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


misswonderly3
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I just finished reading Urgent Hangman written by Peter Cheyney and released in 1933.    The books are about a private detective Slim Callaghan.   He is a hardboiled detective like Spade and Marlow but the setting is London instead of L.A. or S.F.

 

There are 7 books in the Callaghan series.    I wonder if any were ever made into a movie?  e.g. a British release.

 

 

 

 

 

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I recently finished reading Edna Ferber's "Come and Get It" (COMPLETELY different from the movie, by the way), as well as F. Hugh Herbert's "The Moon is Blue".  I'm working on Harry Belafonte's autobiography.  I'm also reading Craig Marberry's "Cuttin Up" and Kevin Phinney's "Souled American", the latter of which I highly recommend for any serious music fans.

 

 

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Anybody else here like short stories? I love them.

 

There's a great collection of short stories by an Indian ( as in India)-American writer called Jhumpa Lahiri. The stories are beautifully written, subtle, and very moving. I recommend it, it`s called Interpreter of Maladies.

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Anybody else here like short stories? I love them.

 

There's a great collection of short stories by an Indian ( as in India)-American writer called Jhumpa Lahiri. The stories are beautifully written, subtle, and very moving. I recommend it, it`s called Interpreter of Maladies.

 

Sometimes I only have time for short stories. Have you ever read A Passage to India by E.M.Forster? I love the movie. I saw it first back in the 1980's.

I finished for the second time Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. Very good. Heartbreaking as well as funny. He has a very different style of writing.

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Anybody else here like short stories? I love them.

 

There's a great collection of short stories by an Indian ( as in India)-American writer called Jhumpa Lahiri. The stories are beautifully written, subtle, and very moving. I recommend it, it`s called Interpreter of Maladies.

 

You're making me think of two rather famous short story writers I used to read a lot years ago. Frank O'Connor (1903-1966) wrote stories about small town Ireland (usually the city of Cork). He was adept at writing stories with children as main characters. Two such stories are "Christmas Morning" and "First Confession" a couple of gems. They are both in his Collected Stories. The other is Jean Stafford (1915-1979) who wrote three novels but was famous for her short stories. Her Collected Stories won a Pulitzer in 1979. Gosh, I'm having trouble remembering them now but I was rather quite a devotee at one time. I remember wanting to be able to write like her. I believe "The Echo and the Nemesis" is one her best. I have her collection in the case, I do believe I'll try to read "Echo..." tomorrow if I can, I'm curious to refresh my memory on that one. 

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Sometimes I only have time for short stories. Have you ever read A Passage to India by E.M.Forster? I love the movie. I saw it first back in the 1980's.

I finished for the second time Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. Very good. Heartbreaking as well as funny. He has a very different style of writing.

I'm afraid I don't read as much as I used to, and - oh the humanity - now do all of my reading online. I say oh the humanity because I used to be a librarian.

 

My latest enjoyment was the audiobook (a movie is in the works) Serial. I still think I was played, but it was an enjoyable listen.

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I'm currently reading Shelly Winters' book "The Middle of My Century" ISBN0-671-44210-4

 

It was on the shelf at my local Rescue Mission store. I waited until it was marked down to $2 because I thought it would be a bore. Boy, was I wrong!

Her writing style is lighthearted, candid and full of insights...she does NOT hide any negative observation of herself or others, which I find wholly engaging.

She writes pretty extensively about the Actor's Studio, her roommate Marilyn Monroe, her relationships & mostly, her work. I have gained appreciation of the Actor's Studio and the camaraderie it fostered for actors from her descriptions of classes. 

 

One interesting Hollywood item: she was under contract at Universal (!) who kept putting her in B pictures as a blonde bombshell (just like her roommate!) but she made more money for them by being loaned out to other studios in more "artistic" productions like NIGHT OF THE HUNTER. She said "One loan out could bring Universal $200k, which would pay half the cost of an Abbot & Costello movie." Funny to see where Universal put their values.

 

Shelly certainly was a pistol....too bad her great performances on film are so few & far between.

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I'm afraid I don't read as much as I used to, and - oh the humanity - now do all of my reading online. I say oh the humanity because I used to be a librarian.

