Sunday, October 18, 2015

Planned Parenthood Book Sale 2015 (Part 3)

Today I feature books purchased by my husband and son, providing a bit more variety. My husband likes and reads mysteries, but he reads a lot of non-fiction also. My son reads non-fiction, science fiction and fantasy, with an emphasis on fantasy. They are also much more controlled in their buying than I am.

From my husband's book haul:



From the book flap:
From one of our leading film authorities, a rich, penetrating, amusing plum pudding of a book about the golden age of movies, full of Hollywood lore, anecdotes, and analysis. 
My husband is reading The Star Machine right now and these are his thoughts on the book:
Jeanine Basinger's long and - in the best sense - rambling work is less a history of golden age Hollywood star making machinery than it is the stories of a select group of actors who were created (although some came to it of their own efforts) and maintained by this machinery. Nearly everyone of star level in 1930s-40s Hollywood gets mentioned (at least in passing) but great attention is lavished on ten of varying types (for it was types that Hollywood excelled at creating): Tyrone Power, Lana Turner, Errol Flynn, Deanna Durbin, Jean Arthur, Loretta Young, Irene Dunne, Norma Shearer, Charles Boyer, and William Powell. Of these, Basinger seems especially interested in (and thrilled with) Tyrone Power and Deanna Durbin, two huge stars of their time who also come off particularly well as people. A good read but perhaps - at over 550 pages - too long.


Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris

In Pictures at a Revolution, Mark Harris turned the story of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967 into a landmark work of cultural history, a book about the transformation of an art form and the larger social shift it signified. In Five Came Back, he achieves something larger and even more remarkable, giving us the untold story of how Hollywood changed World War II, and how World War II changed Hollywood, through the prism of five film directors caught up in the war: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens.


From the Feral House website:
DOPE MENACE collects together hundreds of fabulously lurid and collectible covers in color, from xenophobic turn-of-the century tomes about the opium trade to the beatnik glories of reefer smoking and William S. Burroughs’ Junkie to the spaced-out psychedelic ’60s. We mustn’t forget the gonzo paranoia brought on by Hunter S. Thompson in the ’70s, when anything was everything.
Author Stephen J. Gertz is a well-regarded authority on antiquarian books and contributor to Feral House’s Sin-A-Rama, an award-winning visual history of sleaze paperbacks from the sixties.
Brian Busby at The Dusty Bookcase covers this book in a post titled Dope, Danger, and Dolls.



Summary of The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn at the author's website...

John Lago is a very bad guy. But he’s the very best at what he does. And what he does is infiltrate top-level companies and assassinate crooked executives while disguised as an intern.

Interns are invisible. That’s the secret behind HR, Inc., the elite “placement agency” that doubles as a network of assassins for hire who take down high-profile targets that wouldn’t be able to remember an intern’s name if their lives depended on it.   At the ripe old age of almost twenty-five, John Lago is already New York City’s most successful hit man. He’s also an intern at a prestigious Manhattan law firm, clocking eighty hours a week getting coffee, answering phones, and doing all the grunt work actual employees are too lazy to do. He was hired to assassinate one of the firm’s heavily guarded partners. His internship provides the perfect cover, enabling him to gather intel and gain access to pull off a clean, untraceable hit.   Part confessional, part DIY manual, The Intern’s Handbook chronicles John’s final assignment, a twisted thrill ride in which he is pitted against the toughest—and sexiest—adversary he’s ever faced: Alice, an FBI agent assigned to take down the same law partner he’s been assigned to kill.




Some of the books my son picked up at the book sale:


From a review at the Postmodern Mystery website:
Our story takes place at an undetermined date in the
future, when police functions have been taken over by public inquisitors, but a few P.I.s—private inquisitors—are still allowed to represent clients and do their gumshoe trade. Our hero Conrad Metcalf learns in the opening pages that his latest client, a prominent doctor, has been murdered in a sleazy motel. But here’s some consolation: he soon finds a new person seeking his services—the man who is being set up by the Inquisition as the fall guy in the crime.
I was already interested in this book, but after looking into it further, I am definitely going to read it.






Description of Jennifer Government by Max Barry at the author's site:
The world is run by American corporations; there are no taxes; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; the Police and the NRA are publicly-traded security firms; the government can only investigate crimes it can bill for.
Hack Nike is a Merchandising Officer who discovers an all-new way to sell sneakers. Buy Mitsui is a stockbroker with a death-wish. Billy NRA is finding out that life in a private army isn't all snappy uniforms and code names. And Jennifer Government, a legendary agent with a barcode tattoo, is a consumer watchdog with a gun.




























