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your valentine guide

Thursday, February 12, 2009 by kate

Valentine's Day is more than just an excuse to gorge yourself on chocolate and make googly eyes. It's also a perfect time to pick up a paperback – especially since most of you have Monday off. Here are a couple of suggestions for your long weekend:

What Was I Thinking? 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories, edited by Barbara Davilman and Liz Dubelman

If you’re spending Valentine’s Day alone, pick up a copy of What Was I Thinking – a collection of 58 love stories gone wrong. You’ll feel better about being single.

Why Him? Why Her? Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type, by Helen Fisher

Fisher decodes desire and helps readers find their life partner while revealing how people unconsciously find their mate.

He’s Just Not That into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys, by Greg Behrendt

With the movie coming out, what better time to pick up a copy of He’s Just Not That into You? Though the title is pretty self-explanatory, you'll basically learn how to tell when you’re in a dead-end relationship.

How to Talk to Girls, by Alec Greven

For guys out there that need some guidance, turn to Alec Greven, the 9-year-old girl guru. Learn everything from how to overcome shyness to how to gain a girl’s affection.

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment, by Steve Harvey

Harvey guides women through the male mind. Pick up how to spot a mama’s boy, when to introduce your kids and 5 questions that will determine how serious your man is.

Have any other recommended readings? Let us know!

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drinking with depp

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 by kate

Aaron Eckhart is in negotiations to join the cast of Rum Diary, an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Johnny Depp and Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins have already signed up to do the film.

Depp, who first played Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, stars in this film as an alcoholic journalist in 1950s Puerto Rico. Sound like someone we know? It should. The film is a somewhat fictional account of Thompson's experiences in Puerto Rico, when he was a freelancer there in 1960 and supplemented his income as a male model for Bacardi Rum, according to msnbc.com.

Shooting starts March 30 and the film is expected to come out next year. That should give me enough time to scrounge around and find my own copy of Thompson's book.

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pilfering president

Thursday, February 5, 2009 by kate

According to Boston.com, JFK wasn’t the honorable, trustworthy president that we though he was. He was a thief. Well, maybe he didn’t steal a book from the Library of Congress, but he never returned it. So, basically, president number 35 had sticky fingers.

The library has A. Lincoln by Ross F. Lockridge listed as missing, but the book was found among JFK’s things. Apparently Kennedy or one of his staff members borrowed the book in the 1950s while he was in the Senate. (So we actually elected a thief.)

The JFK Library plans to display the book as part of a weeklong celebration of Presidents' Day.

But don’t worry. The book will be returned to the Library of Congress after the weeklong event. I wonder what the overdue fee will be.

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big deal for Obama campaign

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 by kate

David Plouffe, Pres. Obama’s campaign manager, has signed a book deal with Viking reported to be worth $1.5 M.

"The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory" is due out next fall, according to the Associated Press.

Viking says the book will offer a unique look at campaign decisions, the initial battle with Hillary Clinton, McCain drama and lessons learned.

While Viking declined to discuss financials, 2 anonymous publishing executives said bidding reached $1.5-$2 M.

I wonder if he’ll pay taxes on that.

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royal suffocation

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 by kate

The Commoner, written by a male Harvard graduate from Brooklyn, is a compelling portrait of a young headstrong woman who marries the Crown Prince of Japan.

Characters drive this historical novel, based on the story of Michiko Shoda, the current empress and the first commoner to marry into the Japanese Imperial Family.

John Burnham Schwartz softly treads on Japanese tradition, giving voice to the private lives of the royal family. Though this novel is only loosely depicts the life of the current empress, it’s easy to get lost in the story and the painful isolation of a young commoner suffocated by the royal world.

The heartbreaking story of Haruko begins during the war, when her family was forced to evacuate Tokyo, which never was the same after the war was over.

“One would have noticed nothing amiss except on those days when a breeze rose up from the distant harbor and what we thought was purely soil and gravel and flowers behind our house turned out to hold ask as well. It entered our noses and our hair. Tokyo had burned and for a long time it would stay burned, and in my sleep even now sometimes it is burned.”

Haruko lived a normal life into her teens, studying at a prestigious Catholic school and playing tennis. Haruko and the Crown Prince met during a tennis match and romance grew on the court.

Haruko’s parents were fiercely against her marriage to the Price. “I believe the gulf is too wide,” her father told the Crown Prince’s messenger. “The gulf between the Imperial Family and our daughter. More than a gulf, it is an ocean. … Haruko could not possibly swim across such an ocean. She understands nothing about the water – how cold and deep it is, how rough – and she will drown. And when she drowns, we, her mother and I – allow me to say that I don’t believe we could accept it. It’s a sacrifice that we are not willing to make.”

But the sacrifice was made, and proven to be true. Haruko drowns in a sea of depression after her son is born, losing her voice for several months. She finds strength again in the eyes on her son’s wife, another young commoner trapped in royal matrimony.

Schwartz’s tender detail is enticing and his story is stirring.

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