 

My latest enjoyment was the audiobook (a movie is in the works) Serial. I still think I was played, but it was an enjoyable listen.

Wow to be around all those wonderful books. I would have wanted to take so many home..but to keep.

5 years ago I said "I don't need no stinkin' computer...and today lo and behold I have a computer, tablet and a cell phone. ????

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Wow to be around all those wonderful books. I would have wanted to take so many home..but to keep.

5 years ago I said "I don't need no stinkin' computer...and today lo and behold I have a computer, tablet and a cell phone.

Same here, mockingbird. I was a children's librarian, and loved getting to have a say on which books the library bought. I loved the smell and feel of books.............and here I am, reading online.

 

Time marches on?

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  • 4 years later...

Wow-I'm reading THALBERG The Last Tycoon and the world of MGM by Roland Flamini isbn: 0-517-58640-1 and it's AMAZING and I'm only 60 pages into it!

Bought at our library sale for $2, I wouldn't normally buy a book like this, but Flamini's "Scarlett, Rhett and a cast of thousands" was enthralling, even though I was only a teen when I read it. I'd say that book sparked my interest in Hollywood history, learning about all the "art" jobs involved in filmmaking.

Well this book on Thalberg does not disappoint! I did not realize Thalberg originally worked at Universal and was very close to Carl Laemmle. The early studio system & it's moguls are fleshed out, making a rich back ground to base Thalberg's story, career and persona. I can't wait to read about all the details of Thalberg's life and see Hollywood from another perspective.

I don't care how good a "story" is, if it's badly written you just don't want to waste your effort getting through it. I didn't make it into MADCAP the story of Person Sturges- No matter how eccentric he was- the book was just too much "writing". I even tried skipping chapters trying to find something engaging. And I could not stomache the conjecture & self indulgent blathering in the "definitive" Busby Berkely biography-blech. 

This book, about such an important contributor of Hollywood history, is just superbly written. I highly recommend it.

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On 6/4/2019 at 5:43 AM, TikiSoo said:

Wow-I'm reading THALBERG The Last Tycoon and the world of MGM by Roland Flamini isbn: 0-517-58640-1 and it's AMAZING and I'm only 60 pages into it!

I'm glad you're enjoying your book but what I want to know is ... how the heck did you find this thread? I have been looking for it for ages and ages. (I hope you are not going to say that you used the Search function. That never works for me). I see by the thread title what happened. It's starts out by saying "Somewhat Off Topic ... " which leads me to believe that in scanning pages upon pages upon pages I never let my eyes slide far enough to the right to see the defining part of the thread title. I got so frustrated with this that some time ago I asked Miss Wonderly if I could start another thread and she kindly said go for it but I never did. Now that it is found (thanks to you) I won't ever have to.

"The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade." ---Anthony Trollope

 

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5 hours ago, laffite said:

I'm glad you're enjoying your book but what I want to know is ... how the heck did you find this thread?

I did use the "search" feature, which I agree suxbad. First I searched "book" and realized by the poor results, I needed to search "reading". Once narrowing the search to "titles only", it came up!

Don't feel badly, MrTiki often has to ask for alternative keywords when searching anything on the internet. Too many companies pay for "first results" ranking that have NOTHING TO DO with what you're actually looking for.

It's doubly confusing/frustrating when searching on a teeny phone.

But yeah, this was a great thread...most of us are readers too and many of us read about Hollywood history & movie stars.

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3 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

But yeah, this was a great thread...most of us are readers too and many of us read about Hollywood history & movie stars.

There was once upon a time a brilliant thread that was devoted to books about Hollywood, I'm going back to about 2005ca. It had many replies and the discussions were impassioned and deep. Although I have never been into Hollywood for reading material I was blown away by it. The title? I have no clue, unfortunately. The predecessor to this one was also named What Have You Been Reading Lately by a poster named Slappy5000 I think (I did not know him/her) but this is not the one I'm referring to. You may know that in 2014---the last major update of the Boards---an entire heading, Hot Topics, was removed and if the thread I'm talking about was contained therein, it may be lost (although I heard a rumor that the missing threads are still extant but merely hidden somewhere, not out of design, just hidden.) One big takeaway from that thread that I just happen to recall is that Mary Astor's memoir is a must read.

