Book Club and other friends:

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by kholmes, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Thought I'd check in since it's been a while since I've posted. Have been kind of busy lately, if that's possible. I suppose that's a good thing.

    How's everybody doing? And what are your reading these days?

    I read a book called Nature Noir, a Park Ranger's Patrol in the Sierra. Very dark, but interesting. Also read Watchers, by Dean Koontz, after a friend recommended it. Still reading about Jungian psychology, and lastly, I'm reading a book on the history and culture of Miami, though I can't remember the title offhand.

    The weather is beautiful in Albuquerque. Everything is in bloom.

  2. Pippi1313

    Pippi1313 New Member

    I'm reading "Crazy in Alabama". VERY weird!!!
    That park ranger book sounds interesting. I'm gonna check my library's website & see if they have it.

    Take care! :)
  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Good to have you back again. My brother in Oregon used to be a Park Ranger.
    And my brother in Minnesota is a Deputy Sheriff. (I'm the only non-
    uniform wearer.) {Unless you count a 3-piece suit.}

    Were you surprised that a title w/ "Noir" in it was dark? Smiling out loud.

    I got a fascinating book for a dime the other day. "America's Strangest

    And we've been to one of them! The Bily clocks, of course. There are 3 in MN.
    The Spam Museum in Austin. That's the county seat where my brother in
    a sheriff. I read an interview 20 years ago w/ the CEO of Hormel, a member of
    the family. He said he was gay, but never had any trouble w/ discrimination.
    Well, duh!

    And then there's the 3M (sandpaper) museum and the Museum of Questionable
    Medical Devices. I think I read somebody wanted to start a Museum of
    Questionable Medical Doctors, but couldn't find a building large enough.

    In New Mexico they have museums for: atomic, potato, windmill and UFOs.

    And in Iowa we also find Maytag and Ice House (Cedar Falls). My favorite title
    is "Elvis is Alive".

    Just finished a biography of Mae West. Apparently she was totally caught up in
    her public persona, an ego maniac, and a non-reliable historian. Unlike many
    celebrities she hung onto her money. Made big bucks in the Great Depression
    and invested in real estate.

    Keep those pages turning, friends.

  4. sisland

    sisland New Member

    I've read alot of interesting news articles latley,,does that count?,,watched the new movie "Australia",,with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman as the stars ,,and it was pretty good,,,maybe a 3 star movie,,you can learn how to speak Aussie if you watch it,,lolol,,,

    Also watched the corp of discovery again staring Lewis and Clark,,,watch that about once a year,,it's a great topic of conversation up in these parts. even though it took place in 1804-1806.

    Glad your feeling better with the warmer wheather I know the temp makes a big difference in pain levels up this way! The garden is booming and the wild flowers are in full bloom too,,the snow is almost melted off the Mountian tops,,when that happens, then it's ok to go barefoot for the summer,(according to my late grandmother),,,,,she was right!,,,,,,Take care!,,,Sis

    [This Message was Edited on 06/09/2009]
  5. Pippi1313

    Pippi1313 New Member

    Where are "up in these parts"? Just curious cuz we have a lot of Lewis & Clark history here too.

  6. sisland

    sisland New Member

    I like your user name by the way!

    I live in the Northwest corner of Montana,,called the Flathead Valley.,,A very mountianous region with the Glacier Nat'l Park right up next to the Canadian Border

    Although they didn't travel up this far, the mid to southeastern part of the state is where they discovered the head waters of the Missouri River,,,around Threeforks,MT. there are the 3 rivers that come togeather

    The Madison The Galliton and the Yellowstone,,,,There is also The Lewis and Clark State park in that area,,and then there is The Lewis and Clark cavarens, That is a series of underground caves that are filled with the stalagmites and Malagtites,,(sp),,,

    The trails are well marked with the famous signs (you probably have them in your area too),,,lots of interesting history all the way up Huh! ,,,What's the history from your area? :),,,S
  7. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Sis: I love the whole Lewis and Clark saga, especially stories of the Montana sections. I read Stephen Ambrose's book a while back, and have seen Ken Burns's film. Did you know Ken Burns is coming out with a new film on the national parks this fall? I'll bet Glacier will get a lot of screentime and history.

