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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

365 Groovy Books Worth Reading #61 - 70

Today I continue my list of 365 Groovy Books Worth Reading (in random order). Click here for the previous 60 books - and click on a title for more information or to purchase a copy:

61) Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah: Dinah Shore's Personal Cookbook (1971) by Dinah Shore
My aunt picked this book up at a garage sale a few years ago and correctly thought I might like it (I've been a fan of Dinah's since her talk shows in the 1970s). Dinah tells us exactly how she prepares over 200 of her favorite recipes, including Bill Holden's Marinated Hawaiian Steak and Rice Pudding from the Riviera Hotel (in Las Vegas).

62) After All (1995) by Mary Tyler Moore
One of my favorite actresses shares her life with us, including memories of The Dick Van Dyke Show, Breakfast at Tiffany's (the Broadway musical), The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Ordinary People.

63) The World According to Garp (1978) by John Irving
Mr. Irving is one of my favorite authors, and his fifth novel about the life of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields, was adapted into a wonderful 1982 film starring Robin Williams and Glenn Close.

64) The Lost Language of Cranes (1986) by David Leavitt
Leavitt's first novel tells the story of a young gay man, Philip Benjamin, who comes out to his parents, Rose and Owen (who is secretly gay himself).

65) Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated (2010) by Alison Arngrim
In Carol Channing's brief review of Arngrim's comic memoir about growing up as the devious Nellie on the TV series, Little House on the Prairie, she says the actress "has always been the kind of 'bitch' who tells it like it is. So readers beware: You are in for an eyeful of reality told with a remarkable sense of humor.”

66) Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays (1994) by David Sedaris
Sedaris' first book includes his most famous essay, "SantaLand Diaries", in which he describes his experiences working as a Christmas elf at Macy's department store.

67) Grease: The Fotonovel (1978)
As a young teenager in 1978, I loved Olivia Newton-John and her hit movie musical, so - of course - I had to buy this book for $2.50 (as well as the film's original soundtrack).

68) Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America (2004) by Steve Almond
Mr. Almond shares his journey with us as he sets out in search of the Caravelle, a much-loved candy bar from his childhood, and finds himself on a tour of small candy companies. He also admits to having eaten at least one piece of candy every single day of his entire life.

69) Moose Murdered, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Broadway Bomb (2013) by Arthur Bicknell
The real story behind Mr. Bicknell's infamous Broadway flop, Moose Murders, which opened and closed on February 22, 1983. The production starred Holland Taylor, who replaced Eve Arden during previews.

70) California Screaming (1998) by Doug Guinan
This summer beach read - which author Stephen McCauley describes as "a big, fat - and very funny - guilty pleasure" - is about the relationship between Kevin Malloy (one of West Hollywood's most gorgeous young men) and media mogul Brad Sherwood (the most eligible gay bachelor in Los Angeles).


joel65913 said...

Some fun picks. Can't believe anyone else has the Dinah Shore cookbook! I don't personally, I'm not much of a cook, but a friend of mine who is has it and I was sure hers would be the only mention of it I'd ever see.

I liked but didn't love MTM's bio but it was full of interesting info. I did however LOVE Confessions of a Prairie Bitch! Loaded with humorous anecdotes told with a wry eye. I was so much fun to see her turn up as the randy neighbor mom in Make the Yuletide Gay.

Garp was good though I prefer The Cider House Rules of Irving's work.

I found Moose Murdered fascinating reading though it was tinged with a bit of sadness in its recounting of Eve Arden's problems with memory. But I liked how it didn't sugarcoat and try to convince the reader that everyone was marvelous but showed the participants warts and all.

I remember liking California Screaming but I read it so long ago I don't have much of a clear memory of the story.

Marc Harshbarger said...

Hey, Joel, glad you enjoyed my latest Groovy Books post - and thanks for sharing your own book reviews. Also, I can promise you that other John Irving novels will be appearing in future posts.