Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Summer reading


  • Please log in to reply
55 replies to this topic

#31 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,555 posts

Posted 17 August 2009 - 06:58 PM

Helene writes:

I picked up Sidney Poitier's "The Measure of a Man", and liked it a lot more this time. I also read "Julie and Julia" (Powell) which I found annoying, but not nearly as annoying as how the film sanitized the Julie character, and I just finished "A Most Wanted Man" (LeCarre), which I'd been hoping to read for a while.


Poitier was never a very exciting actor, for me anyway -- of course, he was hampered by the limitations of the roles he played and the dignified image he had to maintain -- but he was plainly a most intelligent one, so I'd think he'd come up with a decent book, if not an exciting one. :dunno:

I'm not familiar with the Julie/Julia book, blog, or movie, although I do plan to see the film very soon, but a person whose opinion I find reliable said much the same thing as you about the sanitization of Julie (adding also that Julie had done her own sanitizing from blog to book, and the blog was much the superior product).

#32 Quiggin

Quiggin

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 840 posts

Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:24 AM

I haven't read/seen the Julie/Julia book/movie, but I'm curious about what happened to Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. It's my impression that Julia was the great technician and teacher, and they were the real French chefs and knew the tradition inside out. (Julie Child's own personal recipe book did not seem that exciting when it came out.) Jane Grigson cleared the way for Alice Waters with her fruit and vegetable books, but MFK Fisher and Elizabeth David seem to have been originals. Please, movie gods, no biopics about them!

#33 vagansmom

vagansmom

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts

Posted 18 August 2009 - 06:22 PM

I remember the plagiarism allegations about two of Goodwin's books. I thought, though, that much of it was attributed to research assistants? It's always such a treat to see her on the Sunday morning talk shows.

#34 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,555 posts

Posted 18 August 2009 - 06:55 PM

Very true, she always has a good Presidential anecdote to tell on those shows!

As I recall she blamed her research assistants, but I think the consensus among the skeptical was that even if true, if research assistants are doing so much of the work that you’re unable to distinguish your own writing, there’s a problem somewhere. Some background.

Related.

#35 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,349 posts

Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:02 PM

adding also that Julie had done her own sanitizing from blog to book

That's a frightening thought. Julie in the book has terminal PMS, and the descriptions of filth in her apartment are so graphic that I wouldn't step foot over the threshold, let alone eat there.

Rest assured, in the movie, there's no trace of cat hair or maggots, and Amy Adams cooks on bright new cookware. Luckily, half the movie is based on Julia Child's "My Life in France", and Meryl Streep is delightful as Child.

#36 Rosa

Rosa

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 422 posts

Posted 19 August 2009 - 09:00 AM

And what are you reading this summer?


So far...
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
Washington's Lady by Nancy Moser
Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs
Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs
Really Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs
Cast Two Shadows by Ann Rinaldi

#37 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,555 posts

Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:31 PM

Julie in the book has terminal PMS, and the descriptions of filth in her apartment are so graphic that I wouldn't step foot over the threshold, let alone eat there.


In Ephron’s defense, it sounds as if she had been more faithful to Julie’s book/blog, the film might have been a combination of foodie biopic and Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, not what people expect from a Nora Ephron picture. (I heard her say in a recent interview that she wanted the movie to inspire people to go out and have/make a good meal, so maybe she thought maggot shots wouldn’t get stomachs growling.)

Sounds like juicy reading, Rosa. What distinguishes the Really Bad Girls of the Bible from just the Bad Girls? And is Washington’s Lady a biographical novel or a biography? I've always been partial to biographical novels, even the less than great ones.

#38 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,349 posts

Posted 19 August 2009 - 05:16 PM

I was responding to your comment that "that Julie had done her own sanitizing from blog to book". If the cat hair and maggots made it into the book, I'd hate to read what was in the blog.

I was less concerned that Amy Adams' Julie's kitchen was clean than in the sanitizing of the character. (When Julie Powell was told that Amy Adams would play her in the movie, her reaction was "Huh?") The Julie in the book could be lewd and bawdy, and was a far more interesting character, however annoying; in the movie, it's Streep who gets to be on occasion. What Ephron did was to make Julie "likable" in the current Hollywood princess mode. For example, the big argument in the book, when Eric Powell leaves, is precipitated when he and his family are terrified that an aunt living abroad may have been killed in a bombing in a war zone, and Julie is singularly and admittedly self-absorbed. It wasn't the little spat portrayed in the movie, with Julie as a sulky kitten.

