If I read an early draft of this novel--and ultimately that's what the novel felt like, an early draft that should've been re-written several times--I would've recommended that the author minimize the whole "book club to the stars" premise of the book, and spend more time on the relationship between Howard and Anne by having more interactions between the couple scenes, rather than long tangential memories of when they first met. There is way too much exposition in this book. And many of the scenes with Hollywood executives are implausible. It seemed very strange to me that the author didn't spend more time letting the characters who are Jewish actually speak.
This begins as a smart, savvy book about nothing, really. The story is told by Anne Rosenbaum, a whip-smart, whip-thin, maddeningly articulate polyglot, who possesses an ambiguous posh accent which causes everyone to swoon when she elucidates bits of the vast literary canon she carries in her brain. She is the wife of Hollywood exec, Howard, who is among the power players of an industry that creates and rules pop culture from its shimmering Los Angeles manses.
Anne, coddled by a loyal staff, an This begins as a smart, savvy book about nothing, really.
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Anne, coddled by a loyal staff, an adoring husband, and by son Sam, a well-adjusted and multi-lingual high school senior, appears to have a life that demands little more from her than cultivation of an exotic garden and participation in her husband's dinner meetings with equally pampered colleagues. Book groups being so in vogue, Anne becomes a sought after, if reluctant, guide through the world of Western literature.
She begins a series of book clubs catered to various Hollywood power sub-groups what exactly IS a line director, anyway? As the plot forms and takes a darker turn, the layers of pretense fall away. The themes of cultural and religious identity emerge, racism and bigotry are confronted, and the fragility of marriage and the thudding obligations of family are weighted and tested against the desperate desire for acceptance and belonging that we all harbor.
View all 3 comments. Jun 25, Andie rated it really liked it. I found this book hard to get into at first; for some reason, I struggled through the first five or ten pages. In retrospect, the events being described make perfect sense, and are later repeated in context. It all seemed melodramatic and strangely undefined, like starting a story in the middle and skipping the beginning. However, the book soon backtracks, provides necessary background, and plunges into a deep investigation of literature, culture, religion, and just how loaded and controversial I found this book hard to get into at first; for some reason, I struggled through the first five or ten pages.
However, the book soon backtracks, provides necessary background, and plunges into a deep investigation of literature, culture, religion, and just how loaded and controversial these issues really can be. I greatly enjoyed this sophisticated, intelligent novel. I expected the focus to be on Anne's book club, which starts when a Hollywood name politely asks her for a reading list at a dinner, and soon spreads out to include many different elite circles, all of whom have taken a sudden, previously unheard of interest in reading. However, the reading group is secondary, and many of Anne's book choices and lectures consisting of increasingly personal anecdotes relate directly to her rapidly crumbling marriage.
Anne, a gentile, had long ago married Howard, who is Jewish, much to the disdain and disapproval of his parents. After a disastrous trip to Israel taken by their son, Sam, problems begin to arise. I found the investigation of religion, culture, and identity to be very absorbing; peppered with poetry and quotes from literature, this is a book I would recommend to anyone looking for a good debate mixed in with a good story. Jul 26, Allison rated it it was amazing.
Burr does a phenomenal job of appealing to readers of all types: Moreover, the style of the writing is not such that it would put off any one reader, and so each type is drawn into the other two threads of the story almost without choice. The case concerning Jewish identity is one I can relate to, being born of a Jewish father and a Protestant mother.
Yet, I have never considered the potential for this as a basis for struggle or even division. It is one of those matters I have glossed over in my life, perhaps always feeling something was a bit amiss but pushing it to the side, since I know that--being born of a non-Jewish mother--I am not technically Jewish and therefore do not need to know much more than how to answer the question that inevitably comes when someone learns my last name: Jan 27, Chad rated it it was amazing. I am writing this review about a year and a half after finishing the book.
I just started thinking about it again today, and I wanted to read it again. This book had many flaws, and it is not one that I would usually give 5 stars. However, it didn't leave me for almost a month after reading it. I wanted many people I knew to read it too. I would later re-think recommending it to some because I was not ready to have the nearly unavoidable discussions that would follow.
