(aka, Occasionally I Read Books Intended For Grown-Uppy Types)
Tina Fey – Bossypants
Very, very funny memoir from Tina Fey, aka the genius behind 30 Rock and Mean Girls, among others. This is among those rare ‘I am actually, literally laughing-out-loud here’ books. Those looking for a tell-all style book will be disappointed – there are some personal insights and behind-the-scenes snippets, but nothing too revealing. When faced with the choice of getting intimate or making you laugh, Fey goes for the laugh every time – and pulls it off. Worth reading if you need a good laugh, or indeed if you’ve ever pondered just how autobiographical the more lunatic bits of 30 Rock are.
Andrew Kaufman – All My Friends Are Superheroes
Lovely, funny, slightly mad book about a world in which the narrator’s friends are all – as the title suggests – superheroes, and in which his girlfriend, The Perfectionist, has been hypnotised not to see him. The descriptions of the ‘superpowers’ are particularly delightful. Well worth picking up, and as it’s quite short, a nice one to try in between longer tomes.
Meg Cabot – Queen of Babble in the Big City and Queen of Babble Gets Hitched
Ah, Meg Cabot. Occasionally I will stop reading a particular Meg Cabot series for a while. But inevitably I am pulled back in, and glad of it. I hadn’t kept up with the Queen of Babble books since the first one, but was craving some Cabot-ish goodness and ended up zipping my way through the second and third books. Lizzie Nichols, aspiring wedding dress designer, moves to New York and gets engaged – but things don’t quite go as planned. It’s skilfully-done romantic comedy, and I loved the ending. I also loved how by the end of the second book one could make a reasonable guess at how the trilogy would end, and yet it was still satisfying and interesting to read about how they got there. Knowing/suspecting the ending doesn’t necessarily make a book predictable, as is often a criticism of this genre in particular – it takes skill to portray the journey convincingly. Nicely done, Meg Cabot, as ever.
Sarah Mlynowski – Monkey Business
I have a weakness for books about people doing masters’ degrees. (See also: Megan Crane’s English As A Second Language.) This one is an MBA, and the focus is on two men and two women in their first year at a top business school. There’s a fast pace, lots of humour, and plenty of romance and sex (and studying. Well, less of that). A fun (but not brainless) read.
Miranda Dickinson – It Started With A Kiss
Very funny and sweet and romantic tale of a woman named Romily, who is kissed by a stranger shortly before Christmas (just after she’s told her best friend Charlie she loves him – to a less-than-enthusiastic response) and decides to spend the next year searching for him. She sets up a blog, and along the way makes a whole lot of new connections as well as some old ones – could Charlie finally be starting to see her as more than just a friend? I loved how the blog side of things was handled – at one point she becomes a Twitter trend! – and all the other aspects of the book. Romily and Charlie and a few of their friends are part of a wedding band (although it’s not their full-time job) and there’s lots about the different weddings, as well as the dynamics of this group of friends. I adored the ending, too. Well worth reading.