By Jennifer Weiner
July 5, 2012
At the beach
“Between You and Me: A Novel”
By Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Strauss
“Between You and Me” by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Strauss — a dishy and dark story about a young woman in NYC whose new job — assistant to her chart-topping, Britney-esque cousin — involves letting Kelsey Wade spit used gum into her hand. There’s a lot of insider details and guess-who-don’t-sue scenarios, but, beyond that, there’s two incredibly well-developed young women, one insanely dysfunctional family, and the all-too-true story of the cost of being a star.
For a rainy day
“Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women”
By Nora Ephron
As an essayist, Ephron was one of the great voices of our time. We lost her way too soon, and, if you only know her from her movies, this essay collection is a great place to start. With her trademark tart prose and brilliant turns of phrase, Ephron takes on everything from her own flat chest to the Pillsbury Bake-Off, and what it meant to be a woman, and a feminist, in the 1970’s. One of the books that made me want to be — and believe that I could be — a writer.
For under the covers
“Geek Love: A Novel”
By Katharine Dunn
How to explain this book? It takes “dysfunctional family” to an entirely new level. The Binewskis are circus folk, who want to guarantee their children employment. So mother Lil takes a combination of heavy metals and poisons, thus guaranteeing that her children are born deformed (and are, thus, employable.) The story is told by Olympia, an albino dwarf who’s in love with her brother, and desperate to save her daughter from a dangerous fate. It’s a hard book to describe, but an easy book to love.