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Bennington Girls Are Easy by Charlotte Silver

Bennington Girls Are Easy by Charlotte Silver

Promoted as a coming of age story of recent Liberal Arts graduates from Bennington College attempting to start a life in New York City the story has some wonderful moments and humor.

Bennington Girls Are Easy

While I didn’t find that Sylvie and Cassandra were particularly easy to like. Charlotte Silver’s writing brought humor to descriptions and observations  from them.
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The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

Behind the scenes at a top-rated fashion magazine with all of the intrigue, backstabbing and jostling for power is the premise of rhis book from  by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. A curious mix of the feel of both All About Eve and The Devil Wears Prada, this often over the top satirical expose of a fictional setting was an engaging read.

The Knockoff

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The Ugly Renaissance: Sex, Greed, Violence and Depravity in an Age of Beauty by Alexander Lee

The Ugly Renaissance: Sex, Greed, Violence and Depravity in an Age of Beauty by Alexander Lee

Book Review:

There is a curious propensity of humans, back to the dawn of time, to appreciate beautiful things.  There is a certain beauty in antiquities from cave paintings at Lascaux to the hieroglyphs of Egypt, even incorporating newer forms from street and graffiti artists.  While much of the earlier forms were also communicating or signifying important messages in the imagery, their decorative appeal is not to be missed.  But one can also think in terms of this imagery being a contrast to the realities of life: bleak, barren, violent, or smelly, the art can provide a lasting visual for generations, where often the reality is long forgotten.

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Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore: A Novel by Walter Mosley

In the first I have read from this author, we meet Debbie, a young pornstar who is determined to change her life and not “do it” anymore.  An interesting mix of characters and settings bring us the story, and Mosley manages to show us the underbelly of the porn industry and Debbie’s burgeoning change into Sandra Pinkney,  the identity she is reclaiming in the hope it can bring her happiness.

Of course, her life is far from a smooth one: transitions are difficult and wholesale reinventions of yourself and your outlook on the world doesn’t always mean instant happiness.  Finding her ex-husband died in an “audition’ of a new starlet, leaving her with massive debts is just one of the many obstacles that she deals with. Overwhelming at times with the sheer number of bad choices as she struggles to make better ones, and the subtle but no less pointed underpinning of depression and cynicism, Debbie / Sandra faces each new challenge with an increase in grace and solidity that show her strength. Read more of this post

The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott

Book Review:

I was excited to read this title, having lived near Lowell and being very familiar with the textile mill history of the area.  Established from an ‘eyes on, all in one” perspective from Francis Cabot Lowell, the lower Middlesex River area from Lowell eastwards to Lawrence and beyond was the epicenter of textile production from 1820ish through the early 20th century, with the heyday of the Mill Girls culture almost entirely pre-Civil war, with several labor movements and actions occurring in 1845 and beyond in protest of low wages and rough treatment. Read more of this post