This is a book that I dis I am writing this review about a year and a half after finishing the book. This is a book that I dismissed, loved and wrestled with throughout. But it is a book that I can't seem to forget, and that alone makes it high on my list. I never go into plot because anyone can read the summary. But the author draws the book lover in with a plot of a wife of a Hollywood exec starting a book club for Hollywood producers and directors. There is a lot of Hollywood name dropping with J.
And this is the candy coating of the novel. You mean we get to read about book clubs and movies? The novel ponders the question of religion - Judaism, in particular - and what it means to be part of a religion versus being part of a people or ethnic group. How do we choose religion or spirituality and how is it chosen for us?
Not to say the book answers these, but it ponders them. It was clear that it was very personal to the author who discloses somewhere within the books pages that it was inspired by an event that happened to him. However, this should not make it any more important that complete fiction. Along the way, a few of the characters act improbably at times and the writing can suggest a certain pretentiousness at first, but the greatness of this book is in the questions it raises. Jun 24, Kelly Belvis rated it really liked it Shelves: This was a fascinating book.
There were lots of subjects to ponder: I was impressed with the author's courage in promoting the idea that the Jewish community has it's own brand of racism. The main character states at one point that the Jewish culture, both religious and non-religious, consider everyone who is not Jewish to be less, to be unclean, to be held to a lower standard. Gentiles are not w This was a fascinating book. Gentiles are not worthy nor equal. The character goes on to say that Jewish people are then surprised when they are disliked or even hated by those they consider inferior.
It all sounds simple unless you substitute your own belief system in for being "Jewish" and then it gets more complicated. I loved this book because there was so much to think about. I also enjoyed the literary ideas from many authors even though I haven't read Auden, Cheever or some of the others. Sep 17, Kimberly French rated it it was amazing. Story of Howard and Anne, who meet getting Ph. Howard is from Brooklyn Jewish family; Anne grew up in English-American diplomatic family, moving all over the world. Howard builds a powerful career in Hollywood as a liaison with New York book world.
YOU OR SOMEONE LIKE YOU
Anne raises their son and manages the house and servants and runs a wildly popular book discussion group for the Hollywood elite, who love her strong opinions. Even though the book opens with Howard leaving Anne, then flashes back, I did not see what was coming. Anne's climactic public critique took my breath away. When I stumbled across this book in my local library I smiled like a crazy person and couldn't wait to start reading. It was exactly the kind of book that appealed to me. Afterall, what more could a book lover want when they are presented with a book about books and about reading.
At it's basis, 'You or Someone Like You' is a book about Anne, a wife of what appears to be a successful Hollywood producer and much admired and sought after man. She lives life her way, and likes to be kept in the sha When I stumbled across this book in my local library I smiled like a crazy person and couldn't wait to start reading.
She lives life her way, and likes to be kept in the shadows almost - she enjoys the idea of being unknown. That is, of course, until Hollywood's elite begin to take notice of her and the books she carries around with her everywhere and they follow her blindly on a discovery through reading and books when she is pressured almost into creating a variety of book clubs. How all of these interact and affect our lives. I wanted so badly to love this book - I truly did -but while reading it, It just didn't do it for me.
For starters there narration is odd. Anne annoyed me more than I would like admit, and like the Hollywood elite in the book, we don't really get to see too much of her character - especially in the begining. While she's reading the books, and carrying out her book clubs, we get her interpretations of the books, and life as she sees it - but it's always from the perspective of some she knows. The list goes on.
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Its like, Burr, didn't really want us to know her. And that annoyed me.
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Afterall it is written from the first person perspective, but I'm not entirely sure that I feel as though I was ever really 'in' her head. Furthermore, the begining of the book bored me to tears. I'm not going to lie. I struggled with the first three-quarters of this book so badly that I found myself questioning why I had borrowed it and why I had thought it would be so fantastic in the first place. The story for the most part lacks direction. And its somewhat pretenious.
It's as though Burr sought out every literary icon he could and thought of some loose link read a lot of literary name dropping and reading of the text to add it in. That, although Anne's character linked back to her family, or some random incident in her life, I didn't feel as though it fit within the story at all.
In fact, for a few hundred pages, I found myself getting angry at the format of the novel - book club book quote, barely any discussion of 'Anne's reading' of the text, and then Anne's excitement at her book club, but also her disappointment it has previously been discussed and looked down upon that the "people in Hollywood don't read! It wasn't until the last hundred or so pages, that I feel the book, and it's actual story really every started to begin. And boy, once it did, it took off like a rocket and I found myself glued to every sentence and page as I rushed towards the ending, dying to know what happens.
