Announcing the 2016 Edition of Molly’s Imaginary Summer Book Club

Full name: Molly’s Imaginary Summer Book Club Featuring Classics of Women’s Literature Defined As Books Authored By, About or Widely Read By Women in the 20th Century, because I should not watch 156 Twilight Zone episodes in a row this summer. 

This year’s titles are…


Sybil By Flora Rheta Scheiber Can we separate fact from fiction as “true” story of the woman with 16 multiple personalities unspools? What if I said one of those personalities was nun that could fly?


Lace By Shirley Conran This has been requested a few times, and I am looking forward to it as trashy palate cleanser, of sorts.


The Love Boats By Jeraldine Saunders I have recovered enough from the unpleasantness that was 2013’s swingin’ single gal “memoir” to pick another: this is about the woman who claims to have single-handedly saved the cruise industry, and was spun-off as TV’s “The Love Boat.” Of course, I just equate cruises with onion sandwiches, so I may be a tougher sell.


Carrie By Stephen King …and just in time for Halloween, with probably a more in-depth analysis into the various incarnations of every teenage girl’s favorite revenge fantasy than anybody was actually asking for.

The Imaginary Summer Book Club FAQ can be found here. 

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The Brady Bunch In The New York Mystery By Jack Matcha

Don’t miss this exciting, thrill-filled Brady Bunch full-length paperback written especially for Tiger Beat readers by Hollywood mystery writer, Jack Matcha.

Brady Bunch

I am notoriously bad at solving mysteries. Even as an adult, I’d get to the dénouement of the average Trixie Belden plot and be shocked, shocked at the identity of the crime-perpetrator (Uncle Monty, an imposter? WHA-?)

So, I knew that this was not exactly top-drawer mystery when I had figured out what was going on before the Bradys even left California.


Background: I sort of feel like the Brady Bunch needs no introduction, as by 2016 the aggressively mild-mannered adventures of a pair of widowed parents marrying and merging their respective families has been so incorporated into popular culture that even people who never deliberately watched the show (such as yours truly) can tick off the various plot points, tropes and catch phrases.

I can’t tell you much about “Hollywood mystery writer Jack Matcha”, since he is presumably a ghost writer with only the Brady Bunch series under that name. I guess it would be hoping too much that it is a heretofore-uncovered Donald Westlake side project. Continue reading

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Birthday! Birthday! Birthday!

Today marks the 4th birthday of this blog. As thanks to all of my loyal readers, please enjoy this stock photo of a cupcake:


Don’t Forget! 

You still have until NOON EST on Tuesday, May 17, to bid on the Spring Cleaning Charity Auction of 55 featured Lost Classics of Teen Lit to benefit Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library!

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The Plot Against The Pom-Pom Queen By Ellen Leroe

Then Kelsey discovers Magical Male Grabbers…


So, giving a plot overview for this one is going to make it sound so generic that I can’t imagine why anyone would bother even reading the summary: a late bloomer and former-fatty undergoes a radical image and personality makeover, wins the guy of her dreams, and then discovers it is her longtime pal whom she was really  in love with all along!


Well, that basic plot gets reflected through a funhouse mirror-maze of gender politics so complex that I can’t even begin to to guess if the 2016 reader is supposed to boo or cheer the heroine at the end. Continue reading

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Spring Cleaning Charity Auction!

This weekend this blog celebrates its 4th anniversary of providing quality criticism of quality literature (insert scare-quotes where applicable -ED.), and, having run out of Victoria Martin books to commemorate the occasion, I have decided to do something different and put the “do” in “do-gooder”! As in “do remove these books from my house”.


Yes, folks, this is your chance to bid on a chunk of Lost Classics history! For the next 7 days, this lot of 55 Lost Classics of Teen Lit (and a few Imaginary Summer Book Club selections) are up for bid on Ebay. And better yet, it is for a good cause: 100% of the final sale price will be donated directly to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a non-profit foundation that provides books to preschoolers!

Support two good causes at once! Promote childhood literacy,  and prevent yours truly from being crushed to death under a wobbly tower of paperbacks!

This auction ends at noon Eastern time on Tuesday, May 17! Be sure to read the full description and view all photos for information on condition before you bid!

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Magazine Madness and/or Mania: Seventeen, June 1988

Any guesses on who the cover girl is? Scroll to the bottom to find out!


Even for Seventeen, this issue has an incredibly high ratio of advertising to editorial content. In the latter category, we have a helpful suggestion from the mailbag:

Yes, cats and dogs do make good pets. But they could never compare to a bird. Have you ever heard a cat say hello to your dinner guests? No. Have you ever had a dog sing to you while perched on your shoulder while you’re doing the dishes? No. That’s why birds are the best pets!

Also this dark rumination on the end of high school:

I looked about for mom, but only a crumpled McDonald’s hamburger wrapper and a shriveled remnant of a plastic lei met my eyes. “Class of ’88” was scrawled in permanent green marker on the wall, and I scowled in disgust upon seeing such an ugly postscript to our final year…

I could see the lights within and hear the faint noise of rock music and amiable chatter, but the door handle only rattled at my grasp. I tugged it twice and then pulled with all my strength till I realized: the doors had locked behind me.

Heavy. Continue reading

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vacation graphic

Returning the week of May 2!

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