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I'm finally doing more on the 50bookchallenge - Happy's Obsession
or what I do between bouts of Real Life
I'm finally doing more on the 50bookchallenge
4.) A Dirty Job, by Christopher Moore
One of the funniest books I've read in a long time. I highly recommend it to everyone!

From Publishers Weekly
Cult-hero Moore (The Stupidest Angel) tackles death—make that Death—in his latest wonderful, whacked-out yarn. For beta male Charlie Asher, proprietor of a shop in San Francisco, life and death meet in a maternity ward recovery room where his wife, Rachel, dies shortly after giving birth. Though security cameras catch nothing, Charlie swears he saw an impossibly tall black man in a mint green suit standing beside Rachel as she died. When objects in his store begin glowing, strangers drop dead before him and man-sized ravens start attacking him, Charlie figures something's up. Along comes Minty Fresh—the man in green—to enlighten him: turns out Charlie and Minty are Death Merchants, whose job (outlined in the Great Big Book of Death) is to gather up souls before the Forces of Darkness get to them. While Charlie's employees, Lily the Goth girl and Ray the ex-cop, mind the shop, and two enormous hellhounds babysit, Charlie attends to his dangerous soul-collecting duties, building toward a showdown with Death in a Gold Rush–era ship buried beneath San Francisco's financial district. If it sounds over the top, that's because it is—but Moore's enthusiasm and skill make it convincing, and his affection for the cast of weirdos gives the book an unexpected poignancy. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com
The tradition of Death taking on a fumbling apprentice might seem fully plumbed by now in the literature of the fantastic, on a par with all those "deal with the devil" tales. But if any contemporary humorist could be relied on to spin engaging variations on this riff, it would be Christopher Moore. Since his debut in 1992 with Practical Demonkeeping, Moore has produced eight books that deftly blend surreal, occult and even science-fiction doings with laugh-out-loud satire of contemporary culture. Powered by engines of the abnormal and unlikely, his tales feature eccentric lowlifes who find their desperate existences hilariously remade by intrusions from other spheres. A Dirty Job is an outstanding addition to his canon. Protagonist Charlie Asher is a naturally cautious and timid soul, content with life as the proprietor of a junk shop. What sustains him is his marvelous wife, Rachel, who he can hardly believe ever consented to be his mate. And now that Rachel has delivered their first child, Sophie, Charlie's life seems complete. Of course, the birth of a daughter gives him lots of new apprehensions about mortality and the future, but in a superb example of Moore's narrative cunning, Charlie's dreads are misdirected. As the book begins, he loses not Sophie but Rachel to a "cerebral thromboembolism." Bad enough. But to complicate matters, a tall man dressed garishly in green, whom only Charlie can see, is at Rachel's side when she dies. And the fellow steals Rachel's favorite CD -- now oddly aglow with her disembodied soul -- in the confusion.

This man, Charlie learns, is a mortal named Minty Fresh, a used-music dealer who moonlights as a "Death Merchant," one of a dozen deputies for Death. Their job is to collect "soul vessels," tangible objects that house the essences of the recently departed. These soul vessels are then passed on to living individuals who lack souls of their own, in a kind of modified version of reincarnation.

And now Charlie has been tapped for the same job.

The remainder of the novel covers five years of Charlie's life, during which time he has to raise Sophie as a single dad, perform his duties as a Death Merchant and thwart a trio of sewer-dwelling harpies out to undermine all human existence. In the course of these actions, he is aided by a motley cast: his two helpers at the junk store (a teenage Goth girl and a bachelor ex-cop fixated on mail-order brides); his obnoxious lesbian sister; two hellhounds; and a mystical young leader of the "squirrel people," living puppets formed of random organic debris.

Much of the pleasure of Moore's tale resides not only in the ingeniously unpredictable events but also in the prickly vitality of his language. Striking figures of speech (the Death Merchants are "secret agents of karma") and aphorisms grace the text: "Everyone is happier, if they have someone to look down on, as well as someone to look up to, especially if they resent both." And the dialogue follows a zany illogic worthy of the Marx Brothers, as in this colloquy between Charlie and Minty Fresh:

"Mr. Fresh looked up. 'The book says if we don't do our jobs everything could go dark, become like the Underworld. I don't know what the Underworld is like, Mr. Asher, but I've caught some of the road show from there a couple of times, and I'm not interested in finding out. How 'bout you?'

" 'Maybe it's Oakland,' Charlie said.

" 'What's Oakland?'

" 'The Underworld.'

" 'Oakland is not the Underworld!' . . .

" 'The Tenderloin?' Charlie suggested."

Finally, Moore's book benefits from an instructional paradox he cannily exploits. Nothing enhances Charlie's life like death. "Until he became Death, he'd never felt so alive," writes Moore. Embracing what we fear enlarges our souls -- until they can barely fit onto a compact disc.

Reviewed by Paul Di Filippo
Copyright 2006, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.

