Sunday, September 18, 2011

LOOSE DIAMONDS…AND OTHER THINGS I’VE LOST (AND FOUND) ALONG THE WAY: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

 GIVEAWAY ENDED
LOOSE DIAMONDS
…AND OTHER THINGS I’VE LOST 
(AND FOUND) ALONG THE WAY
BY AMY EPHRON
ABOUT THE BOOK:
“I’ve never bought loose diamonds but the idea of them appeals to me, sparkling stones that I imagine come wrapped in a velvet cloth . . . ”

With her wonderful sense of humor, marvelously candid voice, and astonishing perception, Amy Ephron weaves together the most insightful, profound, and just plain funny stories of her life to form a tapestry of a woman’s experiences from childhood through young adulthood, marriage, divorce (and remarriage), and everything in between. Writing with great honesty and exacting prose, Ephron gives us an evocative, engaging, and often piercing look at modern life.

Along the way, we meet colorful and unforgettable characters such as the Birdman, who invited Ephron when she was a young girl into his Spanish-style home that he’d magically turned into an exotic aviary. And there’s Honey, the Cristal-loving Southern beauty, who struggles in her affairs with men and who orders “champagne by the case.” Ephron also recounts the afternoon she spent with the infamous Squeaky Fromme, and describes what happened after one of the mothers at her son’s school rear-ended her car. Did it have anything to do with Ephron’s soon-to-be ex-husband? And through it all is Ephron’s mother, whose perspectives on everything—from shoes to egg cups—pervade this book, and whose alcoholism was a constant challenge, forcing Ephron out on her own at an early age. Finally, Ephron professes her lifelong love affair with Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, a touchstone and a companion in a world that always moves too fast and is sometimes upside down. It is an ode to a simpler time of elegance and style, and an incisive look at today’s times.

Throughout Loose Diamonds, Amy Ephron celebrates these memories and her friendships, as well as her romances and marriages, and the things that make life livable (such as her Filofax, which she would be lost without). She writes unflinchingly about the fragility and tenuousness of life, how fortune can turn on a dime and circumstances aren’t always in our control. She explores the enduring effects of parental wisdom, the complications and rewards that marriage can bring, and the intricate ups and downs of friendships—all with a quick wit and a delicate eye.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amy Ephron is a bestselling and award-winning novelist. Her magazine pieces and essays have appeared in Vogue; T Magazine; Saveur; House Beautiful; Harper's Bazaar; National Lampoon; The Los Angeles Times; Huffington Post; Defamer; her own online magazine, One for the Table; and various other print and online publications.

She recently directed a short film, Chloe@3 AM, which was featured by the American Cinematheque at the female director's festival in January 2011.

The author of several books, including Loose Diamonds…and other things I've lost (and found) along the way, One Sunday Morning, and A Cup of Tea: A Novel of 1917, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alan Rader, and any of their five children who drop in.
 
 
PRAISE FOR LOOSE DIAMONDS:
“This is Edith Wharton territory . . . Ephron has a fine eye for opulence, sketching the book’s grand public spaces with just a few brushstrokes.”
— Los Angeles Times Book Review
 “An elegant fable . . . a charming package, a smooth blend of period romance and contemporary wisdom.”-- Miami Herald “A bit like Woolf….shrewd and wry.”— Library Journal “A jewel of a book.”— Reader's Digest

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
In a description of Amy Ephron's book, Harper Collins writes, "In Loose Diamonds, an engaging collection of essays and observations, Amy Ephron, the acclaimed, award-winning author of the One Sunday Morning and A Cup of Tea, paints a rich, vivid, and comic portrait of modern living from a modern woman’s perspective. Fans of the writings of Amy Sedaris and Joan Didion’s Slouching Toward Bethlehem will enjoy Ephron’s funny, incisive take on the intricate weave of a woman’s world."

LOOSE DIAMONDS is a usually humorous, light collection of essays by Amy Ephron which are based on past and present events in her life. She writes about her thoughts and memories on everything from family, marriage and being a mother to places and things important to her that have impacted her in some way. Some are about the good life she leads, while some reflect on more moving and emotional moments in her memory bank. 

