For those of you who do have reading time over these dog days of summer, here are my top three picks:
Bossypants, Tina Fey. Tina Fey's memoir is less of a deep, soul revealing self-examination and more of an exercise in sketch writing, using herself as the main character. Fey's monologue covers everything from being a sort of geeky girl growing up, realizing she was funny, and figuring she best try and make a career out of it. With all of the self-deprecating and self-deflecting humour about her love life, her looks (she explains her scar in a very matter of fact tone) and her success, Fey manages to get some real digs in on the reluctance of the show business industry to accept that women are funny. Tina is a woman. She is very funny. Case closed.
Carte Blanche, Jeffrey Deaver. Apparently the Fleming estate commissioned Jeffrey Deaver to write a new Bond book and bring good ol' 007 into the modern age. Yummy Mummy Book Club strikes again. There is no way in a million years I would have ever read this book if it wasn't for the YMBC. I liked it. It was fun and easy to read. I do confess that although the description of Bond in this book was dark hair and mid 30's, I kept picturing Daniel Craig. It's full of intrigue (not so far fetched), creepy villains, fast cars and a sultry temptress (keeping to type, most of the women have typical Bond names). My only complaint was there wasn't as much gadgetry as I would have liked and I think Deaver could have done with making this modern Bond just a little more sociopathic (although I'm not sure you can be just a little more sociopathic).
Untold Story Another from the YMBC file (again, not sure I would have read this). Acclaimed British writer, Monica Ali, takes the story of Diana and throws the ultimate "what if" at you: "What if Diana didn't die. What if she just disappeared and went to live a different life?". This is book was especially timely with this being the year Diana would have been 50. Ali tries to put on the page who she thought Diana would be in her 50's. The narrative is pretty uneven, jumping around quite a bit. The character development is also a bit shallow. Ali does manage to weave a pretty interesting couple of angles around Diana dealing with her mental health issues but also examining what kind of girlfriend she would be in the real world. I personally thought the book was average at best, but if you are a royal fan, and in particular a Princess Diana fan, this should be in your beach bag.
With that, I'm off. I'm taking Keith Richards to the beach with me. I've been grinding through this for quite a while now so I'm hoping that if naptimes work out well, I could be doing my own summer beach reading.
See you in the fall!