The discourse and torment of Anne and Howard's her husbands religious sides and the crumbling of their family and marriage, was delieverd unbelievably well. It makes me wonder what Burr was really doing for the first part of the book. I was caught up in their emotions, and the turmoil and for the first time in the book, I could visualise what was happening to every character involved. I cried with them, and rejoiced and felt hollow and panicked when they did. I could see them, and fell them, rather that Burr telling me how to read them, and the stories within the story.
It was a refreshing and rewarding change after the first chunk of the novel. All this said, I am truly glad I read the book, and although I can't say I would read it again, there was a lot I took away from it. The way the religious subject matter of the Jewish nature vs the gentile world was revealed and dealt with made me think about my life, and the past and the world as a whole. And I wondered what I would personal say and do had these things have happened to myself.
Likewise, there are some little gems scattered through out the book, that really made me stop and think, and smile at and with Burr, because on ocassaion, even during the first half of the book, he got some things right, that I didn't believe capable. For instance, having a BA in English, the idea of Literature both thrils and annoys me due to unviersity stand points on the issue and I found a few of Burr's one liners, and paragraphs within 'You or Someone Like you' where able to explain and better sum up something of the things the University aimed and failed to do through the four and half years I studied with them.
It was both resfreshing and rather confronting to see these things reflected in a book that I equally hated and loved at the same time. Below are some of my favourite quotes from the book. We take the few words with which the writer sketches these characters, teh thing he said, the pain she felt, where they were, and our own emotional stickpile magically creates people. As the human eye fleshes our the pixilated image. Ficitonal Characters are highlighly sophisitcated Rorschach blots, and we, along with their author, are their authors.
When you read a fictional character, you too are creating her. Literature, well done, illustrates the reality of human nature. It does the exact opposite. It is shocking because it breaks down what we would be and shows us what we know we are. Dividers of each other into races and groups. People who hate otehrs via these concepts. And then why this is problematic. Because this is the way I would rephrase Mann art's treacherous tendency is to show that we all bleed, and in the long run you will not withstand art's construction of life, which is Shakespeare's construction of life, a construction that ultimately finds all human persons fundamentally human, regardless of religion or biology.
High school will soon end, and they are reassuring one another that they will all be friends forever, and they are about to discover that this is false. They cover the sadness and fear. The college applications are in, the tests are taken, the doors in sight, the control tower is guiding them to the take-off point, and they absoutely no idea how to naviagte this flight. Mar 04, Mainon rated it it was amazing Shelves: I picked this up because Emperor of Scent was one of my favorite nonfiction books of the last few years, and I wanted to give the author's fiction a chance.
I am still trying to sort through the unexpectedly deep thoughts and emotions this book raised in me which took me completely by surprise. The title and the cover art both suggest, to me, something fluffy and possibly chick-lit, and I've decided I find both totally inappropriate. The cover should be more somber and thoughtful, and the title I picked this up because Emperor of Scent was one of my favorite nonfiction books of the last few years, and I wanted to give the author's fiction a chance. The cover should be more somber and thoughtful, and the title shouldn't sound like a Matchbox 20 album.
I confess that this book may have hit me a little harder than it would others because of the uniqueness of my experience: I am a girl with apparently a very Jewish last name, but I am not Jewish, and I knew almost no Jews growing up. So when I moved to New York, it came as a shock to me that everyone assumed I was Jewish people constantly gave me helpful tips on where to find kosher food, for example. I also did not immediately understand why, when on a date with a nice boy we'll call Avi, not only did he not laugh when I relayed some stories of my mistaken identity, but the temperature dropped twenty degrees and the date ended shortly thereafter.
I promise, this relates to the book. I get the sense that for those raised in New York this may not be a new question, but for me it was, and the fictional backstory threw the question into sharp and emotional relief for me the characters, and their marriage, had become quite real to me. The second question I considered was this: Is it true that Love alters not when it alteration finds?
