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Literacy and Longing in L.A. by Jennifer…
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Literacy and Longing in L.A. (2006)

by Jennifer Kaufman

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5042832,266 (3.23)14
"Some women shop. Some eat. Dora cures the blues in the comfort of her L.A. high rise by bingeing on books - shutting the door on the outside world until she emerges strong enough to face her problems. Now her life has fallen apart, all she has left is her love of literature and the book benders she relied on when, as a child, her larger-than-life father wandered away and she and her sister were left with an alcoholic mother. She's coping with a painful seperation from her husband, scraping the bottom of a dwindling inheritance and attracted to a seductive guy who works in her local bookstore. He seems to embody all that literature has to offer - by life is more complicated and real people aren't as compliant as the characters in novels ..."--Back cover.… (more)

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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
I tried this book three different times but it didn't work for me. I loved the idea of the book, loved the slip cover, loved the chapter epigrams, loved that it was focused on Los Angeles, and most of all loved the book list at the end. Still could not do more than skim. I know these authors have a good book in them still to come. Anxiously waiting...
  sacredheart25 | Mar 29, 2019 |
felt like I was reading 2 different books. Starts out a bit light, then gets very dramatic. Kind of drags a bit. Boring ending. A bit trite.

on a positive note, I did like the use of all the books throughout. And the descriptions of the different types of readers (although these are only the authors thoughts).

I hate snobby readers though. ( )
1 vote GettinBetter | Jun 27, 2016 |
The main character is basically a self-pitying mess, but there are a wealth of (often pretentious) literary allusions that a classics-ophile might well enjoy. Despite all it had working against it, I actually began to enjoy the last third or so of the book, and in hindsight, I think it was worth the read. ( )
1 vote BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
Absolutely Unforgetable: *Sold under the title "Book Lover" in Australia*

I bought this novel on a whim from a newsagent while waiting for a hair appointment. The simple cover and large type attracted my tired mind after slogging through hours of textbook reading the day before. My mistake was to leave "Book Lover" sitting on my self collecting dust for a few months before I ever noticed it again. I'm sure glad I did.

"Book Lover" is not only witty and fun to read, it's relatable. I ended up identifying with the healing act of buying a book and jealous of Dora's "book binges" and carefree lifestyle. Oh, to have the time and money to live like that...

The language used by Kaufman and Mack made the read all the more enjoyable for me as I read the same patterns on the pages that I think with. Although I didn't understand many of the literary references (I'm not as well read as all that), the handy Book List in the back of the book is definitely a brilliant addition for future experimenting.

I highly recommend Book Lover to anyone with even the slightest love of reading. You won't be sorry.
  lonepalm | Feb 5, 2014 |
I love books! And I live in LA! I'll love this book, right?

Wrong.

It's pretty boring. She's a rich lady who complains a lot and can never get it together. The book only gets marginally interesting when the authors kill someone. But even then she can't get it together. The ending is super un-fulfilling.

Even if you are like me and live in LA and love books, it will not satisfy. She doesn't really read anything except classics and romance. She mentions a few LA locations, but she doesn't call them by their real names, except the mail library. Believe me, there are better books to read. I should have read the reviews myself before getting this book from the library. ( )
1 vote AmberTheHuman | Aug 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
In "Literacy and Longing in L.A." they write about a newly single, well-heeled character whose secret vice is binging on books.

It is not that this gambit is so unusual; there are plenty of books about the allure of reading. But the fusion of bibliomania and romantic comedy is appealingly offbeat. In a genre in which the breakup of a love affair leads inexorably to the purchase of new shoes, these two have the temerity to describe a trip to the street where L. Frank Baum lived as a therapeutic experience.
 
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When I was seven, my mother drove the family car off a thirty-foot bridge. (Preface)
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I collect new books the way my girlfriends buy designer handbags. Sometimes, I just know I have to have them and actually reading them is beside the point. Not that I don't eventually end up reading them one by one. I do. But the mere act of buying them makes me happy - the world is more promising, more fulfilling. It's hard to explain, but I feel, somehow, more optimistic. The whole act just cheers me up. (p. 15)
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