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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

365 Groovy Books Worth Reading #11 - 20


Today I continue my list of 365 Groovy Books Worth Reading (in random order). Click here for the first 10 books - and click on a title for more information or to purchase a copy:

11) Valley of the Dolls (1966) by Jacqueline Susann
"By God, her hair's as phony as she is!" says Neely O'Hara while holding up Helen Lawson's wig on page 335 of the #1 bestselling novel of 1966 - and it has sold more than 30 million copies.


12) Bad Movies We Love (1993) by Edward Margulies and Stephen Rebello
If you're in need of a fun read, look no further - this amusing book leaves no stone (including Sharon) unturned as it skewers some of Hollywood's biggest big-budget film fiascos ever, including Mame, The Bitch, Myra Breckinridge, Lost Horizon, Xanadu, Can't Stop the Music, Mommie Dearest and, of course, Valley of the Dolls.


13) The Serial: A Year in the Life of Marin County (1977) by Cyra McFadden
This satirical novel about life in Marin County, California, was originally serialized in the Marin County alternative weekly newspaper, Pacific Sun, in 1976. And in 1980, it became a film starring Martin Mull, Tuesday Weld and Sally Kellerman.


14) Rainbow's End: The Judy Garland Show (1990) by Coyne Steven Sanders
A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the CBS variety series, which ran for 26 episodes in 1963-64.


15) A Hell of a Life (1995) by Maureen Stapleton and Jane Scovell
This autobiography tells the life story of actress Maureen Stapleton (1925-2006), who won a Tony, an Emmy and an Oscar (for 1981's Reds). Her other film credits include Bye Bye Birdie, Airport and Interiors, and she also starred in the TV movies, Queen of the Stardust Ballroom and The Gathering.


16) Broadway Stories: A Backstage Journey Through Musical Theatre (1993) by Marty Bell
Covering the time period of September 1991 to July 1992, the book's 16 chapters chronicle Broadway hits and misses as recounted by an actor or member of the creative team, including actor Stephen Bogardus (Falsettos), actress Kay McClelland (Nick & Nora) and actress Faith Prince (Guys and Dolls).


17) Fag Hag (1992) by Robert Rodi
Rodi's first novel tells the hilarious tale of a "fag hag" named Natalie Stathis, who is in love with her best friend - the handsome and gay Peter Leland. Author Quentin Crisp "adored every word" of this "bitchy without being savage" book.


18) The Virtue of Vera Valiant (1977) by Stan Lee and Frank Springer
Co-created by Stan Lee (the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics), this paperback compilation of the 1976-77 nationally syndicated soap opera comic strip tells the continuing story of 28-year-old Vera Valiant and her wacky family.


19) Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (1982) by Anne Tyler
My favorite Anne Tyler novel - which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize - tells the story of three siblings growing up with their mother after the family is deserted by their father.


20) Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic (2013) by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
I will let Carol Burnett describe this wonderful book: "It takes us backstage with a keen insight on the writing, directing and casting of one of the best television shows — ever. I didn't want it to end, any more than I wanted The Mary Tyler Moore Show to end."

6 comments:

Alan Scott said...

I'm looking forward to reading "Bad Movies We Love"! Sounds like fun!

Marc Harshbarger said...

It is a fun book. Hope you enjoy reading it, Alan!

Dan said...

This groovy books series is terrific. Can't wait for all the ones that are forthcoming :-) Thanks!

Marc Harshbarger said...

Hey, Dan, I'm happy to hear that you're enjoying my Groovy Books series!

MovieJunkie said...

Every time I read an Anne Tyler book, I feel she's in a class by herself. Loved Saint Maybe and The Clock Winder. Can't believe I've never heard of this one.

Marc Harshbarger said...

Hey, MovieJunkie, if you enjoy reading Anne Tyler books, you will love Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.

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