5.) You Suck: A Love Story, by Christopher Moore
Book #4 led to this, and I was not disappointed. Highly recommended.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Moore's latest (after 2006's A Dirty Job) is a cheerfully perverse, gut-busting tale of young vampires in love. Nineteen-year-old Tommy is a bewildered hipster recently relocated to San Francisco from Incontinence, Ind. His sarcastic redhead (and bloodsucking) girlfriend, Jody, brings him into the fold of the undead ("I wanted us to be together," she says). Tommy, understandably, has mixed feelings; vampirism has its perks (you can turn to mist, live forever and the sex is awesome), but sunlight is death and blood hunger makes you do some pretty foul things. Also, the duo is hunted by Elijah, the ancient vampire who "turned" Jody and wants her back, and a band of Safeway stock boys/amateur vampire hunters known as the Animals (with whom pre–dark side Tommy once rolled). With the assistance of their devoted minion, goth girl Abby Normal, whose hilarious diary entries form part of the narrative, Tommy and Jody evade their pursuers, feeding at night and conking out at dawn, all the while learning how vampirism complicates love. Moore writes with the jittery energy of a brilliant, charming class clown, mixing sex and gore and a potty mouth with a goofy-sweet sensibility to deliver laughs on nearly every page. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist
Moore revives the stars of his last "love story," Bloodsucking Fiends (1995)--literally. Redheaded stunner--and vampire--Jody had been sealed in a bronze body cast by her lover C. Thomas Flood. She escaped, though, because Tommy drilled ear holes so she could hear his heartsick regrets. She used her vampire powers to go all misty, drift out of the cast, rematerialize, and "turn" Tommy, who has just waked as a vampire as our story opens. "You bitch, you killed me!" he remonstrates, "You suck!" Of course, and, now, so must he, but not before some "hot monkey love," which greatly reconciles the 19-year-old to his fate. The lovers must go on the lam, however, since they promised the two San Francisco cops hip to them to get out of town immediately. Tommy finds a minion in morbid but perky teenager Abby Normal, who fills the bill handily and writes her doings up in valley-girl-teenybopper-hip-hop slang in her journal, which Moore excerpts throughout. Good thing Abby's so effective, too, since per usual in Moore's dark-fantasy lampoons, a small army is soon in pursuit of Jody and Tommy. Happy endings for pretty much everybody conclude Moore's hilarious mockery of the pursuit of the appetites. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

6.) Everyone Worth Knowing, by Lauren Weisberger
Really liked this book. Lots of name dropping, or pseudoname dropping, and a good light summer read.
Lauren Weisberger, whose bestselling debut The Devil Wears Prada outed the vicious antics of the magazine industry elite, is back at it with Everyone Worth Knowing, another cautionary tale of sex, power, and fame. This time around, the PR industry is her target, and Prada fans will recognize similar themes throughout this entertaining, if at times overly dramatic, exposé.

Bette Robinson is a twentysomething Emory graduate who shunned her parents' hippie ideals in favor of a high-paying yet excruciatingly boring job at a prestigious investment bank. One day, after a particularly condescending exchange with her boss (who sends her daily inspirational e-mails), Bette walks out on her job in a huff. After a few weeks of sleeping late, watching Dr. Phil and entertaining her dog Millington, Bette's uncle scores her a job at an up-and-coming public relations firm, where her entire job seems to revolve around staying out late partying and providing fodder for clandestine gossip columns. What follows is one episode after another of Bette climbing up the social ladder at the expense of her friends, family, and the one guy who actually seems worth pursuing.

Weisberger is clever enough to turn seemingly outrageous circumstances into amusing anecdotes, like the tale of a woman who was close to suicide until she found out she was only 18 months away from scoring a highly coveted Birkin bag ("You simply cannot kill yourself when you're that close ... it's just not an option."). This wit, combined a hint of voyeurism that most of us can't deny, is what makes Everyone Worth Knowing a guilty pleasure that's well worth the indulgence. --Gisele Toueg

7.)  Twisted, by Jeffrey Deaver
Read this one a while ago.  Was carrying it so long that the SO started to ask if I was doing it just for show.  But I did like it... and it's a good one to read in small doses, as it's a lot of very "double twisted" short stories.
From Publishers Weekly
The title applies in several ways to this wicked collection of crime short stories by bestselling author Deaver (The Vanished Man, etc.): to many of the stories' characters and protagonists, who include murderers, adulterers, thieves; to the stories' arcs, which offer numerous bends and surprises; and to the general tone of the tales-as Deaver says in a brief introduction, "In a story, I can make good bad and bad badder and, most fun of all, really bad good." Of the 16 stories, 15 are reprints, some from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, some from its counterpart Alfred Hitchcock, while one, a Christmas tale featuring Deaver's beloved quadriplegic crime-buster Lincoln Rhyme and his sidekick, Amelia Sachs, is original to the anthology. The opening story, "Without Jonathan," is representative of Deaver's approach here. A woman, Marissa, drives along a Maine road, tormented by images of her husband drowning at sea. She's on her way to meet a man, presumably her first date since her husband's death. Cut to the man, shown strangling a woman-is our heroine about to encounter a serial killer? The two meet... and it turns out that he's a hit man hired by Marissa to kidnap her cheating husband aboard the husband's ship, then throw him overboard. And so it goes in story after story, all characterized, in addition to clever plotting, by brisk characterization and compact, efficient prose. The Rhyme/Sachs entry, "The Christmas Present," is the cherry on the tart, as grumpy Rhyme and sweet but dangerous Sachs set out to save a woman from one apparent predator only to have to rescue her from another. Like an afternoon snack, this snappy volume will stave off hunger for Deaver fans until his next novel appears.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

I have 7 J.D. Robb books to read, one more from Christopher Moore, and one about prison life.  That would make... 14?   OMG, I might make it!!!

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7 / 50


3 Voices or Sing to Me
meimur From: meimur Date: June 7th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I love me some Christopher Moore! If you haven't already, check out his book, Lamb. Hilarious. I would read it during work, and laughed out loud quite a bit because of it! Whoops!
agneson9 From: agneson9 Date: June 7th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have a few Moore books, will def. read them now.

There was something unsatisfactory about "Everyone Worth Knowing", do you think?
qafhappy From: qafhappy Date: June 7th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought her ability to live in an apartment in NY while "scraping by with factchecking jobs from her uncle & his friends" seemed unlikely, and the ending? A little too trite. But overall, I thought it was pretty good. Although I'm notoriously easy to please in reading material.
3 Voices or Sing to Me