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Fergus
02-05-2012, 01:42 AM
Just started something called Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars by Scotty Bowers.

:wideeyes:

Ok, I know, just by the title alone: Pure bullshit gossipy smut.

But it's good! And by that, I mean surprisingly well-written (take a bow, Mr. Bower's ghostwriter! :encore: ). Compared to Hollywood trash by folks like Spoto or Porter, it's friggin' Shakespeare.

Seems this guy Bowers was a gas station attendant in Hollywood right after WWII and used his wide circle of friends, both male and female, to cater to the sexual needs of Hollywood's most elite stars, both male and female. In doing so, he became rather good friends with many of them, like George Cukor, Kate Hepburn, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott, Vincent Price, etc.....

Some dish:

Tracy and Hepburn romance? Pure myth. She was haughty and made him feel insecure. She had horrible skin and liked Bowers to send her up fresh-scrubbed, All-American girls. Tracy would have horrible booze benders (which has been well documented in other bios) during which Bowers would comfort him, both in and out of the sack....nothing hardcore and Tracy was usually too trashed to accomplish much.... :watch:

Ready for this? Vivien Leigh, while in town filming "Streetcar", hooked up with Bowers numerous times at Cukor's house. And she was WILD. However, her bipolar disorder was already in full swing and after a night of amazing sex, she'd toss him out of Cukor's house the next morning racked with guilt for cheating on Larry! (Who was himself having threeways with buxom blondes and well-hung studs!)

One of the most surprising stories? The Duke and Duchess of Windsor! Bowers called him "Eddy" and said he was the most expert fellatio-giver in the history of mankind. Wally didn't care, she was too busy with the girls Bowers would recruit! Usually, the Windsors would pair off with members of the same-sex after watching a half dozen young guys and gals get it on in a sort of tableaux. .

Now, can Bowers be believed? Who the hell knows, but its unlike any gossipy dish I've ever read!

WAIT, I almost forgot! Bower's very first A-list Hollywood trick? Drumroll please: Walter Pidgeon! MR. Miniver himself! :rofl:

I'm gonna need to read something quaint and cozy by Jean Plaidy or Angela Thirkell after this one, oy.........

ETA: A NYTimes (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/fashion/scotty-bowers-and-his-sexual-tell-all-of-old-hollywood.html?pagewanted=all) article about the book.

Good god, I need to get a life on Saturday nights....... :shuffle:

Holley Calmes
02-05-2012, 05:27 AM
Oh-I believe all of that wild sex stuff about Edward and Mrs. Simpson and all.... If it isn't true, it should be.

My three favorite books?

-A Hero of Our Time
-The Three Musketeers
-Tale of Two Cities

OK, not girlie. I always wanted to be D'Artagnan. I have a collection of all of Dumas-except Monte Cristo is missing. There are perhaps 25 books...Dumas aspired to write a history of France in a series of novels...I won't call them historical novels. Many of them are really fun to read.

These were mostly magazine seriels. And there are 6 "Three Musketeer" books: The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, Ten Years Later, Louise de La Valliere,The Vicompe de Bragelonne. ( I have no clue how to spell Vicompte.) In the last of them, "The Man in the Iron Mask," Dumas got in trouble because he got stuck on the chapter where he had to kill off Porthos, the big Musketeer dude, in battle. He had fashioned Porthos on his own grandfather, a huge mulatto officer who fought for Napoleon....and whom he dearly loved. He couldn't bring himself to kill Porthos off, so he dallied until threatened with non-payment. At least that's the way I've read it, and it makes a good story. This collection is dear to me because they were printed in 1910. Such a treasure! The illustration plates are incredible. Maybe not the world's greatest literature, but I love them. I will pit D'Artgnan against any other hero out there for heart and spirit. In fact, I can't find a heroine who suits me at all except for Harriet Vane perhaps.

LilJen
02-06-2012, 12:37 AM
I like Joan Didion's writing quite a bit, although I usually come across a book and think "Oh, Didion. I should probably read this" more than "I must read Didion's newest book the second it comes out."

The Year of Magical Thinking, which is about her wretched year of grieving after her husband died, is one someone in your field might find interesting. Her daughter was in a serious medical crisis at the time Didion's husband died, and so she was caring for her daughter while mourning. She writes about her grieving process as if she's observing it more than experiencing, which is odd at first but effective in many ways, and she reflects on medicine and human health, among other things, throughout the book.

I'd agree. it's the only book of Didion's I've read, and I found her style a bit detached. But what a helluva story. Terrible, terrible year.

Just finished The Help. Which everyone but me has read, no doubt. I am sure if I see the movie I will be reduced to a slobbering sobbing mess by the end.

On a whim, I picked up The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Oldie but goodie from childhood that I hadn't read in years. I would LOVE for dd to read it, but if I so much as suggest it she'll be sure to NOT read it. Just her nature (because I suppose she's already figured out that I'm not cool; plus she's ornery) :)

LilJen
02-06-2012, 12:45 AM
Now that Hugo has scored 11 Oscar noms, I hope you all will read The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It's such a wonderful tale & epitomizes the word "enchanting."

Totally excellent book--agreed.

Erin
02-06-2012, 01:56 AM
I finished Mockingjay this evening. It was pretty meh. I didn't find it induced teeth-gnashing or book-throwing (perhaps because my expectations were so low after the comments here), but I didn't really enjoy it like I did the first two.

