Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

On my refrigerator, I have this hilarous (at least I think it's hilarious) magnet that my cousin gave me.  It has an old-fashioned, 50's era cartoon picture of a wife, holding out a chocolate cake on a tray to her husband and three lovely children. It reads, "She was very near to faking her own death." When I got it, my cousins and I laughed about it for five solid mintues. Perhaps Gillian Flynn has this same magnet and thought it was funny too, and it sparked Gone Girl. Hmmm. It's a theory.

You'll try to come up with your own theories, too, as you read this diary-style psychological thriller. It's  told from both perspectives in a marriage gone awry: Nick, the loving yet flawed and stupid husband, and Amy, the smart,  perfect, "cool" girl.  They tell the story of their early marriage, giving details that are heart-warming and very "real." The emotions and day-to-day pschological struggles will hit home with most married couples. But then the story grows gradually darker when Amy disappears from her southern home. The door is wide open, the iron is left on, the living room is in disarray. Nick comes home to find this scene and no sign of his loving wife. Where is she? Who has taken her? Why? Where was Nick when it happened? Is everything as it seems? These become the questions the police and Nick himself focus on in the days to come.

The psychological drama that keeps the reader on the edge here is wonderful. I won't give away what's behind Amy's sudden disappearance, but I will say it's fascinating, darkly humorous at times, and ultimately suspenseful. Give this book a try and see which character you most identify with. I dare you.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

There is not much to say about this brilliant memoir except this: I laughed my pants off!

Tina Fey is a study in how one woman can take all the characteristics that others (mostly men) find fault with(quirkiness, a dry sense of humor, forward thinking, sassiness) and turn them into not only a relevant, prosperous, empowering career, but into a life story that should help other women see themselves better. Fey talks about her early days at Second City and her rise to fame on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. She talks about her collaboration with Lorne Michaels, and her friendship and respect for Alec Baldwin and Tracy Jordan. In between these fascinating stories, she gives women some funny, yet real and practical advice about how to get ahead in a man's world and realizing both your potential and your dreams in the process.

But most of all, this book made me laugh. It made me laugh and laugh and laugh. I read it in the space of two days, and during those two days, my daughters kept saying to me, "Mom, really? Stop it, it can't be that funny!" But yes, it can. When I was done, I handed it to my husband and said, "If you want to know what I really think is funny, here it is."  So, if you love 30 Rock as much as I do, you'll love this light, quick read.