Diary of a Mad Fat Girl, by Stephanie McAfee. NAL, 2012. Print length: 368 p. NOVEL. EW's slant: "...the kind of breezy summer read that's perfect for wintertime, too." - Sara Vilkomerson. Amazon customer rating: 4 stars (197 reviews). Kindle edition $9.99. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"Graciela 'Ace' Jones is mad - mad at her best friend Lilly who cancels their annual trip to Panama City for mysterious reasons; at her boss Catherine for 'riding her ass like a fat lady on a Rascal scooter;' at her friend Chloe's abusive husband; and especially at Mason McKenzie, the love of her life, who has shown up with a marriage proposal three years too late. Ace's anger begins to dissipate as she takes matters into her own hands to take down Chloe's philandering husband - and to get to the bottom of a multitude of other scandals plaguing Bugtussle, Mississippi. Then, she starts to realize that maybe Mason deserves a second chance after all..." - Penguin.com.
Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir, by Donor Weber. Simon & Schuster, 2012. Print length: 368 p. MEMOIR. EW's slant: "It is devastating to watch Damon die - and to watch his father try to keep living." - Tina Jordan. Amazon customer rating: 4 1/2 stars (21 reviews). Kindle edition $11.99. Text-to-Speech: Disabled.
"A family's love lies at the heart of this gifted boy’s fight to survive. Born with a congenital heart defect that required surgery when he was a baby, Damon Weber lives a big life with spirit and independence that have always been a source of pride to his parents, Doron and Shealagh. But when Damon is diagnosed with a new illness as a teenager, his triumphant coming-of-age tale turns into a darker and more dramatic quest: his family’s race against time and a flawed heath care system. Immortal Bird is a searing account of a father’s struggle to save his remarkable son, a story of a young boy’s passion for life, and a tribute to his family’s love. It is also a story of the perils of modern medicine and the redemptive power of art in the face of the unthinkable." - Simon & Schuster.
Wild Thing, by Josh Bazell. Reagan Arthur / Back Bay Books, 2012. Print length: 401 p. NOVEL. EW's slant: "...walks, talks, and squawks like a crime thriller, but it makes casual passes at left-field absurdity that aim for Hiaasen or Vonnegut." - Keith Staskiewicz. Amazon customer rating: 3 stars (27 reviews). Kindle edition $12.99. Text-to-Speech: Disabled.
"It's hard to find work as a doctor when using your real name will get you killed. So hard that when a reclusive billionaire offers Dr. Peter Brown, aka Pietro Brnwa, a job accompanying a sexy but self-destructive paleontologist on the world's worst field assignment, Brown has no real choice but to say yes. Even if it means that an army of murderers, mobsters, and international drug dealers - not to mention the occasional lake monster - are about to have a serious Pietro Brnwa problem." - Publisher.
Flatscreen, by Adam Wilson. Harper Perennial, 2012. Print length: 336 p. NOVEL. EW's slant: "...darkly funny...after a while it wears on you, and it starts to feel like this study of one man's inertia isn't really going anywhere either." - Keith Staskiewicz. Amazon customer rating: 4 stars (1 review). Kindle edition $9.99. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"Flatscreen tells the story of Eli Schwartz as he endures the loss of his home, the indifference of his parents, the success of his older brother, and the cruel and frequent dismissal of the opposite sex. He is a loser par excellence - pasty, soft, and high - who struggles to become a new person in a world where nothing is new. Into this scene of apathy rolls Seymour J. Kahn. Former star of the small screen and current paraplegic sex addict, Kahn has purchased Eli’s old family home. The two begin a dangerous friendship, one that distracts from their circumstances but speeds their descent into utter debasement and, inevitably, YouTube stardom. By story’s end, through unlikely acts of courage and kindness, roles will be reversed, reputations resurrected, and charges (hopefully) dropped." - harpercollins.com.
The Accidental Feminist: How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness and We Were Too Distracted by Her Beauty to Notice, by M. G. Lord. Walker Books, 2012. Print length: 224 p. NONFICTION. EW's slant: "La Liz would have loved the hubbub." - Lisa Schwarzbaum. Amazon customer rating: none yet. Kindle edition $9.99. Text-to-Speech: Enabled. Lending: Enabled.
"Countless books have chronicled the sensational life of Elizabeth Taylor, but rarely has her career been examined from the point of view of her on-screen persona. And that persona, argues M. G. Lord, in its most memorable outings has repeatedly introduced a broad audience to feminist ideas. In her breakout film, National Velvet (1944), Taylor's character challenges gender discrimination: Forbidden to ride her beloved horse in an important race because she is a girl, she poses as a male jockey. Her next milestone, A Place in the Sun (1951), is essentially an abortion-rights movie - a cautionary tale from a world before women had ready access to birth control. In Butterfield 8 (1960), for which she won an Oscar, Taylor's character isn't censured because she's a prostitute, but because she chooses the men with whom she sleeps - she controls her sexuality. Even the classic Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) depicts the anguish that befalls a woman when the only way she can express herself is through her husband's career and children. Daring in conception, and drawing upon unpublished letters and scripts as well as interviews with Kate Burton, Gore Vidal, Robert Forster, Austin Pendleton, Kevin McCarthy, Liz Smith, and others, The Accidental Feminist will surprise Taylor and film fans alike with its originality - and add a startling dimension to the star's enduring mystique." - walkerbooks.com.
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