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Thursday, February 9, 2017

365 Groovy Books Worth Reading #119 - 128

Today I continue my list of 365 Groovy Books Worth Reading (in random order). Click here for the previous 118 books - and click on a title for more information or to purchase a copy:

119) More Tales of the City (1980) by Armistead Maupin
I've always loved the cover of this paperback edition of the second book in Maupin's Tales of the City series, which is the exact one that I checked out of the library back in high school. If you've never read any of the fabulous Tales about the residents of 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco, you need to stop reading this blog and go buy yourself the entire series - right now!

120) All Her Children (1976) by Dan Wakefield
Go behind the scenes of the ABC daytime drama, All My Children, with the stars (including Susan Lucci), the crew, the fans, and the Queen of TV Soap Operas, creator Agnes Nixon.

121) Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein (2011) by Julie Salamon
I enjoyed reading this authorized biography of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (1950-2006) who received the 1989 Tony Award for Best Play for The Heidi Chronicles. Her 1993 play, The Sisters Rosensweig, also received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play.

122) Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood (2008) by Mark Harris
Booklist's editor and publisher Bill Ott says "Harris uses the Academy Award nominations for Best Picture of 1967 (Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Doctor Dolittle) as the lens through which to view the cultural revolution of the late 1960s as it affected the movies ... No contest, this is one of the best film histories ever written. Don’t miss it."

123) Almost Like Being in Love (2004) by Steve Kluger
Told primarily through diary entries, newspaper clippings, office documents, letters, e-mails, menus, post-it notes and checklists, this gay romance novel is centered around the relationship between Travis and Craig, who fall in love during their senior year of high school in 1978 before drifting apart. Twenty years later Travis realizes he's still in love with Craig and decides to get him back.

124) My First Hundred Years in Show Business (2015) by Mary Louise Wilson
I first became a fan of Ms. Wilson in 1976 when she played Ann Romano's neighbor Ginny Wrobliki on the second season of the CBS sitcom, One Day at a Time. And then many years later I had the great pleasure of seeing her on stage as fashion icon Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop and as Edith Bouvier Beale in Grey Gardens. As for her memoir, Bernadette Peters says it's "a fascinating read from one of our greatest comic actresses", while Kristin Chenoweth raves that "it's a masterpiece of hilarity and deadpan honesty, and a master class in acting."

125) Freddy's Book (1973) by John Neufeld
For my 10th birthday my grandmother took me to the B. Dalton bookstore at the mall, and she bought me this book without knowing that it was about a young boy trying to understand the forbidden four-letter word "Fuck". It was a very educational and well-spent buck twenty-five.

126) Darling, You Were Wonderful (1977) by Harvey Sabinson
Mr. Sabinson looks back on his career as one of Broadway's leading press agents for such shows as Guys and Dolls (1950). The Boy Friend (1954), Subways Are for Sleeping (1961), I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962), Oliver! (1963), Barefoot in the Park (1963), Hello, Dolly! (1964), The Odd Couple (1965), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1966), Promises, Promises (1968), 1776 (1969), Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), Pippin (1972) and many others. He also told Barbra Streisand not to get a nose job, and in 1995, he won a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award.

127) Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater (2013) by Michael Sokolove
Broadway turns to director Lou Volpe and Harry S. Truman High School in Levittown, Pennsylvania, when trying out controversial shows such as Rent and Spring Awakening before they move on to high school theater programs across the nation. Sokolove, a Levittown native and former student of Volpe’s, chronicles the drama director’s last school years and follows a group of student actors as they work through riveting dramas both on and off the stage.

128) Songs in Ordinary Time (1995) by Mary McGarry Morris
I've only read a few books that have been featured on Oprah's Book Club, and this engaging novel was her selection back in June 1997. Set in Vermont during the summer of 1960, it's about a divorced woman whose loneliness and ambition for her three children make her easy prey for a dangerous con man.


Anonymous said...

Swoon! Almost Like Being in Love is one of my all time favorite books. Such a great book with a perfect HEA! I've recently read reviews of Drama High after reading it's pick up as a TV series. It's on my to be read list now.

Marc Harshbarger said...

Thanks for letting me know about the Drama High TV series - I hadn't heard about it before.

joel65913 said...

I LOVE all the Tales of the City books!! They kept me up many a night when I was reading them because I simply couldn't put them down.

I was a faithful All My Children fan for years and years so I enjoyed the book about it enormously. Don't know if I ever mentioned that I did track down the book you had recommended by the head writer of Another World and sped right through it, very informative and a great read thanks!

Revolutions was another terrific read. It went straight to my movie lover's heart.

Some of these others definitely sound great, my Goodreads to-read list grows and grows!

Marc Harshbarger said...

Joel, I'm glad you liked the Another World book - and hopefully you will enjoy some others from my list.