    Jean: I loved The Devil in the White City, too. What an amazing, world-changing fair the 1892 WF was! How neat to think that the Museum of Science and Industry and the Aquarium are where the fairgrounds were. Too bad they couldn't have kept some of the buildings, though. Will have to see if I can find a copy of "The Good Old Days--They Were Terrible!"

    I think you both would like Blood and Thunder, by Hampton Sides, if you haven't read it already.

    --"Dr. Holmes"
  8. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I love the Bily Clocks Museum in Spillville. I thought the clocks were beautiful, though, and not all that odd at all.

    I'll bet the biography of Mae West was interesting. May have check that out.
    Just started "Love Child," a memoir by Allegra Huston, sister of Anjelica and daughter of John Huston. Not all that great so far, but what a remarkable family, starting with old Walter, of Treasure of the Sierra Madre and other films.
  9. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Glad several of you like Devil In The White City. I am planning on looking at 2104's sites but just do not have the energy right now.

    I am in the middle of reading Dennis Lehane's The Given Day. He wrote Mystic River which was also a good movie and Gone Baby Gone. The movie version of GBG, changed the plot, probably because of time constraints but was very disappointed with it.

    The Given Day starts at the end of WWI when the flu epidemic starts, then the unions. It is absolutely fascinating but 700 pages long. I am about half way done. When I bought the book at B&M, I had a gift certificate as I would rather use the library, two people came up to me and said how much they enjoyed the book.

    That's all she wrote. For now!!

  10. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I usually type long messages in the mail box, then cut and paste them here.

    Mailbox is "on the fritz today." My mother used to say that. Also said things
    outta order were "on the warpath."

    So, I'm typing this on the message board site. That means I have to keep it short.
    The longer the message, the more likely it is to go poof! This is the opposite of
    "safety in numbers."

    Re: Lewis and Clark, I saw a documentary about them several years ago. Only one
    men died on their long trek. The modern thinking is that he probably had
    appendicitis. Also remember that years later Lewis or Clark committed suicide.
    Can't remember which one.

    Ken, I read a biography of Walter Houston some decades ago. I think he was
    the actor who introduced "September Song" in a Kurt Weill show. Can't remember
    the name of the show. Can't look it up; might lose my post. Anyway, I saw
    the movie. It was a silly story, and had only one good song.

    Kinda like an Andrew Lloyd Weber show. But that's better than Stephen Sondheim.
    He's only had one good song his whole career. And it doesn't sound like
    any of his other songs. Maybe someone wrote it for him.

    Kinda like the composer of "I Wonder Who's Kissing her now". Joe Howard
    is listed as the composer, but I read he paid someone else to write it. Joe
    wrote some good songs of his own at the turn of the last century like
    "Hello, Ma Baby". Lived long enough to sing it on the Ed Sullivan show.

    As Ian Shoales used to say on National Public Radio, "I gotta Go".

  11. sisland

    sisland New Member

    Looking forward to the National parks Video ken,,,,The Lewis and Clark expedition was so fantastic!,,The Native american tribes and Saqajewiea,,(sp) really helped them out along the way!,,They let them live in thier tribal areas when the wheather was to wintery to travel,,,,,Rock~~,,It was lewis that commited suicide 3 years after the expedition had ended,,,,They say he was a manic depressive ,,but a genius non the less.

    There are several video accounts,,I'll have to order another one!,,,Reading puts me to sleep (I hate that!),,,,,anyway hope you all are having a great day!,,,S
  12. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    When I am done writing a post, I copy the response and then if it does not go through, I can try again or log in and just post my response.

    You may already know this.

    I was trying to start a new post and kept hitting the button only to get the home page. It took me about five times to realize I was hitting the Post Topic button and not submit.


    Edited for spelling errors.[This Message was Edited on 06/09/2009]
  13. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Glad to see you are posting. I'm kind of like you---I will post and lot sometimes and then get busy and be gone for awhile.