Why don't we talk more about where or what this point is? How much can I change and still expect my husband to love me -- is there an answer to that question? What if I converted to a dramatically different religion, one that changed the way I talked and thought and dressed and prioritized, that changed my friendships and my work and my basic interactions with my family? Am I still the same person? If my husband were the one undergoing this change, can I be confident that I would still feel the same longing for, desire for, connection to, the person he'd become?
And if I didn't, what then? Again, it may well be the case that these are not new questions for others, but they hit me very hard, and I was impressed that this book was the one that brought them to me and forced me to spend long hours considering them. For literature snobs, there are also a million classics references: Wharton, Tolstoy, James, Shakespeare, and Dostoyevsky are just a handful of the names that come to mind.
So on top of everything else, this book also made me want to add about thirty books to my already swollen to-read list.
Jul 08, Jukka added it. July focuses in wonder on everyone, a loving awe of the flawed perfection in everyone. In retrospect i've decided the edge on Burr's title is more along the line of 'the replaceable you', the division resulting from institutions based on separateness and isolation.
I really loved this book. This is not a book of action, nothing much different left standing front to back here, it is a book of provocative thought and idea. You may not find that for you. You may feel unprovoked, and find ideas here mere straw-men. There are chinks here, but i still think this a fabulous book.
This book is rich in controversial discussable ideas. As a book club read it would run well segmented, another section read and discussed as a sub-part of each meeting. Perhaps there is too much for one discussion. In looking back i see that Burr intends a considerable level of satire of a literary elite like Anne [main character and narrator: Which all seems to me fine, books have an existence apart from their authors. I also wonder about the extent that this book will become a Jewish Satanic Verses. It's interesting to see how some of the publisher's official spin is that the book is about intolerance in all religions -- some truth there, but it's still spin.
In a letter, dated August 30, , Thomas Jefferson wrote to Benjamin Banneker, a black astronomer and mathematician whom he had appointed official surveyor of the District of Columbia: Jefferson at core believes blacks are intrinsically unequal, that Banneker is an exception, the counter example; that he wants to find reason to doubt the racial inferiority of the African, not the opposite.
Even somehow accepting this, to then justify and accept slavery in a relationship between 'superior' and 'inferior' is both immoral and contrary to principles of democracy and justice. This flaw at the foundation of the nation has disrupted justice ever since. See my review of Slave Nation. Feb 25, Mary Ronan Drew rated it really liked it Recommends it for: This book has held me enthralled for three days.
Fantasy is very much in vogue right now and this books is the most fantastical I've encountered. It concerns a wildly popular book club with astute exegesis and commentary by the members, who are studio heads, screenwriters, directors, producers, and other Hollywood bigwigs. As the author points out Hollywood runs on phone calls and so verbal skill is highly prized but there is nothing but distain for the written word.
Nonetheless, we suspend disbe This book has held me enthralled for three days. Nonetheless, we suspend disbelief, and follow Anne, a PhD in English from Columbia as is Howard as she is asked by a friend to put together a book list for her.
You or Someone Like You - Etat Libre d'Orange | Sephora
She does and the friend asks if she and a couple of others can talk about the books with Anne. As time goes on more and more people ask to be included and eventually her book club becomes fodder for Entertainment Tonight, People, Vanity Fair, and beyond. As I said, total fantasy. The author's skillful use of book discussions to slowly and subtly display Anne's reserved personality and to tell the reader something he believes strongly about literature: Their son, Sam's, trip to Israel and a bad experience there leads Howard to re-examine his Orthodox roots and his decision to marry a non-Jewish woman.
This was an extremely controversial book with reviews all over the place from negative to well-balanced to tentatively positive. I'm in the tentatively positive camp. Or perhaps I should say the sometimes positive. I liked - no, loved - the literary thread in this book. It's more like a thick rope as Anne, the Episcopalean wife of Howard, son of Orthodox Jews and now agnostic, communicates to the people around her and eventually to her husband primarily through books. Her discussions of these authors and books are the best part of the novel. A must-read for English majors and for Christopher Hitchens who is vociferously anti-religion.
Probably not the thing for those with strongly-held Jewish beliefs and pro-Israel politics. The novel is very critical of conservative Jews but it is not anti-Jewish; the author writes from his own life and that is a Jewish experience.
