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MamaPop Recommends Archive


September 01, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Robyn's Picks for August

Mprecs_2

Recommended Book:
Loyal To The Sky by Marisa Handler. This book has officially taken it's place as one of my top five favorite books. It chronicles the life of Marissa, a South African born Jew, as she moves to the USA and then travels the world as an activist. Inspiring and thought-provoking, she gets away with being overtly political and driven without all the shaming that usually comes with such a position.

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August 31, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Kelly's Picks For August

Mprecs_2 Recommended Song or Album: Daveigh Chase performing "The Happiest Girl in the U.S.A." from Big Love. I keep finding myself singing this. Chase's rendition of this country classic is so gorgeous and kind of haunting. The original version is much more to-the-point and happy and has an "aw, shucks," quality to it, but Chase's version comes at the end of a particularly emotional episode in which all of the main female characters are awash in loneliness and confusion. It sounds especially wistful coming from the character of Rhonda, whose devious tendencies have left her very much alone, despite having many people around who claim to care for her. When Chase belts out "I love you," in the middle of the song with such yearning, I always get chills.

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August 30, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Sweetney's Picks For August

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Recommended TV Show: Entourage
Its sort of the underappreciated gem of the HBO televisual canon (well and The Wire of course -- but don't even get me started on that). If you haven't yet had the pleasure, think Sex & The City for dudes. And with a whole lot of weed and Insider's Hollywood-type shenanigans. What could be better? That's right: NOTHING. Start from the beginning and rent the first season on DVD -- you won't be disappointed, promise.

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July 28, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Amalah's Picks for July

Mprecs_2Recommended Book:

Uh. Fine. You got me. I read exactly one book this month, and it was Harry Potter.

Well, I also read Goodnight Gorilla about 14 frillion times, but I'm not sure that counts. It's mostly pictures.

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July 27, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Sweetney's Picks For July

Mprecs_2

Recommended Book:
The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks by Susan Casey. If you're like me and are equal parts horrified and intrigued by our razor-toothed friends, you'll get an in-depth picture of shark life and the trials, tribulations and terrors of studying them in this book:

From its startling opening description of scientists racing to the bloody scene where a shark has decapitated a seal, this memoir–cum–natural and cultural history of the Farallon Islands—"the spookiest, wildest place on Earth"—plunges readers into the thrills of shark watching... The islands are the only place on Earth where scientists can study the animals in their natural habitat. These evolutionary ancients (sharks lived 200 million years before dinosaurs) can be as large as Mack trucks, eat suits of armor, are both fierce and friendly, and, according to Casey, are an addictive fascination for those lucky enough to encounter them.

Highly recommended for all the science/nature geeks out there (you know who you are) (don't make me come over there).

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July 26, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Amanda's Picks for July

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Recommended Book:
Special Topics in Calamity Physics: A Novel by Marisha Pessl is so brilliant, so absorbing, so clever, so impressive, and so deliciously long, I can read over two chapters a day and still look forward to many more ahead of me. I am still in the early part of the book, where the characters are being developed and the stage being set for the eventual death that I assume will occupy the middle and later portions of the book. (That was not a spoiler, people, I swear. That death is announced on the book's cover in big print, so you know about it before you even crack the spine.) So far, the book's narrator has been a real pleasure to spend time with and an underdog worth rooting for. If you enjoy stories where an underprivileged and chaste outsider somehow falls in with the popular and kinda raunchy crowd, you'll like this book. If you enjoy it when that underprivileged outsider snarks on the popular kids with fierce and witty observations, you'll downright love it. (I hope I still love this book when I've reached the end of it, but for now, it's definitely recommended.)

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July 25, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Zoot's Picks for July

Mprecs_2Recommended CD:
Against Me!
's new album: "New Wave". First, let me say that this is not typically my genre of music. When I was hardcore into music and going to shows and having a life away from my recliner, I was more of a folksy-hippy music type of gal. I mean, I went to the first Lilith Fair if that tells you anything. Now, of course, I'm a Top 40 type of gal because it makes parenting a tween much easier. Against Me! is classified as everything from "Punk" to "Hard Core" to "Emo When Emo Actually Meant More Than A Hairstyle" depending on who you ask. If you ask my husband? He'll tell you they are FREAKIN' AWESOME.

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June 30, 2007

Mamapop Recommends: Lena's Picks for June

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Recommended Book:

 I just finished "If I Am Missing or Dead" by Janine Latus. Written by the victim's older sister, this non-fiction memoir tells the story of a desperate naive young woman who falls in love with a man she met on the internet and then chooses to stay in the abusive relationship rather than be alone.

The title refers to what was written on the front of an envelope found in the younger sister's desk days after she was murdered by her new boyfriend. (CHILLS)

While explicitly about a family's love being unable to stop an abusive relationship that ultimately ends in the young woman's death, the story contains an implicit love letter to women everywhere. I give it two thumbs up and a tissue.

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June 29, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Izzy's Picks for June

Hey you! Be sure to submit your own recommendations over at MamaPopTalk!

440222680_c467726c03_mRecommended Book:
Dedication by Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus. This book was written by the same team that wrote The Nanny Diaries, but I actually think Dedication is much better. Before I tell you anymore about it, just in case you love OR hate the genre, let me just clarify that it is pretty much "chick lit" .

Before I had kids, I read heavier, headier stuff but these days, I'm partial to what you might call a "beach book." I read during nap times and in the tub and my downtime is so limited that I don't want to think — I want to be transported and/or entertained and Dedication fills the bill.

In short, it's about a woman whose first love from high school grows up to be a rock star. The clincher is that when she was 17, he left without saying goodbye and found fame by writing songs about her and their relationship. Furious and haunted by the mystery of his leaving for 13 years, she finds out he's come to her old hometown and she flies there to confront him about his leaving and using their relationship for hit song fodder.

