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Hardcover Literacy and Longing in L.A. Book

ISBN: 0385340176

ISBN13: 9780385340175

Literacy and Longing in L.A.

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

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Book Overview

Some women shop. Some eat. Dora cures the blues by bingeing on books--reading one after another, from Flaubert to bodice rippers, for hours and days on end. In this wickedly funny and sexy literary... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Absolutely Unforgetable

*Sold under the title "Book Lover" in Australia* I bought this novel on a whim from a newsagent while waiting for a hair appointment. The simple cover and large type attracted my tired mind after slogging through hours of textbook reading the day before. My mistake was to leave "Book Lover" sitting on my self collecting dust for a few months before I ever noticed it again. I'm sure glad I did. "Book Lover" is not only witty and fun to read, it's relatable. I ended up identifying with the healing act of buying a book and jealous of Dora's "book binges" and carefree lifestyle. Oh, to have the time and money to live like that... The language used by Kaufman and Mack made the read all the more enjoyable for me as I read the same patterns on the pages that I think with. Although I didn't understand many of the literary references (I'm not as well read as all that), the handy Book List in the back of the book is definitely a brilliant addition for future experimenting. I highly recommend Book Lover to anyone with even the slightest love of reading. You won't be sorry.

I've found my literary alterego

On Saturday, I plowed through Literacy and Longing in LA, a debut novel by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack. To be honest, it is basically chick lit. Good chick lit, but chick lit nonetheless. The protagonist is Dora, named after Eudora Welty, of course. She is a hard-core bibliophile. When life gets her down, she locks herself in her apartment with stacks of literature. She goes on book binges. She takes two-hour baths with a stack of books next to the tub. (People are calling asking if these authors know me.) The real joy of this novel is Dora's ruminations on books, reading, different categories of readers, book clubs, specific books she's read or is reading. I turned every page wanting to know if I'd read what Dora had, and if I agreed with her assessments. And there were so many quotations I wanted to read aloud to bookish friends. I'll restrict myself to just two here: "I collect new books the way my girlfriends buy designer handbags. Sometimes, I just like to know I have them and actually reading them is beside the point. Not that I don't eventually end up reading them one by one. I do. But the mere act of buying them makes me happy--the world is more promising, more fulfilling. It's hard to explain, but I feel, somehow, more optimistic. The whole act just cheers me up. " And here: "I like stories about lovers, seduction, sex, marriage, violence, murder, dreams, and death, and also stories that focus on the family with all its dysfunction and grief. I love writers who make their women characters independent, smart, and courageous but also passionate and romantic. I love plots about bitter old men and women who turn all soft and mushy for the love of a child. I love writers who focus on women who reach middle age and ask, 'Now what?' or lonely disappointed women who live in suburbia and can't get out, or authors who write about the pain of growing up, searching for identity. But most of all I love books about spontaneous love affairs that go wrong or veer off in uncharted territory. It's the sudden twists of fate that I like and the unexpected outcomes. Doesn't everyone?" I need to memorize that speech for the next time someone asks me what I like to read! Dora is far more attractive than any bookish girl I've ever met. She has too much money and has bought into the whole Angelino lifestyle to an alarming degree. Nonetheless, what bibliophile girl could fail to identify with her quest for love in a bookstore? For God's sake, the novel has literary footnotes and a 9 page book list (of references made within the text) at the back. I loved it!

Stayed up all night to finish

An irresistable mixture of a delightful, witty, romantic story and a celebration of books. A page turner---couldn't put it down until 3AM. Appealing and offbeat heroine.

Great Summer Read

Poignant, witty and wonderful. Like the Jane Austen Book Club but with sex and humor. A novel about a woman who escapes into books whenever her life gets too stressful. Loved the literary references and all the characters, especially the appealing bookseller, Fred.

The MUST HAVE book of summer 2006

From the moment I met Dora, I was hooked. She's relatable, endearing, and a character I would love to see more of. The novel is captivating, witty, well-written, and thourougly entertaining. Literacy and Longing proves that women's fiction and wonderful literature need not be mutally exclusive. Kaufman and Mack have clearly created a winner.
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