December 12, 2006

Every time I read another news article on James Kim I feel myself blinking back tears. Somebody posted a graphic detailing Kim’s journey through that harsh terrain, and seeing the trail leading back towards his family’s car about breaks my damn heart. I wish like hell we could all spin the earth backwards like Superman, and fly to him, a deus ex machina to pluck his still-living body from the cold ground, and return him to safety and warmth and his family’s arms.

I know this world’s got a million sad stories, but this one just won’t leave my head. I hope for peace and healing for the Kim family.

:::

Boy, I don’t even know how to segue from such a sad topic without sounding like an insensitive asshole, so let’s just…move on, together, to the incredibly shallow topic of concealer. Specifically, I need your advice on a good cover-up for my spectacularly unsexy dark eye circles, because you guys know EVERYTHING. Leave me a comment, or shoot me an email, and help me not spend so much time getting up close and personal with Photoshop’s Dodge tool.

And hey, as long as I’m soliciting advice, I need a good book. I keep picking things up from the library that aren’t very enjoyable, and then I feel resentful about spending my practically nonexistent free time on something that is teh suck, so YO, kick down with the suggestions. What’s the last great thing you read?

Work is incredi-busy lately, what with Macworld and a new product release and Workplace’s upcoming semi-closure for several days in a row over the holidays (would you believe I actually argued against that decision? I really am an asshole). I’m pleased to report, though, that I had time this week to write a very stupid blog post that included a photo of one of our employees in a monkey mask, so the next time I have a mini career crisis and wonder if I’m Really Being All That I Can Be, I will remind myself: monkey mask.

I’ve been posting photos of the various Christmas accouterments scattered around the house, and for those of you with really good memories, here’s an old friend: Porny McSquirrelton, He-Who-Wields-Anal-Beads. Speaking of anal, my ass is going to get really fat if I keep doing this.

In other news, this video is oddly wonderful. Rescue many horses, yes indeed! (Thanks, Jilly.)

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melissa
17 years ago

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (and all her other books as well)
Barbara Kingsolver’s books
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (just finished last night)
Devil in the White City by Eric Larsen (as mentioned above. Fascinating and true!)

Anne Glamore
17 years ago

I’m a huge reader and your previous commenters have already touched on some of my faves- fic and non.
Concealer– I’ll 2d the Boing but I also splurged on Touche Eclat (YSL) and love it. Test it first– expensive!!

Robin
Robin
17 years ago

Benefit “Boing” – it’s the one thing I CANNOT live without!!!! Works EVERYWHERE.

Ang
Ang
17 years ago

Midwives

I read this book about 4 years ago. It is awesome–could not put it down.

mandy
mandy
17 years ago

“How To Survive A Robot Uprising: Tips On Defending Yourself Against The Coming Rebellion” by Daniel H. Wilson.
“The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From The Living Dead” by Max Brooks.
Because you can never be too careful.

Melle
17 years ago

Ditto on The Time Traveler’s Wife. Also, Fall On Your Knees, The Birth House, The Tattoo Artist (those are all Can Lit), Odd Girl Out (not fiction), A Round-Heeled Woman, American Gods, Fragile Things (anything by Neil Gaiman, really).

victoria
victoria
17 years ago

Touche Eclat by Yves Saint Laurent is brilliant stuff, IMHO, and very very easy to use.

The Glass Castle and The Secret History are books I couldn’t put down. Be careful when you start them because otherwise you might find yourself, like me, sitting at your desk at work, reading The Glass Castle in plain view of your boss because you just can’t stop reading it.

Cassie
Cassie
17 years ago

Oh thank you for the Squirrel! Made my day! It is a classic..kinda like It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and squirrel with anal beads! Just wouldn’t feel like the Christmas season without it!

GoingLoopy
17 years ago

I third? fourth? anything by Jodi Picoult…My Sister’s Keeper, Plain Truth, and Second Glance were my favorites of hers. Also, Jill Conner Browne’s Sweet Potato Queens books are fucking hilarious. Not necessarily literary, but I snorted laughing and there are lots of recipes for fattening food that sound incredible. ;) I also have been re-reading all the Harry Potter books lately, because I am a giant dork.

