Monthly Archives: June 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

confessions of a shopaholic jpeg Dell Paperbacks. 2001. 350 pages.

I’m late in the game hence the cover edition of the copy I have (given by an aunt for my birthday). I’ve been meaning to read the “Shopaholic Series” but never really got round to make an effort (I was just waiting to either borrow from a friend or the library). After seeing them in a book sale though, i ended up getting the rest of the series (except for ‘Shopaholic Takes Manhattan’)

Anyway, I knew the kind of funny and witty entertainment I was going to be in for as I had previously read Kinsella’s ‘Can You Keep a Secret‘ which I absolutely loved ( mainly because it made me literally LOL)

Rebecca “Becky” Bloomwood has a serious shopping addiction. She is the prototype of a true shopaholic –getting addicted to the highs of purchasing new things. And like most shopaholics–she is up to her eyeballs in debt. But Unlike most shopaholics that you know, Becky Bloomwood has the irony of all jobs : she is a financial journalist for ‘Successful Saving’ magazine–offering financial tips, advice and opinion on most situations, like facing debt responsibility.

It’s a one whole hilarious ride reading Becky Bloomwood’s misadventures trying to save money, make more money, and evade the financial institutions that are breathing down her neck. For 350 pages, it is quite thick than your usual smart ‘chick-lit’ read but i found myself wanting MORE after the very last page.

No wonder the series is such a hit.I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

I was able to watch the movie on a plane before reading the book. And though i prefer the book better (the movie seems to be a mish-mash of all elements of the series mixed and matched together in however way possible), it’s still hilarious, charming, and endearing. Isla Fisher is perfect for the role of Becky Bloomwood.

Shopaholicscenes

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the author, Sophie Kinsella

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

scissors 2003. Picador. 320 pages.

Someone said that they key to an instant non-fiction bestseller is to brand the book as a “memoir”. Although most memoirs leave a powerful mark,  I’ve read a handful of memoir packaged works that left me terribly disappointed.

Though i won’t say that Running With Scissors is very monumental, it’s a delightful read. Augusten Burroughs has the ingenious talent of stringing everyday ‘safe’ words together that will give you an electric shock.

Growing up in the 70’s, Burroughs was left by his mother to live with her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch. Together with the other adopted Finch children, Burroughs experiences adolescence and teenage/young adult years in a very radical house and family with too much freedom.

The family belives that a child reaches his maturity at the age of 13, and no adult can tell him or her what to do. This may sound like paradise to most teenagers. And while Burroughs initially embraced and enjoyed his freedom (he’s discovered and was enouraged to explore his homosexuality) in the end he realizes that he needs boundaries and rules, and that all he really wanted was a “Hamburger Helper” mother.

The Finch family creates a colorful out of this world dynamics (they read their future by the shape of their excrement, and consult the bible via “bible dips” –where one asks a question say, “should i take this job or not” and another flips randomly at a page in the bible, and the ‘asker’ points his finger anywhere in the page. whatever word his finger lands on is the answer to his question). A house where anger is celebrated, and cleaning up is almost forbidden.

It’s about how living with a dysfunctional family can make or break an individual. but most importantly, its about how one learns to better himself despite and inspite of his background.

I saw the movie right after reading the book. Brilliantly acted, but the book is 100X better, The movie has a dark aura to it, and has so many cinematic juxtaposition to create a feel of ‘irony’ or emphasize a mood. While it worked 1-2 times, too much of it is just blah.

Annette Benning was wonderful playing Dierdre Burroughs (Augusten’s mother). Augusten’s role, played by Joseph Cross, i felt wasn’t really justified 100%.

Scenes from the movie:

The author, Augusten Burroughs