Added 7/7/15. July 2015 - My Life with Cary Grant by Dyan Cannon. A very touching and readable memoir. It reads like a novel and is very compelling.
(viAdded 7/7/15. July 2015 - My Life with Cary Grant by Dyan Cannon. A very touching and readable memoir. It reads like a novel and is very compelling.
(view spoiler)[Evidently, Cary Grant wasn't easy to live with. He was fine before they married but he changed afterward. When Diane came home from the hospital with their new baby, she found that Grant had given away her beloved dog without consulting her. She never saw the dog again. He said he was worried about the baby being harmed by the dog who might be jealous. I will always feel different about Cary Grant after reading this book, even though Dyan Cannon said many nice things about him. But she also told of the dark side of his personality. A sad story. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The first part of the book is filled with gossip about their ancestors. I'm not interested in who slept with whom back in the 1700s and 1800s. All those fancy titles of English nobility make my eyes glaze over. They are all strangers to me. I don't care a whit about them. Maybe the rest of the book will be more interesting since it will deal with persons I'm familiar with.
It's interesting to read the statistics of how the Brits feel about all this. It's also interesting to read how the media has treated the issues.
IMO, now matter how nice a person Camilla turns out to be, many of us can never forget the pain which Diana went through, pain which was caused by Camilla's relationship with Prince Charles.
Of course, the kids, William and Harry, are caught in the middle. They have to go along with what has happened, just as the Queen must go along at this point. The future awaits...
It will be interesting to see how all this turns out.
PS-I get the feeling that the author of this book tried his best to tell both sides of the story. It seems a pretty fair accounting. As one of my GR group members said: "Diana never had a chance." In other words, all the circumstances were stacked against her....more
Added 6/14/15. I read this book in June 2015. I found it very interesting. Too bad he died so young (at about the age 50). He was a very adventuresomeAdded 6/14/15. I read this book in June 2015. I found it very interesting. Too bad he died so young (at about the age 50). He was a very adventuresome man....more
Added 5/26/15. I decided to read this book after I enjoyed this author's other novel, The Chaperone.
6/15/15 - I forgot to update this review after readAdded 5/26/15. I decided to read this book after I enjoyed this author's other novel, The Chaperone.
6/15/15 - I forgot to update this review after reading this book. The plot concerns a divorced mother who is having financial difficulties. She turns to her daughters for help. The book held my attention for the most part, but I didn't find it pleasurable. I don't enjoy reading about people's depressing troubles... but I suppose that's the stuff of novels.
I don't like the title of the book because it's too vague.
My Life is written so that it almost seems like a good novel (instead of a straight-forward autobiography). You learn about Fonda's life events but the material is presented in a very story-like style. It's hard to explain the style. For me it was a compelling read....more
Added 5/3/15. (first published 1985) I read this book years ago. If I remember correctly, it was a good read. One review said that the book gives youAdded 5/3/15. (first published 1985) I read this book years ago. If I remember correctly, it was a good read. One review said that the book gives you "glimpses of high living in high places".
A GR review describes the story very well as follows: ==================================== "quasi-fictional book, this is a delicious story about the higher echelons of New York society in the 1940's and 50's. It was inspired by the real life of Ann and William Woodward, and William's murder in 1955 by his wife.
"The fun of this book is the insider view of those high society circles. Dunne, a writer for Vanity Fair, dishes about these folks with a giggle and takes great pleasure at exposing them and their snobbish ways. The main focus is Ann Grenville (Woodward), social climber extraordinaire, who sets her sights on Billy and his money and his lifestyle. She's a showgirl and his family wants nothing to do with her. Once they marry, she schemes constantly as to how to get accepted in those tightknit circles that usually don't take kindly to outsiders. And she does get eventually get included, even if she's talked about behind her back. The parties and the hobnobbing and the backstabbing all escalate and get out of hand, of course, and lead to one fateful night. A fun, gossipy, mindless read -- I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it was." ABOVE WAS FROM THE GR REVIEW BY JILL AT:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ======================================
I recently tried reading Dunne's novel, People Like Us (first published in 1988), but couldn't get into it because he introduced too many unfleshed out characters too soon.
A QUOTE ABOUT DOMINICK DUNNE: "Dominick Dunne is the best chronicler of American Society since Truman Capote. He is the only person writing about high society from inside the aquarium" -Tina Brown, "Vanity Fair"
Added 5/1/15. (This book was first published in 2010.) 5/2/15 - I listened to the unabridged audio of this book. It's disappointing to hear the downsiAdded 5/1/15. (This book was first published in 2010.) 5/2/15 - I listened to the unabridged audio of this book. It's disappointing to hear the downside of Sinatra's life. I'd rather remember him for all the enjoyment he gave us with his great talent. It seems it's always the first wives of celebrities who get the short end of the stick. Celebrities like Sinatra are subject to too much temptation.
At any rate, I'm reliving the days when the teenagers screamed and swooned when Sinatra sang. The book says that that phenomenon was manipulated by Sinatra's publicity people. What started as an innocent thing was turned into what became a huge publicity stunt.
