Happy 2009, y'all!

New year, old news...

Publishing: still in the crapper! (layoffs, houses that have stopped acquiring books, and the end of the Caribbean sales conference and the long lunch).

Dudes: still not reading fiction! This essay is a hot mess of apples-to-coconut comparisons and poor, poor, pitiful me-ism that.

Instead of trying to explain, for instance, that Jonathan Tropper, while a fine and funny writer, is not the second coming of Cormac McCarthy and need not be treated as such, or that all the Guernsey Potato Peel book has in common with the Friday Night Knitting Club is that they’re both by women, about women, and reference domestic arts in the title, I will simply quote Tayari Jones, who says that author Chris Goldberg comes across like a dude slinking through the drugstore who’s been shamed into buying tampons for his ladyfriend. Note to guy readers: picking up a book with pink on the cover or references to "family" "friendship" or "feelings" on the flap copy will not give you cooties. Or menstrual cycles.

Moving on!

Oprah: fat again! Does anyone else wish that she'd gathered all of the Best Life Know gurus and gur-ettes who got her down to 160 lbs and then fired them, because clearly whatever they were doing didn’t take. Maybe she could have even roughed a few of them up, or had one executed during sweeps week. She's Oprah! She can do that!

Current reading: Poe’s Children, a short-story anthology edited by Peter Straub. New Andrew Vachss. OLIVE KITTERIDGE, which I’m going to follow with THE MS. HEMPEL CHRONICLES, making it a twofer of short-story collections about schoolteachers. Does anyone know of a third?

And, by far, the best news of the new year: Rock of Love is back! And skankier than ever!

For Seasons One and Two, I wondered where VH-1 found its contestants. By now, I’m more interested in trying to figure out where the contestants get their plastic surgery. Imagine the conversation:

Plastic surgeon: Hello, miss, what can I do for you today?

Rock of Love contestant: I’d like implants as big as my head, please!

Surgeon: Are you sure that’s wise?

Contestant: You know what? You’re right! I’d like implants as big as your head!

Most of the chatter’s been about the infamous shot-in-the- hoo-hah scene, but I cannot get over the implants, the Botox, the lip filler and the hair extensions. These women don’t look entirely human anymore…but I can’t stop watching.

Finally, I will be rocking the JCC in West Hartford next Thursday night, discussing about my latest adventures in Hollywood and motherhood and my new book, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, coming this fall. Click here for tickets (the event is currently listed as sold out, but I'm pretty sure there's a waiting list). Hope to see you there!

Jen