“A Book That You’ve Read More Than 3 Times” – 30 Day Book Challenge

Today's Book Challenge topic is “A Book That You've Read More Than 3 Times”. Again, this is a tough one for me to answer – I get attached to books and love reading, re-reading and re-reading again.

But as I have to narrow it down to a single book that I have read, I figure that I will post about Lucy-Anne Holmes' 50 Ways to Find a Lover.

Sarah Sargeant is an actress who rarely gets a decent role and is even unluckier in love. After her parents sign her up for a dating reality show, and being rejected by a balding man with a paunch (who informed her that he would rather stay in and watch the Narnia movie on DVD than go out with her) Sarah decides to start a blog (!!) called '50 Ways To Find a Lover', documenting the outrageous lengths she attempts to find her love.

“I feel like a failure. It's now been 351 days since I had sex. That's a carnal drought. If Bob Geldof knew about it he'd hold a concert.”

I have read 50 Ways to Find a Lover over 3 times this year just because of the hilarity involved. You know reviews that you roll your eyes at that say “Laugh Out Loud”? This book actually does make you laugh out loud!

What about you? Share which book(s) you have read more than three times in our comments section!


This challenge comes from That Little Book Blog 🙂

 

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Not Meeting Mr Right by Anita Heiss

Not Meeting Mr Right – Anita Heiss
My Rating: Not Worth It
Suggested Audience: Women
Page Count: 340
Published:2007
Side Note: This is Post 1 of the I Love Library Books Blog Challenge

Background

Alice Aigner is successful, independent, and a confirmed serial dater, but at her 10-year school reunion she has a sudden change of heart. Bored by her married, mortgaged, and motherly former classmates, Alice decides to prove that a woman can have it all: a man, marriage, career, kids, and a mind of her own. She sets herself a goal: meet the perfect man and marry him before her 30th birthday, just under two years away. Unfortunately for Alice, it’s not quite as easy as she imagines.

My Thoughts

Not Meeting Mr Right is the first novel on That’s What She Read to receive a “Not Worth It” rating. I only have this rating after a lot of consideration and angst; I feel guilt because I know that Anita Heiss put a lot of work into it, and that this book will be perfect for SOMEONE but just not me.

As you read the blurb, Not Meeting Mr Right comes across as an Australian version of Bridget Jone’s Diary; a goofy, down-to-Earth single woman looking for her ‘Mr Right’.

Essential Selection Criteria for Mr Right
1. Must be single and straight
2. Must think I am the most gorgeous woman on the planet
3. Must be romantic and able to show affection in public
4. Must only be addicted to me (no alcoholics, no smokers)
5. Must be non-racist and non-homophobic
6. Must be punctual (although I am allowed to be on Koori time)
7. Must be good to his mother and like children
8. Must love his job (I don’t want him whinging every night about his day)
9. Must be debt free (mortgage will be acceptable)
10. Must be loyal, faithful, honest, sincere, chivalrous, witty, competent, responsible and a good listener.


Now please understand – I LOVE this kind of novel. I read this kind of novel every day. I began this book with a smile on my face. But I didn’t finish it. I didn’t come close.

My biggest frustration (and my only frustration) was the way that the protagonist, Alice, constantly refers to her race and ethnicity. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with a protagonist who has Aboriginal heritage. In fact, it was a reason I picked up this novel in the first place – I looked forward to reading a novel from a different perspective than the women’s literature I normally read. What I DO have a problem with however, is a protagonist who is constantly, constantly, constantly defining themselves by their race and their difference. In the first 18 pages, there are 9 references to Alice’s heritage and aboriginality in general:

“Debra was wrong about me being the first pregnant, but she was right about Koori women and kids generally. Fact was, most of the Koori women I knew had squeezed their kids out in their early twenties, some even before that, and none of them had blokes around now. Some of them had never had a bloke around at all.”

