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misswonderly3

Somewhat Off-Topic: What have you been reading lately?

513 posts in this topic

I don't mind reading outdoors in the summer, whether at a beach or in the back

yard. I'm just finishing up the Kool-Aid series of canister labels. No, they're not

all the same, as some people think. Each flavor has its own distinct sensibility.

The parallels aren't exact, but they are definitely recognizable. Strawberry has a

certain Balzacian feel to it, Lemon-Lime a cynical Chandler persona, Cherry

reminds one of Chekhov, and it's hard not to think of Conrad when reading the

Tropical Punch label. I'm just now ending the summer with Grape, an obvious nod

to Borges. Oh, yeah!

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As I recall, Captain Bligh and his crew were partial to Grape Kool Aid, along with Chips Ahoy cookies. Are you planning to move on to cookie labels when you've run through all the Kool Aid flavours?

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greenkneehighs wrote:

"Right now I'm trying to work through Lady Chatterley's Lover, Lolita and Seven Pillars of Wisdom."

 

I never liked D.H. Laurence, I always thought he had no sense of humour whatsoever -at least not manifested in his writing. Not that a book has to be funny for me to like it, but Laurence is so dead serious ! Maybe I'm wrong -I must admit I have only read one or two of his novels, and that was some time ago. Interesting that you're also planning to read *Lolita*. Nabokov was such a good writer, but the subject matter of Lolita is so problematic -especially these days, when there is a greater sensitivity to the content of that novel. Have you seen either of the film versions of Lolita ?

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 28, 2010 4:08 PM

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I love to read by sunlight. It's almost impossible to achieve really good lighting by artificial means. Even libraries are inadequate. Gotta love the irony!

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I've been collecting "Movie Star" stamps for years--I've got Lucille Ball, James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Bette Davis and the last one was Gary Cooper.

 

For Bette Davis, they did the portrait from an "Eve" still. For their own reasons, they erased the cigarette from her gloved hand. That to me is just stupid--some things are historical and should be left that way.

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Regarding D.H. Lawrence, his first book -- *The White Peacock* -- is the most beautiful novel I have ever read. What a great movie it would make! I am currently reading *The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony* by Roberto Calasso. I recently saw a play at the National Theatre in London -- *Welcome to Thebes* -- the author, Moira Buffini, wrote that the Calasso book inspired her. I loved her play and am enjoying Calasso's book.

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> {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> Watt-Evans is better than Pratchett?

 

I like him better. I can not say he is better. Watt-Evans is more that you can picture yourself in that situation. Pratchett seems to me more like stringer-together-of-gags. Is very personal choice which one likes more. Christopher Moore is another great fantasy-humor writer. I love Practical Demonkeeping

 

Have you read Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book by Jones and Froud? Remember the Victorian photograph of fairies which many thought was real? This book is supposed diary of that little girl. It is charming in that it looks written by hand. She begins with childish scrawl telling how no one believes she sees fairies behind potting shed. One day she is there with her book for pressing flowers and SNAP she caught one. That is reason it is called Pressed Fairy Book instead of diary. The author is Terry Jones of Monty Python's Flying Circus and illustrator is Brian Froud who is known for his fairies and gremlins.

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Give them a couple tons of Chips Ahoy, some hogsheads of Grape Kool-Aid,

and Bounty paper towels, not some cheap substitute, and they can build an

empire on which the sun never sets.....on second thought, maybe it's better to stick

with rum, ****, and the lash.

 

I usually stick with one book at a time too, and if I do read two, it's one work of

fiction, and one of non-fiction, usually history or social sciences. I've been gradually

working my way through The Life of Samuel Johnson, while still reading other

books. Since it's in pretty strict chronological order, it's not difficult to put it aside

for a few days and then read some more.

 

I've been thinking of reading Lolita again. If I recall it correctly, little Lo-Lo was not

exactly innocent herself, and may have made the first move. But it was incumbent on

the more mature, or least older, party to restrain himself.

 

Natural light is the best, if one has the opportunity to do so. Artificial light seems to put

more strain on my eyes.

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I can never remember if Boswell was Johnson's sidekick, or Johnson was Boswell's. I guess the first, if he followed Johnson around writing about him. But then, those 18th century gentlemen were so cranky, weren't they? That's the impression I have of them, although since I wasn't there, I should not judge.

 

File:Samuel_Johnson_by_Joshua_Reynolds.j

 

Clearly a fellow to kick back with, down a few pints and sing pub songs at the top of his lungs.

