What are you reading?

Films, TV shows, and books of the 'modern' era

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traceyk
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Post by traceyk »

Just finished a newer Katharine Hepburn biography by James Parrish and it annoyed me to death. (in fact, I didn't finish it). I know the new trend is to wait til somebody dies, then go dig up dirt proving they were gay or bisexual. And usually, this doesn't bother me much--probably a lot of classic movie stars were gay or bisexual (for that matter, a lot of modern movie stars probably are).

But this guy was just smug and annoying about it. He'd make a statement then in parentheses he'd write (Why did she do this? Maybe because she was gay). Well, not those exact words, but that was the message. And he did this just abput every other page. I just wanted to throw the book across the room and yell, "I get it already!"
Which in fact, I did. LOL
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. "~~Wilde
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MissGoddess
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Post by MissGoddess »

I just finished Gary Cooper: The Last Hero and am almost done with Dear Mr. G (about Clark Gable). The former was so-so, nothing great though here and there the author showed he actually did possess perception enough to warrant a better book. The latter is a delight, candid, written by someone who knew the subject well and is refreshingly without smutty-for-profit scandal.
cmvgor
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Gone, Gone, Gone

Post by cmvgor »

I've interrupted a reading task started earlier this year for lack of time. I
was going to reread John Le Carre's "Quest for Karla" trilogy and then
enjoy again two recently acquired DVDs based on the triligy: Tinker,
Tailor, Soldier, Spy
and Smiley's People. (I think I mourn the
loss of Alec Guninness more than any Star Wars fan.) Like I said, I
laid that project aside.

I paid scant attention to the hoopala and threatened legal actions when
The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall first appeared. Then I ran
across a copy of it, and I'm hooked. It's a blast! Anyone starting to read
this parody on the basis of being familiar only with the movie version of Gone With The Wind is going to miss a lot of the points of the humor of the book. I read Gone With The Wind once in my early
teens, once in my late teens, and again in my late twenties. I'm trying
not to give it a fourth read, but I may have to give in on that point.

The narrator/heroine of Done Gone is half-sister to the heroine of
GWTW. Those legal flaps kept origional names out of the parody,
so the reader may want to set up a conversion chart in the flyleaf. Start
with the fact that the narrator, Cynara, is the daughter of Gerald O'Hara
and Mammy. Then:
Cotton Farm = Tara; Twelve Slaves As Strong As Trees = Twelve Oaks
Plantation; Planter = Gerald O'Hara; Other = Scarlett O'Hara; Mealey-
Mouth = Melanie; Dreamy Gentleman = Ashley Wilkes; R = Rhett Butler.
Only the designation "Mammy" seems to have survived the transition, perhaps being almost a generic name.

I'm picking my way slowly through this material, and will probably end up
at least spot checking through GWTW before I'm thrugh. (Just guess what's the new explanation why no male children grew to adulthood
on "Cotton Farm"!) Now I would love to see this writer take on William Faulkner (The Sound And The Fury would do nicely), or Frank Yerby
(The Foxes Of Harrow, for starters.)
"Faint heart never filled inside straight"
--Bret & Bart's Pappy
pktrekgirl
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Post by pktrekgirl »

I've always been a reference book junkie. And lately, I pulled down THE COLUMBIA STORY, due to all the Columbia films TCM has been showing.

I love these books....thinking about all the films there are still out there, waiting to be seen!

I have all of the "The [Insert Studio Name] Story" books except for FOX, and they are a blast!
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mrsl
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Post by mrsl »

Right now I'm just reading another silly murder mystery, but earlier cmvgor struck a memory chord with me when he mentioned Frank Yerby. When I was in my 20's I got on a kick for him, and read nearly everything he had written. I went to two different libraries, and searched second hand stores and flea markets for his books. I didn't care where they came from, I just had to read each one listed in the 'bookography'. Now all you have to do is look in google, but there was no such thing then. I never knew he was a black man - by reading his books, you would never know it. His heroes were always ultra white guys, but I understand from reading his bio that that fact alone caused him some trouble with his peers. But looking through the list, just the names of the books brought back the plots and stories - that's saying something after more than 40 years for some of them. I also recall seeing the movie The Foxes of Harrow starring Maureen O'Hara and Rex Harrison, in fact I think that is what got me started on Yerby.

Anne
Anne


***********************************************************************
* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

]***********************************************************************
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CharlieT
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Post by CharlieT »

Well, my daughter finished twisting my arm and I'm currently on book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

In the last 3 weeks, I started from the first one and plan on finishing up within the next 3 with the final one. After that I have at the ready Roger Zelazney's The Changeling and its sequel, Madwand.

Should last me a while, since football season will be in full swing by then.

Still waiting on book 12 in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series to come out.
"I'm at my most serious when I'm joking." - Dudley

Don't sweat the petty things - don't pet the sweaty things.
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knitwit45
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Post by knitwit45 »

Hi Charlie.
Don't let the Order of the Phoenix put you off. It is slow trucking, but it sets up a lot of things for the last two books. "Half Blood Prince" and "Deathly Hallows" are really well written, and worth your time. Enjoy!
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard
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sandykaypax
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Post by sandykaypax »

Frank Yerby. I didn't know that anyone else had heard of him. I bought a few of his books at the library book sale. Last spring I read The Girl from Storyville by Yerby. I enjoyed the old New Orleans setting, but really, the book was a bit of a potboiler. Not that there's anything WRONG with that, but at the beginning of the book, Yerby states that the book was not "written as an entertainment." What?! If he thought it was some sort of study of good and evil, then he needs to go read East of Eden! Really, it made me laugh.

