Book Club/Book Lovers

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by rockgor, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Am reading "American Brutus" by Michael Kauffman. The subtitle is John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln

    Here's a somewhat eerie coincidence I had not read before. William Petersen owned a boarding house
    across the street from Ford's theater. John Wilkes Booth went there to visit a fellow actor named
    John Matthews.

    John wasn't in, so Booth lay down in his bed to wait for him

    One month later the mortally wounded President was carried by soldiers from the theater to the
    boarding house and placed in the same bed where he died.

    Illustrating, once again, that history is just around the corner, Booth had a girlfriend name Lucy Hale.
    When they traveled to places like Baltimore, Booth would sign the register as "J. W. Booth and Lady."

    Lucy was still alive when my father was a boy.

    And illustrating that everything is connected, I am reading the autobiography of Christopher Plummer.
    He grew up in Montreal which he describes as a city with a rich theater tradition. The Theater
    Royal had been played by such luminaries as Edmund Kean, Charles Dickens, and John Wilkes Booth.

  2. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Thanks for the update, Rock. I checked out the Christopher Plummer memoir from the library. I've always been a fan of his. Didn't he really dislike his Captain Von Trapp role in The Sound of Music, though, calling it "The Sound of Dreck"? Or something to that effect?

    Besides our book club book, I've been reading a French classic that a former student lent me: Pere Goriot, by Balzac. It's surprisingly fresh: lively, funny, tragic, observant. I've never read any Balzac before, but I am impressed.

    Cate: I always like a good logic puzzle game!

  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Ken, I read somewhere that Christopher Plummer hated the movie and dubbed it
    The Sound of Mucus. He seems to have been somewhat of a scamp. In his
    biography he referred to it as S & M.

    However, he also said he saw the movie several years after it came out and was quite
    pleased with it. He had great praise for Julie Andrews and also spoke highly of director
    Robert Wise.

    Read half of Queen of the Road. Think that's about enough. The author's obsession
    w/ booze, shoes, high priced everything, shoes, the indoor life and shoes gets a
    bit tedious after 100 pages.

    Finished Special Circumstances by Sheldon Siegel. He is an attorney who writes
    pretty good thrillers/courtroom drama. He is not a courtroom attorney though. His
    field is corporate and securities law. This is the only explanation I can think of
    for this howling error. He has the defendant arrested on suspicion of murder.

    Even most first-year law students know this is unconstitutional. About the only
    courtroom objection to testimony he seems to know is "state of mind". And
    almost every character in the book is having an adulterous affair. Nevertheless he
    has an interesting plot and keeps things moving.

    He also has a good surprise ending. A surprise ending can't be too surprising, you know.
    It has to be at least somewhat plausible.

    Am also reading a book from the library that is 97
    years old. They made them sturdy in those days. Good paper and sewn binding.
    There is an illustration in the front protected by a sheet of tissue paper.

    Here's a little quiz for you. The same author was still writing 7 decades later.
    Name that author.

  4. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Ernest Hemingway?

  5. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Boy, my adding machine is just not coming out with the right answers. I just hate when that happens. Well I warned you that I am foggy tonight, LOL!!

    Yes, yes, we need a clue.


  6. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Hokey Smokey, here's a little clue for you.

    "He's just my Bill."

    If you can't guess, all will be revealed tomorrow, tomorrow, Bet your
    bottom dollar, That tomorrow, there'll be sun.

  7. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    PG Wodehouse

    [This Message was Edited on 04/25/2009]
  8. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    and it is. You did Positively Good Work! Jeeves will now bring you a cocktail
    or tea. The choice is yours.

    P.G.W. had longest career of any writer I know of. And he wrote novels, short stories,
    plays, songs, etc. Lived to be in his 90s; wrote about 90 books. Hard to count
    them as many were published w/ one title in England and a different title in

    Looked up Tim Allen. I thought he was sort of a minor celebrity, but I see he's been
    wildly successful. Read he took up cocaine in college. Has had a couple run ins with
    the law. Spent some time in prison.

    Let's hope he's now clean and sober. Well, he can't be too sober if he's a comic, huh?

    Tomorrow, tomorrow, you're only a day away!

  9. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    There is a CD on which all the songs have lyrics by P.G. Can't remember if I own
    it or if I checked it out from the Brand library. Has a great song. Think it's by
    Jerome Kern and is called The Enchanted Train.

    The rhythm suggests the chug chug of a train. Makes me feel like dancin'.

    Where did you stage manage Anything Goes? College? Community Theater?
    You're the tower of Pisa. You're the smile on the Mona Lisa.