I'm trying to figure out what my next book should be, I need lots of reading for the travel to Colorado Springs for 4CC, as my flight schedule is terrible.

rfisher
02-06-2012, 02:23 AM
Reading First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones. Debut novel sort of a blend of Sookie Stackhouse (except no vampires) and Stephanie Plum (definite Ranger rip off). It's OK.

Also reading Robert Crais newest Elvis Cole novel: Taken. It's a bit more intense than his usual and consequently is missing some of the humor usually found in his Elvis Cole books. This is more like his Joe Pike stand alones.

oleada
02-06-2012, 05:49 AM
I finished No One is Here Except All Of Us. I did not mean to finish so quickly but it's very hard to put down. It's such an interesting take on a Holocaust novel. It's the story of a Romanian Jewish village who decides to reinvent the World after hearing of Hitler's exploits. They avoid some of the war - but not all of the violence and the aftermath. It's beautifully written. If you liked The Night Circus, I think you will like this as well. It's in the same magic realism vein. It definitely requires suspending disbelief. Ausubel has an amazing way with words. The entire book has a dreamlike quality that just sucks you in. I highly recommend it.

Now I'm reading The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.

Spinner
02-06-2012, 07:32 AM
Now I'm reading The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.

:cheer2:

oleada
02-06-2012, 12:41 PM
I might have to reread a bit because I read last night on the train, in my post-Superbowl :nopryde:

flyingsit
02-06-2012, 01:54 PM
I started Turn of Mind yesterday. It is really sucking me in; the narrator is a woman with Alzheimer's, falling further and further into dementia, with a mystery about the murder of the woman's best friend.

Fergus
02-06-2012, 03:37 PM
Finished Full Service this morning. Like I said upthread, totally unlike any dishy Hollywood stuff I've ever read......and actually sort of bittersweet and touching at the end. Le sigh, le grand sigh........ :(

I've decided to hold off on McCullough's "Masters of Rome" series and try Saylor's Roma and Empire instead.......

For Ancient Roman non-fiction, may I recommend Freisenbruch's Caesar's Wives: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Roman Empire. There is so little non-fiction out there about Roman women that isn't a dull-assed, dry academic yawner, :yawn: , so I enjoyed this very much!

Also good is Matthew Dennison's Livia, Empress of Rome. :)

IceAlisa
02-06-2012, 06:50 PM
Reading Robert Massey's bio of Peter The Great. Absorbing, even though I am pretty familiar with the history and know what will happen next.

Artemis@BC
02-06-2012, 07:01 PM
Well, I finished Believing the Lie (Elizabeth George). What a huge disappointment! Not her finest work, by far.

Call me crazy, but I like my murder mysteries to have, well, a murder. Ok, that's picking nits, and in fact the main storyline did actually have some intrigue even if the "mystery" ended up being something different. And I can perhaps forgive her for the ham-handed foreshadowing of the quicksand -- as soon as you hear it mentioned, you just know someone is going to die a horrible death.

But I have no patience at all for the idiot plot. Not once, not twice, but three times we are expected to believe that people jump to massive miscommunication conclusions that would have been laughed out of a writers' meeting for Three's Company? Puleez.

Don't get me started on Deborah. I do have sympathy for people who can't have children, and I understand how it can become an obsession, but we've had nearly 10 years of this now, and it's beyond a bore. And her behaviour in doggetly pursuing the case was just stupid. I expect that in a "cozy" mystery where amateurs go crazily off and put their lives in danger 3 times a chapter. I neither expect nor tolerate it in a police procedural by a formerly good writer.

And what's with this new trend on including sensationalist, shock-factor subplots that do little to advance the storyline? She did it in the previous book with the historical child-killer storyline, and this time with Tim and his troubles. She mocks the tabloids for their brand of journalism, but I don't see a lot of difference in what she's doing. I can understand it if it's part of the main story (like in What Came Before He Shot Her, or Well Schooled in Murder), but here it served no purpose.

About the only good things that came out of this book were the ending of Lynley's relationship with Ardery (thank goodness!) ... and the promise of a great storyline in the next book centring on Barbara and Azhar. (I hope!)

mkats
02-06-2012, 11:29 PM
Halfway through Charlotte's Web in Spanish, been taking notes on words I don't recognize as I go in an attempt to patch up my conversational Spanish, which is now probably at about 60% of what it used to be. Hit the word "cloqueando" today and couldn't find cloquear in the dictionary, so I asked one of our Hispanic doctors. He was nonplussed at first until I showed him the book and then he laughed and said, "That's the noise the goose makes". :lol:

dinakt
02-06-2012, 11:58 PM
Finished Full Service this morning. Like I said upthread, totally unlike any dishy Hollywood stuff I've ever read......and actually sort of bittersweet and touching at the end. Le sigh, le grand sigh........ :(

I've decided to hold off on McCullough's "Masters of Rome" series and try Saylor's Roma and Empire instead.......

For Ancient Roman non-fiction, may I recommend Freisenbruch's Caesar's Wives: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Roman Empire. There is so little non-fiction out there about Roman women that isn't a dull-assed, dry academic yawner, :yawn: , so I enjoyed this very much!

Also good is Matthew Dennison's Livia, Empress of Rome. :)

I have not read Saylor, but am wholeheartedly behind Colleen McCullough's Rome series. At least for the first few novels, it is riveting. ( and quite brutal and complex. Not a "Rome- light", at all. I became utterly fascinated with Sulla and read up on his biography, whenever I could)

Would you recommend Saylor? I am desperately looking for an absorbing escapist well- written novel.