Book Excerpts: The Queen Gene by Jennifer Coburn

*****

The Queen Gene

” . . . “I need some time to digest everything you’ve said.”  I learned that dismissal years ago when a client said it to me.  At the time, I thought it was a polite way of letting me know that my complex concept needed time to be broken down and properly appreciated.  Now I know it’s a nice way of saying, This conversation is over. . . .”

Who knew one could learn actual life skills from a light, fun read?  I’m Definitely remembering this one.  I learned from a very wise therapist once that just because someone else wants to have a certain conversation Does Not mean that I am required to have that conversation.  This is a polite way to say “I am not having this conversation with you.”  Nice.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – January 14, 2013

It's Monday What Are You Reading

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme is hosted at Book Journey.

*****

Analog (dead tree version), at home:

Girl in the Glass

From Goodreads:

Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother’s house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg’s long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold.

When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents’ divorce. But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sofia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.

When Sophia, Meg, and Nora’s stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if renaissance isn’t just a word? What if that’s what happens when you dare to believe that what is isn’t what has to be?

So I’m reading this at home, but it’s been sitting for a few days.  It may or may not make it.  We’ll see.

*****

Digital (on my Kindle), anywhere I want:

The Queen Gene

From Goodreads:

Lucy’s friends have always told her how lucky she is to have a mother like Anjoli. But as much as Lucy adores her theater-savvy, melodramatic mom…well, some relationships just work better at a distance, even if Anjoli still calls ten times a day to say, “Darling, I’m in crisis!” Lucy’s got crises enough of her own, including trying to keep her marriage hot with a two-year-old underfoot, babysitting the artists in residence at her Berkshires artists’ colony, resisting her attraction to a drop-dead-sexy man, and trying to rid her 100-year-old home of ghosts. Lucy’s about ready to start living her life on her own terms, and mother-daughter relations will never be the same again…

*****

Digital (Audiobook) through the iphone, in the car:

Long Gone

From Goodreads:

After a layoff and months of struggling, Alice Humphrey finally lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District.

According to Drew Campbell, the well-suited corporate representative who hires her, the gallery is a passion project for its anonymous, wealthy, and eccentric owner. Drew assures Alice that the owner will be hands off, allowing her to run the gallery on her own. Her friends think it sounds too good to be true, but Alice sees a perfect opportunity to make a name for herself beyond the shadow of her famous father, an award-winning and controversial film maker.

Everything is perfect until the morning Alice arrives at work to find the gallery gone–the space stripped bare as if it had never existed–and Drew Campbell’s dead body on the floor. Overnight, Alice’s dream job has vanished, and she finds herself at the center of police attention with nothing to prove her innocence. The phone number Drew gave her links back to a disposable phone.

The artist whose work she displayed doesn’t seem to exist. And the dead man she claims is Drew has been identified as someone else.

When police discover ties between the gallery and a missing girl, Alice knows she’s been set up. Now she has to prove it–a dangerous search for answers that will entangle her in a dark, high-tech criminal conspiracy and force her to unearth long-hidden secrets involving her own family . . . secrets that could cost Alice her life.

Waiting in the wings (i.e., bought at Audible.com and living on my iPhone) is the rest of the Caster Chronicles series:

–  Beautiful Darkness
Dream Dark
Beautiful Chaos
Beautiful Redemption

Ya, I was gonna go straight from #1 on down the series.  But I got into the car this morning and realized I hadn’t downloaded it anywhere – not to the Music App on the iPhone Nor into the Audible App, and without wi-fi that just takes too damn long and sometimes just won’t happen at all.  So, I’m listening to “Long Gone” instead, and will get back to the Caster Chronicles after that.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved

Book Excerpts: Tales from the Crib by Jennifer Coburn

*****

Tales from the crib

” . . . I hated this trite platitude people shot out when they were uncomfortable with another person’s mourning. . . .”

I run into this a lot in the context of having cancer.  People say stupid things trying to get Me to be positive because They are uncomfortable.  Newsflash – My Cancer is Not about how you feel, and if I’m having a bad day with it (totally justifiable and permissible because having cancer sucks!) get over Yourself about me not being happy about having cancer.

” . . . Why was it impossible or people to accept that humans had room for completely conflicting emotions, and one did not detract from the other in the slightest?. . . .”

Now, I don’t know if this makes perfect sense to me because I’m a Gemini, or if all people feel that way sometimes, but um – duh!

” . . . I understand that when someone says, “Oh, don’t feel sad,” they really are trying to help.  But telling me not to feel what I’m already feeling is not at all helpful.”

In fact, being told that one’s reality is not true is one of the truly crazy-making things someone can do to another.

” . . . I always hated when Aunt Rita completely negated my feelings by telling me how much worse off she was at my age. . . .”

