A girl’s got to read, this all Clutchettes know. So, to help navigate the ever-expanding world of books, Uptown Literati is here to provide a weekly reading list. We’re a fresh, book blog for cool girls and great reads (check us out on our site [uptownliteratti.blogspot.com] and we’ll be dishing on what you need to be reading now: classic tomes, sassy fiction, juicy tell-alls and every type of paperback in between. Happy reading!
Who: Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, New York University students-turned-nannies-turned-novelists
What: The Nanny Diaries is a laugh-out-loud funny tale of a part-time nanny in Manhattan. While her new job (sitting for an adorable pre-schooler from a wealthy family) seems fun at first, a maniacal mother, an absent father and missing paychecks sour the job. A light read, you’ll find yourself laughing at some of the situations Nanny gets herself into, scowling at the back-stabbing notes and catty remarks her employer throws her way and muttering “how dreadful” at many of the other zany characters in the novel.
Why: When your 9 to 5 is starting to resemble “The Office,” it’s nice to see that other people have even lower salaries and an even worse gig. Plus, we hear there’s a sequel to the book coming this winter.
Rating: 3 stars
Who: American Author, Danny Evans
What: Rage Against the Meshugenah, a feisty, soul-baring memoir of a man whose job loss coincides with the collapse of New York’s Twin Towers on 9/11, sending his psyche spiraling into a downward vortex of depression and near insanity. But, there’s a reward at the book’s end for readers strong enough and patient enough to endure the narrator’s emotional, yet pleasantly hilarious, rollercoaster ride.
Why: Any of you who’ve dealt with–or are dealing with–seemingly endless job hunting understand the triple whammy it can cause: mental, physical, and spiritual strain. Readers looking for someone to shout “I’ve been where you are!” will find the dark recesses of Evans’ mind to be scary at times, but nonetheless relatable and ultimately inspiring.
Rating: 3 stars
Who: British journalist and novelist George Orwell
What: The social science fiction novel that Orwell is most known for, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Taking place in the aftermath of a world war, the continent has been divided into three super-powers. One or two of them are constantly at war with the other (alliances are formed and broken at will) and the success of the world depends on total mental and physical submission to the government. Protagonist Winston Smith falls in love, which is the equivalent of a one-man rebellion against the regime, to horrifying results.
Why: While odds are you were required to read this sometime between seventh and twelfth grade, it’s not a bad idea to pick it up again as an adult. Realities for the citizens of Oceania (one third of the novel’s world) draw a few too many similarities to life in modern nations. And even if you’re not into the whole cryptic-fiction-mirrors-real-life thing, it’s just a really good book.
Rating: 5 stars
What: Lecturer and Award-winning professor of Italian Literature, Dr. P.M Forni
What: The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude is a guide for how to handle rude behavior when dealing with any situation. Whether it’s co-workers or sales associates, drivers on the road or fellow subway riders, children, family, or friends, The Civility Solution offers ways to be a calm spirit in the midst of direct or indirect rude behavior in the world.
Why: The question of civility has become increasingly predominant given the heated climate of the health care town halls over the summer as well as this competitive mentality that has developed in environments from the playground to the boardroom. With his straightforward and sincere diction, Forni empowers us with the idea that if we allow kindness into our worlds in the smallest of circumstances, its effects ripple through every aspect of our lives, individually and collectively.
Rating: 4.5 stars