Concealer? I like L’oreal Perfect Match…the liquid kind in the little tube. It has a brush applicator, isn’t too heavy, and seems to conceal. I also tried some powder one from Origins that OH MY GOD made this giant zit vanish. But I was poor so I didn’t buy it, and I can’t remember the name.

missbanshee
17 years ago

I can’t get over the Kim story as well. Must stop searching out stories regarding it. Too sad.

Books!!!!

Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain (anything by him, actually)
Any and all Roddy Doyle (and “The Giggler Treatment” will entertain you AND Riley in a few years)
Any and all Sarah Vowell

And I swear by MAC StudioFix for the dark circles.

Her Ladyship
17 years ago

I am with you on the James Kim story. This just breaks my heart every time I read more about it.

*segueway to shallowness*

Anyhoo, run run RUN to a Laura Mercier counter. Their undereye concealer is the best in the business. Seriously.

I’m currently reading “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal,” by Christopher Moore. A goofy look at, well, Jesus’ (or Josh, as he’s called in the book) upbringing by his best friend Biff. I haven’t finished it, but so far it’s pretty clever, imaginative, and light-hearted. And appropriate for the season! Sort of.

Beth
Beth
17 years ago

Fiction: Chris Moore’s stuff (mentioned above, “Lamb”) is great, funny shit. Based on some of the fiction you’ve posted here, you might like “Choke” (Chuck Palahniuk). Nonfiction: I recommend “Botany of Desire” (Michael Pollan) and “The madman and the professor” (Simon Winchester).

Swistle
17 years ago

The James Kim thing haunts me, too. I kind of wish we could stop talking about it, because every time we do it haunts me even more.

Swistle
17 years ago

The last great thing I read was Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst. I thought it would be kind of dumb (the backdrop for the story is a reality game show), but I really liked it and wished it was a lot longer.

Maureen
Maureen
17 years ago

I loved Haven Kimmel’s “A Girl Named Zippy”, and the follow up book”She Got Up Off the Couch”. A few commenters mentioned Barbara Kingsolver-“The Bean Trees” was the first book of hers I read, and I was hooked after that.

Mary
Mary
17 years ago

I use Lyin’ Eyes by Benefit. I have had problems with undereye concealer looking like spackle and creasing, but this doesn’t do that. It’s also really easy to use.

gabby
gabby
17 years ago

Either of Nick Hornby’s book of essays on reading. Funny. So I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason by Susan Kandel. Total fluff mystery.

Caroline
17 years ago

I have seriously hideous under eye darkness and Lancome’s concealer is the bestest ever! When I started wearing it, someone actually told me that I looked “awake.” I did not realize I had previously looked asleep, but that would explain my unpopularity.

Additionally, I must recommend “King Dork.” This is a book located in the “Teen Pit” of my local library, but don’t let that deter you. It’s hilarious and wonderfully written and I loved it as a distraction from my self-produced stress.

Sadie
Sadie
17 years ago

Chiming in late, but another vote for Physician’s Formula concealer – it comes in a dual wand that has flesh-colored, and green, concealers, and it blends really well. Also, $7.99 at the drug store!
I scrape the last bits of it out of the tube like a fiending addict when I’m nearly out.

Also, re: books – someone above me mentioned Midwives, by Chris Bohjalian, and that is a great book I read recently too. Also, if you haven’t read David Sedaris’ “Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim,” you MUST – I brought that book to the beach and was snorting and guffawing so loudly on my blanket that people started looking at me.

Kirsten
17 years ago

I second for Barbara Kingsolver “the Bean Trees” and Haven Kimmel as well. I also LOVED “Good In Bed” by Jennifer Weiner, “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb (amazingly written by a man from a woman’s point of view). I’m also a sucker for anything by Elizabeth Berg or Anne Lamott.

Caitlin
Caitlin
17 years ago

I second “On Beauty” and “Middlesex” but also:

“Veronica” by Mary Gaitskill. It is incredibly lush and emotional and just very well-written. LOVE her.

Hey, and thank you (belatedly) for the “Y: The Last Man” reccomendation. My boyfriend and I have gobbled all the books available, and really, I kinda just want to go all Misery on Brian and Pia and lock them in a cold, poorly furnished cabin until they finish the damn series already!!

