Tag Archives: Sex and the City

2010 Year in Review

I completed Ready or Not by Meg Cabot on December 28, 2010. This marked the 78th book I read that year, and I met my goal of reading 78 books! In celebration I will be highlighting some of my favorite–and one least favorite–of 2010.

Favorite Pregnancy Read

Nominees: Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-be by Rebecca Eckler and Baby Bargains, 8th Edition: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on Baby Furniture, Gear, Clothes, Toys, Maternity Wear and Much, Much More! by Denise Fields, Alan Fields
Winner: Baby Bargains, 8th Edition by Denise Fields, Alan Fields
Book Cover for Baby Bargains, 8th Edition by Denise Fields & Alan FieldsI judged this category based on which book I felt prepared me the best for my impending motherhood. These two books are very different from each other, which made it difficult to choose a favorite. Knocked Up was an entertaining and realistic tale about the journey of pregnancy; it is a great memoir. Baby Bargains wins the category, however. This book helped me prepare for the new baby the most. As a first time mom, I know nothing about the products available for a newborn. This book was invaluable in helping figure out which items I needed and which I didn’t. I loved how this information was all in one place for easy reference. This is such a great book that I recommend it for all new parents.

Favorite Series

Nominees: Airhead Series by Meg Cabot, Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter, The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins, and Mediator Series by Meg Cabot
Winner: Mediator Series by Meg Cabot
Cover of Shadowland (Mediator #1) by Meg CabotI didn’t realize how many great book series I read this year until I tried to pick a winner. All four series were full of five-star books. In order to pick my favorite, it came down to one fact: which series was the most consistent throughout. Two of these series–Airhead and Hunger Games–started off strong but the series’ finales left me disappointed. To some extent this also happened with the latest Gallagher Girls book. This was not the case in the Mediator books. Each book had a consistency that I enjoyed. I picked up the first and finished the last within forty-eight hours. The entire time I was interested and engaged in the plot. I enjoyed how Cabot was able to tell Suze’s story over six books while keeping the plot connected and entertaining. Note: While the Mediator series wins this category, all four series are “Must Reads” in my book.

Favorite Goodreads “First-Read”

Nominees: Second Time Around by Beth Kendrick, The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be Me by Bruce Feiler, Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling by Beth Raymer
Winner: Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling by Beth Raymer
Lay The Favorite book cover What I like most about Goodreads giveaways is that they give me a chance to read a book I wouldn’t normally pick up. This is true of all ten books I have won. I appreciated all but one of them, with Lay the Favorite being the one I enjoyed the most. The fact that I had nothing in common with the main character, yet still was still entertained by her story, made the book more interesting for me. The book was a real page-turner that had me interested throughout. I never would have purchased this book, but am really glad that Goodreads gave me the opportunity to read it.

Worst Book of 2010

Nominees: Rich Again by Anna Maxted, The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell, The Gift by Cecelia Ahern
Winner: Rich Again by Anna Maxted
Book Cover of Rich Again by Anna Maxted I previously mentioned that I picked up this book solely based on its cover. The bright colors and shopping bags made me believe the story was a typical Chick Lit plot with a bit more conflict. Instead I found a book with a confusing setup, unlikeable characters, and morbid plot. There was not one enjoyable aspect in this story. I have never before been unable to finish a book and was only able to complete this one because I heavily skimmed it. Such a bad book all around.

Favorite Memior

Nominees: Sliding Into Home by Kendra Wilkinson, My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict’s Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black; Or, A Culture-Up Manifesto by Jen Lancaster, Didn’t I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother’s Guide to Sanity in Stilettos by Laura Bennett
Winner: Sliding Into Home by Kendra Wilkinson
Book Cover of Sliding Into Home by Kendra WilkinsonSo, I have a confession to make. I have a small obsession with all things related to the original Girls Next Door; Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson, and Bridget Marquardt. I was very excited when I heard that Wilkinson was going to be releasing a memoir. I figured this book would give me a little extra insight into what went on behind the scenes of the TV show. I was also interested in learning a bit more about what Wilkinson’s life was life before her time at the mansion and what brought her there. Apparently I wasn’t the only one interested, as it was impossible for me to get my hands on a copy of the book until a week after it had been released! Once I was able to start reading, I found myself enjoying the pace and flow of the story. Her truthful tale was the perfect mix of history and humor that defines her. This book may not be on the same level as some of the other five-star books I read this year, but it served as a needed escape. It was the perfect way to get some “guilty pleasure” time in and getaway from the insanity that can be real life.

Favorite Chick Lit Novel

Nominees: Second Time Around by Beth Kendrick, The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes, Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
Winner: Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
The cover of Emily Giffin's now book "Heart of the Matter"Most of the Chick Lit stories I read in previous years were fun and flighty. They involved a single girl shopping her way around town while looking for the right guy. This year I discovered that authors were moving away from this type of story in favor of serious tales. Emilly Giffin was able to successfully tell the tale of the challenges of marriage after writing great “boy meets girl” stories. There was very little about this book that didn’t work. I highly recommend it to all of my Chick Lit blog readers.