    I'm still reading "The Irish Game: A True Story of Crime and Art" by Matthew Hart---the book art thieves who steal mega millions of dollars worth of art in Ireland. My problem is that I read books at the wrong time---when I'm sleepy and have the highest tendency to have brain fog. When I'm alert and energetic, I tend to be out and about.

    It's a great book though: lots of fascinating twists and turns. There's so many people to keep up with that it can get a little confusing sometimes. There's a new criminal and a new detective getting in on the action with almost every page. It's really intriguing though, and the book also goes into the history of Ireland and art techniques, which I'm enjoying.

    I'm also reading bits and pieces of other books that suit my mood. I'm reading a book on economics when I'm more alert and can absorb it ("The Worldly Philosophers" by Robert Heilbroner) and am re-reading some parts of "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain. That's a pretty colorful, although highly entertaining book. He's pretty wacked.

    Guess what? My parents are going to be in Santa Fe next week celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. They love the area. I think they said it was snowing there just a few days ago. Glad you are enjoying the weather. Sounds gorgeous.

    Enjoy and stay well!

  14. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info on L & C, Sis. As I often say, history is just around the corner.
    When my dad was born, for example, the country didn't have paved roads. I read
    the wagon trains going west only made about 10 miles per day.

    The ruts from the wagon wheels can still be seen in places.

    One of the fellows in my bridge club said his grandmother went west in a Beverly Hills. Said he was serious too.

    Gap, yes, I always cut and paste before I try to send an e mail or post.
    Except half the time I forget. The computer is therapeutic and also provides
    some social life. It also drives me nuts. Kinda like marriage, huh?

    Erika, keeping track of the characters is getting harder and harder for me. A couple
    times in the last month, I have wondered who someone is. Only to have him
    turn out to be the main character.

    I hope the ride comes to an end while I still have a few marbles left.

    Started three books yesterday. I feel I have a personal connection to them
    (or the authors). But this post is getting too long, so will have to come back later.

    If a pretty girl is like a melody, what is a good book like? Thanksgiving dinner? A
    visit to the zoo. A trip to Bountiful?

  15. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    If a pretty girl is like a melody, then a book is a symphony.

    My mother used to go around singing, " A pretty girl is like a malady."

  16. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Am working on 4 books, all of which I feel I
    have a personal connection to. "Personal connection" is an imprecise term. Kinda like
    "tornado alley" which I looked up the other day.

    Turns out it is an area w/ no precise boarders,
    just generally the middle part of the country.

    Well, anyhoo, I am reading a book about the
    assassination of Lincoln. I have previously posted about Henry and Robert
    Merrick who were involved in that situation.

    (The Merrick brothers are ancestors/relatives of mine. Came over from
    wales in 1636. Were founders of Springfield, MA)

    The book is by Charles Higham who also wrote or assisted with) one of the other books, the autobiography of Hal Wallis, producer at Warner Bros.

    Hal Wallis had an exciting life in show biz from the pre-sound era to
    decades later. He was an executive producer and used to having his
    own way. Unfortunately he insisted on doing the writing. Managed to turn
    an exciting story into a boring book not worth reading.

    I talked to Charles Higham many years ago. He
    was interested in joining the gay bridge club. Said he just wrote all day long and didn't have any social life.

    So I assured him he would be welcome, and that we would teach him to play. He said he would call me when he got back from a trip to Europe, but he never did.

    I told him I had read some of his books. Of course he wanted to know which ones. Had to tell him I had read lots of show biz biographies, but couldn't remember precisely which ones were his.

    He's written about Errol Flynn and Orson Wells and Cecil B. Demille and Hepburn and Laughton and Dietrich and who can keep track of them all?

    And then I read the biography of Vicki Lawrence. Like Carrol Burnett and me, she came from a dysfunctional family.

    I feel a personal connection the way one does w/ an entertainer one has watched for decades.

    And besides that, I once corrected a bar paper for her boyfriend Horace Heidt Jr. You remember his father? Big band leader in the 30s- 50s.

