By Sophie Kinsella
Dial Press, $25
The author, who lives in England, burst upon the world literary scene in 2001 with her popular "Confessions of a Shopaholic," followed by "Shopaholic and Baby." Then she went in a different direction with "The Undomestic Goddess," all publishing hits.
They are all lighthearted, witty books designed to entertain with no heavy lifting. You know, chick lit. The new one, "Remember Me," focuses on Lexi Smart, who survived a car crash that gave her amnesia for the past three years. She remembers only her loser boyfriend, her bad hair and her bad job.But all that has changed. Hmm. Sounds like a popular TV show.
By Denis Boyles
This book, subtitled "The Common Sense Values of America's Heartland," tries to correct what Boyles thinks is a national misinterpretation of the culture of the Midwest.
Contrary to popular opinion, he writes, conservatives have not tricked "hapless Midwesterners" into voting against their economic interests in order to support backward cultural values.The author, of course, is a conservative writer for The National Review, and he thinks the rest of the country treats the Midwest in a condescending manner. He also thinks that the small-town culture represented by his title is actually similar to that found in California and New York.
By Danielle Steel
Delacorte Press, $27
Rule of thumb: If the author's huge color photo takes the entire back page of the book's jacket, the literary quality is probably lightweight. On the other hand, the photo also suggests an ability to sell book after book after book.
One of the world's most popular authors, Steel has sold 570 million copies of her books. The protagonist here, Carole Barber, has come to Paris to write a novel and to "find herself."
Instead, she is involved in a serious taxi accident in a Paris tunnel and ends up in a hospital fighting for her life. She also has no idea who she is. It's a case of total amnesia, so she has to rebuild her life, which gives her "a second chance."
Steel writes sentences like these: "With the sound from the TV, Carole didn't hear the door of the room open, and was startled to see someone standing near the foot of her bed. When she turned her head, he was there, watching her. He was a young boy, in jeans, and looked about 16 years old. He was dark skinned, and had big almond-shaped eyes. He looked malnourished and scared, as his eyes met her. She had no idea what he was doing in her room, and his eyes never left hers."