Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wednesday Miscellany

Shameless call for book recommendations:

I'm between books right now and am getting ready to order some new ones on Amazon. Anyone have some recommendations for me? What are you reading? What's good?

Recently I've read some very good books, including "The Last American Man" by Elizabeth Gilbert, "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See, "Red Azalea" by Anchee Min, "The Space Between Us" by Thrity Umrigar and "Half Broken Things" by Morag Joss.

I recommend all of them.


American Idol chatter:

Tonight's show was actually very good! I liked almost all the songs, although I could go the rest of my life without hearing "Roxanne" again and be fairly happy.

Jordin Sparks blew my socks off! One of my favorite singers is Shirley Bassey, particularly the song "I (Who Have Nothing)". When I was a kid, I used to sing that song at the top of my lungs. I just loved it!

This is heresy for a die-hard Shirley fan but Jordin Sparks did a better job. Simon criticized her for choosing the song, saying she is too young to sing it. I disagree. She did a wonderful job.


A friend and I had an interesting chat on the phone tonight. One of the topics we covered was the incredibly silly things we did as young women.

When I was in my early 20s, I lived in West Hollywood and truly loved it. During that time a movie came out called "A Star Is Born" with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. As it would happen, when I was that young ~ and that thin ~ I bore a resemblence to Barbra.

And, oh, did I ever play it up! After seeing that movie, I went and had my hair fixed in a curly style similar to hers and even learned how to apply make-up to maximize the resemblence. I bought clothes like the ones she wore in the movie. I had no shame.

Unfortunately, I couldn't sing like her so the only outcome of that exercise was to have maxed-out credit cards.

Well, a girl can dream. :)

Have you ever done anything similar?




Snoskred said...

Books - The Gift Of Fear by Gavin De Becker. If you have not read it, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, just a truly beautiful book. And if you like a bit of Stephen King, I really loved Cell.

No, I never had Jennifer Grey hair.. ;)

slouching mom said...

i was blown away by melinda last night. love her voice. jordin's too, but oh that melinda!

have you read "reading lolita in tehran"? i'd recommend it.

Lee said...

How about "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy? "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho? "The Source" by James Michener?

Mary said...

Jordin has great star quality. She blew me away, too, last night, and that song was not too old for her. Melinda is all around great and will have a contract whether she wins or not. Blake has a wide audience, too.

LOL! All girls dream and spend a lot of money doing it.

Julie Pippert said...

I thought they all did well, last night.

I admit it: I love Blake. He's a different sport entirely from the ladies, but I really think he's great.

I've never tried to imitate a star, but if I could, it'd be Diane Keaton or Meg Ryan. On some plane, I might have a wee bit of Diane Keaton to me in looks and manners.

Oh man ask me to rec books? How much space do I get?

Have you read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell?

I'm reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics far so good.

Do you like history? if so I highly rec anything by Sharon Kay Penman.

I really like Richard Russo...try Empire Falls if you haven't already.

I don't know what you like or have I'll stop there but I could go on and on.

Gwen said...

We've already lost our Idol love (apparently hating Sanjaya was all there was to it), so I can't comment on that, or on movie star resemblances, since my poodle skirts and blonde corncob bangs have NOTHING at all to do with my Olivia Newton John look.

Books: I second Empire Falls, The God of Small Things and Memoirs of a Geisha.

If you want some philosophy, although perhaps too Western, try I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstatder (sp?). Best fiction book I've read recently: The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai.

jen said...

i just finished reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. And I loved it.

Have you read The White Masai? I got the rec from Lucia awhile back, and absolutely loved it. I'd offer to send it to you but i left it in a hotel room on accident. thankfully i'd finished it. it's terrific.

growing up in the 80s didn't leave a lot of stars to be fascinated by..but i did wish as a child - ok, this is silly, bear with me - to be Laura Ingalls after devouring all of her books. I too, wanted to grow up in a wooden house milking cows.

QT said...

Chani - I am so backed up on books right now it is ridiculous. I am in the middle of reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" which is great, but from the list of what you have just finished, doesn't sound like it is up your alley~ :)

I was in love, love, love with Madonna, tho I don't look like her at all. The furthest my mom would let me go was the black rubber bracelets and the hair ala Desperately Seeking Susan. M

thailandchani said...

Snoskred, some Stephen King sounds good right now! The first book I read by him, "Dead Zone" was SO good! Every one of his books is measured by that one.


SM, I like Melinda, too. Melinda is someone whose CDs I would buy but I really love watching Jordin! What a voice!


Lee, I've read the Alchemist and The Source. (In the 70s, I went on a real Michener kick... I loved "The Drifters"...) The God of Small Things is one I definitely want to read!


Mary, I don't know why ..but Blake just doesn't seem to do it for me. I have a natural preference for female voices.. but, that aside, he just doesn't do songs I like very much.