 

...I did have a very charming picture of Mr. Johnson that I thought I'd posted, but I forgot how tricky this forum is for posting pictures.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 28, 2010 7:50 PM

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*I can never remember if Boswell was Johnson's sidekick, or Johnson was Boswell's.*

 

Johnson was not the sidekick. Hence, the referring of a sidekick, in movies from the 1930s, as a Boswell.

 

Edited by: lzcutter on Aug 28, 2010 4:56 PM

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Swithin, since you recommended it so highly, I believe I will try and give D.H. Laurence another chance. I'm pretty sure I have a copy of The White Peacock hanging about somewhere on one of my shelves.

 

It's interesting that attending a play inspired you to read the source. After reading Phillip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials, I was moved to read Milton's Paradise Lost, upon which Pullmans' work is very loosely based. I was careful to chose an edition with notes, knowing that I 'd miss over half the references if I didn't. And I was well rewarded - I loved it.

I also loved The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. (The above-mentioned Phillip Pullman trilogy.) So much that when the film of The Golden Compass came out, I decided I did not want to see it, and purposely stayed away from it. And I like Daniel Craig. But sometimes I love a book so much, I don't want to see the movie of it. Anyone "get" that?

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cujas wrote:

<< For Bette Davis, they did the portrait from an "Eve" still. For their own reasons, they erased the cigarette from her gloved hand. That to me is just stupid--some things are historical and should be left that way. >>

 

You are right, that is stupid. This was part of Hollywood "glamour" back then and so many movie stars smoke on screen, how would a postage stamp hurt. There were a couple of threads a few years back about Smoking in the movies and today they claim that they don't want to send the wrong message to our young people.

 

The next thing they want would be a type of CGI that removes all traces of smoking in the movies.

 

I found this website that shows how many celebrity smokers there are (or were), wow.

http://www.starsmoke.com/index.html

 

Whats an old classic without this image.

 

*Bette Davis* (is it me or is there a ghost like face in that smoke?)

bettedavis.jpg

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Funny you should mention His Dark Materials. The Pullman book was adapted for the stage a few years ago, also for London's National Theatre.

 

The Calasso book didn't so much inspire Welcome to Thebes as it sort of showed how the Greek myths can continue to be used to interpret the contemporary world. Calasso uses an ancient quote at the start of his book: "These things never happened, but are always" -- Saloustios

 

I hope you enjoy The White Peacock by D.H. Lawrence, if you find it.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

 

> I also loved The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. (The above-mentioned Phillip Pullman trilogy.) So much that when the film of The Golden Compass came out, I decided I did not want to see it, and purposely stayed away from it. And I like Daniel Craig. But sometimes I love a book so much, I don't want to see the movie of it. Anyone "get" that?

 

 

I also refused to see the film because I heard a lot was changed from the book and it got poor reviews. While I love seeing my favorite books on screen I don't want to see them butchered.

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The movie "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" (1938) was not only butchered from the original story but sliced, diced and fried in pig lard.

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I'm reading Rhett Butler's people by Donald McCaig again...the second time around it's kind of tiring.

I'm also reading With the old Breed: at Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge (great Pacific war memoir)

And i will probably end up reading Inside the Hollywood fan magazine by Anthony Slide at some point, when i have the time to pick it up at barnes and Noble.

Also i got a biography of Groucho Marx that was interesting, i think it was just called " Groucho"

Thats all at the time.

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Something Wicked This Way Comes 1962 novel by Ray Bradbury! ...The book is way better than the film...so much left out!! What was Disney thinking! Originally Gene Kelly was envisioned to play Dark!

 

 

Bradbury met Gene Kelly in 1950 and they became friends shortly thereafter. In 1955 Kelly invited Bradbury and his wife, Maggie, to a private screening of his "collection of musical dance numbers with no connecting plotline," Invitation to the Dance, at MGM studios. Bradbury and his wife walked home and along the way he told his wife that he desperately wanted to work with Kelly. She suggested that he go through his stories until he found something that would work, turn it into a screenplay, and send it to Gene Kelly. So Bradbury looked through many of his short stories and found The Black Ferris, a ten page story about two young boys and a carnival. For a little over a month he worked on the story and then gave Gene Kelly the eighty page outline of a script that he had created. Mr. Kelly called Bradbury the next day to tell him that he wanted to direct the movie and asked for permission to find financing in Paris and London.

