Tuesday, March 10, 2015

One Plus One: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

One Plus One: A Novel

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted Stateside she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation Me Before You. Now, with One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story.

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.
My thoughts:
I requested this book at the library ages ago and last week my turn came up.  I started reading it with no memory of why I requested it in the first place.  I read a lot, I love to read book reviews and I come across a lot of books I think I can't wait read, but then I forget why.  I think this must happen to book lovers a lot, but I could be wrong.  This week I caught the stomach bug and spent a whole day in bed,  First time since before kids that I have spent a day that way.  It would have been better had I not been sick and dizzy, but it gave me a day to read and this is the book  I read.
Ed has made some questionable choices in his desire to get away from a clingy girlfriend and Jess has been afraid to put pressure on her husband who left the family while suffering from depression two years ago to live with his mother.  Even though she can barely make ends meets and often has to skip paying one bill to pay another, Jess is afraid that to ask him for money to support their two children will set him off again so she does it all alone.  But her daughter Tanzie is a math genius and a private school will give her a 90% scholarship if she can come up with the other fees and her math teacher has found an Olympiad that she could win to pay, but it is in Scotland.  With no money to pay for the trip and only an unlicensed and unregistered car in which to do it Jess is stuck, until Ed steps up and offers to help.  But would he have helped had he known that going over 40 mph would make Tanzie vomit?  Or that their dog farts like crazy or that Jess has no money for hotels or restaurants and wants to make sandwiches at every stop?
Spending hours in the car creates a closeness that these four are unable to get away from.  Each of their stories starts to spill out from the bullies in their poor neighborhood, to the math Tanzie loves, to the dad who left and hasn't looked back and the many jobs Jess takes on to make things work for her family.  Often times people wonder how someone ended up where they are in life, was it one choice or many choices that led to this spot, and you get to see how each of these people got to where they are through memories and stories and how they act now.  Do pat acts define you?  Can you be forgiven for one mistake?  Can you be a good person at heart but still make mistakes?

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143127505
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/31/2015
  • Pages: 416
Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes is the internationally bestselling author of Me Before YouThe Girl You Left BehindThe Last Letter from Your LoverSilver Bay, and The Ship of Brides. She is married to Charles Arthur, technology editor of The Guardian, and lives with their three children on a farm in Essex, England.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Stories from Candyland: Confections from One of Hollywood's Most Famous Wives and Mothers by Candy Spelling

Stories from Candyland: Confections from One of Hollywood's Most Famous Wives and Mothers

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Carole Gene Marer spent her girlhood dreaming of meeting Rock Hudson, but when she finally had the chance—on her second date with her future husband, television mogul Aaron Spelling—she was so shy she hid all night in the powder room.  How Candy morphed from that quiet girl into a seemingly-confident, stylish trophy wife, mistress of the largest house in Los Angeles (70,000 square feet when you count the attic) is at the heart of Stories from Candyland
The life Candy created for her family—her husband and children Tori and Randy—was fabulous, over-the-top, and often magical.  So what if California Christmases don’t come with snow? Let’s make some on the tennis court!  How do we take a cross-country family vacation with a dad who doesn’t fly? By private train car, of course (with an extra for the fifty-two pieces of luggage).  The kids want to dress up for Halloween? No problem, why not call in Nolan Miller to design their costumes?
My thoughts:
This book has been on my shelf for a few years.  As part of spring cleaning I am working through my shelves, reading and removing books.  This book was a quick read and had some interesting parts, but I have to say it could have used some organization and a bit more editing.  Candy  had funny stories to share, but it felt like she circled back to the same ones and repeated herself quite a bit.  I also think she has a different sense of reality than most of us.  Her 17,000 square foot attic with everything neatly ordered and boxed and a hair salon is larger than most people's homes.  Does she know many people live in a home that is ten percent of that size?  Do you really need to save every Halloween costume your children ever wore?  
I can't tell you why I decided I wanted this book to begin with.  I have really enjoyed Tori Spelling's books and maybe I was curious about how her mother would recall events, but I requested it on Paperbackswap years ago and then just put it on the shelf.  In the book she talks about how she is selling or planning to sell the family home, the Manor, but I didn't recall it ever being sold.  I looked it up though and it was.  I wonder what she did get rid of in her move.
I think it must be really hard to write about your own like and keep it in order and organized, because everything that has happened to you has made you who you are today.  I hope that if she writes any more she has someone else go through and edit it for her more to keep it flowing.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429921183
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2009
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272

CANDY SPELLING, whose husband Aaron produced America’s favorite entertainment (“Dynasty”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “The Love Boat”, “Beverly Hills 90210”), is one of Hollywood’s most famous wives and mothers.  Her marriage was one of Tinseltown’s happiest and most enduring, ending only with Aaron’s death in 2006.  Since then, Candy has begun writing, for TMZ.com and The Huffington Post, as well as becoming a contributing editor for Los Angeles Confidential Magazine.  She is involved with a number of charitable and public service organizations, and is in the process of “downsizing” from Spelling Manor to a 17,000 square foot condominium in Century City.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

Wild Ride

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Mary Alice Brannigan doesn't believe in the supernatural. Nor does she expect to find that Dreamland, the decaying amusement park she's been hired to restore, is a prison for the five Untouchables, the most powerful demons in the history of the world. Plus, there's a guy she's falling hard for--and there's something about him that's not quite right.
But rocky romances and demented demons aren't the only problems in Dreamland: Mab's also coping with a crooked politician, a supernatural raven, a secret government agency, an inexperienced sorceress, an unsettling inheritance, and some mind-boggling revelations from her past. As her personal demons wreck her newfound relationship and real demons wreck the park, Mab faces down immortal evil and discovers what everybody who's ever been to an amusement park knows: The end of the ride is always the wildest.
My thoughts:
This was a fun, fast moving book.  I picked it up last week while I was sick and read it over the course of a day spent mostly resting.  I haven't read a Jennifer Crusie book in some time.  I enjoy her humor and the way she uses sarcasm and unusual situations.  The demons were a new thing for me in her books, but it worked.  I was worried it wouldn't, but the supernatural elements fit without feeling forced.
Growing up Mab was not allowed to go to Dreamland park because her mother said there were demons there.  Her crusade against the park earned Mab a solitary existence growing up and she couldn't wait to move away.  Added to her burdens were how upset her mother got if she go angry or emotional, so she repressed her feelings and channeled herself into her work restoring artifacts from amusement parks.
When she returns to restore the park and is run down by a metal clown she restored just weeks earlier, things start to go a little funny.  When Ethan returns to the park to live what is left of his life with a bullet lodged near his heart he isn't ready to hear what his mother tells him until she has repeated it multiple times.  After a few too many odd events everyone is on board, but will they be able to thwart the Untouchables.
It has almost every aspect I expect from Crusie except for a dog, but this time there is a raven. Not as cute and cuddly, but Frankie has his own ways.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312533823
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416