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


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Poinciana, that is fascinating stuff ! I can't imagine the lofty Joan Crawford kneeling to anyone ! I heard Carol Burnett on a favourite radio show of mine (here in Canada) about a year ago. She sounded very nice, polite, not egotistical at all, funny, and full of interesting anecdotes. i wish she'd told that one !

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Isn't that a hoot?

 

Miss W., this is worth the read, a quick read it's also. Some of her inclusions are her experience on All My Children, all the celebrities she's interacted with, Marlon, Carol Channing (who at a dinner party wouldn't eat the hostess's food, instead produce a Tupperward full of whale blubber (!) for dindin, Cary at the racetrack, many others of course and Lucy who told Carol that her (Lucy's) rep for toughness earned her the sobriquet Lucille BallS, don't we love it.

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Poirot has been well played by Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov. Time for another look at the funny little Belgian? I think so. Somebody should do a seasonal release of HOLIDAY FOR MURDER, also published as MURDER FOR CHRISTMAS. It's a good story, small and cozy, with a satisfying plot. Money in the bank.

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I've been reading Tino Balio's "The Foreign Film Renaissance on American Screens: 1946-1973." It has some useful information, but frankly the book could have been pared down to a magazine article. Much of it consists of noting various reviews of the foreign films involved, without much perception on Balio's part, and generally reminding the reader that Bosley Crowther was not a very good critic.

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I read two Agatha Christie books that are somewhat related to film. Both Mrs. Marple stories

 

The first (and my favorite of the two) was *The Moving Finger* came out in 1943 the same year as the very similar French Film *Le Corbeau* came out. I am not sure which came first but it is interesting to see two stories from the same year on Poison Pens.

 

 

The second was *The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side*. This one in my opinion is a lesser Agatha Christie story but it's relation to film is it is obvious Christie took her plot idea from the true life story of Gene Tierney.

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  • 10 months later...

Hey, I just re-discovered this thread, sort of by accident. But it's not a bad thread idea (if I do say so myself) so maybe I'll "relaunch" it and see what happens. ( Possibly nothing.)

 

So...what's everybody been reading lately? Doesn't have to be a book, newspaper and magazine articles and internet blogs can count, too.

 

Also, how many here have switched to e-readers? Not me, but I do know quite a few people who like them.

 

As for what I've been reading lately...I'm always "perusing" my film noir books; a while back I finished a book about the Coen brothers; and currently I'm reading a novel called What's Bred in the Bone, by the great Canadian writer Robertson Davies.

 

You folks?

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Last night I finished reading Dark Lover - The Life And Death of Rudolph Valentino

by Emily W. Leider (2003).

Very good book and enjoyed it very much.

 

Also have Deadly Illusions - Jean Harlow and the Murder Of Paul Bern

by Samel Marx and Joyce Vanderveen (1990)

I plan on starting tonight.

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I am reading:

The Prodigious Builders by Bernard Rudofsky. It is about how society shaped architecture and architecture shaped societies from dug-outs to Victorian doll's houses.

 

Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. It is science fiction.

 

Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse. It is insane comedy about an English twit and his gentleman's gentleman. It is odd to reread it now because I have seen the BBC television series based on these books and the star is Hugh Laurie who is Dr. House on current television.

 

I am also reading a fantasy novel which will not have a final name until it is published. Capuchin wrote it and I am proofreading it to see if he any words out. :)

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*Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse. It is insane comedy about an English twit and his gentleman's gentleman. It is odd to reread it now because I have seen the BBC television series based on these books and the star is Hugh Laurie who is Dr. House on current television.*

 

SansFin, I am a P.G. Wodehouse fanatic! The Jeeves series is my favorite (I own all the Omnibuses published in England), and I just recently got the Blandings Castle omnibus. Haven't started that yet, though.

 

Heh, and to be honest, what I am reading right now is the latest Pearls Before Swine collection by Stephan Pastis. Love this comic strip...

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Besides trying to stay 'atop' on reading (and sometimes

responding) to these post, and/or trying to catch a TCM film,

I'm currently doing some 'down-sizing' and ran across

one of my Mom's paper-backs by Taylor Caldwell, called

'Captains and the Kings'. It's like reading it for the first time,

having read the book so many years ago. But I've only

covered a couple of chapters, since I'm still on my project

of 'down-sizing'.

 

 

Mom & I were always interested in reading Caldwell's books.

She would pass it on to me when she'd finish reading. Most of

Caldwell's books dealt with the struggles of immigrants from the

'Old World', making their way into the 'New World', America.

 

 

I always felt motivated after having read one of Caldwell's

books, describing the hard struggles & turmoils the immigrants

had to endure, mainly around the turn of the century; living

frugally, eating meager meals consisting of boiled cabbage and a

piece of pork fat and earning low wages of $4.00 a week . . .

But Persistant & HARD WORKERS they were, and always worked

their way to owning homes, land and a very prosperous business.

 

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

> I am a P.G. Wodehouse fanatic!

 

Have you read Mulliner Nights ? It is a collection of short stories about the friends and relatives of a Mr. Mulliner who holds forth at his local pub.

