Yesterday’s NYT Book Review

Yesterday’s New York Times Book Review ran reviews of two books that have recently appeared in the EDIWTB blog.

The first is Free Food For Millionaries by Min Jin Lee. I blogged about it here a few weeks ago, but haven’t read it. The review was quite positive – a full page for this first-time-published author.  The book is about a Korean-American woman who grows up in Queens, goes to Princeton, and then defies her family by turning down Columbia Law School and following her own path. Says the review: "Casey’s filial, romantic and professional struggles lie at the heart of Free Food for Millionaires, which unfolds in New York in the 1990s with an energetic eventfulness and a sprawling cast that call to mind the literary classics of Victorian England. Defiant and proud, Casey sorts out her life with a little help from her beautiful and docile Korean-American friend, Ella Shim, whose kindness she accepts with suspicion and resentment."

I also attended a reading tonight by Min Jin Lee at Politics & Prose in DC. She is delightfully honest, swears a lot, and started the reading fighting tears because, she explained, when she was in law school, she lived a few blocks from the bookstore and used to come in all the time. She didn’t have much money so she’d buy a book every month or so and treasure it.  The full-circle nature of her doing a reading at the store was quite emotional for her. 

I haven’t started Free Food for Millionaires yet but am eager to.

The second review of note is of I Love You, Beth Cooper, by Larry Doyle. I have blogged about this book twice (here and here) and read it a few weeks ago. The reviewer tends to agree with what I wrote about the book: "[Doyle] is, as his credits suggest, wickedly funny, though he veers widely from the refreshingly high to the disturbingly low, and readers over 20 may have to rely on Google to translate topical references.  The reivew finds the main character’s "journey [] often tedious," as did I, but is impressed with Doyle’s "up to the minute [familiarity] with teenage vernacular."  As I said before, I do recommend this book – Doyle is a very funny writer.