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What are you reading?

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

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Shonna
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Postby Shonna » June 23rd, 2007, 8:02 am

I just checked these out from the library last week:
"Hollywood Be Thy Name, The Warner Brothers Story"
by Cass Warner Sperling and Cork Millner

"City of Nets, A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940's"
by Otto Friedrich

"The Paramount Story" by John Douglas Eames

"Mr. Capone, The Real and Complete Story of Al Capone"
by Robert J. Schoenberg

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ken123
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Postby ken123 » June 23rd, 2007, 7:10 pm

Earlier this week I received, via UPS, " The Secret History of the American Empire ", by John Perkins, and " Conjuring Hitler ", by Guido Giacomo Preparate. The Perkin's book might be especially interesting when later this upcoming week The CIA is releasing its " Family Jewels ", concerning its activities since the end of WW2. Mr. Perkins is a " former CIA man ". The Hitler book deals with U.S. / British ( and other Western Countries ) Big Business aiding the attainment of power by the Austrian born house painter.

In Chicago a big mob trial is now going on, its called " Family Secrets ". A very good relativity recently published book about about the Chicao Mob is " Super Mob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America's Hidden Power Brokers " by Gus Russo (Bloomsbury )

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MissGoddess
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Postby MissGoddess » June 25th, 2007, 9:48 am

I just finished Ronald Colman's biography by his daughter, Juliet Colman. Now I'm reading three books at once: a biography of Count Felix Von Luckner (a WWI German sea captain), a biography of Clark Gable written by his (and Carole's) assistant called Dear Mr. "G" and Larry Swindell's biography of Gary Cooper, The Last Hero.

Miss G

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Mr. Arkadin
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Postby Mr. Arkadin » June 25th, 2007, 7:57 pm

Kazan on Kazan, Fellini:Essays in Criticism

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » June 26th, 2007, 11:31 am

And I just finished Richard Schickel's bio of Kazan, which I thought contained far too much Schickel, in the form of opining and editorializing.

Now I've started what I think is the latest John Lescroart mystery, "The Suspect." I do like his writing - moves along briskly, good plots and an interesting set of recurring characters. I find him one of the more literate American mystery writers (in the sense that he can actually put a sentence together properly and his plots don't have gaping holes in them).

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Postby SSO Admins » June 27th, 2007, 2:21 pm

I just finished reading (re-readng actually) Edward Wagenknecht's look at silent film Movies in the Age of Innocence. It's a good read -- part critical study, part history, and part memoir. He's an engaging and intelligent writer, and wrote the book in 1962, so he had the benefit of correspondence with Lillian Gish and Mary Pickford. If nothing else, he deserves respect for a scathing defense of Clara Bow in 1927 when she was under attack by the press -- it was so good that Paramount sent it out as a press release.

I don't agree with everything that he says, but he makes a good case fo his point of view. It's a short, quick read, and a good one.

I'm now about 60 pages into Nick Roddick's 1983 A New Deal in Entertainment: Warner Bothers in the 1930s. It's not a fast read, but it's a fascinating one. In the first 60 pages he talks about the internal workings of the studio system. He follows the production of 1936's Anthony Adverse through aquisition of the property, casting and production, liberally spicing his tale with excerpts from memos to and from Hal Wallis. He goes into detail about production costs, the financials of the film, and the structure of the studio. It's fairly scholarly, and the kind of a book only a real film geek could love (and so far I do).

feaito

Postby feaito » June 27th, 2007, 2:54 pm

I'm reading "More Than a Woman" by James Spada, a biography of Bette Davis. It´s the second Davis biography I read (as a teenager a read one written by Charles Higham). I am also reading "God is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens, a very interesting a book a co-worker lent me.