 

I love the way P. G. Wodehouse can make create a series of steps which each one in itself is quite logical but build from a young man doing his aunt a simple favor to his throwing cucumber sandwiches at a cat and then having to escape to Switzerland.

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I haven't read much of Mulliner and I also tried to get into the Psmith stories, but I gravitate more towards the Jeeves and the Blandings stories. With the Jeeves stories in particular, it's so interesting how Wodehouse can construct such complicated plots even though the premises are the same (Bertie gets roped into a scheme, Jeeves has to intervene to pull him out). The humor is wonderful and I frequently laugh out loud reading his stuff even though I've read it multiple times before. Escapist entertainment but very intelligently done.

 

His Jeeves stories go all the way back to the 1920s and yet they still feel contemporary to me.

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I finished a biography of J.D. Salinger last night. Wow. What an interesting guy. While most of us (I don't mean us TCM viewers, I mean us as in society as a whole) these days would (seemingly) sell our grandmother in order to gain our 15 minutes of fame, Salinger was the total opposite. He just wanted to be left alone to write. He so hated having his privacy invaded that he chose not to have any of his writing even published in the last 45 years of his life. My favorite American writer is John Updike. My favorite writer of all time is Fyodor Dostoyevski.

 

So is P.G. Wodehouse any good? I've never read anything by him (is he a him? don't even know) but have been sorely tempted. Is s/he a humorist or what?

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

> So is P.G. Wodehouse any good? I've never read anything by him (is he a him? don't even know) but have been sorely tempted. Is s/he a humorist or what?

 

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse.

 

I do not believe I can explain his writings except that they start as simple narratives of ordinary people and by clearly logical and unassuming steps they evolve into an interwoven mass of hilarious complications.

 

TCM has recently shown *Piccadilly Jim* (1936) which is based on his novel of the same name.

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"The Mortal Storm" by Phillis Bottome.

 

Since my love of classic films is so strong, I thought I would read some of the original novels from which the films are adapted.

 

I strongly recommend this one. Unlike the film, where Margaret Sullavan's "Freya Roth" character is almost a supporting role to Jimmy Stewart's charcter, the book promotes our female protagonist as the primary persona.

 

Bottome was a true literary feminist. All of her works had strong female characters who were ahead of their time. I've always loved the film but I love the novel even more!

 

I can see why it served as an accurate and chilling warning to the world of that growing "mortal storm" that was arising in Germany in the 1930s.

 

If you'd also like to try some of the classics, I recommend the following:

- Madame Bovary

- Peyton Place

- Island in the Sun

- The Razor's Edge

 

Edited by: Boyer56 on Oct 26, 2011 12:30 AM

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*I'll have to read some of his writing.*

 

pturnman, as SansFin also referenced, Wodehouse wrote for Hollywood as well and *A Damsel in Distress* (1937) was based on his book. But primarily he wrote books, from the 1920s (and earlier?) all the way through the 1970s.

 

I would recommend starting with some of his Jeeves stories, but of course my opinion is subjective. There are books that are collections of different stories, so you could start with that and just decide what you like, if any.

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Boyer, *The Razor's Edge* is one of my all-time favorite books. I haven't seen the movie because I don't want to think of the movie when I read the book again.

 

Another of my favorites is *Travels with Charley*, by John Steinbeck. I first read this in grade school because it had a dog in it ;) , but of course, now it's so much more than that for me.

 

Does anyone read books of letter collections of authors? I have a book of letters by Steinbeck that is as entertaining as anything he's written for the public at large. I've also read the letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald. There are others I've read, but off the top of my head I'm thinking of these two.

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*Boyer, The Razor's Edge is one of my all-time favorite books. I haven't seen the movie because I don't want to think of the movie when I read the book again.*

 

 

 

That's a very interesting thought, Eugenia. I've had that happen to me, when after I finish reading a book, and then watch the movie, the characters are all wrong. They are not the same people who have been 'running' around in my head.

And the discription of the interior of a home, in my book ... never seems to be the same when I finally see the movie. Everything is all switched around, including the door that should be on the other side of the room ! . . . Arghh !!

 

When I went to see the movie, 'The Bridges of Madison County', after having read the book, Clint Eastwood & Meryl Streep were definately not the people in my head. As I read the book, the man who does the commercials for 'Empire Carpet' (I think his name is Elmer Hauldren) was the Photographer for National Geographic .... and the farmer's wife was a young Anna Magnani.

 

But after seeing the movie several times, over the years, Clint and Meryl have 'imbedded' their faces and characters into my head ! :D

 

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Edited by: ugaarte on Oct 26, 2011 5:34 PM

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Hi ugaarte,

 

We think alike. One other thing about books and movies - for whatever reason it bugs me when new editions of a book come out, and instead of the original cover they put pictures from the movie that was made from it. Like the Julia Child book My Life in France - I remember some recent edition had pictures of Meryl Streep on the cover, because of *Julie & Julia*, or whatever the title was. Crass promotion, but anyhow.

 

I'm not really a crotchety old character, but since the topic was brought up...! ;)

 

 

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