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6 hours ago, laffite said:

There was once upon a time a brilliant thread that was devoted to books about Hollywood, I'm going back to about 2005ca. 

Was it perhaps: http://forums.tcm.com/topic/382-movie-books/

I have not read entire thread but Mary Astor's "My Story" is mentioned on page five.

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5 hours ago, SansFin said:

Was it perhaps: http://forums.tcm.com/topic/382-movie-books/

I have not read entire thread but Mary Astor's "My Story" is mentioned on page five.

Yes, pretty sure that's it. The clincher is a post I found on page 9 (March 7, 2005) where someone speaks of Astor at some length, touting a second book she wrote "My Life on Film." Lots of technical stuff behind the scenes as well as some pretty frank talk about personal details and experiences of those she worked with, i.e., she doesn't mince words. No doubt it was that post I was remembering. Good find, thanks.

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19 hours ago, laffite said:

 I heard a rumor that the missing threads are still extant but merely hidden somewhere, not out of design, just hidden

Because NOTHING ever posted on the internet goes away....until whatever is "hosting" the data goes away. Example: if you were on AOL and posted photos of your roommate on the terlit, AOL still has the upload. If/when AOL ever closes their doors, throws away all their servers, the photos would go with them-unless someone d/l them and u/l on another hosting site, heh.

19 hours ago, laffite said:

One big takeaway from that thread that I just happen to recall is that Mary Astor's memoir is a must read.

I was struck by that too. I found Syracuse University's library has Astor's books in their collection (along with Meredith Willson's) and our county library system requested them for me to borrow. SU sent them and I read them all with relish-they were fantastic!

Nice that SU has a huge film arts school with rare collections like that. Doubly nice is they share with the public. I bet those books haven't been read by students in decades, "Who's Mary Astor? Meredith Willson? Never heard of her!"

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34 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

 Meredith Willson? Never heard of her!"

:D  Yeah, but she wrote some great music, didn't she?  ;)  

Reminded me of an old DICK VAN DYKE show episode, in which Laura and Millie were taking an adult night course in "creative writing" and Millie came into the room all giddy because, "My Jerry said I'm perfect for the class because he said I already LOOK like JOYCE KILMER!:  :D 

Sepiatone

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I just finished “I’d Die For You”, a collection of previously unpublished short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald, several of which deal with Fitzgerald’s experiences as a Hollywood screen writer. They went mostly unpublished because editors thought they were too dark, and Fitzgerald refused to make changes.  Highly recommended if you like F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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  • 1 month later...

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My next book club reading for July 20. Just finished and glad to have a little time to review.

The fictional republic of Sulaco in South America is politically unstable. There exists there a silver mine that has been in the possession of a prominent English family for generations and now is once again vulnerable to attack from manic revolutionaries. A recently extracted hoard of silver is loaded aboard a lighter and put in the trust of a well-known "sailor" (more the stature of a Captain) with an impeccable reputation for honesty and incorruptibility. He is Italian and the name he goes by is Nostromo.

The opening chapters relate some recent history with a jumbled time scheme from varying points of view and can be a little daunting. Even the critics have complained. I was liberated about a third of the way through by a particularly lucid chapter that really brought things together (or at least the beginning of such). The narrative settles down and there ensues a story with a surprisingly small number of actual events. But the details are dense and the writing is nothing less than a prose virtuoso performance.

This is rated 47th on the Modern Library list of best American novels. Has anyone read it? I confess I may have dropped it had it not been a selection for discussion. It's rather a challenge but without question a rewarding experience and I'm glad I stayed with it. There are some passages that are simply stunning. No surprise, Joseph Conrad, best known perhaps for Heart of Darkness (although Nostromo is considered his masterpiece), is critically acclaimed as one of the best writers in the English language, as most of us know already.  

///

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3 hours ago, laffite said:

No surprise, Joseph Conrad, best known perhaps for Heart of Darkness (although Nostromo is considered his masterpiece), is critically acclaimed as one of the best writers in the English language, as most of us know already.  

Doubtless true, but I confess I have never been able to wade through his prose. (says more about me than him)

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