I have yet to find a brief description of Railsea by China Mieville that adequately describes the book. From what I can glean, it borrows from Moby Dick by Herman Melville and references works by other authors. It is sometimes billed as a YA book, although many say it is for readers of all ages. It is definitely in the fantasy genre with elements of steampunk.

From a description at Goodreads:
On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt.
The giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory are extraordinary. But no matter how spectacular it is, travelling the endless rails of the railsea, Sham can't shake the sense that there is more to life. Even if his philosophy-seeking captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing – ever since it took her arm all those years ago.


My son and I have both been interested in trying the Nightside books by Simon R. Green. Something from the Nightside is the first in the series.

Description from a review at trashotron.com:
John Taylor, the protagonist of 'Something from the Nightside" is the classic, struggling P.I., a loner with a dark past, tough and romantic, working and living in a seedy office complete with opaque glass door, peeling paint, second-hand furniture and girly calendar. ...
The "Nightside" is the dark and malevolent netherworld of London ("London is the smoke, Nightside is the fire') where the evil, the wanton, and the weird live in a strangely beguiling world of perpetual darkness and glaring neon. Taylor's gifted with a special ability to find things, a third eye he calls his "private eye" (I kid you not) that serves him and saves him in this fantastic netherworld. The quest is an Indiana Jones meets Farscape romp down streets that are not only mean, but streets that sometimes completely disappear, complete with aliens, time warps, time travel, people-eating houses and really creepy bugs.





16 comments:

  1. A few there I would steer well clear of, though if we all liked the same thing it would be a dull old world.
    I have the Kuhn book (or did have - I had it from a review site but have ignored it for over a year, so it may have disappeared now.) The Lethem sounds good, but I have something else by him which is still probably one too many!

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    1. I thought you had gotten the Kuhn book at one time. I even looked to see if you had reviewed it.

      All of these sound interesting to me but when I can get to them is another question.

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  2. What an interesting haul of books, Tracy! I share your husband's interest in history, and I think that history of Hollywood might be fascinating. And I'll bet the cover of The Intern's Handbook appealed to you...

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    1. You are right, Margot, we always notice a book when it has a skull on the cover. It will be interesting to see which one of us gets to it first.

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  3. Nice collection, and (I think I can tell) different from your own tastes. Nothing there cries out to me to be read, but I may change my mind if you read and review...

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    1. Moira, The nice thing is that the books are different from my own tastes but I can sample them later if interested. Some of these I do want to try. Especially the book about directors from Hollywood in WWII. I was really surprised to read about Gun with Occasional Music and it calls to me. But who knows when I will find time for it.

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  4. A great big lovely bunch of books there Tracy! I have the Basinger and wasn't that crazy about it (its interesting but a bit lightweight). Love the look of the Lethem and Mieville tomes!

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    1. I want to read (or at least sample) the Basinger book, Sergio, but who knows when that will happen. I do want to read something by Mieville, and I have The City and the City, which I may try first.

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    2. Lethem is brilliant, Mieville is pretty brilliant, and I've heard mostly good things about JENNIFER GOV. So, you could do worse, and so could your son...

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    3. Yes, Todd, I want to try all of them, and time is the only issue. He reads faster, I am sure he will get to them sooner.

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  5. FIVE CAME BACK, my son borrowed it before I read it. Thanks for reminding me to retrieve it. Like another Basinger book I read.

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    1. Patti... My husband gave me his copy of Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris, so I want to read that first. Then read Five Came Back later. I did not know that Basinger had written so many books and some sound very interesting.

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  6. Tracy, this really is a nice haul of books, and more writers I have never read. The three of you have such interesting tastes in reading — plenty to share and discuss.

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    1. That is true, Prashant, we do have fun talking about books and reading. Both of them have wider tastes in books than I do, and know more about movies than I do.

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  7. As Prashant says, Tracy, a 'nice haul' - I love the variety too. Wouldn't it be boring if you all read the same things? I like a good Hollywood minutiae book myself, I'm adding THE STAR MACHINE to my TBR list. And FIVE CAME BACK looks mighty intriguing. I've always liked reading about that era. I'm also adding the Simon Green book to my list and maybe the China Mieville. I've read a couple of Mieville's books and have been thoroughly fascinated if not a bit dumbfounded. Great stuff.

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    1. You are right, Yvette, it would be boring. I definitely stray outside of my normal reading under their influence. I sampled a bit of The Star Machine last night and I will want to get to it sometime. Pretty long though. Eager to try Mieville too.

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