Kiss and Tell

Good in Bed
Jennifer Weiner
Reviewed by Donna Pierce

The title of Jennifer Weiner’s novel, Good in Bed, is misleading. This isn’t a story about a person’s sex life. Instead, it’s a humorous tale of Candace “Cannie” Shapiro, 28, a single, overweight reporter for the Philadelphia Examiner who struggles with her personal life.

Cannie’s ex-boyfriend, Bruce Guberman, is a graduate student and pothead who manages to snag a freelance writing position on a new magazine, Moxie. His column, “Good in Bed,” focuses on his life as a single male, and his first article is about his failed relationship with Cannie. Three months earlier, Cannie had suggested they take a break from each other, but she didn’t think they had ended their relationship.

In his column, Bruce proclaims, “Loving a larger woman is an act of courage in our world.” The column outlines Cannie’s good and bad points, which devastates her, and she spends the evening with her dog, Nifkin, drinking margaritas.

Cannie feels Bruce has let her down much like her distant father. When she was a child, he had numerous affairs and eventually abandoned her family. She has a sister, Lucy, who has a wild streak, and a mother who has fallen in love with a woman named Tanya.

Even more insecure than before her relationship, Cannie goes to a weight loss clinic hoping to shed her extra weight, but the novel is more than a book about losing weight. It’s about an insecure woman finding out what is most important in life and the joy happiness can bring.

Throughout the book, Cannie finds herself in precarious situations that affect her life. Bruce calls Cannie when his father dies, and after a sexual encounter he becomes distant and
begins dating someone else.

On a writing assignment for the Examiner, Cannie meets Maxie, a movie star who becomes a good friend and eventually helps Cannie with her career. The remainder of the book deals with the repercussions of her encounter with Bruce and how she gets her life together.

After Cannie meets Maxie a few of the scenes are unrealistic. But the main character’s thoughts and feelings are very much on cue, and the dialogue is realistic. Another plus is the reader, Paula Cale, who makes you believe that she is really Cannie.
Grade: A

Undaunted Courage
Stephen E. Ambrose

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River, across the forbidding Rockies, and – by way of the Snake and mighty Columbia – down to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, endured incredible hardships and witnessed astounding sights. With great perseverance, they worked their way into an unexplored West and when they returned two years later, they had long since been given up for dead.

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Lewis is supported by a variety of colorful characters: Jefferson and his vision of the West; Clark, the artist and mapmaker; and Lewis – the enigma, who led brilliantly but considered the mission a failure. After suffering several periods of depression – and despite his status as a national hero – Lewis died mysteriously, apparently by his own hand.
Undaunted Courage
22 hours
Retail: $49.95
Simon & Schuster Audio

Sing a Song of Death
Catherine Dain

Freddie O’Neil would prefer being home with her cats, at the casino playing keno or off flying her private plane, but instead she is called in to solve the murder of the star from Lake Tahoe’s hottest lounge act, Vince Marina. Although the relationship between Marina and his ex-wife Connie was not in good condition, and obvious evidence points to her, she swears she did not murder him. No matter how guilty she looks, Connie believes Freddie will help her prove her innocence. Together they attempt to find out who really lowered the final curtain on Vince Marina.
Sing a Song of Death
7.2 hours
Books in Motion

The Woman Next Door
Barbara Delinsky

On a charming cul-de-sac in suburban Connecticut, three close-knit couples find their long-cherished harmony undone when a lovely, younger neighbor, widowed a year ago and presumably still unattached, turns up pregnant. Who is the father? Could it be one of the husbands?

One by one, the couples turn inward, taking stock of their marriages and of the loyalties that perhaps have been taken too much for granted. In each case this close scrutiny reveals a weakness, and for each wife the situation becomes the kind of crisis that forces her to make a decision – one that results in either the strengthening or the dissolution of her marriage.
The Woman Next Door
4.5 hours
Retail: $25
Simon & Schuster Audio

Drivers, here is your chance to review the latest audiobooks. Tell our readers what you like or dislike about the plot and characters and why you would recommend it to other drivers. Below is a list of audiobooks available in the Truckers News audiobook library. Contact Jodi Black at (800) 633-5953 ext. 1364 or via e-mail at [email protected] to reserve an audiobook. It will be sent to you free of charge for your review. Audiobooks are available on a first-call, first-served basis.

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