 

Although Bradbury gave his assent, Gene Kelly returned without a financer because no one wanted to make the movie. Bradbury took the partial screenplay, at the time titled Dark Carnival, and over the next five years turned it into the novel Something Wicked This Way Comes that was published in 1962. As Bradbury writes at the end of his afterword, the book is dedicated to Gene Kelly because if he had not invited Bradbury to that screening of his movie, then Something Wicked This May Comes may never have been written. When the book was published, Bradbury gave the first copy to Gene Kelly.

 

Thanks,

sparknotes.

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Bosie (not that Bosie) was definitely the junior "partner" in the relationship.

That's only natural, as Johnson was thirty one years his senior. They still

managed to form a close friendship. I don't know how much fun old Sam

would be on a tavern crawl. He had, despite his religious faith, a rather melancholic

streak, though on occasion he would display exuberance. Though there is

no doubt about his contributions to English literature, I think today he might be

called a stick in the mud, and seems rather stuffy, even taking into consideration

the times he lived in. I just read a passage a few days ago where Johnson is

lamenting the unfortunate loosening of subordination in society, the fact that those

of the upper class are no longer given automatic respect. Oh my. And anybody

who despised David Hume can't be all that good, IMHO. But all in all, it is

a very fascinating, if very long, read. Wish I had a dollar for every time the word

Sir is used.

 

A number of years ago, Boswell's journals were discovered or recovered or something,

and showed him to be quite the rake, though I don't remember if he continued this

behavior after his marriage. I recall a very old cartoon from The New Yorker.

Two men are shown entering a bar, the first wearing a Johnson shirt, complete with

picture, and the second wearing a Boswell one. Elaine likely got that one.

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hume.jpg

 

-Sir, do you think a portrait of the skeptic David Hume would cause Johnson much distress?

-Sir, even though it is only a representation, Johnson had such a dislike of Hume, that

any thing that brought Hume to mind would trouble him.

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The pic I selected of Mr. Johnson was far less, shall we say, pleasant. He looked very intimidating indeed.

 

It's great the way so many people who've responded to this are reading something somehow connected with movies, either a bio or other nonfiction that is directly about someone who worked in film, or a work of fiction that has been made into a film.

 

And on that note, I'd like to ask: How do you feel about the whole book/movie connection? If you hear that a book you have always meant to read, but haven't yet, is about to be made into a movie, do you hasten to make sure you read the book first? Do you think it's important to read the book first? Or do you feel the other way, that you'd rather see the film version before reading the book?

 

I find, 9 times out of 10, that if I have already read the book, I actually don't want to see the movie. It's never the way I imagined the book, and I usually like my version (the book as I imagined it) better. This is especially so with children's books and fantasy. If I really loved the book, the filmed version of it often makes me feel something personal has somehow been taken from me. I know that makes no sense, and also of course it depends on how it's done.

 

"Classics", especially long 19th century novels, do not translate that well to film, if only because of their length. (I have an aversion to very long movies.)

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 29, 2010 1:57 PM

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H. L. Mencken's THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE (one-volume abridgement) -- endlessly fascinating.

 

Hemingway's short stories -- better than the novels, IMO.

 

Garfield Fat Cat 3 Pack.

 

John Eastman's RETAKES: BEHIND THE SCENES OF 500 CLASSIC MOVIES.

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I am in a non-fiction mood myself, and since I write fiction, I do not want to innocently "lift" something into a screenplay. I have to balance out the downer of Thomas Frank's _The Wrecking Crew_ and David Cay Johnston's _Free Lunch_ with the positive of my latest, Wayne Dyer's _Real Magic_.

 

btw- you're right about Lolita. That's what makes it such a troublesome read for me; that is to say, more complex. It is a right of passage in the minds of some young ladies, so beware midlife crisis gentlemen.

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I should have made it clearer that the gentleman with the placid countenance and

fancy duds is David Hume, and not Johnson. Most of the pictures of Johnson

are rather severe. In general terms, that is likely an accurate reflection of their

personalities, Hume the genial skeptic and Johnson the somewhat gloomy believer.

Boswell visited Hume shortly before the latter's death and reported to Johnson how

calm Hume was in the face of death, something which Johnson had a more than

usual fear of. Johnson simply couldn't believe that an "infidel" like Hume could display

such sangfroid concerning his future state, and that he was dissembling. I think this

had more to do with Johnson's own fear of the Grim Reaper than with Hume.

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