I won't tell you anymore but the device the authors use of going back and forth from the protagonist's junior high and high school years to present day is awesome. It satisfies my bizarre fixation with teen angst and also allows me to relate to the character as an adult. I read this book every spare moment that I had and when it was over, I was kind of bummed. I get attached to characters in books. I'm nerdy like that.

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MamaPop Recommends: Mrs. Davis' Picks for June

Hey you! Be sure to submit your own recommendations over at MamaPopTalk!

440222680_c467726c03_mRecommended Reading:
I've been reading Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons. I expected to love this novel (because I loved his last one so, so much), and I do, but it's so different from what I expected.  And it's just a teensy bit difficult to read a novel about current college students written by a man in his 60's.

Recommended Song or Album:
Anything by The Hold Steady. Once again, I have my husband to thank for introducing me to good music.  Two of their albums -- Almost Killed Me and Boys and Girls in America have been getting lots of play around here. 

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June 28, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Amalah's Picks For June

Hey you! Be sure to submit your own recommendations over at MamaPopTalk!

440222680_c467726c03_mRecommended Song or Album:
Has Been by William Shatner. It's always a struggle to find music to play during the day that Noah likes and I like and that is not Raffi. But the minute William Shatner came up in the iPod shuffle I knew we'd found a winner. Noah loves his voice and the talky-speak he does, and I just plain friggin' love this album. This is not your mother's weird William Shatner album. This one was produced by Ben Folds and features duets with Aimee Mann, Lemon Jelly, Henry Rollins and an absolutely awesome cover of "Common People" with Joe Jackson. The results are lovely, touching, hilarious and downright fun.

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June 27, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Joy's Picks For June

Hey you! Be sure to submit your own recommendations over at MamaPopTalk!

440222680_c467726c03_mRecommended Reading:
Before there Helen Fielding and her Bridget Jones. Before there was Jane Green, or Fiona Walker, reigning empress of the Brit-Chick-Lit scene (and we just called it "Romance" in those days) was Jilly Cooper.  Riders, Rivals, and Polo are all frightfully British novels, and set in the world of competitive horse jumping.   

Riders Don't give a crap about horsies? Me neither.  Cooper's books are about so much more--well-developed characters, lots of bawdy romps around the British countryside, devastating wit, and delicious thick plotlines that will make a complete antisocial out of you.  Forget Harry Potter, your true heart will rest with Rupert Campbell-Black, that arrogant, knife-tongued bastard.   ( Swoon....)

Jilly Cooper still reigns supreme in England, and her latest novel, Wicked: A Tale of Two Schools, is scheduled for release in a couple of weeks.  Can't wait...

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MamaPop Recommends: Kelly's Picks For June

Hey you! Be sure to submit your own recommendations over at MamaPopTalk!

440222680_c467726c03_mRecommended Song or Album:
Cece Peniston - "Finally." Why? Because it's fabulous in that early 90s, mainstream dance music kind of way. I sing loud when I hear this song, which is unfortunate for just about anybody around but too bad. Video here. Oh, the bellbottom revival. What a weird time it was.

Recommended Book or Publication:
Love Saves the Day
by Tim Lawrence is a really fascinating look at the birth of club culture, DJ culture, and the emergence of gay culture into the mainstream. I really, really wish I could have been at these early discotheques in New York...but then I'd be even older than I am now. Anyway, very interesting book on a very interesting subculture. Check it out, even if you're averse to all things dance, club, DJ, and/or gay.

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June 26, 2007

MamaPop Recommends: Amanda's Picks For June

Hey you! Be sure to submit your own recommendations over at MamaPopTalk!

440222680_c467726c03_mRecommended Book:
Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen's Union. Why, yes, this is the same book I recommended last month! Thing is, it's so good that I'm stretching out the experience for as long as possible. I have only two hundred pages left, and I'm a little bummed about that. It's a wonderful book, and Chabon again succeeds in making me care about something I wouldn't think I'd care about.

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MamaPop Recommends: Tracey's Picks For June

Hey you! Be sure to submit your own recommendations over at MamaPopTalk!

440222680_c467726c03_mRecommended Book:
Patrick Hughes, Diary of Indignities. Full disclosure: Patrick is a friend, and I'm a long-time fan of his blog Bad News Hughes. But holy freakin' crap, that doesn't in any way lessen the greatness of his hilarious collection of tales from a life gone horribly wrong:

Diary of Indignities first foisted itself on an unsuspecting public on the popular blog Bad News Hughes, where thousands of readers are disgusted, amused, and just plain baffled every day by these vivid, seriocomic stories of soul-melting shame. Patrick Hughes doesn’t understand exactly where, or when, things went wrong in what should have been a “normal life,” but he’s more than happy — make that driven — to share his personal calamities with his readers. Inexplicably, he has an uncanny talent for personal failure, with more than the average share of embarrassment, heartbreak, carefree violence, booze-related trouble, bodily injury, hypochondria, inappropriate nudity, painful rashes, neuroses, colonoscopy procedures, and unpleasant smells — all totally true. In Diary of Indignities, complete with humiliating full-color photo essays, the author guides readers past good taste, sense, and even logic into that magical, mayhem-ridden world known as his life.

This is pee-your-pantaloons funny stuff, people. And did I mention he thanked lil' ol' me in the book's acknowledgments, and that when I saw he had I almost actually cried, because I felt so freakin' unworthy considering the joy he's given to me over the years through his writing? True, dat.

Go. Buy. Now. And if you aren't a regular reader of Bad News Hughes, man, you are truly missin' out somethin' fierce.

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