Friday, April 23, 2010

Books #41 and #42 of 2010

I promise you my children are fed and clothed (mostly).

Book #41 of 2010 was "24 Karat Kids" by Dr. Judy Goldstein and Sebastian Stuart.

When Dr. Shelley Green joins Madison Pediatrics, a medical practice catering to the rich, peculiar parents of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, this self-described "schlumpy girl from Jackson Heights" is unprepared for the self-centered eccentrics who parade through her office. First-time collaborators Goldstein and Stuart have created them all in this chick-out-of-water comedy: a six-year-old with strep devastated to miss her Bergdorf manicure, a show-biz mom who wants a nose job for her eight-month-old son, and ultrapampered busybody Amanda Walker, who takes Shelley under her gilded wing. In the name of developing the "persona" to fit in with the posh parents from her practice, Shelley dives into the world of designer stores, spends weekends in the Hamptons with Amanda and her upscale friends and considers a dalliance with rich, hunky Josh Potter—a man entirely unlike her schoolteacher fiancĂ©, Arthur.

I enjoyed the snapshots of the privileged patients (and their neurotic parents) that visited the office but the ending was ridiculous.

Book #42 of 2010 was "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" by Alexandra Fuller.

Pining for Africa, Fuller's parents departed England in the early '70s while she was still a toddler. They knew well that their life as white farmers living in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia at the time) would be anything but glamorous. Living a crude, rural life, the author and her older sister contended with "itchy bums and worms and bites up their arms from fleas" and losing three siblings. Mum and Dad were freewheeling, free-drinking, and often careless. Yet they were made of tough stuff and there is little doubt of the affection among family members. On top of attempting to make a living, they faced natives who were trying to free themselves of British rule, and who were understandably not thrilled to see more white bwanas settling in. Fuller portrays bigotry (her own included), segregation, and deprivation.

Fuller has a gift for imagery and a love for Africa that clearly shows in this memoir.

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Anonymous said...

I don't know how. I may need to see evidence of the fed and clothed children part. And I'm thinking about entering you in a speed-reading contest.

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