by Gillian Flynn |
REVIEWED BY HELEN ROGAN
Life seems full of promise for Amy and Nick Dunne, a golden New York City couple, until they unexpectedly find themselves out of work and out of money. With nothing to hold them in the city and a family illness needing attention, they return to the grim Missouri river town where Nick grew up-and there, on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears under circumstances that cast her husband in a very bad light. Flynn (Sharp Objects) uses the couple's voices to deconstruct a troubled marriage and weave a suspenseful, Rashomon-like plot. A passage from Amy's diary reads, "I get frightened now, sometimes, when my husband gets home." Nick muses as the police question him, "Why can't they just say it: We suspect you because you are the husband, and it's always the husband. Just watch Dateline." Burrowing deep into the murkiest corners of the human psyche, this delectable summer read will give you the creeps and keep you on edge until the last page.
The Lower River
by Paul Theroux |
REVIEWED BY RICHARD EISENBERG
Depressed by his "life sentence" running the family store, middle-aged Ellis Hock decides to revisit the Malawi village where he spent his happiest years. But nostalgia meets reality when he finds the school he built with the Peace Corps in tatters, AIDS running rampant and a corrupt dictator aiming to hold him hostage. Desperate in a land of despair, Hock tries to escape down the river, battling malaria and jeering orphans straight out of Lord of the Flies. Theroux, a Peace Corps alum himself, has written a piercing commentary on sanctimonious aid workers (and nations) who make small gestures to the needy and then abandon them.
I Hate Everyone ... Starting with Me
by Joan Rivers |
REVIEWED BY JUDITH NEWMAN
Nobody, but nobody, can hate like Joan Rivers. It is a gift. It is also shocking, the things she makes us laugh at in this collection of shtick-slash-essays-everything from "baby hoarders" (people with more than 3 children) to old people (the sounds they make with their mouths!), the overweight, the infirm, every race, every religion and Mickey Rooney (don't ask). One thing she loves is gay parents, but she can't resist adding, "Just once I would like to see a Chinese couple adopt a gay baby." Joan Rivers is extraordinary, but she's not for the easily offended-or for anyone who gets offended at all.
Calling Invisible Women
by Jeanne Ray |
REVIEWED BY MEREDITH MARAN
"I had disappeared and my husband had failed to notice." So declares Clover, the middle-aged, married mother of two who narrates Ray's fifth novel. Having put her career on hold to raise her kids and service her marriage to pediatrician Arthur, Clover is mortified by her sudden invisibility-until she puts it to good use. Witty and thought-provoking, Invisible Women will call out to any female who's ever been made to feel invisible by virtue of her age, her gender, or both.
Catherine the Great
by Robert K. Massie
"History is fascinating, and she was fascinating because she actually tried to abolish serfdom. She was way ahead of her time."
Fifty Shades of Grey
by E.L. James
"Friends told me it was a must-read, so I finally gave in and bought it. It's definitely the kind of book that makes you blush, yet it's so well-written."
Writing Movies for Fun and Profit
by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
"They're from Reno 911. Even if you have no interest in screenwriting, it's hilarious—I was snorting reading it."
Just weeks before she died in August 1962, Marilyn Monroe bared all for photographer Lawrence Schiller on the set of her last film, Something's Got to Give. As the 50th anniversary of her death approaches, Schiller, author of the memoir Marilyn & Me (and a limited-edition Taschen photo book featuring previously unpublished shots), opens up about those rare nude images and the tortured soul behind the beauty.
MELANCHOLY & MISUNDERSTOOD
After a string of flops and several miscarriages, Monroe "was battling demons," says Schiller. It was her idea to hop in the pool on-set with a suit on-and emerge without. On Aug. 4, the day before she died, they had a tense run-in over the shots; some she finally approved for Playboy. "She didn't feel respected. Her body was her last resort," he says wistfully. "But she had this childish vitality that was unbelievable. And boy, those legs."
THE FIRST 20 MINUTES
By Gretchen Reynolds
The New York Times columnist makes sense of the latest research about exercise and offers advice-from the smartest ways to warm up to the ideal time to eat before working out.
THE SKINNY RULES
By Bob Harper
The Biggest Loser star has 20 simple ideas-and more than 90 recipes-that help make dropping pounds easier.
THE DASH DIET
By Thomas J. Moore, Megan C. Murphy and Mark Jenkins
The weight-loss plan ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report.
By Kathy Freston
The vegan advocate's 30-day plan to jump-start healthy weight loss.