remember being entranced by the poetic narrative Foer carved out I'm hard pressed to remember actual details. Something about a deceased mother and father? I really don't remember much more than that. I don't think I'm alone in this aspect, though. You read Tree of Codes for the process and the story is secondary, though I do remember enjoying it quite a bit. That is my only pet peeve with Tree of Codes, but if anything it has me more excited to read it again than damning it to back of the bookshelf hell. 

A Note: Don't be a chump and pay a ridiculous amount for this book. It's awesome but it isn't worth more than it's typical $40 price tag (even then it's pricey.)