Pursuing the Times (Contemporary Romance)by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
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All that popular Chick-Lit author Mercury Lauren wants is to have one of her books reviewed by the New York Times Book Review - just one - and she'll do almost anything to get it. In this contemporary romantic comedy, with a nod toward Pride and Prejudice she crosses swords and hearts with the Editor-in-Chief of the NYTBR in a madcap adventure that takes her from her home in Westport to a yoga retreat to a golf course in Florida. Will she get what she wants and will she finally be happy if she does? Only one thing's for certain: nothing will stop her from Pursuing the Times.
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Meet the Author
Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of over 20 books for adults (including The Thin Pink Line, a dark comedy about a woman who fakes a pregnancy, which was published in 11 countries), teens and children. She lives in Danbury, CT, with her family: her husband, Greg Logsted, who also writes; and their daughter, Jackie, with whom Lauren and Greg write The Sisters 8 series for young readers.
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Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Our main character is an author in the Chick Lit genre, whether she likes it or not and is trying to find some credibility beyond being pigeon holed as a certain type of author. She is trying her darnedest to get an honest review in the New York Times, doing some crazy things to get herself and her books noticed (reminded me of the twitter debate about Jennifer Weiner and women authors reviews).
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pursuing the Times. When I wasn't laughing out loud, I was sitting with a permanent smile fixed to my face. Mercury Lauren will do anything to get her books reviewed by the New York Times. When she meets Frank D’Arcangelo, editor-in-chief of the New York Times Book Review, she targets him to review her next book. Such a pity then that the man wants nothing to do with chick-lit. From gate-crashing a yoga retreat to discuss Frank with her editor, Angel, to attempting to play golf at an exclusive golf course in order to make an impression on Frank, she will stop at nothing to get the desired review. One just wonders, is it the review or the reviewer being pursued? The clever, witty and most of the time downright hilarious way in which the book is written captivated me from the start. Mercury, the main character, with her mercurial impulsiveness and sometimes sweet gullibility, endeared herself to me from the word go. Her amusing and often wise thoughts and inner dialogue is what makes this book such an outstanding read. Along her way to getting that much-desired review, she meets new people; some who become friends for life and some whose code of ethics prove to be extremely sick and twisted. Mercury's family is also not exactly your run of the mill type and her disagreements with her brother, Ralph - no not the designer, is extremely funny. To make this book absolutely perfect, there is a bit of tastefully written romance to warm your heart. Full of interesting facts about the publishing world and the ongoing dispute between literary and commercial fiction, Pursuing the Times is a fascinating read fully deserving of the five stars I give it. (Ellen Fritz)
Loosely based on Pride and Prejudice the author has written a delightful romantic comedy. Mercury's adventures in stalking the editor of the NYTBR are chuckle worthy and the characters trade witty banter back and forth. I especially liked the e-mail exchanges between Mercury and her stalkee.
