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The Wacky Mommy Book Review: “Wildwood,” “The Marriage Plot” and… “STORI Telling” (Tori Spelling’s memoir) (one of ’em)

January 12th, 2012

Man, I loved Tori Spelling’s memoir, “sTORI Telling.” Yes, she had a writer help her with it, but it’s her voice, her stories, all Tori, all the time. I love that girl. Yes, I was a big 90210 and Melrose Place fan, back in the olden days before there was high-def TV. Her dad was just a crazy writing, producing, Hollywood machine gun of a guy, and her mom is named Candy and loves to buy shit and… The Spellings are as close as we have to royalty in this country we call the U.S. of A., no? Steve and I think her husband, Dean McDermott, is funny as hell, too, cuz he played Stan Ryckman in one of our favorite TV shows ever, The Tournament. (It’s a Canadian show about hockey, it’s as if they designed it just for us.) I love those two, and their kids, and their other kids (their goats) and that’s all. xoxoxoxoxox to you and your family, Tori. Next?

Oh, yes. Next is the bad news. I tried to read Jeffrey Eugenides’s (“The Virgin Suicides”) latest, “The Marriage Plot.” Made it through the first 71 pages. Yeah, you “take a pee.” “One takes a pee.” “One uses the bathroom.” Whatever. (This is an “adult” book.) You do not “pee with taurine force” (p. 59.) (Yeah, your guess is correct. “Like a bull.”) You have breasts. You may even have pale breasts. But a “pale, quiet, Episcopalian breast”? (p. 71.) Now you’re just trying to show off wif your writing, boy. Eh.

Next? “Wildwood,” by Colin Meloy (from the band the Decemberists, and that one episode of the TV show “Portlandia”) and his lovely wolf, Carson Ellis. Was it named for Wildwood restaurant, the fancy-shmancy place in Northwest Portland? Maybe they like to eat there or something. I do not know. Oh! It’s named for the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park, no doubt. There you go.

I do love Ellis’s art — she has done illustrations for Lemony Snicket and Florence Parry Heide and (one of my favorites) Trenton Lee Stewart (“The Mysterious Benedict Society”). She, Meloy and their kid, who is, I’m sure, adorable, as kids usually are, live in Portland, Ore. They are referred to as “hipsters.” (Ellis-Meloy, that is.) Their young adult novel has been getting rave reviews and lots o’ press and wow, what a book, etc. Babies, all I could think about was “Portlandia,” and a ways into the book, I became convinced that Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, who I know, I know, a lot of you find as adorable as the Ellis-Meloy kid is, no doubt… I started thinking that they wrote the book, even though of course they didn’t, it’s Mr. Meloy and Ms. Ellis’s book and chicken people, no, crows, crow people and St. Johns in North Portland oh-my-gawd it’s so hip I could die, and gah…

I’m telling you. Hell hath no fury like a native-born and -grown Portland girl who can’t live there anymore cuz it’s not her people anymore and…

Where was I? Oh, yeah. “What right do you have to even review books? Who are you, anyway, Little Miss Astor Butt?” That’s what my granny would say. Lotta nerve, you, thinking you’re a writer and book reviewer. I. Love. Books. I have a B.A. in English, I write and edit, my kids and husband are all big readers, I come from a family of big readers on both sides, mom’s and dad’s, and… right. I’m a librarian, too, in my free time. You know what a book needs to do? Move me. And these last two just didn’t, fancy words, gushing accolades, pretty covers, what have you. So gimme Tori Spelling. She’s funny, she’s real, and she’s not trying to impress me. She’s self-deprecating as hell. She does something kooky, things don’t turn out well, and she says, Surprise, surprise…

You can keep your hip references and wordy-wordiness, alright? Please, for the love of Mike, don’t be pretentious.

(PS — I purchased “Wildwood” for my kids. They do like Portlandia, but refuse to read this book that I plunked down $17.99 for. The other two I checked out from the library. No disclaimer needed. Although I did get hungry for apple pie, reading “The Marriage Plot.” Two of the characters are discussing when pie used to arrive with a slice of cheddar on top, yeah, I remember that, one of the characters says, followed by no, actually I don’t. So I put the books aside and baked a pie. It was delicious. So there’s my disclaimer.)

all for now,



  1. pter says

    Wildwood is a really great book. Reads like a Decemberists song. Also, I did not know that Colin Meloy had a lovely wolf named Carson Ellis.

    January 13th, 2012 | #

  2. WackyMommy says

    Funny, funny… http://everydayportland.com/20.....emberists/

    January 13th, 2012 | #

  3. Neisha says

    Oh, WM! I forced myself to slog through Wildwood and it was a whole lot of children’s book that I could not get into. The kid was actually invited by OPB to come on a special Think Out Loud with Meloy and Ellis and ask them questions about Wildwood. The producer called us at home and everything. And he turned them down because he could not get into the book either and hadn’t read past the first couple of chapters.

    After Wildwood, I re-read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, because that was a young adult book that I could not put down!

    I’m going to take your word on The Marriage Plot. I have a sample of it on my Kindle because everyone *loved* it so much, but I often feel kind of meh about the Brooklyn boys club writers. (I also have a coworker who feels exactly the same way about Brooklyn that you do about Portland. She just returned from NYC and I got to hear her stories about all the people with their skinny jeans and piercings and where did they come from?!? And what are they doing in Flatbush, and why are they calling it East Williamsburg now? And the condos? What the heck?)

    January 20th, 2012 | #

  4. WackyMommy says

    I’m just sayin’… the world is going to hell in a big ol’ handbasket.

    January 20th, 2012 | #

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