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Friday, October 28, 2016

365 Groovy Books Worth Reading #81 - 90

Today I continue my list of 365 Groovy Books Worth Reading (in random order). Click here for the previous 80 books - and click on a title for more information or to purchase a copy:

81) 'Salem's Lot (1975) by Stephen King
King's second published novel is about a writer who returns to the town of Jerusalem's Lot (aka 'Salem's Lot) and discovers that the residents are becoming vampires. The book was adapted for television twice - in 1979 (with David Soul) and 2004 (with Rob Lowe) - and a sequel, A Return to Salem's Lot (with Michael Moriarty), was released theatrically in 1987.

82) Invasion of the Body Snatchers: The Fotonovel (1979)
In 350 color scenes, this book captures every terrifying moment of the 1978 science fiction horror film starring Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams and Leonard Nimoy.

83) David Merrick: The Abominable Showman (1993) by Howard Kissel
I will let Carol Channing describe this interesting book about the Tony Award-winning producer (1911-2000): "One of the most magical biographies of the theater I have ever read. Kissel spotlights in fascinating detail the legendary theatrical career of David Merrick. But he has also pulled back the curtain on a fallible, mortal and very complicated man." Mr. Merrick's Broadway credits include Gypsy (1959), Subways Are for Sleeping (1961), Oliver! (1963), Hello, Dolly! (1964), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1966), Promises, Promises (1968), Mack & Mabel (1974), 42nd Street (1980) and State Fair (1996).

84) Dark Shadows (1966) by Marilyn Ross
This is the first in a series of novels based on the 1966-71 ABC gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows ("Marilyn Ross" was a female pseudonym for William Edward Daniel Ross, who wrote 32 Dark Shadows books).

85) The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America (2003) by Erik Larson
Larson tells the intertwining true tales of Daniel H. Burnham, the architect behind the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, and Dr. H. H. Holmes, the serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their deaths (Leonardo DiCaprio purchased the film rights to the book in 2010, and it's been reported that Martin Scorsese will direct the movie).

86) A Ghost in the Closet (1995) by Mabel Maney
In this gay and lesbian parody of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mystery series, Frank and Joe Hardly join forces with Nancy Clue and Nurse Cherry Aimless to solve the mystery of the missing Hardly parents, who have been kidnapped.

87) The Witches of Eastwick (1984) by John Updike
This novel about three witches in a small New England town who fall under the spell of the same man was adapted into a 1987 film (with Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jack Nicholson), a 2000 stage musical and a 2009 ABC series.

88) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994) by John Berendt
Based on real-life events in Savannah, Georgia, this best-selling book is centered around the murder of a male prostitute by a respected antiques dealer. Clint Eastwood directed a 1997 film version starring Kevin Spacey, John Cusack and Jude Law.

89) Practical Magic (1995) by Alice Hoffman
This novel about two orphaned sisters whose aunts are witches was adapted into a 1998 film starring Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest.

90) That Girl and Phil: An Insider Tells What Life Is Really Like in the Marlo Thomas-Phil Donahue Household (1990) by Desmond Atholl and Michael Cherkinian
I've always liked Marlo Thomas as an actress - but having read this book, I don't think I would enjoy working for her. I was, however, thoroughly entertained by Mr. Atholl's adventures as a majordomo for That Girl and her husband, Phil Donahue.


joel65913 said...

I read Salem's Lot when I was probably too young and it scared the hell out of me! I couldn't sleep with the shutters closed for YEARS. Still one of King's best after The Stand.

Speaking of disturbing Devil in the White City was right up there and if Scorsese ever does get around to it he and the material seem a good fit.

I never read Ghost in the Closet but I chuckled when I saw the one character was Nurse Cherry Aimless because I happened to stumble across Cherry Ames: Department Store Nurse earlier this year and read that. It was a hoot, apparently she was a character in a whole series of mysteries in the 40's.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was such a good book and such a terrible movie. I don't think if Eastwood had tried he could have ruined the book more thoroughly.

I've always loved Marlo Thomas and That Girl, and respect her obvious passion for the causes she believes in but this isn't the first time I've heard allusions that she's VERY different from that sunny personality behind the scenes. Always disappointing when you find that sort of thing out.

As usual you've given me a new one to add to my seemingly endless Goodreads list, The Abominable Showman. Thanks!

Marc Harshbarger said...

Thanks for your comment, Joel, and I hope you enjoy reading The Abominable Showman.

Alan Scott said...

Devil in the White City is a great book but creepy, too. Erik Larsen has some awesome books but Isaac's Storm is by far the best.

I've been binge-watching "Dark Shadows"so I am excited to see there are novels to read!

Marc Harshbarger said...

Thanks for your comment, Alan. As for the Dark Shadows novels, the ones that I have read are original stories that were not featured on the TV series - same characters for the most part, but new storylines.

MrVaritek said...

I love 'Salem's Lot and plan to reread it next year. As a side note I grew up in the coastal Maine town that Stephen King used as Jerusalem's Lot.

Marc Harshbarger said...

A coastal Maine town sounds like a great place to grow up - with or without vampires. Thanks for your comment, Mr. Varitek!