Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

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You couldn’t cover up the smell of new money

At 26 years old, Evelyn Beegan is a late-blooming New York City society girl.  Raised outside of Baltimore by a self-made wealthy family, Evelyn climbed her way up the social ladder through Prep schools, Country Clubs and Ivy League acquaintances and made it to the big city.  But climbing the social ladder is a dirty business, and Evelyn soon discovers a Wharton-esque world of social responsibilities and anxieties she never could have anticipated.  From sailing etiquette and debutante balls to the art of the subtle insult, Evelyn in too deep with shallow pockets.

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1979 by Steve Anderson

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In the small town where they lived, nothing went unnoticed

In Steve Anderson’s short story collection, adolescents of Small Town, America idly pass the time.  Some loiter, others sneak away to the woods, and some seek out mischief wherever they can find it.  There’s nothing glamorous or breathtaking about the scenery in 1979, but the characters provide sharp flashes of nostalgia for that awkward, yearning sense of self that all adolescents crave.

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NSFW: At Night She Cries, While He Rides His Steed by Ross Patterson

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Let’s just get back to me being rich and f***ing awesome.  You’re welcome.

How do I write this review and not sound like a complete asshole? I loved the violence. I loved the profanity. I loved the gratuitously gratuitous sex.  I even enjoyed the animal cruelty and child abuse.  As a spoof of every single literary genre and adventure/hero movie plot, this is one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve ever read.  Or maybe I’m just blinded by lust for the protagonist, Saint James Street James.  He is a “man’s man” after all, and I am only a woman.

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Rock, Paper, Scissors by Naja Marie Aidt

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Everything gets worse over time…

The above sentence pretty much sums up everything you need to know about Thomas O’Mally Lindström – a shopkeeper in an unnamed city.  As Naja Marie Aidt’s novel opens, Thomas is cleaning out his abusive dead father’s apartment with his sister Jenny.  And if you think that couldn’t get worse, then you are mistaken.  This grim task is only the beginning for Thomas.  While dealing with his father’s death and an emotionally fragile sister, his relationship with girlfriend Patricia is also deteriorating.  Patricia wants a baby.  Thomas doesn’t.

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The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

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What I really need is a friend just like me; I’m sure I’d be my own best friend

When single, middle-aged Laurent finds a woman’s handbag outside of his Paris bookstore, his first instinct is to leave it alone.  But a deeper curiosity inspires the bookseller to locate the owner of this mysterious mauve handbag and return it.  With only a few personal effects, how is Laurent supposed to find one woman in a city of millions?

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