The Pretty One
by Lucinda Rosenfeld |
REVIEWED BY HELEN ROGAN
In this impish new novel from the author of I'm So Happy for You, three sisters who have grown up cranky and competitive are itching to shed the stereotypes they've always represented to one another and their parents. Olympia (Pia), "the pretty one," has a dead-end job as events coordinator at a small museum, a dismal love life and an obsession with identifying her 3-year-old daughter's sperm-donor father. Imperia (Perri), "the perfect one," with her immaculate family and home-complete with "the most organized shoe closets, toy bins, and flatware drawer in all of Westchester County"-is rattled to the core when an old college boyfriend starts sexting her. And gay Augusta (Gus), "the political one" who oppresses everyone with her moodiness and hectoring, is similarly derailed by a hunky male relative. When their parents-a handful at the best of times-unexpectedly need help, the sisters succumb to chaos and cattiness. Disastrously entangled in each other's business, they make a difficult situation worse, but by the time everything's resolved, you'll have come to love them in all their hilarious imperfection.
Fresh Off the Boat
by Eddie Huang |
REVIEWED BY ERIC LIEBETRAU
Eddie Huang's got chops-and not just as the chef at Baohaus, his acclaimed Manhattan eatery. As this entertaining memoir demonstrates, Huang, 31, has a flair for razor-sharp social commentary along with boundless enthusiasm for food, rap and basketball. In telling his story, he spares no one, delivering straight-up assessments of the immigrant experience and his path from pot hustler to purveyor of authentic Taiwanese street cuisine. It's a foodie memoir without the veneer, full of honesty and verve.
Saturday Night Widows
by Becky Aikman |
REVIEWED BY ROBIN MICHELI
After journalist Aikman's husband died when she was in her 40s, she found support groups depressing and overly obsessed with the past. So she recruited five other widows to join her in seeking ways to reconnect with life. This chronicle of the women's adventures lacks dramatic tension, but their stories of loss are touching, and the wisdom they gain is a testament to the durability of the human spirit.
Living and Dying in Brick City
by Sampson Davis |
REVIEWED BY CAROLINE LEAVITT
A high school pact helped keep Davis on track to become a doctor. Now he's back in his hometown, Newark, healing the ones who didn't get out: addicts, gang members, victims of poverty. This memoir intersperses gripping stories with Davis's survival tips; it's a prescription to help kids dream bigger than their circumstances, from someone who really knows.
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DATA, A LOVE STORY
by Amy Webb
She has the perfect surname for an online dater-and a heartening tale about how she found love and you can too.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF ALGORITHMS
by Dan Slater
Friend fix-ups are so 20th century. A look at how online dating is altering the nature of relationships.
by Barbara L. Fredrickson
It's not just finding your soulmate but treasuring "micro-moments of connection" that hold the key to a happy life.
Fascinated by how we spend-and waste-our most precious commodity, journalist Lesley Alderman gathered the sometimes-surprising stats for her debut, The Book of Times. A few fast facts:
1 day: How long jet lag lasts
That's per time zone crossed. And going east is harder on your body than going west.
3 seconds: How long a hug lasts
"Humans tend to do a number of things in 3-second episodes, like goodbye waves," says Alderman. "We have a rhythm."
2 years: How long before the romance fades
"According to research on brain chemicals, the passionate kind of love wanes after the 1- to 2- year mark."
4.5 years: How long it takes kids to hit maximum cuteness
A survey of children ages 0 to 6 found 4½-year-olds the most adorable. "And they better be," says Alderman, "because they're so difficult!"
144.5 hours: How much TV we watch per month
"People say they're most happy doing things that are active, so it's alarming how much TV we watch."
7.8 hours: How much time dads spend on child care per week
Moms clock almost double this, but dads' involvement is up from just 2.6 hours in 1985.
So what if he slobbers on the dress? Lots of owners "couldn't imagine their special day without their beloved dogs," writes Katie Preston Toepfer. Thus her new book with Sam Stall, Wedding Dogs.
Their Jack Russell shed on Randy Whiteman's tux, "but we brushed him off," said bride Michelle.
Bethany and Rick Jordan's Maltese-poodle mix posed with the groomsmen in a color-coordinated tie.
When Laura DeNuccio and Frederick Peck tied the knot in Fraser, Colo., French bulldog Sophie served as an unofficial flower girl.
Josh and Sonya Burkhead's mastiff mix "took off with my bouquet during the photos!" Sonya said. "Apart from that he was the perfect guest."