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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Grooviest Books of 2012

As yet another year comes to an end, it's time once again to sit back and reflect upon the best and the worst of the last 12 months. And then we make our lists.

So this is the first in a series of what I enjoyed in 2012, beginning with books. I will also share my "Grooviest" selections in theater, music, television, DVDs, movies, people and gorgeous guys as well as the results of The Second Annual Groovy Awards honoring the best web series of the year. Now here are my literary favorites of 2012 in alphabetical order according to author (click on title for more info):

Telegraph Avenue (2012) by Michael Chabon
Chabon, who is one of my favorite novelists, also wrote The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

Not Young, Still Restless (2012) by Jeanne Cooper
If you're a fan of the daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless, you must read this fabulous autobiography by Cooper, who has played Genoa City's grande dame, Katherine Chancellor, since 1973.

Bossypants (2011) by Tina Fey
The 30 Rock actress/creator always makes me laugh.

Love, Christopher Street: Reflections of New York City (2012) edited by Thomas Keith
My favorite essay in this LGBT anthology about life in New York City is by comedian Eddie Sarfaty, who tells us about celebrating Passover with all his gay friends at his mother's home on Long Island.

Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark (2011) by Brian Kellow
A fascinating biography about the film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991.

Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them (2012) by Frank Langella
The Tony Award-winning actor has starred in both the stage and film versions of Dracula and Frost/Nixon, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer for his performance in the 1970 film, Diary of a Mad Housewife.

The Rest of the Story (2012) by Arthur Laurents
The Tony Award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director, who died in 2011, continued his life story in this autobiography. He wrote such Broadway musicals as West Side Story, Gypsy, Anyone Can Whistle, Do I Hear a Waltz?, Hallelujah, Baby! and Nick & Nora as well as the films, The Way We Were and The Turning Point.

Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV (2012) by Warren Littlefield
The former NBC President of Entertainment dishes about such television series as Seinfeld, Friends, Frasier, ER, Cheers, Will & Grace, Mad About You and 3rd Rock from the Sun.

My Mother Was Nuts (2012) by Penny Marshall (aka Laverne De Fazio)
Comedian/actor Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live, Portlandia) plays the actress/director in the amusing trailer for her memoir.

A Paper Life (2004) by Tatum O'Neal
It took me eight years to finally read this tell-all autobiography, which is an incredibly sad tale about the actress's miserable childhood with her abusive father, actor Ryan O'Neal, and her unhappy marriage to hot-tempered tennis star John McEnroe. But I did enjoy her behind-the-scenes stories about such films as Paper Moon, The Bad News Bears and Little Darlings.


Unknown said...

Thanks so very much for your insightful lists. I'm from Illinois but have lived the past fifteen years in Korea to be with my partner. I love knowing what's going on in Chicago. It is definitely "my kind of town." Your descriptions and reviews on the arts in Chicago are always such fun to read. Thank you so much.

Marc said...

Hey, Unknown, thank YOU so very much for your kind comment. I'm happy to know that I'm helping you experience the arts in Chicago vicariously!