What Ephron attempts is a parallel relationship movie, and if Amy Adams as an actress was voided by the direct comparison to Meryl Streep, Julie Powell's relationship with her husband, especially in this version, wasn't even a blip compared to the Julia/Paul Child marriage.

The Julia Child part of the movie was enough to make people want to make a good meal.

#39 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,555 posts

Posted 19 August 2009 - 05:49 PM

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell


I forgot to ask this, Rosa - are you reading Mrs. Gaskell for school or for pleasure?

#40 Rosa

Rosa

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 422 posts

Posted 20 August 2009 - 07:43 PM

Sounds like juicy reading, Rosa. What distinguishes the Really Bad Girls of the Bible from just the Bad Girls? And is Washington’s Lady a biographical novel or a biography? I've always been partial to biographical novels, even the less than great ones.


That is a good question, dirac. All the girls in both books are shady characters. What may distinguish the really bad girls is that what they did was considered very terrible in their time (and today): dabbling in the dark arts, committing scandalous adultery, murdering (and in some cases lovin' it), passing off as a prostitute, and suffering from an illness that labeled the woman as a sinner and being untouchable.

Washington's Lady is a historical novel. I enjoyed it very much.

I'm reading Elizabeth Gaskell for pleasure. :)

#41 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,555 posts

Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:36 PM

Thanks for responding, Rosa. Sounds like a lively group of books. Not too long ago I read a biographical novel about Mrs. Robert E. Lee, "Lady of Arlington" - an older book that's dated in many ways but I still enjoyed it.

#42 Tiffany

Tiffany

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 62 posts

Posted 21 August 2009 - 06:05 PM

Hi. I was thinking that I hadn't logged on to this message board in a long time, so here I am. I am not reading much this year for pleasure because I am back in school working on a masters. Lately Vogue magazine is all that I read, and not much at that. I did try to read The Duchess (Amanda Foreman) since I enjoyed the movie; I didn't make it all the way through the book because it was not easy to read and had lots of history about that time period, and I don't enjoy reading about history in that large of a quantity. I have read the book by Sidney Poitier and enjoyed it. Last year I was in a book club when I was not enrolled in school and we read that as one of our books. Another book we read was The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls; incredible, eye-opening book that I finished in 3 days-couldn't put it down.

#43 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,555 posts

Posted 22 August 2009 - 01:28 PM

Hello, Tiffany. Thanks for posting. 'The Duchess' is a bit heavy going in places, and I thought at times that Foreman was working too hard to persuade us of Georgiana's political importance, but it was a good book to browse through. Good luck with your studies.

#44 vagansmom

vagansmom

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts

Posted 22 August 2009 - 04:51 PM

Tiffany, I really enjoyed The Glass Castle too and like you, I found it riveting. I read it aloud to my husband a few weeks later. We constantly wondered how those kids managed to not be placed in foster homes.

I forgot to mention that earlier this summer, I also read a collection of E.B White essays, entitled One Man's Meat. It was published in 1942, and is a collection of his New Yorker essays from 1938-1942, when he'd first moved to a farm in Maine, and took up "gentleman farming." From a historical perspective, this book gives a wonderful perspective on the beginnings of WWII.

I'd previously read his other essay collections and letters, and loved them all. I'm a great fan of E.B. White. I'd read his three children's books as a young adult, and in 1980, fell in love with the man himself the day after I gave birth to my first child. I read a NY Times interview with him that day where he spoke about his marriage and how much he missed his wife, who had died in 1977. Here I was, just really at the beginnings of my marriage, and he was looking back lovingly through the 48 years of his marriage. I was so touched that I saved that article. It sits in my son's baby book to this day!

Two of White's books of essays are a staple on my bedside table, and are well-worn as I love to thumb through them before going to sleep. This particular collection predates his children's books, and in one funny essay, we find out what set him thinking about getting started on writing children's books. The rest is history, of course. :lol:

#45 GWTW

GWTW

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 533 posts

Posted 22 August 2009 - 11:56 PM

I've just started reading 'Nothing Like the Sun' by Anthony Burgess. It's a fictional life of William Shakespeare or WS as he is called throughout the novel, even in the parts that are written in the first person. :lol: I'm not sure how I like it so far - I love the English language as much as the next person, but Burgess seems to be trying too hard to impress with his linguistic mastery. 16th century stream of consciousness... On the other hand, Burgess has incorporated WS' own writing, there are some pretty good sonnets. :wacko:


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):