Finally, the books about Estee Lauder. Nov 08, A rated it really liked it Shelves: This is delicious revenge porn for all those who value reading and critical thinking over reality TV-deadened cultural ignorance and thuggish, talk radio-induced fanaticism. Heck, it deserves four stars alone for being a most impassioned argument for how book clubs can save the world!
Subtitled in my mind "Everything I Need to Know about Los Angeles I Learned from The New Yorker magazine and the Organic Section of Zabar's," this brainy, engrossing, and at times uneven novel was a random choice This is delicious revenge porn for all those who value reading and critical thinking over reality TV-deadened cultural ignorance and thuggish, talk radio-induced fanaticism. Subtitled in my mind "Everything I Need to Know about Los Angeles I Learned from The New Yorker magazine and the Organic Section of Zabar's," this brainy, engrossing, and at times uneven novel was a random choice for me, but a thoroughly satisfying one.
Things kick off pleasantly enough if a bit pretentiously , with a gossipy insider jaunt through the glamorous mechanics of Hollywood power brokering. Sadly, this arch, breezy storyline is derailed and nearly ruined with maddening frequency by grim, boring lectures on grim, boring pieces of literature. The hyper-articulate members of the all too perfect Rosenbaum family suddenly find themselves struck down and struck dumb when forced to confront what they truly believe about religion, identity, and sexuality.
Failing to find any successful means to address these heady issues and grope their way out of the darkness, they turn to, of all things, literature -- and dear reader, it is their salvation. Sep 04, Teresa rated it liked it. I loved and hated this book - so tough to review my specific thoughts on it. At the halfway point, I seriously considered returning the book to the libary. Although an intellectual read the incredible amount of literary references and evaluations stretched this little accountancy majors mind and a great potential storyline, I struggled with where it was all going.
I'm so glad I stayed with it because the second half of the novel carried a completely different focus and I couldn't put it down a I loved and hated this book - so tough to review my specific thoughts on it. I'm so glad I stayed with it because the second half of the novel carried a completely different focus and I couldn't put it down as the two parts converged. In this novel, Anne, the narrator, is married to Howard Rosenbaum, a famous producer in Hollywood.
Both Anne and Howard have doctorates in literature, and one of Howard's colleagues asks Anne to come up with a reading list for her. Within weeks, Anne is holding book groups for half of Hollywood and starts unintentionally playing an important role in which projects get made and which ones get shelved. The focus of the story then changes Religion and God and Judaism and the Holocaust. The rules of Judaism, how the religion demands that the world be separated into Jewish and Gentile.
I'll definitely be thinking back on this story for quite some time. Noting a 3 star rating but truly it fluctuated between 3 and 5 stars among the pages. Jul 30, Michelle Jones rated it liked it.
You or Someone Like You
Oh the writing in this book is absolutely delicious. But then things changed. The catalyst for the plot turn was actually something that the author took from his own life so obviously it pushed his buttons too. Once my buttons had been pushed and once the plot went so very far in the direction that it went it became impossible for me to enjoy the book anymore.
The demonetization of something incredibly meaningful and important to me and a naive interpretation of many details about that thing left me absolutely cold. Sep 22, Heather rated it did not like it. I really didn't like this book, I had to force myself to finish it and when it was done, I was so annoyed I would have thrown it across the room if it wasn't on kindle. I gave it one star because it was a kindle library book and that made me happy.
I think the author had 2 ideas for books but couldn't develop either of them so he just combined them into one book. The album features a sound similar to traditional rock sound and post-grunge. The album sold several million copies in the U. S and was certified Diamond , and it was also certified multi-platinum in Australia , Canada and New Zealand.
To date, the album has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. In , almost a decade after the album's release, the band was sued by Frank Torres, the man on the album's cover. Torres claimed the band never asked for his permission to use his image on the sleeve. In the litigation , Torres claimed the photo was taken as he was walking down the street after being asked to pose.
He also claimed the photo had caused him mental anguish. Torres justified the delay in suing Matchbox Twenty by claiming he had first seen the album photo within two years of the litigation. All tracks written by Rob Thomas except where noted. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
October 8, " Push " Released: May 27, " 3 A. November 23, " Real World " Released: June 23, " Back 2 Good " Released: Retrieved April 5, Yourself or Someone Like You". Albums of the '90s. Retrieved May 10, In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian.