Prospect Park West

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Today's book, "Brooklyn's famed Park Slope neighborhood has it all: sprawling, majestic Prospect Park; acclaimed public schools; historic brownstones; and progressive values. Among bohemian bourgeois breeders, claiming a stake in Park Slope has become a competitive sport. In the park, at the coffee shops, and on the playgrounds of the neighborhood, four women's lives come together during one long, hot Brooklyn summer."

Shallow thoughts:

  • I picked today's book because it's long (bet you never thought you'd hear me say that, did you dear readers?) That's right, I went looking for a book that was almost 400 pages. And why? Because I have a new blogging goal - or really, it's more like a goal within a goal. I have reached a point in the year, where I'm coming into the home stretch, and it no longer feels like it's a question of whether I will finish the year, because I already know that I will. In short, I've become blase about the whole thing. So I've decided to reinvigorate the blogging experience by throwing myself another challenge, to get to 100,000 pages read by the end of the year. In order to get to my goal I have to read 23,966 pages in the next 10 weeks. This is going to require me to read about 400-500 pages more a week than what I normally read - so it's going to be a bit of a stretch. But I'm feeling excited and energized about the challenge.

  • I'm not even going to bother sugar coating or beating around the bush with today's book - I didn't like it. It was filled with characters that I couldn't stand. This has never been a problem for me with TV as most of my favorite shows are filled with characters that I don't like (Dallas, The Brady Bunch, Knots Landing) - but apparently my brain asks for a bit more from books than it does from TV because I never reached a point where I enjoyed today's book. I just kept trudging through it, and it began to feel more and more like a chore with each page. But I just kept chanting my new motto, "100,000 pages read. 100,000 pages read," and it got me through.

  • My other complaint with the book was that there were too many pop culture references. Now I love a good pop culture reference more than anyone, and I've been known to overuse them a bit myself. But while reading today's book I started to think, "Does the author have some sort of quota she's trying to hit." There were various paragraphs throughout the book in which there was a reference made in EVERY. SINGLE. SENTENCE. It was just too much.

  • And, because being annoying isn't enough, the book went the extra mile and decided to be offensive as well. I'll just let you read the passage for yourself and see if you can spot the offensive part, "In the nineties Tim and Susan got her involved with the Innocence Project; long before it was the trendy thing to do, she bought a Prius for her house in Silver Lake; and it was not without consciousness of the PR value that she later committed the most extreme and headline-making act of recycling - adoption." - Points to any of my dear readers who can tell me why that sentence is glaringly inappropriate.

All in all, I would recommend avoiding this book. If you pass it in the hall, give it the cold shoulder. If it approaches you at a party, run screaming in the other direction. And, because I feel guilty about saying so many bad things about a book, I'm going to say something nice about the author, she looks friendly in her author picture (although I'm guessing if I ever ran into her she wouldn't be giving me such a friendly look - but hey, I calls them as I sees them.)