Yeah, I think this one’s related to my first quote (and reaction thereto) from this book.  It amazes me how often my experiences are discounted by people saying “someone else has it worse.”  Well, yes, I’m absolutely sure someone does.  But I wasn’t talking about them.  I was talking about me.  Really, what does someone else’s experiences have to do with my current one.  I shouldn’t be less than perfectly-ecstatic at all times because someone else is going through something You decide to judge as worse?  By that measure whoever you hold up to me doesn’t get to feel badly either because someone certainly has it worse than them.  So does one person in the whole world have the right to be less than perfectly ecstatic?  Who is that person?  Who gets to decide who that is?

Oh, and by the same token, if someone else has it ‘worse’ than me, then certainly someone else also has it better.  Hell, I can name a dozen off the top of my head.  For christ’s sake, some days I could look at Anybody who doesn’t have cancer and say they have it better than me.   So, by that token, please take Your discomfort out of my realm of being – compared to those who have it ‘better,’ I have a perfect right to be less than completely-ecstatic.

Yeah, this one instantly and pretty much completely pisses me off.

” . . . For the rest of the weekend, we quietly walked around Ann Arbor taking inventory of what was old and what was new.  What had changed and what had stayed the same.  Very few things were in just one column, least of all us. . . .”

There’s that simultaneous dichotomy again, which speaks to me so.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

Book Excerpts: Reinventing Mona by Jennifer Coburn

*****

Reinventing Mona

” . . . I ended up having to put Hot Slut on my spam blocker, which is the electronic version of a restraining order. . . .”

Clever.  I like it!

” . . . What’s useless is sitting around wondering what might have been, because what might have been is what is.  The grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, but grass is basically grass. . . .”

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – January 7, 2013

It's Monday What Are You Reading

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme is hosted at Book Journey.

*****

Analog (dead tree version), at home:

The Marriage Plot

From Goodreads:

Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? It’s the early 1980s. In American colleges, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes—the charismatic and intense Leonard Bankhead, and her old friend the mystically inclined Mitchell Grammaticus. As all three of them face life in the real world they will have to reevaluate everything they have learned. Jeffrey Eugenides creates a new kind of contemporary love story in “his most powerful novel yet” (Newsweek).

So I loved Middlesex by the same author.  Mom was reading this for her book group.  I figured since I loved one, I’d love the other.  I’m about 80 pages in to this one and I keep putting it down.  I’ve found some passages I’ve highlighted (see upcoming Book Excerpts post containing same), but I think this one’s going on the Abandoned Shelf.  We’ll see if you ever see a review of this one (this will be the review of it unless I finish it).

*****

Analog (dead tree version), also at home:

Girl in the Glass

From Goodreads:

Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother’s house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg’s long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold.

When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents’ divorce. But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sofia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.

When Sophia, Meg, and Nora’s stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if renaissance isn’t just a word? What if that’s what happens when you dare to believe that what is isn’t what has to be?

*****

Digital (on my Kindle), anywhere I want:

Reinventing Mona

From Goodreads:

What’s new? Me, for starters…

It all began when my job offered me a buy-out package. That’s when the realization hit: I’m young, I’m rich (thanks to a hefty inheritance), and I’m boring. Not “needs a little zip” boring, either. More like “mustard stain on a Sears tweed couch” drab. French’s in a squeeze bottle, that’s me. But suddenly I have Grey Poupon aspirations! Things are gonna change-starting now…

Building a better mantrap…

First things first: Exercise. Carrot juice. Straight hair. Whiter teeth. Clothes that fit (I have breasts? Who knew?) But wait-there’s more. Life’s kicked me around a bit, and I’ve been nursing my wounds for too long. I’m finally ready to take a chance on love with the perfect guy. He’s handsome. He’s smart. He’s reliable. He’s my CPA. Problem is, I’m clueless about winning him over. It’s time to call in an expert. It’s time to call in The Dog.

Down, boy.

Mike “The Dog” Dougherty is a man’s man. A guy’s guy. Okay, he’s a chauvinist pig, and his sty is “The Dog House,” a testosterone-charged column in Maximum for Him magazine. On one hand, I abhor all he stands for. On the other hand, who better to coach me? So here I am. Learning the complex unspoken language of the American male (Talk, bad. Sex, good.); trying exciting new things (Stripping lessons are empowering. Really.); falling for Mike. Uh oh. But the Mike I’m getting to know is different from The Dog. And the Mona I’m becoming isn’t quite who I expected, either.

This whole makeover scheme is getting crazier by the minute. But “crazy” beats “boring”…right?

So far, this is a light, easy read – it was a Kindle freebie, so it’s the first one I’ll review for the “Why Buy The Cow Reading Challenge?”  It immediately (even before I downloaded it, let alone started reading it – just from reading a plot synopsis) struck me as a take-off on The Ugly Truth, which, for me, is a nice light, keep-you-company-while-doing -chores-around-the-house kinda movie, and I thought handled the expected boy-and-girl-opposites-find-each-other elements pretty well.  We’ll see how the book does on that score.

*****

Digital (Audiobook) through the iphone, in the car:

Beautiful Creatures

From Goodreads:

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Waiting in the wings (i.e., bought at Audible.com and living on my iPhone) is the rest of the series:

–  Beautiful Darkness
Dream Dark
Beautiful Chaos
Beautiful Redemption

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.