We have two problems here at 5 Minutes for Books that are not going to evoke any sympathy from any of you booklovers out there. One problem is that we sometimes just have too many books to get through in a timely manner. The second is that if we actually do read them within a couple of months, sometimes we don’t have the review space to devote to them. Since this is a group blog, and we have some prolific readers on our team, it might be weeks before we are able to post a review we’ve written.
So we thought we’d deal with two of these problems by periodically posting some “Short Takes.” These are all books that looked interesting to us, or that we thought might interest you, but for one reason or another we didn’t get around to finishing them or to writing a full review.
Beginner’s Greek: A Novel by James Collins tells the story of star crossed lovers Peter and Holly, building on the premise: What if you met the love of your life…and then lost her phone number? Then what if, when you finally managed to find her again, she was about to marry your best friend? The reviews of Beginner’s Greek make liberal use of comparisons to Jane Austen, though in a contemporary setting. It is billed as a “lushly romantic, brilliantly understated comedy of manners” that confirms the belief that true love really does exist.
The Package Deal: My (not-so) Glamorous Transition from Single Gal to Instant Mom is Izzy Rose’s memoir of her transition from trendy singlehood to wife and stepmotherhood. The move from the San Francisco social scene to the slightly slower Southern pace in Austin couldn’t be more stark and Izzy’s take on it is smart, witty, and sometimes painfully honest and outright hilarious—but the sex in it is more…I’m not sure how to delineate here…coarse. I (Lisa) really wanted to like this book — and there is much to like — but ultimately put it down because of the coarseness I described.
The mommy wars—that tension between the stay at home and the working—makes an interesting premise for a novel but there you have it in Jane Porter’s Odd Mom Out. The moms in this book seem to be exaggerated versions, caricatures even, particularly in terms of the stay at home types who, in Porter’s story, are “smug, cookie-cutter executive wives” while her protagonist single mom Marta “wears combat boots, not Manolos, and drives a righteous Harley hog.” As I said, an interesting premise. Will Marta maintain her individuality even as she seeks “a normal life” for her daughter? This novel explores the insecurities all moms face, stay at home or working, motorcycle or mini van.