Wh-wh-wh-what happened? Is today Tuesday? I think I blacked out, dude. I blame the aliens. Or possibly, the aliens in conjunction with the saucer people and the reverse vampires. I'd check for signs of probing, but I'm afraid to look.
Okay, what actually happened (because I'm sensing you don't believe my blackout story) was that Tara, AKA The Artist Formerly Known as Wing Chun, and her lovely assistant Glark were in town, and between our whirlwind tour of eastside massage parlours and the crippling bout of flatulence induced by the delicious (if I say so myself) black-bean-and-quinoa burgers I whipped up for us using a recipe from this fabulous cookbook, blogging fell off my list of things to do. But not only am I back, I'm back with a 50 Books first: a reader's request for book recommendations!
Jennifer is the mom of a two-year-old AND a three-year-old (she doesn't recommend this to just everyone) and she's finally at a point where she has time to read again. She's looking for "something really good and possibly funny and/or trashy to read this summer."
The last book Jennifer really enjoyed was by Jeffrey Steingarten (I haven't heard of him myself, so I'm a bit stumped here), and she's been reading a lot of Nora Roberts (also drawing a blank, I'm embarrassed to admit) because her mom has copies everywhere. Her favourite book in college was Possession, and her favourite in high school was The Scarlet Letter.
One last note from Jenn: "I got a recommendation for The Secret Lives of Bees but I really can't take emotionally crippling plots. If it's just a good book without the super-crying factor, let me know."
I've been giving Jenn's request some thought for a couple of days. Because I haven't read any of Steingarten's or Roberts's books, I can't work from that. I have read Possession, which I liked, so from there I might suggest some of Byatt's other books. I've always liked her short stories, so perhaps Sugar and Other Stories or The Matisse Stories.
And for fun summer reads... well, you may recall how much I've been enjoying Alexander McCall Smith's novels lately. And for a funny read, I also really liked Winner of the National Book Award.
So there are my 1.5 cents. Any other suggestions for Jennifer? Fire away.