The title, LOOSE DIAMONDS, comes from a robbery of her jewelry that was stolen right out of her home in Los Angeles. As she went over the missing pieces, she realized she would miss the bangles themselves but more so the memories they held that told stories of her life. Everyone must know that when you lose something like this, it is most often the memory and meaning behind the item that can’t be replaced more so than the actual gem or object that was taken or lost.

The essays are short and can be read one at a time or straight through (if you wish) and each gives a glimpse into the real life situations that Ephron went through. These reflections were brought about by memories attached to the items she lost. They included recollections of growing up and a confession of being thrown out of an exclusive school because she balked at the dress code. She wrote about her encounter with the infamous Squeaky Fromm from the Manson gang, and somewhat switched gears when discussing more serious topics such as date rape and even her mother’s battle with depression.

I found the book overall to be the kind of thing I could pick up and then leave it for a while and come back to it when I had a few minutes to kill. It didn’t grab me and make me feel I had to read on but then again, it was light entertainment. I thought the stories Ephron recounted intrigued me because I am someone whose world doesn’t revolve around Beverly Hills and can’t name drop like the author was able to do. I think if you are a fan of the author, as many are especially who read A CUP OF TEA, you will enjoy LOOSE DIAMONDS. For me, it was just OK and although I liked it enough to read it off and on until I finished it, I don’t think I would have been worse off if I had missed out on it.  
 
 
GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO CHELSEY AND THE GOOD FOLKS
AT HARPER COLLINS, I HAVE 2 COPIES
OF THIS JUST RELEASED BOOK TO
GIVE AWAY TO 2 LUCKY READERS
  
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT LOOSE DIAMONDS  THAT MADE YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK,  AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING ABOUT AUTHOR AMY EPHRON'S BLOG, ONE FOR THE TABLE,  BY VISITING HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK, PLEASE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY THAT YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, COMMENT ON EACH WAY SEPARATELY.

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, OCTOBER 3

86 comments:

holdenj said...

Sounds like a great read, I like to be able to have a book to pick up now and then (while carpooling etc!) that will keep me entertained.
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holdenj said...

I thought the On A Stick cookbook, under the cookbooks to love section was cool.
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debbie said...

Thanks for the honest review. I don't follow hollywood, either, so name dropping isn't going to impress me. I do like that you can pick it up every now and then. It is nice to do that in between other books.
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debbie said...

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mamabunny13 said...

It sounds like I'll be getting some laughs at the author expense. (sorry Amy)
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lag123 said...

I enjoy light entertainment.

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Tore said...

Sounds like a great read. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

traveler said...

I would enjoy this entertaining book. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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She is talented and amusing. Her website is uique.s aubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

What a great book, so amusing and fun. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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petite said...

Love the cookbook area. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

ann said...

Sounds like its a book I would really enjoy reading

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i like and follow on FB

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I like all the recipes on her blog

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Linda Kish said...

I liked your review. You don't always have to read a great book. Sometimes it's good to just read an okay book. Especially one with little vignettes that don't take long to read and you don't have to think about forever. I think it would be good to have around.

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Linda Kish said...

They have loads of yummy-sounding recipes. I marked the site to go back later. I love the desserts section.

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sweetpea said...

This is a great book to leave by my bed, i can read a story or chapter or two and come back again and pick up right where I left off!

sweetpea0861@yahoo.com

sweetpea said...

amy also directed a short film, that is cool.

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sweetpea said...

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Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Normally not something I read as I want a book that will wrap me up for hours but as another commenter said, this would be good to read at a Dr's office or on a car trip where I could only read for short periods of time

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Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Found a recipe for Butterscotch Glazed Oatmeal Brownies and I bookmarked this site as several of the recipes had my mouth watering.
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Karen B said...

I'm an Ephron fan!
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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MRWriter said...

I adore Amy Ephron's essays and would love to read this collection.

AlexDean03(at)yahoo.com

MRWriter said...

I really enjoyed the restaurant reviews on her website (blog).

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rubynreba said...

The book sounds like a light fun read and I'd enjoy it.
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rubynreba said...

I enjoyed visiting her blog and looking at all the interesting good recipes!
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Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! I love books that are "insightful and funny" at the same time!

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Nancye said...

I learned that Amy's blog is HUGE!! She has TONS of recipes as well as a gift shop section too! I plan to return and read more.

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