As many of you may know, I am no longer a New Yorker, so please check out my new blog A Library of My Own. If you are just reading Life and Times, you are missing out. Thanks!

Friday, October 10, 2008

TLC - The Best Place to Be

I was asked a while back to review The Best Place to Be by Lesley Dormen for the TLC Book Review blog. If you haven't checked out that blog, head on over there for a great list of reviewed books, author interviews, and you can even ask to host and review a book yourself. For authors, it's great exposure.

The Best Place to Be is about the life of Grace Hanford, a woman living in New York City, and is told through a series of short stories. I thought this was a spectacular way of presenting her life's moments because together they make a great story but they could also be read separately and still make sense.

The book is also non-linear with the first story taking place when Grace is fifty years old. To be honest, I really didn't think I was going to like this book. Grace is fifty, married but never had children, and I just couldn't really relate to her. But as the stories go back in time I really started to feel for her character. The stories follow her through her relationships with her various step-fathers and semi-estranged father, her glamorous mother, her best friend, her boyfriends and affairs, and finally her husband.

So really the book is about relationships and how they define and mold a person's life. It's about Grace's search to find that place in her life where it's just "the best place to be". And I relate to that. The book ends by finally wrapping around to Grace's present life and having known her background I liked and understood this Grace.

And as a side note, I loved her writing. She really can really place you in a moment, a time-period, or on a street in New York City in just a sentence or two. I'd quote a few passages but I think you should just check the book out for yourself since it's fairly short at 176 pages.

For fun, check out Lesley's website (I love the photo of her and her dog).

You can read part of the first story in the book here on her site.

And due to a mailing mix-up I was sent TWO copies of this book. Lesley even autographed the books to me...I LOVE that! So if you would like a chance to win my extra copy, please leave a comment by Friday, October 17th for a chance to win. For an extra entry, tell me your favorite book in which relationships play a key role.


  1. I haven't heard of this book before, but it sounds like something I'd really enjoy. Count me in!

    As for a favorite book about relationships, well, at the risk of being terribly unoriginal, I'll say Pride and Prejudice.

  2. Trish and Lisa have done a wonderful job with the TLC Book Review site, haven't they?

    I've seen mention of this book here and there and it does sound good. I love the idea of a story being told through a series of short stories. I would love to enter your giveaway for the extra copy!

  3. Great review!! This books sounds awesome! I love the idea of a novel in short stories!!

    Thanks for the chance to win - you rock my face off!!!

  4. This book sounds excellent - I'd love to win your extra copy! :)

    My favorite book where relationships play a key role is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

  5. Please enter me. I would love to take that extra copy off of your hands : )

    For a relationship centered book I loved Matrimony by Joshua Henkin. Thanks!

  6. Since I'm infatuated with NYC, I would love to read this!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    daq_17 at hotmail dot com

  7. Raych over at Booksidoneread just reviewed this too! Now that I've read 2 positive reviews I must put my name into the mix. Pick me!

  8. I've posted this at Win A Book. No need to enter the contest.

  9. Please enter me in this one! Thanks!

  10. I like to read books about relationships. This one is up my alley.

    do count me in please.


    I think Matrimony is a good book on relationships.

  11. I'd love to be entered!!
    As for a book where relationships play a key role...The Perks of Being a Wallflower, one of my favorite books. A lot of it deals with emotions and the way you relate to people.


    lauren51990 at aol dot com

  12. Please enter me..


    Much thanks for the giveaway :D

  13. I would love to win this book! One of my favorite books where relationships play a big role is The Thorn Birds. It's an old book that I've read several times, but I love it!

    akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

  14. I love the photo of her and her dog too! I would appreciate the opportunity to read this book. Thank you for hosting.

  15. Your review was great, it sounds like a book I would really enjoy. I would love to be entered. I enjoy books about sibling relationships, a great one I loved was "Whistling In The Dark" by Lesley Kagen.

  16. Sounds like an interesting book!

    I'm also a "new" New Yorker and a bibliophile. Seems like we might have things in common. Love the pics of your dog!

  17. I'm so behind in my blogging--so I'm glad to see I'm not too late. I've seen this one around and it sound good--and I'm glad to hear that you loved her writing so much. One of my favorite book about relationships is The Notebook. That book gets me every time!

  18. Nice review. I'd love a chance to win your extra copy.
    I was going to say Pride and Prejudice for a classic story of relationships but Teresa already did. How about Maus by Art Spiegelman. That was an interesting portrayal of their father-son relationship.


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