What I’m Reading: American Ghost by Janis Owens

In elementary school, while studying the Civil War one day, I raised my hand in class and said, “My dad says that the reason so many black people have the last name Booker is because we were slave owners.” Mrs. Rivera shot back, “That’s nothing to be proud of!” I cried in class that day. I wasn’t bragging – I was just excited to have something to say. Later in life, I belonged to social clubs that declined membership toRead more

The Hunger Games: movie or book? Or Scooby-Do instead?

I read The Hunger Games to figure out why I was the only person in North America who hadn’t. Then earlier this week, I saw the movie because I unexpectedly had a babysitter and no plans. And here’s my assessment: The popcorn was excellent. I love popcorn. But here’s the problem with movie popcorn: it’s so delicious that I inevitably scarf down most of it during the previews, and kernel parts get stuck around my teeth. Then I spend theRead more

Fifty Shades of Gimme Some of That. Sex in the Suburbs, Part II.

Do you read Part I? You really should. Click here.    So yes, the Handyman reminds me of an Ex, who was also a brooding blue collar Hottie who liked Budweiser, smoked Marlboros, and had trouble sticking to one woman. Mmmm, mmm. I met him while working on the Mississippi Queen steamboat, cruising the length of the great river, living on the boat for six weeks at a time. I felt in love with everyone and everything – the roilingRead more

Fifty Shades of Gimme Some of That, or Sex in the Suburbs, Part I.

NOTE: Hot Firefighter Husband finally has released the Embargoed Post! And I adore him for it. In return, I’ve agreed to a handful of sexual favors. At last month’s book club meeting, we discussed E.L. James’ runaway bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey. You may recall that this was not my choice. I wanted to read a book about life in the slums of Mumbai. Instead we read a graphic story of sexual domination, and it pretty much ruined my lifeRead more

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain: absinthe, anyone?

My book club peeps wanted to read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. I did not. But I don’t make waves because they graciously allowed me to join their group after my last book club experiment ended with me crying in a driveway. So I read The Paris Wife, and I loved it, which is why everyone should belong to a book club – for the challenge of stepping out of your comfort zone. The novel tells the story ofRead more

Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Go buy it tomorrow.

Here are the first two lines of the novel Little Bee by Chris Cleave: Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming. Holy shit, right? I know! So I kept reading, and what unfolded was the most enthralling, poignant, provocative story I’ve read in a long time. When we meet Little Bee, she’s a young girl being held in a detention center in rural England,Read more

Casey Anthony and Ottis Toole: two rotten peas, different pods.

Dear Casey Anthony, You and me are done with each other. As you may recall, I blame you for having to introduce my daughter to the concept of a mother killing her own child. Since the jury failed to convict you, my daughter thinks you’re not guilty, so now I have to introduce her to our flawed justice system and assure her that you are indeed responsible, in one way or another for the death of your daughter. Here’s myRead more

Spouse-shopping with A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

There’s something a little intoxicating about the idea of purchasing a spouse. Hear me out. NOTE TO THE DUBIOUS: I’m not referring to situations in which women (or men) are extracted from poverty and despair to serve as sex slaves and household help. Imagine a store in which potential spouses line the aisle along with lists of attributes. This is Alberto. He loves to cook and vacuum, but cannot ever miss a Chicago Bears game. He’s happy to have sexRead more

Reading Lit by Mary Karr, with a hangover. Not cool.

Occasionally, I drink too much. In the old days, that meant consuming three beers in four seconds flat using a beer bong, or playing quarters (CHAMPION NOSE HERE)!, or drinking jungle juice mixed in a garbage can. But now I’m older and wiser and my Voice of Maturity says, “IF YOU HAVE A FOURTH GLASS OF WINE, YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF MAKING OUT WITH THAT TOTALLY HOT WAITER RIGHT BEFORE YOU PUKE IN THE PARKING LOT.” So I (almost) alwaysRead more