I found it incredibly frustrating to be repeatedly reminded of the protagonists skin colour and heritage. It’s not as though this is normal of women’s literature in general – you don’t see any of Jane Green’s heroines repeatedly reminding her audience that they are white. It’s not even just that – it is not an expectation of mine to have constant characterisation throughout the novel. It really is not a racism thing – as I said, I purchased this book BECAUSE of the Aboriginal protagonist. But I certainly didn’t purchase it for a race-debatesque read or a detailed understanding of a characters background and appearance; it honestly got so frequent that I felt like shouting “OK! ALICE IS ABORIGINAL. CAN WE START THE STORY NOW?”.

This might open a can of worms, but I also thought that there were aspects that could be interpreted as racist towards white people. Anita Heiss is also the author of I’m Not Racist, But.., and I guess I was expecting a bit more of a reflective fictional read which would compel the audience to see aboriginality not as a difference, but show similarities and encourage reconciliation and cohesion. By saying things like“I couldn’t even pull the race card this time; it wasn’t about being Black and white. It wasn’t about being rich or poor, as it had been at shcool. Rather, at twenty-eight it was about the haves and the have-nots.”, I couldn’t help but wonder what Anita Heiss’s intentions were when writing Not Meeting Mr Right.

The storyline itself had a lot of promise. Other than the amazingly frequent references to race, Not Meeting Mr Right seems to fit the mould of my preferred weekend read. If you are not as easily annoyed by constant characterisation, you might like to give it a try, but if you take my advice, you’ll leave this one on the shelf.
Where Can I Get It?

If you are still interested in giving Not Meeting Mr Right a try, you can purchase it from Book Depository here and receive free shipping on all orders!

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Starstruck in Seattle by Juliet Madison

Starstruck In Seattle – Juliet Madison ( web | twitter | facebook )
Publication: 2013, Escape Publishing (received through Netgalley, thanks!)
Page Count: 65
My Rating: Good Weekend Read
Suggested Audience: Women

Background

Working in a small role on a leading television drama, actras Anna Hilford dreams of dating the dashing actor Karl Drake. Unsure how to win his affection, Anna seeks the help of love-coach Lulu, from LuluTheLoveAngel.com, hoping to win Karl’s affection forever. But Lulu has more power over Anna’s love life than she realises, and fate has its own ideas…

My Thoughts

The blurb of this novella reads as “A sparkling story from the Queen of Ro-magic comedy!”. While I love reading women’s literature, I try to stay away from the ultra-romantic, hard-to-believe plot lines. As soon as I read the blurb, I immediately thought that Starstruck In Seattle would definitely not be for me, and very nearly didn’t read it – what a shame that would have been, because this was a wonderfully light and truly sparkling read!

Given my expectation that this would be a heavily romantic plot, I didn’t expect to be drawn into the narrative as much as I was. Similar to other online reviews I have read for Starstruck in Seattle, my main critiscm was that I wanted a longer narrative! I was thoroughly hooked by the characters and the twists in the tale, and I just wished that Juliet Madison had written MORE!!

My main reason for this critique is that the twist in the tale regarding Lulu (which I won’t be divulging here!) was over too quickly (although part of me says “well it IS a novella, what do you expect?”). By the second chapter, you find out exactly what is happening, and I personally would have preferred a bit more suspense and mystery.

The opening lines detail an email to Lulu from Anna, asking for advice and help regarding her love life. There is something deliciously voyeuristic about reading someone’s email to an Agony Aunt column, and this was not a let down. I loved this opening for a novella – it was a wonderful way of getting to know Anna’s character quickly and succinctly.

Where Can I Get It?

Starstruck in Seattle is not currently selling on Book Depository. As soon as it is stocked, I will link the page on Book Depository to this page.

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Thoughts While Having Sex by Stephanie Lehmann

Jennifer, a shy playwright living in New York finds the dating scene incredibly alluring – and incredibly nerve wracking. Any time she finds herself in a -ahem- ‘naughty situation’, she imagines the ghost of her deceased sister looking down at her and laughing. Cue awkwardness! Continue reading