It’s hard to believe that 40 years ago, on a dairy farm in upstate New York, musical history was made. And that four decades later, people would still...more
It’s hard to believe that 40 years ago, on a dairy farm in upstate New York, musical history was made. And that four decades later, people would still be talking about the phenomenon known as Woodstock. Sure, there have been movies, documentaries and scores of books about the 1969 festival, but perhaps the defining account of what really went into putting on one of the most spectacular concerts in history can be found in the words of the man who thought it all up. Michael Lang’s book, “The Road To Woodstock: From The Man Behind The Legendary Festival,” follows Lang’s journey from a hippie headshop owner in Miami to becoming the driving force behind the Woodstock event. I think in most people’s minds the Woodstock festival was a thrown-together happening that a lot of people heard about through word of mouth and just up and went to. But actually months and months of work went into organizing and finalizing the details that resulted in the final event. Lang and his partners went out and found the best people in the various fields of music, promotion, and construction to create what would be known as Woodstock Ventures. There were stages to be built, concessions to bring in, and the ever-present port-a-potties to arrange for. And Lang documents each and every detail that had to be worked out. Perhaps the biggest obstacle the partnership faced was finding an actual place to hold the concert. After battling and losing to the town council of Wallkill, New York just weeks before the festival was scheduled, Lang was lucky to stumble upon Max Yagsur’s farm which would become the location where the world would amass for three days of music, love and peace. Also included are the stories of the financial difficulties the group faced in putting on a show this big. Lang tells how on Friday, with the enormous mass of people were descending on the farm, that the realization hit him that this was going to turn into a “free” concert, and there would be no way to recoup much, if any of the ticket sales. But the show must go on, and go on it did! Lang includes the memories of the people he worked closely with, including the musicians who brought the music to life. There are also wonderful photos of the behind-the-scenes action backstage and throughout the “village” that had cropped up during the festival. While there are other people’s accounts of Woodstock on the market, “The Road To Woodstock” is Michael Lang’s version of what happened during the months leading up to the famous event. It was his baby from the start, and he watched it mature into a historical moment never to be forgotten. (less)
It's always a pleasure to read any work of Larry McMurtry's. He captures the essence of Texas and it's residents in his descriptions and his quirky ch...moreIt's always a pleasure to read any work of Larry McMurtry's. He captures the essence of Texas and it's residents in his descriptions and his quirky characters in his stories and readers are always guaranteed to have a great time reading his novels!(less)
As a book reviewer, I read a lot, A LOT, of books. From women’s fiction to mysteries to biographies, I’ve read nearly every genre there is, even scien...moreAs a book reviewer, I read a lot, A LOT, of books. From women’s fiction to mysteries to biographies, I’ve read nearly every genre there is, even science fiction. But my guilty pleasure, when I want to just relax and read something fun …is a good ol’ bodice ripping historical romance. Yep, I want all the steamy, frisky, good-time loving that can be found in the pages of a delightfully indulgent romance novel. And one of the best authors of the historical romance genre is Eloisa James. In her latest book, “A Duke of Her Own,” James touches on all the points that make a romance a pleasure to read. There is illicit love, virginal maidens, a duel or two and a happy-ever-after ending. Lady Eleanor has made a vow to herself. She will only marry a duke. And since the duke she loves has married someone else, she despairs of finding another. In steps Leopold, Duke of Villiers – a man with a reputation of lust and ill repute that proceeds him. But he is a Duke, and he has a proposition for Eleanor that might solve a lot of problems for both of them. And so begins the merry dance of uneasy courtship between Eleanor and Villiers. She feels he must compare her to the only other Duchess available – the looney Lisette who lives in her own fantasy world in the country. Villiers agrees to visit the lovable lass, as he has business in the area as well. But when Eleanor and Villiers find that their visit to the peaceful country is not to be very peaceful at all, the journey seems to have been useful in many different ways, including the two of them falling head over heels for each other, much to the chagrin of others. James is a delightful storyteller, capturing the very essence of the rigid English society of the time. The inclusion of Villier’s lovable but illegitimate children adds just the right touch of spice to the story, and it’s admirable the way the Duke steps up to claim the children as his own, The antics of the crazy Lizette are hilarious, to a point, and then she is more than slightly sad. “A Duke of Her Own” is the sixth and final book in the “Desperate Duchesses” series, and it is the perfect ending for a wonderful sequence of books. I can’t wait to see what James comes up with next.
I enjoy Annette Blair's Vintage Magic series. Her characters are fun, the story is always fast paced and interesting and the mystery is intriguing! Hi...moreI enjoy Annette Blair's Vintage Magic series. Her characters are fun, the story is always fast paced and interesting and the mystery is intriguing! Highly recommend this series!(less)
To have a friend who will stand by your side, through thick and thin, is a rare and precious gift that few truly experience. And to witness a friendsh...moreTo have a friend who will stand by your side, through thick and thin, is a rare and precious gift that few truly experience. And to witness a friendship such as this is a blessing in itself. In her book, “My Journey with Farrah: A Story of Life, Love, and Friendship,” Alana Stewart lays out for the world to see her friendship with Farrah Fawcett, and it is indeed beautiful. Documenting the last three years in which she was Farrah’s constant companion during Farrah’s intense battle with cancer, Stewart draws upon her journal entries and her memories of the bad times and the good. The two had been best friends for over 30 years, finding common ground in their Texas upbringing and through their children and careers. They were as close as sisters, if not closer. So it wasn’t unnatural for Stewart to put her life on hold in order to help Farrah find a way to beat her cancer diagnosis. As only a close friend could, Stewart shares quite a few little known facts about her friend Farrah, including the superstar’s intense love of family, especially her son Redmond and her longtime companion Ryan O’Neal. But there are the quirky little things, such as Farrah’s fierce sense of humor, her love of southern cooking and her tradition of making pecan and coconut pies at Christmas time that are especially endearing. Stewart also includes many photos of Farrah and her close friends in happier times. And as these are excerpts from Stewart’s personal journal, there are many entries where Stewart examines her own well being, including a short-lived romance, her anxiety over her children’s welfare, and an upsetting brush with cancer herself. She bravely shares her raw emotions in these pages, and it’s a unique inside view of grief – at losing her best friend and confidant, at not being able to stop her friend’s suffering, and the sadness that shadowed them all right up to the end. Stewart’s book is a close look at how the two friends sought any and all ways to find a cure for Farrah’s disease. But “My Journey With Farrah” is also a beautiful testament to the powerful love and friendship the two women shared as they searched for a miracle. A portion of the sales of “My Journey With Farrah” have been earmarked to go to the Farrah Fawcett Foundation for cancer research.