Reading Maze For Book Reviews

Reading for the Young & Old

Wonder Boys. Michael Chabon.

I have to admit a fair degree of ignorance here.

I suspect that Michael Chabon is an established and probably well know author. But this is the first thing I have read of his.

And boy he writes well!

He has that wonderful confidence of great Americans like John Irving where he’ll not only tell you the story, but also include swathes of the story his character is writing.

This is the bitter tale of author and lecturer Grady Trip, on his third marriage (well, for the first few pages at least), seeing his college chancellor, fancied by his student despite his prodigious girth, and fast on the road to ruin.

At times hilarious, at times achingly sad, and frequently giving out classy one liners, this book deserves to be read at speed. In fact that seems to be expected. Grady says himself that he absorbed 120 pages of a student’s novel in two and a half hours. Blimey – I can’t even afford to read that fast, though I would like to.

it was fun looking the book up on line and seeing that Chabon has said himself that Grady Tripp is based on a college lecturer of his past – I wonder what the don thought and whether he sees it as a tribute!

I look forward to reading another of his tales.

wonder boys on Amazon

Plan…then party….

A Hollywood celebrity who was a teen star and daughter of one of the industry’s most powerful moguls might seem an unlikely author for a party planning book.

But Tori Spelling’s book “celebraTORI” [pun intended] is surprisingly readable and full of useful stuff. Covering everything from the theme, the food, to decorations and etiquette, and what to do when things go awry and guests behave unexpectedly, the book is a handy blueprint to all things related to parties or entertaining on any level.  With her glamorous background, at least the reader can trust Spelling’s advice on the subject, as one can assume she’s attended a party or two in her time and knows enough to tell it like it is.

Spelling guides the enthusiastic potential host or hostess through the initial stages of planning, and delivers plenty of inspiration on probably the most important aspect of any do – the theme. She has a plethora of suggestions up her sleeve and seems especially keen on upscale ‘Hollywood’ black-tie bashes and murder mystery weekends.

Indeed, there is much detail about a rather retro ‘Cluedo’ theme – based on the popular board game – where guests have to take part in the twisted plot in order to unravel the mystery of the pretend dead body found behind the blinds in the conservatory!

Other occasions are not neglected and there is content relating to events tailored to the time of year, such as Christmas, New Year and Easter. Children’s parties are briefly described and the author’s experience as a mother gives rise to a chapter about getting your children involved in the process and also throwing a successful children’s party.

This practical guide full of arty photos and personal touches from Spelling is recommended reading for a keen event organiser and should inspire absolutely anyone to hold an original and successful party.