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: Last Book You Read  ( 388005 )
drinkanddestroy
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« #1290 : May 05, 2020, 03:18:39 PM »

This thread has been dormant since Groggy left!

I am in middle of reading "The Voice of America," a biography of Lowell Thomas by Mitchell Stephens. Pretty good.

On that note, I've been chatting lately via email with Groggs -  yes he is alive and well  :)

I also just read a book called "Hollywood Godfather: The Life and Crimes of Billy Wilkerson," by his son W.R. Wilkerson III.

Billy Wilkerson was the founder of the Hollywood Reporter, seems to have been a very powerful person in Hollywood that nobody today has heard of. He was a scoundrel  ? press coverage of studios and their films was linked to how many ads they placed; he was involved in an extortion scheme (more info on that here https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1987-07-05-ca-2024-story.html  and here http://www.filmnoirfoundation.org/noircitymag/The-Chicago-Way.pdf ) He was also involved with the Bugsy Siegel Famingo casino fiasco.

The book largely relies on interviews with people who knew Wilkerson. The author seems to genuinely be trying to find out the truth, and is very upfront about his father's misdeeds, as the title suggests. The only issue is that one of his main sources was his father's personal secretary, who seems to have had a wild imagination. For example, the secretary told him that Wilkerson threatened Harry Cohn into giving Frank Sinatra the career-saving role in From Here to Eternity; the secretary obviously cribbed that from The Godfather. Also, it is well known that Lana Turner was discovered as a teenager sipping a soda at a store counter. The book says it as Wilkerson who made that discovery. Who knows if it's true. But Wilkerson was definitely very close friend with Turner.

Wilkerson also was the owner of some legendary Hollywood restaurants and nightclubs.

Anyway, while some of the secretary's stories should be taken with a grain of salt, overall the book is a good read.

« : November 29, 2020, 05:24:40 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #1291 : November 29, 2020, 05:39:06 PM »

My local library has been closed since last spring. So I've actually had to purchase books lately.

I just read "Making Movies," by Sidney Lumet, from 1995. Lumet goes through the step by step process of making movies  - script, rehearsal, filming, cinematography, lenses, lighting, sound, music, etc.

I am sure it is a great joy for filmmakers, but even for a non-filmmaker who knows nothing about the technical side of making movies, this book is a pleasure. Everyone has seen at least a handful of Lumet movies, and it is nice seeing little bits of information about his films.



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« #1292 : December 02, 2020, 01:00:38 AM »

My local library has been closed since last spring. So I've actually had to purchase books lately.



Library just announced it would be opening ? days after I ordered six books from Amazon! So I guess I won't be visiting there for a while




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« #1293 : December 02, 2020, 01:13:30 AM »

"Nino and Me: My Unusual Friendship With Justice Antonin Scalia," by Bryan Garner

Garner, the acclaimed lexicographer, author, lawyer, and law professor, wrote two books with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Two years after Scalia's 2016 passing, Garner wrote this account of their friendship and work together.

As one might expect, Scalia could be charming or grouchy or irascible. The book doesn't really get into legalese, it's more an account of their working relationship and friendship.

It's a good book. Though it can get a bit too detailed at times. It's obviously a form a therapy for Garner, grieving over the loss of a friend, and he really recounts everything, like what foods Scalia at the hotel buffet.


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