The Juice (Book Thoughts: The Ladies Who Punch, Ramin Setodeeh)

41cOKdI45LL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Oh God, I miss reading. I used to read a lot more, but life! So of course a juicy tell-all book like Ramin Setoodeh would be the one who would lure me to reading again. And there is plenty of juice in ‘Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View’ that I finished it all in two days. It was that good.

My takeaways:

1 – Sure Barbara Walters was a probably bitch on wheels, but if there is someone who deserves the respect, it would be her. i found it kind of disgusting that a lot of these ladies talk about her like a dog. Rosie could me mean-spirited but she was the only one who prefaced whatever she was saying with respect. And Elizabeth Hasselback – what has she proven to the world for her to act like she is the second coming?

2 – Rosie. I have read over and over that she is difficult, and she comes across here as just medically-certified crazy. She is probably on all sorts of medication and everything makes her just so messed up. But she has one thing that most of these women don’t have – a relatable charisma that endears her to anyone who watches, including me. I can still watch her after this, and I don’t know if I can say the same thing about all the other ladies.  And she seems to have an eye and ear for what will work. If she were a man, she would only be probably categorized as ‘very difficult.’

3 – Whoopi.  She is one of the two ladies who did not sit down for interview with Setodeeh, and she still comes across negatively in my eye. I disagree with her a lot on issues, especially as she takes the side of her famous friends like Bill Cosby and Michael Jackson. She seems arrogant in the way she treated Barbara towards the end and I don’t know now if I can shake that off as I watch the current shows.

I thought the juiciest parts have already leaked but that I still enjoyed the book immensely. I can’t help but think about a sequel to this. Obviously, there is still a lot of drama brewing in the show because after the second Rosie season, the book loses steam. But I wonder if Setodeeh should be the one to write it as he is one of Megan McCain’s close friends.

Broadway Backwards (Book Thoughts: Nate Expectations, Tim Federle)

9781481404129I devoured the first two books about Nate Foster, so for sure I thought I would feel the same about the third (and unfortunately, last) on the series of books about him, written by Tim Federle, titled ‘Nate Expectations.’  When we last saw him, he was starring in a Broadway production of ‘E. T.,’ but the show is kind of floundering, and after it was not nominated for any Tony awards, got a closing notice. So this sends Nate back to Pittsburgh at his old high school, and of course he is somewhat dejected by all this, and has to repurpose and rebrand himself as a student. To be honest, this is the weakest book in the series for me, and it took me a little bit to get back int he groove of it, but it’s still a good and fast read. I still cherish all the Broadway references, of course, and it was a very nice touch for me that his new love interest is Filipino (who cooks him adobo!) I love the fact that his parents are very supportive of his sexual orientation (we knew all of this was coming, for sure) and it was nice to see him close up that way.  I hope Federle revisits him at some point as I would be curious where Nate eventually ends up.

Holiday Kisses (Book Thoughts: Kiss Me In New York, Catherine Rider)

34220850Most times when I am trying to decide what books to read next, I just choose random books on my TBR Kindle pile, and just start to read. Sometimes the words just click, and sometimes they don’t, depending on my mood. Catherine Rider’s ‘Kiss Me In New York’ got me hooked right away, so I decided to keep on reading. About a couple of pages in, I realized that this book was a Christmas-themed novel, and geez, did I really want to read a Holiday themed book this early? Well, there’s no turning back now, I told myself.

At first, I thought the premise didn’t quite work, in a practical sense. A girl get stranded in New York City on Christmas Eve, so she decides to spend it in the city with a young boy she just met. They are both suffering from broken hearts – they both just ended relationships, so they traipse around NYC. I was going to swallow everything and believe – until I can’t. And about halfway through the book, I lost interest in them because the practical Virgo in me just couldn’t take the impossibilities of the situations they are getting into. I ended up really disliking this book and not caring about what happened to the characters. Yes, Bah Hambug,

Openly (Book Thoughts: Openly Honestly, Bill Konigsberg)

34317317Bill Konigsberg’s ‘Openly Honestly’ is a novella that is meant to bridge the gap between his novels ‘Openly Straight,’ and ‘Honestly Ben.’  This short piece is told from Ben’s point of view around the time he went home for Holiday break after realizing he has feelings for Rafe. In here he questions his feelings, compounded by a scene where he sees his ex-girlfriend. I think at times that is the pivotal point when he realizes the enormity of his feelings. This was just fine – and I know this was just meant to satiate the thirst for those people waiting for the sequel.

Why Don’t We Run Away (Book Thoughts: People Who Knew Me, Kim Hopper)

25663718Maybe because I was in New York during 9/11, I still have mixed feelings whenever I encounter stories related to that day. Kim Hopper’s ‘People Who Knew Me’ uses that fateful day as the springboard for Emily’s story, the narrator for the book. When we first meet her, she is escaping her old life in New York, and traveling to the West Coast to reboot her life as a new person – Connie. And she is able to do that successfully, surviving fourteen years without getting ‘caught,’ until she gets diagnosed with breast cancer, and has to deal with the past she left behind, when she has to put her affairs in order.

I loved the book, and felt sympathy for Emily/Connie, even though we see her as a very complicated – even at times unlikable – character. But aren’t we all that most of the time? I was so engrossed reading that this was even one of those instances where I wanted to see what happens to their characters even after the book ended. I had one sleepless night where i just stayed with the book, staying with it until I couldn’t bear anymore, and had to sleep. I totally recommend this book – these characters will get to you and get under your skin. And they will stay with you,

When The Sun Comes Out (Book Thoughts: Hello, Sunshine, Laura Dave)

27274420Laura Dave’s ‘Hello Sunshine’ started put promising: Sunshine, one of those YouTube sensation cooks, is on the verge of getting her own Food Network show when she gets outed as a fraud – all her recipes aren’t really hers, they are the creations of her manager’s wife. She loses everything on her birthday, even her husband of fourteen years. So what is she to do? I was on-board for what happens next.

Unfortunately, the next couple of twists and turns weren’t really believable to me. She goes back to Montauk, where she grew up, and starts living with her sister and her niece, and she starts working at a restaurant there – did we even know that she had wanted to study cooking? A lot of things happen at a small amount of time that nothing seemed plausible. Dave is a great writer that she almost pulls it off – there’s a warmth to how she fleshes out these characters. I wonder if there is a longer book somewhere hidden here? Perhaps her editor cut chunks out? A lot of here seems hastily done, as if we were all reading just a draft.

Comfort Read (Book Thoughts: New Uses For Old Boyfriends, Beth Kendrick)

22544025Halfway through the book, I told myself why does this book sound familiar? So I checked Goodreads and found out that Beth Kendrick’s ‘New Uses For Old Boyfriends’ is a the second in the ‘Black Dog Bay series, and yes, I did read the first one, even though the characters there are unrelated to the ones here. There was just something in here that struck me as very familiar, and apparently it’s the town and tone of the book – probably Kendrick’s style.

Otherwise, this is a by-the-numbers chick lit read about a woman starting over after a divorce, coming back to her mother’s house, and reuniting with ex boyfriends. You don’t need to really figure things out, they happen as you expect them to. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing,  as I said earlier, the familiarity is welcome, like cuddling a well-worn warm blanket by the fire. I enjoyed this book for what it is, without lofty expectations, and that’s just fine with me.