    Thanks for the info, Jean. You are unhappy w/ the clues?

    Enrico Caruso once said something along the lines of, there are problems with
    even the most successful careers. Wodehouse was vilified during WWII and called
    a Nazi sympathizer.

  10. artyreader

    artyreader Member

    How fun to learn details like these!

    The Lincoln/Booth 'bed coincidence' is so interesting (Truth is stranger. . .)

    You had me scratching my head over the P.G. Wodehouse clue--I didn't guess it, and confess that I haven't read any of his stuff--but I'll keep him in mind next time I'm at library (I'd always heard the name, and figured I'd get around to reading him SOMEDAY :) . . .

    That was fun, and challenging. Love the biographical details.

    (I was thinking of Ray Bradbury, who's in his eighties now and has been at the writing game a long time, but the dates/decades you mentioned didn't jibe with him as the answer)

    Hey, got any more of those brain teasers? That was very cool.
  11. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Do I get a monetary prize or do I have to settle for the warm glow in my heart and a pat on the back knowing I found it.

    Where's the money?

  12. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Nice to meet you. If you like P. G. Wodehouse, you are in luck. There's so much
    to read. Kinda like Miss Read. She wrote a book a year for about 40 years.
    I like prolific writers. Doesn't do much good to fall in love w/ people who only
    wrote one book, e.g. Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee.

    Come join the book club. No fees, no dues, no application form. You don't even
    have to read the book of the month. You can still contribute to the discussion.

    I read your profile. You might be interested to learn I used to play the flute in the
    H.S. band. You might be less interested to learn I was lousy. But, I'm a good

    Gap, I already told you what your prize was. A cocktail or tea. Due to the restrictions
    imposed by the governing board of the World Wide Web, the prize can only be of
    modest monetary value.

    Cate, whenever I hear the word onomaatopoeia, I have an urge to hiss.

    W/ re: 2 the clues, I guess it's a matter of perception. I said Wodehouse was still
    writing 7 decades later: the teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. The way I
    count, that's 7 decades. But I'm flexible. As Dennis Miller says, "I could be wrong."

    Wodehouse did not finish his last book, but it was published anyway. I think the title
    was "Sunset at Blandings", but I don't want to look it up. Might lose my post.

    All for now

  13. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    how I found the answer. I googled "My Bill" found the three who wrote the song, googled each name and when PG Wodehouse came up, I did the math, LOL!! At first I was convinced it was Oscar Hammerstein and they just got the date of his death wrong!!

    I will have to find the site again as I think it said that his career had spanned seven decades.

    However, I could have been hallucinating or simply wrong about that.



    ETA I found it on Wickepedia which can sometimes have some inaccuracies. I have pasted the first paragraph.

    Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE (15 October 1881 – 14 February 1975) (IPA: /?w?dha?s/) was a comic writer who enjoyed enormous popular success during a career of more than seventy years and continues to be widely read. Despite the political and social upheavals that occurred during his life, much of which was spent in France and the United States, Wodehouse's main canvas remained that of pre-war English upper-class society, reflecting his birth, education, and youthful writing career.[<i>This Message was Edited on 04/25/2009</i>]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/25/2009]
  14. artyreader

    artyreader Member

    for God's sake! Pelham! but then to follow that with Grenville--Grenville?!--(isn't is bad enough to have Wodehouse as the 'caboose' in his 'name train'. . .)

    He had three last names as first, middle and last, and yes, I know, the eccentric (and loveable) British, AND ESPECIALLY the famously ultra-eccentric upper crust that he came from. . .I guess you had to be there. . .

    At least he got to be a Sir eventually (I'm assuming he was knighted, and that's how you get that honorific?, Right?) Whew!

    My heart goes out. . .

    And yeah, in our American South it's not uncommon to give kids two or three "last names" as first, middle, and last (and the trend has been catching fire around the country--hey, it's all good)

    So, anyway, I have a long list of authors I want to read, and I'll add Sir Pelham to my list and get around to reading him---SOMEDAY (one of my favorite words :) He sounds very interesting.

    Oh, I like the 'no rules, no dues, no commitment' aspect of the free-form book group I'm more of an episodic visitor to this site (yeah, I'm more of the Margaret Mitchell 'one hit wonder' type of person)(partially due to the fibro, partly my personality--not so good at sustained effort any more,etc,) but so appreciative that there are intelligent, literate, fun people on this message board who share their reading (and other) finds with the group in general.

    I say, old man (not a reflection on anyone's age--I'm no spring chicken myself) I say, Huzzah! and all that stuff the rich Brits of yore used to say, and if P.G. could survive his naming, and go on to thrive as a writer--well then!


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