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Sunday Book Review

September 24th, 2006

At the Book Fair yesterday at the North Portland Library, we received a FREE copy of one of the Addy, American Girl books. (Wacky Girl adores American Girl anything, especially now that Emily, Molly’s English friend! has arrived! Much excitement at Wacky House over this. I told her if she scams enough Christmas money, then maybe.)


Wacky Boy picked out Matthew and the Midnight Tow Truck. And… they gave us an awesome cool pop-up book. I have seen some cool pop-up books in my time, but this one, J. Otto Seibold’s interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, is incredible. My kids were poring over it and really? The illustrations and pop-ups kinda freaked me out a little. They are that good. A review on Amazon describes it as “wacky and wild” and I must concur.

We also made buttons, and a raffia doll, and puzzles, and they gave us a fancy bag to put it all in. We ran into my delicious girlfriend N and her adorable little man, J, and I avoided the people I wanted to avoid and we picked up the Prehistoric Planet DVD that Wacky Boy had on hold. If you think he was excited by the Alice and Wonderland book, well, let me say you should see how excited he gets by dinosaurs.

Thank you, Urban League of Portland and Multnomah County Library for hosting this shindig.

I received a review copy of Rachel Kadish’s Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story. It has me giggling, I’m liking it. Yes, it will get stuck into the “chick lit” genre, but don’t let that stop you. It seems like everything written by women gets shoved into either the “Mommy Lit” or “Chick Lit” bin and I’ve had it with that shit. Writing is writing. Some of it good, some of it not. This one’s good. It is a novel about a cool woman named Tracy Farber, 33, happily single and teaching English at a major university. Will she fall in love? Will she not? She is an academic, not a fashion designer. Not a “Girl Friday.” Not an investment banker. And for this and many other reasons, I love this book.

I stayed up half the night finishing a review copy of Alternadad, by Neal Pollack. Apparently Neal has been in hot water for awhile now with mom bloggers, dad bloggers and Austin mama bloggers alike.

“I invented alt-parenting!”

“No, I did!”

“I found Dan Zanes first!”

“No, I did!”

Etc. Whatever. None of us invented parenting, savvy? Or writing about it. Pollack is aware of this. And I am psyched that I did not create Dan Zanes or pirate music. If I hear one more yuppie parent growl, “Yar!” I am going to puke. OK?

I loved Pollack’s book. I appreciate that he’s not afraid of looking bad. Or bragging when it’s warranted. From the beginning, when his wife, the artist Regina Allen, coins the phrase “getting assed by your cat” (it’s when your cat sticks his ass in your face and, you know) to the end, where everything blows up and they put it all back together again (is that a spoiler? It’s a domestic novel — it has to have something that resembles a happy ending. It’s the law). It’s a great book. Buy copies and give them as gifts.

All for now,



1 Comment

  1. edj says

    How fun! Ilsa loves the American girl books too. I didn’t think I would because of the dolls/merchandise tie-in, but I ended up liking them a lot myself.
    Thanks for the good ideas on books to look out for myself as well.
    Free books rock!

    September 24th, 2006 | #

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