    I looked him up. He had lots of hits, and has 2 stars on the Hollywood Hall of Fame. Used to hear him on the radio when I was a kid. I read he had a comedian on his radio show who
    later became well known: Art Carney.

    Horace's son was studying for the bar when I was correcting papers for a firm that gave
    courses on taking the bar.

    Don't know if the son took the bar or not. Anyhoo he did not become an atty. I
    read he was involved in the music business. Couldn't find any details.

    The 4th book is made up of reprints of Little Lulu comics from the 50s. I find them
    funnier now than I did when I was a kid. Comic books were in the formative years
    back then. My mother disapproved of them, all except Little Lulu.

    Like traditional mothers all over the land, she threw away a fortune in comics. I guess
    if I had collected baseball cards, she would have thrown them out too.

    The traditional explanation is, "Good old Mom, she just didn't know what she was doin'."
    Dave Barry said in one of his books, "She knew. She was just getting even."

    Well, that's understandable in some cases, I suppose.


  17. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Sounds good on all four counts, except for Wallis making his own life boring. Now if Charles Higham had complete control, that may have been a better book.

    Too bad Higham didn't join your bridge club. Our library has ten books by him, on Brando, the Duchess of Windsor, Orson Welles, Howard Hughes, Lucille Ball, Ziegfeld, among others. Quite the array of luminaries.

    Always enjoy your observations, especially your reminder that everything is connected.

  18. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Everything is connected including you and I. We are connected by this board.
    And by our history. We know what L'Etoile du Nord means.

    (Meyerbeer wrote an opera by that name. So far as I know, there are no
    recordings of same.)

    One of my college roommates had an aunt named Etoile. He used to make
    puppets and dolls of some of the stars that Wallis and Higham were involved with.

    The last time I saw Ron he had traveled from Greenwich Village to LA to deliver
    two dolls to Leonard Maltin. These were big dolls. 4-5 feet high. Just the thing
    to have lounging about the living room of your Brentwood mansion when the
    stars drop in for cocktails.

    Ha det bra

  19. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hi Ken! Good to see you here. I want to be in Alburquerque - if I could learn to spell it! Michigan still can't seem to find its way to summer. We have chilly temps and rain.

    I am blushing as I admit that I spent the winter in the arms of Robert B. Parker, with Spencer, Hawk, Sunny and Jesse. I devoured those books! Oddly, they made me feel safe and I needed that. I noticed that the latest read of BobB's is boring me a bit. Could be I'm burning out on Bob. And about time!

    Brain fog here, but I think I recommended The Help, one of the books I read while wrenching myself away from BobB.

    Hmmm, I'm back to wanting to be in Albuquerque where it's warm.

  20. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Wow, that brings back memories. When my sister and I were growing up, our monthly treat with our parents was to stop by Rexall and each choose a comic book. I would get Little Lulu. My sister would get either Veronica and Archie, Little Lotta, Richie Rich Casper the Friendly Ghost.and other's whose names I can't think of.

    We would go to Mel Roots restaurant, thats the real name, and my sister and I would get the special of a cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake. It was the only time our parents let us read at the table.

    Has anyone read The Adventures of Calvalier and Clay" which won a Pulitzer prize? It is written by Michael Chabon. It is rather long and it took me about 20 pages to get the cadance of his writing.

    Here's a short blurb from Wikipedia. I'm too tired to summarize the plot.

    "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a 2000 novel by American author Michael Chabon that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001.

    The novel follows the lives of the title characters, a Czech artist named Joe Kavalier and a Brooklyn-born writer named Sam Clay—both Jewish—before, during, and after World War II.

    Kavalier and Clay become major figures in the nascent comics industry during its "Golden Age." Kavalier & Clay was published to "nearly unanimous praise" and became a New York Times Best Seller,[1] receiving nominations for the 2000 National Book Critics Circle Award and PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

    In 2006, Bret Easton Ellis declared the novel "one of the three great books of my generation",[2] and in 2007, The New York Review of Books called the novel Chabon's magnum opus."