It's interesting to hear about Sinatra's early days with the Dorsey band. Sinatra eventually revolutionized the music industry with his singing style. But he had his ups and downs....more
Added 4/25/15. Audio version, unabridged. Narrator: Joe Barrett It's pretty depressing. So is the narrator's delivery! I intend to read the GR reviews sAdded 4/25/15. Audio version, unabridged. Narrator: Joe Barrett It's pretty depressing. So is the narrator's delivery! I intend to read the GR reviews soon to see if any of them agree with my take. PS-I still don't know what ghost he saw. LOL
PPS-I found the following comment in a GR review: =========================== "Pretentious in the extreme...some interesting information about a fascinating subject buried so deep in blowhard rhetoric spewed by an obnoxious author it's almost not worth retrieving." FROM: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... =========================== Well, that certainly validates my opinion! "blowhard rhetoric" LOL
Although I didn't enjoy the narrator, I must say that the audio kept my interest and gave many details about Fonda's life. It seemed to me that the author tried to analyze Henry Fonda's character too much. I wonder what Henry Fonda would have thought about the author's analysis.
Added 4/25/15. First published in 1997. Well written. Excellent plot development. Written with amazing clarity, despite the large number of charactersAdded 4/25/15. First published in 1997. Well written. Excellent plot development. Written with amazing clarity, despite the large number of characters and the many shifts in time and place. Easy to read. A page-turner!
The plot concerns the machinations of politicians for power and the role of the media. There's even some romance, such as it is....more
Added April 18, 2015. I listened to the audio version of this book during March & April 2015. It was 18 hours and 50 minutes long. The narrator wasAdded April 18, 2015. I listened to the audio version of this book during March & April 2015. It was 18 hours and 50 minutes long. The narrator was Edward Herrmann. See the following GR review at the link below: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ...more
Added 4/18/15. Read during March & April 2015. Interesting account of the love affair between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. ElizaAdded 4/18/15. Read during March & April 2015. Interesting account of the love affair between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. Elizabeth's father forbade her to marry and that caused her much heartache. However, Robert Browning convinced her to marry him and that story is interesting.
I felt that the beginning of the story went very slowly but I stayed with it because of the subject-matter....more
An interesting story told from the point of view of Martha Washington during the time George WashingtonAdded 4/18/15. Read during March and April 2015.
An interesting story told from the point of view of Martha Washington during the time George Washington was involved with the colonies. He became Commander of the Colonial forces and then President of the newly formed USA. They both made great sacrifices for their country.
Another aspect of life at that time was that so many people (including babies & children) died because of medical problems which are curable today.
See the following GR review for more details: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Among other things it says: "...Martha Washington was an incredibly hard worker. She was courageous and even in the face of adversity she didn’t give up. You cannot read this book without developing a strong admiration for George and Martha Washington."
The book is not a page-turner but it was interesting enough to keep me reading, especially the parts about Washington's part in the American revolution....more
Added 3/21/15. (The book was published in 2004.) I read this book in March 2015. In this book, Deana Martin relates her memories of her father, Dean MaAdded 3/21/15. (The book was published in 2004.) I read this book in March 2015. In this book, Deana Martin relates her memories of her father, Dean Martin (singer & actor). I never realized he was in so many movies and was praised for his acting in serious films. I always remember him as a singer and part of the Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra.
Deana tells about the negative effect which the problem of their broken family had on her life and especially on the life of Dean Martin's first wife, Betty. It's a sad story. (Dean Martin left Betty to marry Jeanne.) In a way, I wish I hadn't known about Dean Martin's life behind the scenes. I would like to have remembered him as the cheery fellow we are all familiar with from his career as a big star.
PS-There is supposed to be a film being adapted from this book. See the following links: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1504020/?... http://www.adweek.com/fishbowlny/dean... "Ten years after Deana Martin released Memories Are Made of This, her memoir about growing up with a famous father, the New York Times bestseller is inching closer to a movie adaptation. She is to be played by Jennifer Love Hewitt..." I wonder who will be cast as Dean Martin. It will be hard to find someone who can duplicate his charm.
PPS-I will never forget the wonderful TV variety shows in which Dean Martin starred. I always looked forward to them. They say he hated rehearsing and did very little of it. So his show had a very spontaneous atmosphere. It was always great fun, full of music and laughter....more
Added 3/8/15. I read this book a long time ago. I just now remembered, as I looked at one of my book shelves, that I own a copy (paperback). I vaguelyAdded 3/8/15. I read this book a long time ago. I just now remembered, as I looked at one of my book shelves, that I own a copy (paperback). I vaguely remember that it made me feel good about myself. I remember it as being in the genre of "armchair philosophy", which to me consists of ideas about life, gained from my own informal experiences. (There are other definitions but that is how I see it.)
Now, as I browse online, I see that the book has almost been forgotten. I wonder if I read it now if would seem so special. I believe it was very popular at one time. It was first published in 1977. Maybe I should take a look at it again. I remember saving the book because at the time it seemed to make a lot of sense and gave me good outlook about life.
A review at Google books says: ==================================== "A distinguished psychologist and author shows that a fulfilled, meaningful, mature life can be made possible by accepting and living through problems rather than attempting to hide from them." FROM: http://books.google.com/books/about/T... ====================================
I can agree that "acceptance" can be a way to deal with problems. But how does one reach that frame of mind?...more
This is a sweet story of romance and is also historical fiction, taking place around 1895. It's easy reading but I find that there's enough plot to keep my interest. The characters are well-fleshed out via their inner thoughts as well as their actions. Part of the theme deals with the effects of the class system in which the wealthy aren't expected to mix with the commoners. Of course, that's an old story but it's told quite well in this novel. In this story, the "commoners" are seamstresses and the rich folks vacation in Newport, Rhode Island....more
I read this book during December 2014. It was fun to read about what goes on behind the scenes. A lot of preparation before the shows is necessary whiI read this book during December 2014. It was fun to read about what goes on behind the scenes. A lot of preparation before the shows is necessary which I had never thought about, like getting the sheet music ready for the band each night. I learned a lot about drummer Buddy Rich too. Interesting. A relaxing read....more