I re-read all the Harry Potters in readiness for the final installment, and then read book 7 in 2 days! I could not put it down. A wonderful end to the series.

I read a book by Quentin Crisp that was about two-thirds film reviews from the late 80's and one-third his thoughts about film. It was hilarious in spots, and dead-on in most of the reviews. It's a shame that I've just discovered him. He was in his 80's when he was reviewing films for Christopher Street and I believe that he is now deceased.

For comfort reading, I re-read an old favorite of mine, The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford. It still makes me laugh and cry, no matter how many times I've read it.

Sandy K
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Post by SSO Admins »

I just don't get Harry Potter love, even though I don't hate it. Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is so much richer and more rewarding to me.

Also, the 13 A Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket are hilarious, as are the adult novels by Snicket's alter-ego, Daniel Handler.

Right now I'm reading the four "Lonesome Dove" books by Larry McMurtry. I'm through Lonesome Dove and Streets of Laredo, and am currently working on Dead Man's Walk.
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Moraldo Rubini
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Crisp's Tongue Could Sting; but is Sting's tongue Crisp?

Post by Moraldo Rubini »

The peaceful Sandy Kay wrote:...I read a book by Quentin Crisp that was about two-thirds film reviews from the late 80's and one-third his thoughts about film. It was hilarious in spots, and dead-on in most of the reviews. It's a shame that I've just discovered him. He was in his 80's when he was reviewing films for Christopher Street and I believe that he is now deceased.
Alas, yes. Crisp (née Denis Pratt) died in 1999. He was outspoken until the end. Sting wrote and recorded a wonderful song called "An Englishman in New York" that's about Quentin Crisp.
Sting wrote:I don't drink coffee, I take tea my dear.
I like my toast done on one side.
And you can hear it in my accent when I talk,
I'm an Englishman in New York

See me walking down Fifth Avenue,
A walking cane here at my side,
I take it everywhere I walk,
I'm an Englishman in New York.

I'm an alien.
I'm a legal alien.
I'm an Englishman in New York.

If 'manners maketh man' as someone said,
Then he's the hero of the day.
It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile
Be yourself no matter what they say.

Modesty, propriety can lead to notoriety.
You could end up as the only one.
Gentleness, sobriety are rare in this society,
At night a candle's brighter than the sun.

Takes more than combat gear to make a man.
Takes more than license for a gun.
Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can;
A gentleman will walk but never run.

If 'manners maketh man' as someone said,
Then he's the hero of the day.
It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile
Be yourself no matter what they say!
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sandykaypax
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Post by sandykaypax »

Thank you, Marco. I know that song well, and now I know a little of the man who inspired it.

I have that Sting album on VINYL. I really must get the cd!

Sandy k
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ken123
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Post by ken123 »

I am just starting to read " The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy " by Mearsheimer & Walt, it arrived about ten hours ago and right know I am skimming through it. :wink:
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Moraldo Rubini
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The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Post by Moraldo Rubini »

Sandy Kay wrote:Thank you, Marco. I know that song well, and now I know a little of the man who inspired it. I have that Sting album on VINYL. I really must get the cd!
I'm with you, Sandy! I have the vinyl too; it's about time we got the cd, eh?!

It's with reticence that I've started reading Stiff, Mary Roach's 2003 tribute to the cadaver. Bizarre, I know. Ms. Roach takes the reader by the hand and tries to reassure us while simultaneoulsy guiding us down this morbid, fascinating, chilling, disturbing path. I would never have picked this up on its own merit, but it was suggested to me by one my favorite reading pals. The same pal who prompted me to read the beautiful 1940 novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn earlier this year; so I had to trust her on this one. The first chapter takes us to medical school, where plastic surgeons are practicing their cosmetic work on heads that once belonged to people like you and me. She discusses the history of medical schools, anesthesia, and how these practitioners must force themselves to disassociate what they're doing to be able to go on with it. She seems to be a good writer, and although I've only just begun, so far I've enjoyed her style -- even if I do find myself cringing and wincing. I think I'll only read this one on the Metro, and not before sleeping...

She starts the book with:

"The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back. The brain has shut down. The flesh begins to soften. Nothing much new happens, and nothing is expected of you."

This book is going to be some cruise...
benwhowell
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Lying In State...

Post by benwhowell »

"Stiff" sounds very interesting, Marco.
(I am a big fan of the TV series "Six Feet Under" and totally fascinated with this family working and living (!) in a funeral home. I grew up with a huge extended family. It seems like we were always going to a funeral home viewing. I really looked forward to it. Funeral homes were so peaceful and ornate and safe. As a child, I would explore them...there was no (unlocked) door I feared opening...)
This also reminds me of a recent novel that I thoroughly enjoyed-"The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold. I'm excited (and a little nervous) that Peter Jackson is adapting the screenplay and directing the movie. I just have to remind myself of "Heavenly Creatures" and I'm confident he'll do a good job.
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traceyk
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Post by traceyk »

Been reading Roger Ebert's book The Great Movies. It's been pretty good so far and has clued me in to a couple of films I'd not seen ("Mr Hulot's Holiday", "do The Right Thing" Exterminating Angel" Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast" "Fargo") and helped me appreciate "Grand Illusion" better.

In the essay on Godard's "My Life to Live" he bemoans the fact that most people have no idea who Godard is, that films that" test the edge of cinema" are no longer in favor. He says, "Now it is all about the mass audience:it must be congratulated for its narrow taste and catered to." I thought that sort of summed up the Holly wood of today very very well.

Tracey
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. "~~Wilde
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