Julie, Diane Keaton is wonderful! Did you see her in "Reds"? Unbelievable!

I've always had the Barbra Streisand resemblance when I'm not lost in fat. Nowadays, the only one I can imitate is Kathy Bates.. and that ain't gonna happen! :)

I'll check out some of those books. Sharon Penman. What a good name for an author. :)


Gwen, remember that video of ON-J in the workout clothes? :)

I'll be sure to check out those books, too. I do like philosophy so I'll look at the reviews of I Am A Strange Loop. Honestly, I've gotten away from most of the western stuff, having had a lifetime of it... but I'm not closed to it, either.


Jen, I'd like to hear your impressions of the White Masai. It is on my list but there was some concern expressed about Hoffman pushing western culture on the guy?

Is that true? If that's the case, it would just piss me off. :)

I might read it anyway when I can get it cheap. It's a bit too expensive in hardback right now.

Yeah.. the 80s... hm. Madonna?

In the 60s and 70s, we had quite a few and Barbra Streisand is one of my lifetime favorites. I was listening to her in the Funny Girl days.


QT, Madonna was very pretty in her own way.. and some of that really showed in one video called "Live To Tell". She reinvented herself a lot so using her as a model would have been pretty useful. By the time she was popular, I was too old to do that look at all.


A friend is reading Omnivore. I'll bet it would change anyone's eating habits.

Maybe I should read it. :)




heartinsanfrancisco said...

Hey, don't knock Kathy Bates. She is an amazing actor, and also quite beautiful, I think. Weight is not as important as everybody thinks.

I especially love novels about Asia. Kawabata, Mishima, Tanizaki, Amy Tan, loved Memoirs of a Geisha, Kaye Gibbons, Ursula Hegi, Par Lagerkvist, Steinbeck, Joanne Harris, Jim Harrison, all favorites.

I was once asked on a plane if I was Natalie Wood. I just said "thank you" and that was that.

thailandchani said...

Susa, I know.. Kathy Bates is very beautiful but being somewhat of a fashionista, I don't care for the clothes she chooses all that much. I just do better, especially with all my Asian stuff, with a thinner build.

Not to mention health. You know.. risks and all that. Ordinarily, I don't even believe all that crap (people have been fat for generations and fared just fine) but the blood pressure part is legitimate enough. I have very high BP.. and it's part hereditary and part weight.

I love Asian authors! I tried and tried to find some good Thai authors. Unfortunately, literature isn't one of the things Thailand offers to the world. The literature is bad there.

I wish that would change!

Natalie Wood... oooh! Now I wouldn't mind being mistaken for her at all. :)

Reminds me of a funny story, something that occurred when my BF and I used to hang out at the lounge at the Bel Air Hotel. (This was in the early 70s)

I'll blog about it one day. That is also the time we got the surprise performance by Judy Collins.



Suzy said...

Book recommendations: I know that this is not up everyone's alley, but I love the writing of British satirist Terry Pratchett. He's prolific too.

Hannah Coulter, by Wendell Berry.

The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow by Benjamin Hoff

But Chani ... (she drags out the soapbox) ... would you consider ordering your books from an independent bookseller? is great. Even Barnes and Noble is better. Amazon is a big-time Republican contributor. Just thought I'd mention it ...

crazymumma said...

Go over to Metro Mama, she reads like a million books a week and recommends the good ones.

I allegedly bear a faint resemblance to Susan Sarandon....I ain't shaking any stick at that!

Books I can recommend? The God of Small Things, To Kill a Mockinbird, Franny and Zooey, Kite Runner....

meno said...

Hi Chani. i just finished "The White Masai" If you would like i'd be happy to send it to you. I don't want it back, just pass it on when you are done.

If you do want it send me an e-mail.

People used to tell me that i looked like Susan Dey (from The Partridge Family) so i grew my hair out long and straight like hers.

Tabba said...

I've already sung my praises about My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, Memoirs of a Geisha was beautifully written and The Lovely Bones (based on Jen's rec.)....I'm so behind with my reading.
I never imitated anyone growing up. Weird.
But my brother would always say "That's Jess" (my nickname) when he would see Lisa Loeb.

jen said...

i think they both pushed their culture on each other. i think she bended quite a bit. and yes, i think she tried to get him to bend as well.

but i think she bent a bit more, in all honesty. i couldn't have done it. damn, i so wish i hadn't lost it, i'd send it to you.

KateMV said...

Hm. Well, I just finished The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman, which I found fascinating. I'm not much of an econ person, but he made a lot of things easier to understand, and was very readable even when I disagreed with what he was saying. I learned a lot.

I also recommend First They Killed My Father, about the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia, which I read last winter. A truly moving book and one that makes us reflect a lot about life.

Next on my own list is The Namesake, which was just made into a movie...