I wrote down everything I read and began writing my own first novel...

This blog aimed to contrast what I was reading in in 1975-79 with the same month, week and day, 30 years later in 2005-2009. I'm leaving the blog up in archive mode, blogging in real time on Live Journal--and still writing novels.

Lynne Murray's Live Journal and Bride of the Dead Blog

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Moving forward slowly, looking back unavoidably

It's been a month when I did a lot of work-related reading of non-books. The most literary thing I did was watch a netflix movie rental, Wonder Boys. I watched it more than once, just as I read the book it was based on more than once.

This adaptation was wonderful in itself and also did justice to the Michael Chabon book. How often does that happen? I did not realize till I watched the Special Features that the Bob Dylan song "Things Have Changed" was written for the movie. Can't get much cooler than that.

In the latter part of the month, I found myself with a taming cage of three feral kittens in my front room. I never said I was sane. I posted a bit about this on the Body Impolitic Blog link at the right.

May 3 to June 3, 1978 I read:

Van Gogh's Letters. [Vincent Van Gogh, a Self Portrait and Dear Theo]
Made little headway, perhaps a biography would help

Sylvia Plath, the Woman and the Work, Ed, with intro by Edward Butscher
Quote p 107 - "Magna est veritas et prevae labit." - "Truth is mighty and will prevail, in a bit."

The Making of the Wizard of Oz, Aljean Harmetz
Note: fascinating
The Making of The Wizard of Oz

Breaking It Up! The Best Routines of the Stand Up Comics, Ross Firestone, Ed.

Straight, Steve Knickmeyer
My note: Convoluted, cardboard but amusing, at least the guy has read The Princess Bride.

Other Other Side of the Rainbow, with Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol, Mel Torme

Jacks or Better, CTS Matthews

The Life and Crimes of Errol Flynn, Lionel Godfrey
Note: brings back fond memories of the first dirty book that ever crossed my path--Flynn's autobiography, My Wicked, Wicked Ways. Read it serialized in a men's magazine that got left in a hotel room that I got to stay in when my parents and I were leaving Fairbanks, Alaska. There was a nudist magazine there too. We had been living in a two-room cabin for the year or so before that and I think my parents were glad enough to have the privacy of their own room and didn't pay much attention to what I might find in my room. Coincidentally my brother was born about 9 months later.

Condominium, John D. McDonald

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John LeCarré
Note: spies with depth

Poets on Poetry, 16 Essays from Sir Philip Sidney to Wallace Stevens,
Charles Norman, Ed.
Note: renewing an old friendship, still a fascinating book
Current note: I think I still have a copy of this book

Possession, L. P. Davies
Note - I got very cranky with the author for sloppy details such as a character wearing "pleasantly tight black slacks" that inexplicably turned tweed during the scene, then turned into a tweed skirt a few pages later.

May 3 to June 3, 2008 I read:

The Body Sacred, Dianne Sylvan
Dianne Sylvan blog

Friday, May 02, 2008

I had an opportunity to read The Program, by Charlie Lovett before its May 1 publication date and I can report that it takes a fictional look at just how far women can go to meet the supermodel thin ideal. It also offers a male author's view (through the characters) about just what the majority of men consider sexy. A major plot bombshell detonates on page 25, but obviously I'm sworn to secrecy about just what that is. The Program is available on the Pearlsong web page and the usual online book dealers.

Pearlsong Press has some great resources and I admire founder, Peggy Elam's commitment to publishing body positive fiction and nonfiction. I'm already seriously taken by Pat Ballard's 10 Steps to Loving Your Body (No Matter What Size You Are) and it won't even be published till fall of this year.

We now return you to your irregularly scheduled time warp.

From April 17 to May 2, 1978 I read:

The Poe Papers ["A Tale of Passion"?] N.L. Zaroulis
The brackets and question mark were mine and I noted "very poorly written"

After Claude, Iris Owens

This reminds me how I got a copy of this book to read. I had just finished my first novel in May of '88. My friend, JB, had the kindness and stamina to read through it, essentially at one sitting. (Which is more than I could do when I tried to re-read it a few years later--arggh, it was a sensitive story of disillusioned youth and all that that entails.) I believe we drank brandy and he put his entire collection of ALL the records from the Supremes on the stereo while I waited and he read my book. He must have had some reactions, probably charitably vague, I don't remember much except that after he read my book, he lent me After Claude and told me my book reminded him of it, and perhaps I could get some pointers from it. My note when I concluded reading After Claude was: "quite an insult to be compared to this author--but perhaps my inept 1st novel deserved it."

I can't find anything else by Iris Owens, but JB either didn't know or failed to mention, that Owens, under the name of Harriet Daimler, was a prominent Parisian pornographer for Olympia Press:

Hip young Americans Iris Owens and Marilyn Meeske had never so much as read any pornographic literature before meeting Girodias, but as 'Harriet Daimler', Owens became one of Girodias's most celebrated pornographers, someone who struggled 'against her impossible tendency to write more explicitly than the courts will tolerate'.
Bloomsbury Magazine

Odd Job #101, Ron Goulart
Note: SFSS

From April 17 to May 2, 2008 I read:

Magic Bites, Ilona Andrews
The title made me hesitate, because it looked as if it might be one of those "cutesy" paranormals, reading it was such a wonderful experience that it reminded me how rarely I enjoy a book that much. It turns out to have been written by a husband-wife team, and to have been very, NY Times bestsellerly popular, and deservedly so. I'm looking forward to reading more from them.
their website