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Special Edition - The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

We had the great pleasure of sitting down with Alison Cochrun to talk about her very buzzy book, The Charm Offensive .  If you'd like to purchase a copy, please consider buying from Alison's local independent bookstore, Vintage Books!  At this time there are signed copies available! Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star. Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. B

Episode 31 - Bloodline

Welcome to Sara's third 4 for 40 book, in which we read Bloodline, a Sidney Sheldon book she once stole off her mother's bookshelf in order to dogear many pages and almost assuredly look up several things in a dictionary.

This isn't really a romance novel - for you young people, this is an extinct breed.  It's an airport book.  It's about rich people doing awful rich people things and it never forgets to mention a brand name.  It's about Poor Little Rich Girl Elizabeth whose father seems to have accidentally set up a tontine in the family business - only one of her cousins is actually trying to murder her but honestly, they all want to and it might as well have been any of them so does it really matter which one it is?

1215504You're going to want to avoid this one if you generally avoid any of the following: schoolgirl lesbianism as written by a dirty old man, ridiculously over the top depictions of spousal abuse (of a man by a woman for a change), eleventh hour weird detectives, decidedly dicey understandings of how money, businesses, pharmaceuticals, and elevators work, snuff films which are actually and conveniently produced by a serial killer, and books which use a tragic Jewish ghetto past for story meat but in which nobody seems to actually be Jewish in the present day.

It is impossible for me to understate, for anybody under 30 or so, what a big deal Sidney Sheldon used to be.  He only started writing books in his 50's - before then he wrote for movies and TV shows.  The man had an Oscar on his mantle for the screenplay for The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer.  He created The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie, AND Hart to Hart.  And now he has fallen entirely out of fashion.  Probably because if you read one of his books you actively feel it leering at you.

There's a movie of this one, made in 1979 (yes, there are still a few things older than me in the world.)  So who do you think they cast to play the ingenue, the barely-adult young lady trying to figure out a murder AND a multinational business while realizing she can't trust any of the people around her?

Why yes.  Yes that is an old-ass Audrey Hepburn in... wait is that a really naked dress?  Look, I love Audrey Hepburn but she is fifty goddamned years old in this movie playing a woman who, in the book, is less than half that.  It doesn't seem to be readily available and I feel we need to watch it.

Roger Ebert called this the worst movie of 1979, and it only came out in June.

  omg it's a nipple flower

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