Jennifer
17 years ago

For your eye circles (which I don’t think you have, by the by) – Bare Escentuals “Well Rested” multi-tasking eye shadow OR Yves St. Laurent’s Touche Eclat highlighter. The latter is a bit spendy but it so.totally.worth.it

Insofar as books go, I really enjoyed “The Historian,” by Elizabeth Kostova. Although some thought it was hacky, I enjoyed reading a different spin on the story of Dracula. I also second (or third) the recommendation for “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” Ooh! I really enjoyed “A Dirty Job” by Christopher Moore. Happy reading!

heels
17 years ago

The last good one I read was Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. It’s short stories, which I love, but aren’t for everyone.
http://www.amazon.com/Interpreter-Maladies-Jhumpa-Lahiri/dp/039592720X

Motherless Brooklyn (Jonathan Lethem) is also good (but odd), as is Middlesex, but I notice you already have many people telling you that.

For non-fiction , I quite liked Dr.Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson. Very funny about biology.

And almost anything by Bill Bryson is hilarious and great.

H
H
17 years ago

I recommend:
Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala. It is somewhat difficult at the beginning to get used to the broken English, but stick with it. Very touching and disturbing at the same time.

Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

H
H
17 years ago

One more:

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld — hilarious

chrissy
chrissy
17 years ago

There are very few things I will splurge on when it comes to makeup, and Clinique’s concealer is one of those things. It works WONDERS. I’m also a big fan of L’Oreal’s Visible Results Skin Renewing Treatment SPF 15 (that is, if you’re looking for a really good moisturizer). You can buy the moisturizer at Target.

It looks like you have more than enough to choose from for book suggestions, but I’ll add my two cents anyhow. I love anything by Lorrie Moore. I think she’s hilarious. And for a quick read, I recommend “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. It’s technically a kid’s book but has a very complex, powerful message. Oh, and another powerful (and fascinating) book is “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.

Eliza
17 years ago

Behind the Scenes at the Museum is the best novel I read this year. It’s by Kate Atkinson and won the UK’s Whitbread First Novel Award like a decade ago. So I was very late. But I loved it beyond measure. I have no idea about under-eye concealer, but I wish I did, as I walk around with racoon eyes on a daily basis.

Jennifer
17 years ago

I just saw that someone up above recommended “The Secret History” as well – I can’t believe I forgot about that one! It’s by far one of my favorite books EVAH! Pick it up immediately!

Angela Hamilton
Angela Hamilton
17 years ago

Philip Pullman!!!!

Philip Pullman!!!!

I am jumping up and down and trying to be heard over the crowd, because: Philip Pullman!!!!

The His Dark Materials trilogy is AMAZING. Waiting for his new books to be released, I am now devouring the Sally Lockhart mysteries… and they’re great. Fun, interesting, page-turny… they also don’t require any work on the part of the reader, which is a nice thing in a book this time of year.

JennB
JennB
17 years ago

I’m useless when it comes to makeup, so I’ll have to pass on that.

But BOOKS. I’ve got you covered.
A lot of the other comments suggest some excellent reads, also try:
Water for Elephants
The Myth of You and Me
That Old Ace in the Hole
A Confederacy of Dunces

And, of course my brain has skipped and I can’t remember any of the others for now, but I’ll toss them off to you when I remember them.

Carrie
17 years ago

I’m so happy. Makeup is my most favorite topic ever! (Am slightly shallow.) I alternate between both Benefit Boi-ing ( http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P1273&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=5333 ) and Smashbox concealer ( http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P156212&categoryId=3990 .) And if you put the Apricot color foundation primer on your face before everything else, or even instead of foundation, it makes a huge difference in circles, shadows, and such. ( http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P78811&categoryId=3990 ) It is probably my most favorite product ever. Have fun! The last book I found time to read was Running With Scissors
( http://www.amazon.com/Running-Scissors-Memoir-Augusten-Burroughs/dp/031242227X/sr=8-1/qid=1166032709/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-8452502-5468748?ie=UTF8&s=books ) The first sentence hooked me and it was very enjoyable. Although with a two year old, the time for reading is so lacking that I only go for the easy, enjoyable stuff now. So much for learning! Heh.

m
m
17 years ago

Delurking to say the best book I read this year was The Girls by Lori Lansens. It is absolutely brilliant. I read it this summer and I still think about it.

Jennifer
Jennifer
17 years ago

I also highly recommend The Time Traveler’s Wife…GREAT book!
I Know This Much is True, Wally Lamb
Anything by Jennifer Weiner.

Kym
Kym
17 years ago

Someone else beat me to it of course, but the His Dark Materials trilogy is fantastic. They are making a movie out of The Golden Compass which could be good…or not.
I absolutely loved Lamb. I am trying to start Dirty Jobs now because I love Christopher Moore’s writing style.
I was just reminded of two books I read years ago and was quite affected by: Little,Big and Engine Summer by John Crowly. They have a bit of a cult following I hear.
Tom Robbins, of course, if you haven’t read him you MUST. Jitterbug Perfume, Still Life With Woodpecker, Another Roadside Attraction, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues…classics.

At the moment I am using Boing from Benefit. Nothing covers my undereye circles completely, but it does tone it down enough so people don’t think I have been crying all day.

The Kim Family story makes me want to weep. It actually made my breasts ache when I heard she had nursed them both when they ran out of food. She was literally giving her life to them. The desperation they felt must have just been unbearable.

And of course, the horses made be tear up. My girlfiend would have been right out there on her horse with those women if she was there, I know it.

CK
CK
17 years ago

I’ll add to your list…since I don’t think anyone has mentioned these yet – but they are wonderful.

Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner, absolutely wonderful read – refreshing female character and good story. Plus…who wouldn’t be intrigued with a title, “Good in Bed.”

I’m Proud of You: My Relationship with Mr. Rogers by Tim Madigan. Sounds cheesy, but it is a wonderful memoir about having someone in your life who helps you out in a time of need.

The Kite Runner by Kaled Hosessini (I don’t know if I spelled the last name correctly). Fabulous book – It will be one that you can’t put down.

Happy reading! Let us know which ones you’ve decided to read. Love your blog – and Riley is a doll!

Shel
17 years ago

Two of my favorite books of all time are The Watchers by Dean Koontz (You will like this one because as you read it you will think of your Dog…) Also, The Season of Passage by Christopher Pike. I’ve literally read them so many times that I can pick them up and start reading from any page and they (paperback) are falling apart!

Joanne
17 years ago

I haven’t read all the comments so I hope I’m not repeating myself, but I have been loving the Jodi Picoult lately. Also I read On Beauty by Zadie Smith and The Memory Keeper’s Daughter recently and liked both. I am now reading Barak Obama’s Memories from my Father and it’s very enjoyable.

samantha jo campen
17 years ago

I’m back. I second the Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. Read that a few years ago and LOVED IT! Also, I really think you’d like Elle Minnow Pea since you’re a writer. It’s fictional and about a town that loses letters in the alphabet and can’t continue to use them in speech or writing. It’s amazing and funny too. A different way to think about words. So yeah, I’m throwing that into the pot.

Tell us which ones you pick! And give us prizes too :-)

Shannon
17 years ago

You probably won’t even make it this far but for books: any of local author Eric Larson’s three books, but especially “The Devil in the White City.” True story of a serial killer who worked the Chicago World’s Fair for his victims–you won’t be able to put it down.

I also have a new music recommendation for you: Jim Noir’s “tower of love” cd, from Barsuk Records. I thought of you the minute I heard it, as it reminds me of Andrew Bird–just as sweet and quirky. I can’t get it out of my car’s cd player. You’ll thank me for it!

Mary O
Mary O
17 years ago

I guess I’ll be your ba-zillionth commenter!

For a funny and smart writer like yourself, I recommend these other funny and smart writers:

Jennifer Weiner (esp. “Little Earthquakes” and “Goodnight Nobody”)
Lauren Weisberger (“Devil Wears Prada” -better than the movie- and “Everyone Worth Knowing”)
Helen Fielding (“Bridget Jones’ Diary” – a must read if you missed it a few years back)
Frank McCourt (“Angela’s Ashes” and “‘Tis” – both moving and very funny!)

I know you won’t be able to use everyone’s suggestions, but I thought I’d put my two cents in too!

Jen
Jen
17 years ago

I love recommending books, even if I’m the 90th person to do so.

I read The Russian Debutante’s Handbook by Gary Shteyngart over the summer, and I definitely think it is the last really great book I finished. The style is hard to nail down – hilarious and moving and weirdly self-deprecating. I like my books with a (perhaps more-than) healthy dose of sarcasm, and Shteyngart is so good at it that you don’t really know who is being mocked at any given time. Fantastic.