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movieman1957
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Postby movieman1957 » June 27th, 2007, 3:03 pm

Because I couldn't sleep last night - "Thunderball" by Ian Fleming. I'm also working on a biography of Mozart.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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CharlieT
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Postby CharlieT » June 27th, 2007, 8:09 pm

"Thunderball" was the first James Bond novel I read. Just before beginning my junior year in high school, I suffered an appendicitis attack. While recovering from my appendectomy in the hospital (which took a week back then), my older brother's girlfriend, who was a candystriper, gave me the book to help me pass the time away. Now an appendectomy patient just stays in overnight and recovers at home. :shock:

Currently, I've managed to reach book eleven, "Knife of Dreams", in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Next on my list is Richard Bachmann's (read "Stephen King") new novel, "Blaze". It's hard to read anything really heavy when the only time you have is break and lunch at work. :cry:
"I'm at my most serious when I'm joking." - Dudley

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Moraldo Rubini
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The Botany of Desire

Postby Moraldo Rubini » June 30th, 2007, 9:07 am

I'm currently reading Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire. The introduction of this beautifully written book from 2001 twists the arrogant notion that humans are in control of plants, and ponders how much control plants have on humans. From there, the book is split into four human desires -- sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control -- and tells the tales of four plants that feed those desires: the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato. The apple section if a fascinating history of the fruited tree and attempts to break through the legendary folklore of "Johnny Appleseed" to discover the real John Chapman. It might sound academic, but it's both amusing and interesting.

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moira finnie
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Postby moira finnie » July 1st, 2007, 7:14 am

I'm currently reading Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire. The introduction of this beautifully written book from 2001 twists the arrogant notion that humans are in control of plants, and ponders how much control plants have on humans. From there, the book is split into four human desires -- sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control -- and tells the tales of four plants that feed those desires: the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato. The apple section if a fascinating history of the fruited tree and attempts to break through the legendary folklore of "Johnny Appleseed" to discover the real John Chapman. It might sound academic, but it's both amusing and interesting.


Moraldo, that does sound like a fascinating book, and your description reminded me of Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses , which blended a poet's eye with an appreciation for the truly awesome intricacy of science. One of my favorite books, which I'd like to reread soon, though I think I'll have to read Michael Pollan's book now too. Thanks for mentioning this one.

klondike

Postby klondike » July 1st, 2007, 7:38 am

movieman1957 wrote:Because I couldn't sleep last night - "Thunderball" by Ian Fleming. I'm also working on a biography of Mozart.


Chris & Charlie T - Interesting little footnote r.e. "Thunderball":
If I'm remembering the facts correctly from the autobiographic material I've read on Ian Fleming (granted, about 20 years ago), "Thunderball" was the one & only Bond adventure that was first birthed as a commissioned screenplay, and then drafted into text form and published as a novel, with the appearance of the book beating out the release of the film only because of a bizarre chain of studio delays, combined with a curious legal entanglement over ownership of the film rights, the settlement of which ultimately led to the creation of the non-Broccoli 007 film: Never Say Never Again.
But that's a longer story for a different thread!

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sandykaypax
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Postby sandykaypax » July 6th, 2007, 8:53 pm

I am currently reading the 6th Harry Potter book. I've read the whole series before; I thought it would be fun to go back and re-read the series before the final one comes out this month.

I know that they are technically children's lit, but I really think that they are exceptionally well-written. And they're FUN.

That Botany book that Marco is reading sounds intriguing...

Sandy K

klondike

Postby klondike » July 27th, 2007, 8:39 am

Just this morning finished "The Tin Roof Blowdown", by James Lee Burke.
Wow.
And here I thought that the Dave Robicheaux series had unsurpassingly climaxed with last year's "Pegasus Descending"!
Logic dictates that Burke has got to falter eventually, but so far, even the less than absolutely riveting novels in this series (which started with "Neon Rain", back in 1988) are so superior to anything else in the current genre, and indeed, most new, mainstream fiction, that for all us hardcore Robicheauvians, each Summer's new title becomes an eagerly awaited annual event.
I imagine that most of his readers, like myself, are also torn between wanting the cases of Detective Dave Robicheaux to go on & on, the ultimate "cheap vacation" for the mind, taking us to a place & culture at once alien and comfortably familiar, and on the other hand, hoping that Burke can exit this body of work on a high-water mark of excellence, with the quality of his prose still intact & uncompromised.
But alas, Burke is a Cajun, and so that struggle between excellence and discretion and stamina is, doubtless, monumental . . just ask Brett Favre!


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