Favorite YA Novel

Nominees: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, David Levithan, Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, The Hunger Games & Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Winner: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Book Cover of Before I Fall by Lauren OliverIt was a great year for me in terms of YA books. A quick look at a summary of YA books I read least year shows that a high percentage of the them rated four or five stars. It was hard to narrow this list down to the nominees. It was even harder to pick a winner! After much deliberation I picked Before I Fall. I started reading the book with no expectations. Lauren Oliver was a new author who was not from the usual circle of authors I read. I finished the book with a changed attitude. The way in which Oliver discussed the life and death of the main character was inspiring. I find myself often recommending this book to friends and strangers. Such an amazing book.

So, those are some of my favorite books of 2010. What were some of your favorite reads?


The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

As I mentioned in my “To-Read” pile post, I had recently picked up The Carrie Diaries and was hoping to start reading it soon. I had some downtime this weekend to read the story, and here is my review!

From Goodreads.com

Carrie Diaries Book CoverBefore Carrie Bradshaw hit the big time in the City, she was a regular girl growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut. How did she turn into one of the most-read social observers of our generation?

The Carrie Diaries opens up in Carrie’s senior year of high school. She and her best friends — Walt, Lali, Maggie, and the Mouse — are inseparable, amid the sea of Jens, Jocks and Jets. And then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture. Sebastian is a bad boy-older, intriguing, and unpredictable. Carrie falls into the relationship that she was always supposed to have in high school-until a friend’s betrayal makes her question everything. With her high school days coming to a close, Carrie will realize it’s finally time to go after everything she ever wanted.

Rabid fans of Sex and the City will love seeing Carrie Bradshaw evolve from a regular girl into a sharp, insightful writer. They’ll learn about her family background — how she found her writing voice, and the indelible impression her early friendships and relationships left on her. We’ll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where the next Carrie Diaries book will take place.

I am very lucky that my experience of reading young adult (YA) books has lead me to some great authors. As a result, I have given high marks to almost all of the YA books I have read. Due to these wonderful writers–and the fabulous books they have published–I have come to expect high quality in my YA reads. High school is a time for young adults to grow and go through many changes. This has never been used as an excuse to develop weak characters; this is part of the reason I seek out great YA books.

Bushnell’s first attempt at YA does not begin to reach the high level of YA I have come to expect. This book is long–400 pages–but says very little. Part of the reason is because this book is full of many contradictions. For example Carrie claims she wants to be a writer, yet for most of the book she does nothing to reach this goal. She goes on and on about how she never wants to get married, yet immediately attaches herself to the first guy who shows interest in her. What is further annoying about this relationship is the fact that he treats her awfully for most of the book, yet she stays with him. The relationship with two of her friends also drove me crazy. She gives a great deal of herself to these relationships, yet receives little in return. To me this all lead to Carrie being an uninteresting and weak character.

There were some redeeming things about this story that did keep me reading. The secondary plot of Carrie’s family situation was enjoyable for me to read. I felt as if the relationship between Carrie and her sisters was very honest. How they related to each other and their father after their mother’s passing kept me interested. A second storyline discussing about Carrie’s relationship with George, a boy she meets at Brown University, really helps move the plot along. Unfortunately, this story doesn’t start progressing until the last third of the book. I wish the author had discussed introduced these bits more throughout the story, as I believe it would of lead to a more interesting book.

Review: The two plot points I enjoyed could not save this book for me. Sadly it is the last line of this book that is the most interesting to me. While this does make me excited for the next “Carrie Diaries” book, it does not say much for this book. Although I usually love YA books, I felt this book was childish.

My “To-Read” pile

I like to always have a good-sized “to-read” pile sitting on my bookshelf at home. This practice always insures I have a new book to start at the completion of another! As my “to-read” pile had started dwindling in the last week, I headed to Target this weekend to restock.

The Carrie Diaries Book CoverOne of the books I purchase was The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell. This book tells the high school tale of Sex and the City fashionista Carrie Bradshaw. Although I am excited to read this book, I do have some reservations. A part of me is afraid that this book is an attempt to capitalize on the upcoming release of the Sex and the City 2 movie, leading the author to deliver a substandard book to make a buck. Another reservation is due to the fact that my history with Bushnell books is a bit rocky. While I enjoyed One Fifth Avenue, I felt that Four Blondes and Sex and the City were just alright. Hopefully my love for all things Carrie Bradshaw will lead to an enjoyable reading experience.

My Fair Lazy book coverMy next purchase was a book I have been eagerly awaiting: My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict’s Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black; Or, A Culture-Up Manifesto by Jen Lancaster. I discovered Lancaster after finding a previous book Bright Lights, Big Ass during a bookstore run. The book was hysterical. I have since picked up–and enjoyed–her other three books. I can not wait for the right day to pick up this book and escape into Lancaster’s world.

Book cover of "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett The last book I picked up on my shopping trip was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Unlike the previous two books, this purchase was an accidental find. This book first grabbed my interest when I saw it on my local Target shelf. Since then I started seeing references to this book in articles and TV spots. Finally after a recommendation from my friend Melissa, I figured I needed to add it to my “to-read” shelf. It is now sitting on my bookshelf, and I am excited to see what it is about!

So that is my current “to-read” pile! What’s on your list?