Also I’m in the middle of Them: A Memoir of Parents by Francine du Plessix Gray. It’s this awesome memoir/biography about the author’s mother, father, and stepfather – hat designer for Saks/muse for a revolutionary Russian poet, Free French aristo, and art designer for the Conde Nast empire, respectively. They’re all monstrously self-absorbed, but she writes about them very sensitively.

April
April
17 years ago

Ooh, I agree with the Memory Keeper’s Daughter rec, that book was great! BIG FAN of Jodi Picoult as well (is everyone here buying books at airports like myself or something, b.c all my recs were already written by others!), but her books are super SAD. If you read her book “The Pact” make sure you have plenty of time to read the end… I wanted to get to the end so bad that I hid in the bathroom at work and finished it!

Kate
Kate
17 years ago

I really like Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. The novel itself has a fascinating history, and you can read the first chapter here http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/books/review/09gray.html?ex=1302235200&en=efa79839c42f4089&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
so you don’t have to go to the effort of getting it from the library and finding out it might not be your thing.

janet
janet
17 years ago

two really awesome books out right now are mortified and entertaining under the influence :) well worth the money!

Heath
Heath
17 years ago

Well, it looks like you have quite the list going, but I’ll add a couple.

Cryptonomicon, Diamond Age, and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. They’re geeky and really really smart (I had to look up *tons* of words, and I’m getting my PhD in English!) – sort of science-fiction-y, with lots of stuff about cryptography and computers and language and ass-kicking and nanotechnology and…well, you just have to read them. (DO NOT start with the Baroque Cycle books – they’re boring.)

Carolyn J.
Carolyn J.
17 years ago

You have more than enough suggestions to keep you, but if not, visit the Library with Crappy Customer Service:

http://deodand.vox.com/

filakia
17 years ago

Historic fiction isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but Dorothy Dunnett is a class unto herself — a brilliant woman who crafted incredibly well-written and sophisticated plots (and employed a dictionary-busting vocabulary). Her novels are meticulously researched and filled with vivid and complex characters. I think I fell in love with Lymond, as did the other two friends I managed to convince to try these books.

The first book in the six-book series is called The Game of Kings. Try it, and keep at it because it requires a little work. If you stick through it and the next book, Queen’s Play, by the third book you will be hooked. The books are like drugs. I’ve been an avid reader my entire life, but never have I been as obsessed and consumed by books as I was with the Lymond Chronicles. (And I read them in my late 20s, not when I was an impressionale teenager). I read them every chance I got, even going so far as to keep one on the seat next to me in the car and read it while I waited at stop lights. (The first and only time I’ve ever hoped to hit red lights!) I read when I ate breakfast, on my lunch breaks at work, at the gym, when I got home. (And, as I mentioned, when I was driving). Activities would be considered based on whether or not I could read while doing them. (Use the rowing machine or take a Spin class? No! Cannot read; must ride stationary bike! Shower? Bath? Bath! I can read!) When I finished the series, I cried because those stories and characters were over, forever. I felt depressed for a few days, knowing I would never be able to “live” the books again.

But it was worth it. The people I’ve convinced to read these books have felt the same way about them, and Dorothy Dunnett has a cult following of fans. Don’t read any websites before reading the books, though, (even avoid the publisher’s cover blurbs) because they often contain plot spoilers and you do NOT want the surprises ruined. The books are filled with shocking plot twists, and they are a big part of what makes them so enjoyable and addictive.

Melissa
17 years ago

I recommend God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman is entertaining too.

Emily
17 years ago

Linda, I know I already left a comment, but I have to add two things:

1. I add a millionth nomination for The Time Traveler’s Wife.

2. I love when you ask for recommendations, because I totally take advantage of them. (Remember when you asked about music? I totally gathered about 5GBs worth of suggestions from your comments section that day. Thanks!)

Lesley
Lesley
17 years ago

Apparently, a group of women organized the rescue of those horses…many of them females with young. There’s something really moving about that. Youtube has picture that can be adjusted for greater clarity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n9wd7P5Apw and some great stills available here
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/6114596.stm

I’ll have to look up the Kim story as it’s not something in the news here.

Curious to see the eye circle solutions but I always buy Prescriptives. It does a reasonable job.