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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us

Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is... Continue »
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    Before, During, After

    Richard Bausch 9780307266262


Customer Comments

titianlibrarian has commented on (62) products.

Chasing Harry Winston: A Novel by Lauren Weisberger
Chasing Harry Winston: A Novel

titianlibrarian, October 23, 2008

You'd think that after a smart novel like The Devil Wears Prada, one that made millions of dollars for everyone involved, the publishers would vigilantly edit whatever Weisberger came out with next. I can only imagine that either her publishers lazily retreated and let her reputation sell the book, or that her ego stood in the way of the editing process. Either way, somebody dropped the ball.

Weisberger's tale involves three women seeking love and husbands as they approach their 30th birthdays. One is too promiscuous, one is too monogamous, and the third doesn't love the man she's with. Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, one's too hot, one too cold and so on...

The book is too long, too shallow, and it's crowded with too many plotlines, men and inexplicable plot meanderings--such as these beauties...

p. 196-197: Two characters argue for 2 whole pages about one character's penchant for popular chick lit, detailing such works as Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Bridget Jones's Diary and The Nanny Diaries.

p. 247: One character leaves her OB-GYN exam (which has NOTHING to do with the plot):
"After dressing, Emmy jumped on the 4 train to Union Square. She figured on a brisk walk directly home to shower--something she always felt compelled to do after the K-Y-heavy exams--but as she exited the subway at Fourteenth and Broadway she found herself heading directly toward Leigh and Adriana's building. With Leigh's breakup only a week old and Adriana's newfound commitment to work, she figured at least one of them had to be home, sulking or writing or both, but the doorman shook his head [...] By the time she reached her building and trudged up the five flights of stairs, she was drenched from head to toe: her hair from the freezing rain, her feet from the filthy slush, and her ladyparts from the overzealous application of medical-grade lube."
Isn't it terrible?-- the overuse of the word "directly," the fact that this does nothing to advance the plot and finally, it's not even well-written!
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(15 of 32 readers found this comment helpful)

Too Good to Be True by Sheila O'Flanagan
Too Good to Be True

titianlibrarian, October 23, 2008

Book publishers did a study of devoted readers of the romance genre, seeing as how romance novels make up 50% of the American book market. They wanted to pinpoint what makes a good (to the readers) romance novel. The number one answer: the couple has to get together in a fairy-tale romance by the end. Most readers will actually skim the ending of a book before they buy it, in order to determine that there is indeed a happy ending.

I feel like this book's first page is the ending of a romance novel. An air traffic controller goes on a vacation and gets married to the man sitting next to her on the plane. If I could get past the idea that they're already happily together and married by page one, I might be able to get through the remaining 403 pages. So far no luck.
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(12 of 15 readers found this comment helpful)

Red Dress Ink #33: Bombshell by Lynda Curnyn
Red Dress Ink #33: Bombshell

titianlibrarian, October 23, 2008

Ooo, this was an embarassing cover to been seen with. And I knew that the plot was formulaic, but when I looked it up here, I found that it's number 33 of the series! What?? And now I'm reading the quote on the front cover--"'Sex and the City with more heart...a winner.' Publishers Weekly on Confessions of an Ex-Girlfriend." The positive review isn't even about the book whose cover it's gracing! I feel like I've been played in a major way.
Throw this one back. There's better chick lit out there.
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(5 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)

People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
People of the Book: A Novel

titianlibrarian, October 23, 2008

This book was good enough to win the Pulitzer Prize, but evidently I'm even pickier than the prize committee. I'm so close to finishing the thing, but only because I've been pushing myself to read just one more chapter, to renew one more time... Am I way too picky in my demands of an author's work? Perhaps I'm just reading Brooks at the wrong time in my life.

In a nutshell, this is the history of a book, a Jewish text called a haggadah. Every other chapter concerns the rare books expert who is examining the codex in the present-day; the remaining chapters each concern themselves with a period in the book's history. Both the book's setup and the book's characters seemed predictable and shallow--I must be missing something big here. Maybe in a couple of years I'll revisit this one.
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(14 of 30 readers found this comment helpful)

Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs by Elissa Wall
Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs

titianlibrarian, October 23, 2008

Not my style, and terribly written, even considering that it was churned out by a ghost writer. It could and should be at least 200 pages shorter. I did finish it, though, but resorted to judicious skimming.

A tragedy that this happened, yes, but this muck doesn't help matters.
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(6 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)

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