I really liked this book. This book had many laugh out loud moments with witty dialogue. I think the humor made this book read very fast. The main character Mercury is a whack job in her private life, but you can’t help but love her and understand why she is the way she is. She has one goal in mind and that goal is to have the Editor in Chief of the NY times read her book. I loved the interaction between her and the Editor in Chief. She tried to teach him to not judge a book by its cover. I also loved Mercury’s brother. He made me laugh every time he made a sarcastic comment. Mercury’s agent Angel constantly had to offer advice to Mercury and had to do damage control when Mercury went on a tyrant. I wanted to see more interaction with her author friend Nick who was on the back burner the whole time. You will not be sorry picking up this book. 4 stars
"It is a publishing truth, universally acknowledged, that anyone professionally involved in the pursuit of "Lit-e-ra-ture" must, by definition, despise Chick-Lit." ~Pursuing the Times Fans of Bridget Jones, rejoice! Pursuing the Times and its well-intentioned, slightly wacky heroine, Mercury Lauren, are here for your reading pleasure. I am so thoroughly pleased, I don't even know where to start with my review. For starters, I love "Chick-Lit", and that is beyond ironic, considering the premise of this story. Mercury Lauren (yes, that really is her name, and no, she is not related to the famous designer, though she does have a brother named Ralph) is an unsatisfied author. Sure, she's successful, even receiving nice advances for her best-selling books. But she never meant to become labeled as a "chick-lit" author. Mercury wants what the big-time "Literary" authors receive, respect and reviews in the New York Times Book Review. However, it is hard to get a break when the editor is a man you despise, and the feeling seems to be quite mutual. Enter Frank D'Arcangelo, Editor. Much like the famous, aloof Mr. Darcy of Pride & Prejudice and Bridget Jones Diary, Frank is not the easiest acquaintance to make. It doesn't help that Mercury begins their strange meeting by insulting poor Frank. She appears to be his opposite in every way. She is almost always improperly dressed, seems to have no verbal filter, insults him by email, follows him on vacation...all in pursuit of the Times. Mercury is a bit of a mess, and I enjoyed every awkward, inappropriate moment. Pursuing the Times is a nice look, and a bit of a jab, at the publishing community. As a reader who loves books, no matter the genre (or lack thereof), author, publishing house, review publications, and the whole crazy business in general, I soooo wish that those who go on and on with the whole snobbery and quibbling in public forums would read this and take note of the ridiculousness of their bickering. A book is a book is a book. Many are good, some are awful, some are great. End of story. This is the third book of Lauren Baratz-Logsted's that I have read and I can easily say that Pursuing the Times is my favorite. With a main character as impulsive and caring as Mercury, a seemingly snobbish yet downright sexy leading man like Frank, and a story that will make you laugh, swoon, and cheer...Pursuing the Times is a charming good time.
My Review: I would be hard-pressed to tell you the last time I laughed out loud as much as I did throughout this book. This book is so good and so funny and so entertaining. I honestly loved every minute of reading it. Mercury, flat-out, is crazy. She's an author, so part of that is just the norm for her, but she is obsessed with getting her Chick lit books reviewed by the New York Times. Standing in her way is Editor-in-Chief of Reviews, Frank. Unfortunately, Mercury had a run-in with Frank and didn't realize who he was, but just knew he was bad-mouthing her and her genre, so she took offense and pushed back...rather rudely. LOL!! I love the scenes between the two of them. Their confrontational chemistry is sizzling and you can definitely tell that there's some sexual chemistry added to the mix too. But back to the crazy part. When I say Mercury is obsessed, it's a very real thing. This girl needs to locate her filter, but then the book wouldn't be near as fun as it is. There are some great side characters in this book too. I loved Nick. He's a literary best-seller...the kind of writer the NYT loves to feature. Unfortunately, he's also just a really nice guy too so Mercury can't hate him although she'd really like to. But they end up as friends and that friendship is a really sweet aspect of this book. This is just a fabulous book. As both a romance reader and author, there was so much about it that I could relate to. Mercury is fighting a mindset that the literary world has about Chick-lit and that it's not good writing. She writes comedic, light-hearted books with a touch of romance. Just because they're light-hearted does not mean that they aren't good writing. Shakespeare wrote comedies about the human condition. That's what she's doing too, but since being labeled as "chick-lit", the validity of her writing has been shunned...even by her family. Like I said before, I was constantly laughing out loud and reading passages from the book to my husband. Even he commented about how much I was loving this book, so yes...I really did love it. Below is one of the passages that I read to him. I think it will give you a good idea of the flavor of the writing...so much fun! "Of course, the moment after being cheered up by seeing my books on the shelves -- I was a published author! I was still a published author! -- I always immediately grew depressed. Why were the books on the shelves? Shouldn't they be sold out? And if not sold out, then shouldn't there be an eye-catching display, perhaps a pyramid of them, right at the front of the store?" Mercury is definitely a different character, but she was one that I absolutely fell in love with. She's human...and making very human mistakes. Yes, she's slightly crazy and there are things that she does that make you cringe, but in the end you can't help but laugh at her antics. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for something to make you laugh this week!! I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.