Thursday, March 14, 2013


Title: “Pursuing the Times
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Publication Date: August 24, 2012
Genre: Literature, Humor
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Source: Received from author for review
Ellen’s star rating: 5/5


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.


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. 



Literary and commercial fiction had been throwing spitballs at one another ever since man first got the idea into his head to tell made-up stories. The spitball dialogue went something like this:
Commercial: “I get no respect.”
Literary: “I get no sales.”
Commercial: “I’d really like some respect.”
Literary: “Then try writing something with deeper meaning.”
Commercial: “My books do have meaning!”
Literary: “I’d really like some money.”
Commercial: “Then try paying attention to plot for once.”
Literary: “No wonder you get no respect.”
Both sides of the debate of course ignored the fact that most books don’t fall neatly into one category or the other. Most books fall somewhere in the middle and the only reason a lot of books fall into literary rather than commercial is because they’re non-genre – meaning they’re not romance, horror, mystery etc – so nobody knows what the hell else to call them.


Pursuing the Times by Lauren Baratz-Logsted has 24 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



Lauren grew up in Monroe, CT, where her father owned a drugstore at which her mother was the pharmacist. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where she majored in psychology. She also has what she calls her “half-Masters” in English from Western Connecticut State University (five courses down, another five to go…someday!).

Throughout college, she worked semester breaks as a doughnut salesperson, a job that she swears gave her white lung disease from all the powdered sugar she breathed.

Upon graduation, she began work at the venerable independent spacebookseller, now sadly defunct as such, Klein’s of Westport. There, she bought and sold for the better part of 11 years.

In November 1994, Lauren left the bookstore to finally take a chance on herself as a writer. Success did not happen over night. Between 1994 and May 2002 – when Red Dress Ink called with an offer to buy THE THIN PINK LINE – Lauren worked as a book reviewer, a freelance editor and writer, and a window washer, making her arguably the only woman in the world who has ever both hosted a book signing party and washed the windows of the late best-selling novelist Robert Ludlum.

Since Red Dress Ink’s call in 2002, Lauren has been kept very busy with writing more novels and checking her Amazon ranking on a daily basis. She still lives in Danbury, with her husband and daughter, where she has lived since 1991.

In addition to writing, Lauren’s daughter keeps her busy, accounting for the rest of her time.

Lauren’s favorite color is green.

Lauren’s favorite non-cat animals are penguins.

Lauren wants you to know that, however you are pronouncing her last name, you are probably pronouncing it wrong.


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