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THE BIG SLEEP by Raymond Chandler

Here's the response private dick Philip Marlowe gets when he asks a woman to tell him what Mr. Geiger looks like:

"... She blew a soft gray smoke ring and poked her finger through. It came to pieces in frail wisps. She spoke smoothly, indifferently. 'In his early forties, I should judge. Medium height, fattish. would weigh about a hundred and sixty pounds. Fat face, Charlie Chan moustache, thick soft neck. Soft all over. Well dressed, goes without a hat, affects a knowledge of antiques and hasn't any. Oh yes. His left eyes is glass.' ..." *

Let's face it ... wouldn't you or I have just said ... eh, the man is fat ... but that's the beauty of Raymond Chandler - a writer who dripped the English language dry to describe even the slightest nuances so that we could later read his books and feel like we were eating candy. Luscious!

* excerpt from THE BIG SLEEP
by Raymond Chandler
IN THE CUT by Susanna Moore

It's dark and kinky and at less then 200 pages it's an excellent size and shaped book to lug around on the subway or to be placed inside a large textbook while you are pretending to study. There is a looking for Mr. Goodbar feel and the surroundings of Manhattan. The main character is pent-up and the writing reflects such with aplomb:

" ,,, He unhooked a pair of handcuffs from their resting place at the small of his back and slid them noisily across the desk. I looked at them. I was suddenly aroused, worried that they were not for me, that he had taken them off of his belt for
comfort .. " *

FYI - Read this book before Meg Ryan continues to sully her sweetheart image in the upcoming movie version.

* excerpt from IN THE CUT
by Susanna Moore
LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold
It's not like unearthing a gem when a novel flashes boldly from the #1 slot on the New York Times Fiction List week after week. It grabs though ... the first page invited me in with equal parts soft cotton and bloody dagger. In fact the entire book is a tug of war between an often sickeningly sweet child's eye view from heaven and the disturbing action and consequences of the murder that put her there:

"... As she brought prospective buyers through, the realtor said it was an old stain, but it was me, seeping out of the bag Mr. Harvey carried and spilling onto the concrete. The beginning of my secret signals to the world. ..." *

Be a fly on the wall and enjoy, with mixed emotions, this highly readable yet hauntingly unique book.

*excerpt from THE LOVELY BONES
by Alice Sebold
WOW! Ok ... just WOW! In this collection of short stories, the magnificently creepy Patricia Highsmith (author of THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY ) outdoes herself. Gut wrenching tales from the raging perspective of the every animal (including but not limited to Harry the ferret and Ming the cat!). Never thought you could feel sorry for the welfare of a rat? Think again! THE BRAVEST RAT IN VENICE will leave a shocking chill:

"... The rat with his heavy, rolling gait and his evil, single eye had a menacing air, a look that said nothing would stop him but death. He thrust his way through the maze of Venice, at seven months rolling like an old sea captain, sure of himself and sure of his ground. Mothers pulled their small children away from him in horror ..." *

RAT Forever!

by Patricia Highsmith
THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
In almost every case, Highschool is NOT the time to read The Grapes of Wrath. Who really gets the kind of bone chilling hard knocks that this book delivers when snagging a prom date is ever so much more important? Instead, read the GRAPES OF WRATH when your credit cards are maxed and the economy is in the gutter. Then and only then will you appreciate the horror and the masterful way in which Steinbeck scoops us up and plants us in the dustbowl and then convinces us that California is the only way out.

"... The people in flight from the terror behind - strange things happen to them, some bitterly cruel and some so beautiful that the faith is refired forever. ..." *

CAVEAT: Be prepared for the most ingeniously, gross breastfeed of all time!

*excerpt from THE GRAPES OF WRATH
by John Steinbeck
MAKEUP YOUR MIND by Francois Nars
The BEST makeup book bar none! Makeup artist, Francois Nars, has created an epic how-to-look-book for going from bare to there. Page upon page of full face fashion with transparent sheet overlays to indicate which products were used (and where) to achieve the finished result ... seriously, seriously AWESOME. Natch, Francois uses NARS cosmetics to bring beauty to fruition ... but NARS is an excellent line and finally getting the nuts and bolts of color combination is so very welcome! Put this book on the coffee table and let it feast in the company of other great works of art.

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