Tuesday, July 25, 2006


My bookshelf is over-flowing right now. Here are some of my current picks:

A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman, by Joan Anderson

A Glancing Light, by Aaron Elkins

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, by Fannie Flagg

Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Tenderwire, by Claire Kilroy

The Patriot, by Piers Paul Read

Eating Heaven, by Jennie Shortridge

Elements of Style, by Wendy Wasserstein

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hollywood Nanny

This past week I picked up a frivolous little book called You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again!: The Adventures and Misadventures of a Hollywood Nanny by Suzanne Hansen. I would guardedly recommend this as a beach read, but not much else.

This book is a memoir, a non-fiction mud-slinger, that is both defaming and titillating, but is NOT well-written. Suzy went from a small Oregon logging town to Hollywood where she quickly found work as nanny to the uber-powerful Michael Orvitz, a Hollywood agent who had only recently started his firm when the book takes place, in the 1980's. Her naivete is grating and the writing moves from gossipy to whiney as the story progresses. As one might expect, the family's attitudes and behavior are shocking and dehumanizing to any other than the powerful and the story follows the lines more entertaininly set out by the authors of the Nanny Diaries...nanny loves the kids and sees them more than the parents, nanny makes some trifling mistakes that are blown out of proportion, nanny is fired unfairly.

With the movie version of the fictional, but based in reality, Nanny Diaries coming out soon, I would stick to that one if you're going to choose a nanny expose to read this year. Suzanne Hansen's just seems mean-spirited as she names names all over Hollywood.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Amazing Blogger

I saw this story about the most amazing blogger today. Apparently, he started a blog to track his bartering and started with a paper clip...and ended with a house!

Check out this really interesting story.

And here's a link to his blog One Red Paperclip.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Vegas, Baby, Yeah!

I've been away in Las Vegas for the past few days and I didn't read a thing...unless you count the absolutely indispensible Best Places Las Vegas. I love the Best Places guides, which started in the Pacific Northwest and are published by Seattle-based Sasquatch Books. Written by locals and full of actually useful and in-the-know reviews, these are my must guides anywhere they publish. I had the 1st edition Vegas guide, published in 2001, which was a bit out dated in a city so in flux. Unfortunately, it looks like there hasn't been a newer edition. I hope one comes out soon.

Speaking of Vegas, I found a cool website from the UNLV libraries that has a bibliography of books, films, and photographs of Las Vegas architecture.

My personal Vegas bibliography is not too extensive, since I'm not such a fan of Mob histories or road trip books or things like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Here's mine:

Bad Kitty, by Michele Jaffe - even though this one is for teeny-boppers, it is soooo much fun for adults.

Bringing Down the House and Busting Vegas, both true stories of MIT kids with blackjack tricks by Ben Mezrich.

Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker, by James McManus; the title has it all, what more could you ask?

Your Friendly Librarian