Author

Claire Lui

Website features sought-after prime-time fashion

When Honolulu-based Lizzy Murakami and Kara Sugihara weren’t able to find Jennifer Aniston’s trendy ”Friends” outfits in stores, they channeled their sartorial frustration into reel-style.com. The site, which launched last summer, features fashions from stylish TV shows and flicks with links for online shopping. Now fans can have Adam Brody’s Paul Frank tees or Mischa Barton’s Marc Jacobs frockas well as Aniston’s Rachel-wear. Best of all, the site also tracks down knockoffs.

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After watching his two teenage cousins be brutally raped and then thrown 50 feet off a bridge into the Mississippi River, 19-year-old Tom Cummins was given a choice by the attackers: Jump or be shot. He jumped, and survived. When he finally reached the police, he was forced into confessing to the murders, his pleas to find the real killers initially ignored. The author, Tom’s younger sister, narrates in third person, giving the memories an odd, falsely detached tone.

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Book digs up 16th-century royal scandals

Recent royal shenanigans look tame compared with what John Guy unearths in Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart (Houghton Mifflin, $28). Some scandalous tidbits from the 16th century…

* At nearly six feet, Mary towered over her 5’ 4” cousin/enemy, England’s Elizabeth I.

* Mary’s white wedding dress was unusual: At the time, white was the color of mourning.

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Meg Cabot, Princess in Pink

In the fifth ”Princess Diaries” book, Mia, a hilarious New Yorker who happens to be the princess of fictional Genovia, struggles with a citywide restaurant strike, turning 15, and trying to wrangle an invite to the prom. Laced with a smart-alecky feminism, the book, like, totally gets the tone of precocious private-school nerds. Cabot pumps up the madcap plot with amusing pop-culture and highbrow references: Mia’s imperious, chain-smoking Grandmère has named her dog Rommel, a sly suggestion of how the dowager princess ”has embraced the dark side…fully….

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Big Fat Book in 60 Seconds Flat

Home sick in bed? Try wheezing through John M. Barry’s ”The Great Influenza.” But if you’re too tired to read 546 pages on the deadly flu epidemic of 1918, here are some lozenge-size highlights.

– In one year, the flu claimed at least 50 million lives – more than the Black Plague did in 100 years, more than any disease outbreak ever.

– The flu killed within hours: During one three-mile streetcar drive in Cape Town, South Africa, seven people, including the conductor and the driver, fell down dead.

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