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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

365 Groovy Books Worth Reading #211 - 223

Today I continue my list of 365 Groovy Books Worth Reading (in random order). Click here for the previous 210 books - and click on a title for more information or to purchase a copy:

211) Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin (2009)
Her autobiography "catalogs the outrageous redhead's decades-long struggle to make it in Hollywood, her slow climb to the middle and all the claw marks she left along the way" (TIME) - and it features a chapter about her 1996-2000 NBC sitcom, Suddenly Susan, called "Brooke Shields, Don't Read This".

212) Cybill Disobedience (2000) by Cybill Shepherd (with Aimee Lee Ball)
In her entertaining autobiography, the actress (The Last Picture Show, TV's Moonlighting and Cybill) tells us how she survived beauty pageants, Elvis, sex, Bruce Willis, lies, marriage, motherhood, Hollywood, and the irrepressible urge to say what she thinks.

213) The Confessions of Danny Slocum or Gay Life in the Big City (1980) by George Whitmore
From the book jacket: "In this hilarious and moving account of gay life in New York City - part novel, part autobiography - we meet Danny Slocum, a young gay man with a problem: sex (or is it love?).

214) Llanview in the Afternoon: An Oral History of One Life to Live (2013) by Jeff Giles
This behind-the-scenes history of the 1968-2013 soap opera features interviews with creator Agnes Nixon and many cast members including Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, Robert S. Woods, Hilary B. Smith, Ilene Kristen, Kassie DePaiva, Judith Light and Nathan Fillion.

215) Up the Down Staircase (1964) by Bel Kaufman
Sandy Dennis starred in the 1967 film adaptation of this best-selling novel about an idealistic teacher in an inner-city high school, and the movie was parodied in Mad magazine as "In the Out Exit".

216) Can I Go Now?: The Life of Sue Mengers, Hollywood's First Superagent (2015) by Brian Kellow
From Larry Getlen's New York Post review: “Mengers was the first woman to amass the sort of power she did, representing Barbra Streisand, Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, Candice Bergen, Ryan O’Neal, Mike Nichols and so many more. But Mengers, as this insightful, often hilarious and celebrity-filled book relates, was a mass of contradictions.”

217) Maybe the Moon (1992) by Armistead Maupin
Maupin's first non-Tales of the City novel tells the story of Cadence Roth - Hollywood actress, singer, iconoclast and former Guinness Book record holder as the world's shortest woman (31 inches tall). She was based on Maupin's friend Tamara De Treaux, who was one of three performers who played E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

218) Colored Lights: Forty Years of Words and Music, Show Biz, Collaboration, and All That Jazz (2003) by John Kander and Fred Ebb (as told to Greg Lawrence)
The longest-running composer-lyricist team in Broadway history (1962-2004) discuss their lives and careers, which include the musicals Flora, The Red Menace, Cabaret, The Happy Time, Zorba, 70, Girls, 70, Chicago, The Act, Woman of the Year, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Steel Pier, Curtains, The Scottsboro Boys and The Visit.

219) Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle (2012) by Rachel Dratch
Dratch appeared on Saturday Night Live from 1999 to 2006, creating one of the show's most memorable characters - the depressed Debbie Downer. In her candid memoir, she discusses being replaced by Jane Krakowski in the pilot episode of NBC's 30 Rock and giving birth to her son at age 44.

220) Middlesex (2002) by Jeffrey Eugenides
Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and an Oprah's Book Club selection, this novel tells the epic tale of Cal Stephanides, a 41-year-old hermaphrodite who spends his childhood as a girl named "Calliope" before discovering in adolescence that he is genetically a boy.

221) Just Lucky I Guess: A Memoir of Sorts (2002) by Carol Channing
In her engaging memoir, the Tony Award-winning actress (Hello, Dolly!) shares stories about some of the celebrities she has met during her career, including Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Tallulah Bankhead, Julie Andrews and Marlene Dietrich.

222) Boys and Girls Together (1964) by William Goldman
This epic (696 pages!) coming-of-age novel by the Academy Award-winning screenwriter (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Stepford Wives) revolves around the lives of five children of America's post-war generation who "are bound together by the traumas of their pasts, the desperate desire to capture their dreams and satisfy their passions, the stirring pleasures of sexual awakening - and the twists of fate that will inextricably link their lives in the turbulent world of 1960s New York City."

223) All My Life: A Memoir (2011) by Susan Lucci (with Laura Horton)
The Emmy Award-winning actress discusses her career as "Erica Kane" on the 1970-2011 daytime drama, All My Children, as well as her 1990 hosting of Saturday Night Live, her 1999 Broadway debut in Annie Get Your Gun, and her 2008 appearance on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

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