What happens when two thirtysomething siblings relive the summer reading programs of their youth in an all-out battle of the books? The race is on as they read by the rules and keep tally on their logs to see who will be the ultimate reader by Labor Day 2010.

July 20, 2010

The Lure of the Bargain Book: Maneater, Gigi Levangie Grazer

I am a sucker for the bargain bookstore (as is my credit card). My first job in Boston was located across the street from a Buck-a-Book store, and I hauled many a heavy bag laden with books all the way to my apartment behind the last stop on the B Line. I was a charter member of the PaperBackSwap, until I wearied of receiving smoke infused paperbacks that had taken a spill in the tub. Building 19 is great for children's picture books. I've browsed through most of the bargain bins in my area, but had never looked in the book aisle at Ocean State Job Lot...until now.

Since most of my pop culture references are pre-1990, when I read the title, "Maneater", my brain immediately backtracked to Daryl Hall and John Oates. (I recorded it off the radio onto a mixed tape. It probably took me a whole afternoon of circling the dial to finally hear it. Now, I could find and download the song in about 3.2 seconds). The author, Gigi Levangie Grazer, rang no bells. I almost kept walking, but then spied the $1.99 price tag. The cashier exclaimed that it was "freakin' funny", all her friends liked it, and "like the only book she, like, ever read that, like, the teacher didn't make her"...and asked if I had seen the movie?

So then I learn that this book, known (apparently) to all 18-year-old girls in the greater Kingston, MA area, was made recently into a Lifetime movie starring Roseanne's Second Becky (ok, Sarah Chalke from Scrubs, but she'll always be the replacement to me). A bargain book that was made into a straight-to-DVD movie, loved by teen girls? Aren't these all signs telling me that this will be the worst chick-lit book ever??

Never one to run from a challenge, I bought the book and read it. Guess what? I smirked a few times and laughed out loud once. The hours that I was awake that night waiting for my kids to settle down and fall asleep just flew by (or perhaps the absence of a working clock kept me ignorant). I am neither a better nor a worse person for having read "Maneater". I am, however, up a book in the log. As an apology for such an easy read, I ordered the movie from Netflix and will lose at least two nights of reading time in order to watch all 172 minutes (falling asleep while viewing it and waking up hours later will also suffice).

(Is anyone else wondering if Brendan's latest strategy involves stockpiling read books in an attempt to race ahead in the final day of our countdown?)

1 comment:

  1. 1. The best Hall and Oates song is "Rich Girl."

    2. You should watch the series twice. Please. Stop reading.