Since my husband is at the academy in the evenings, I find myself with a lot of personal time after work. But I fret not, for I can read! I have really become quite the book hoarder lately, and I seem to order more books even when I haven’t finished the initial ones I ordered yet. But I have another 5 months of weekdays of solitude, so I can certainly make some headway into my accumulation of books, no? ;-)
I have really found some gems that I am supremely excited about and/or have enjoyed very much. Since you are here, I am assuming you are all as much of vintage lovers as I, and should therefore know of such pressing matters. I’ve never really been a believer in “summer reads” or “winter novels” and what have you; I tend to just leap in to whatever strikes my fancy. If I am on to something that I am interested in and/or am supremely enjoying, who is it to say that it is “out of season”? Not I!
And so, I present to you: “summer” reading :-)
Cary Grant: A Biography – Marc Eliot
This is a very comprehensive biography on Cary. I have always loved Mr. Grant, and I find that they just don’t make men as debonair, witty, and handsome as he was anymore (minus my husband, of course of course ;-) ). I have always been interested in his life and what happened within that time, and I had actually been ruminating over buying this biography each and every time I had gone into a bookstore for the past six months. During a Saturday out doing errands for my husband’s needs for the academy, I just had to stop at the Barnes & Noble along the way for fear that my air supply would be terminated. I saw this book, and figured, “I need to – I have to!” I am very excited to make my way through it and become an ever-so-learned person on the life and times of Mr. Cary Grant.
Icon: The Life, Times, and Films of Marilyn Monroe (Volume I: 1926-1956) – Gary Vitacco-Robles
Anyone who knows me knows I simply adore Marilyn Monroe. I have a tattoo of her. I have inhaled every biography I have ever known that was decent (qualifier!) that has ever come out. I have over 5,000 pictures of her. I can tell you an exact filmography of all her movies, the years they came out, her character in them, the general story line, and what she thought of said movie and what was going on in her life at the time. So when I happened to stumble upon a new Marilyn biography that had recently come out this year, I needed it. It comes in at 788 pages, and it is only volume one. That excites me more than most human beings should be excited over a book. I have a feeling that this biography is going to be the biography of Marilyn, usurping even Donald Spoto’s benchmark biography of her. When volume two comes out later this summer, I do not care how much or how little of the book I have gotten through, I will be throwing my money at Amazon!
The Girls of Atomic City – Denise Kiernan
This is an enthralling and encompassing story of how one “town” (if you can call it that) was built purely for the purpose of ending the war. How exactly, they did not know. What they did know, however, was that what they were doing was making a very real difference. They weren’t aware that they were aiding in making the atomic bomb that would end the war in Japan in August of 1945. Most of this quickly-built town was occupied by women, many of whom were from any place but this small slice of Appalachia in Tennessee. They were single and trying to better their lives or married and hoping whatever work they were doing was helping their man fighting for them overseas. What I love about this book is how it is non-fiction, based on real events and actual history, but reads and plays out exactly like a fictional novel. It is very interesting, highly entertaining, and certainly a crash course in history that we should all have!
The Garden of Allah Series – Martin Turnbull
I absolutely adore these books. I can’t even tell you. I don’t even remember how I found these books on Amazon, but I am ever so grateful I did. I am only just finishing the first book, but I already bought and received the other two in the series, already knowing I will probably love them just as much as the first (especially from what I see from the reviews, they only get better!). This novel is historical fiction (which I have found to be my most beloved genre, right beside biography) and deals with the lives of three up-and-comers trying to make it in Hollywood starting in 1927.
Kathryn Massey, Gwendolyn Brick, and Marcus Adler have all made it to Los Angeles for various reasons, but the Garden of Allah brought them together as friends. A famous and actual hotel owned by the actress Alla Nazimova, it was renowned for fabulous and crazy parties, and had famous stars visit and stay such as Tallulah Bankhead, Ramon Novarro, Ginger Rogers, Tyrone Power, Greta Garbo, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Maureen O’Hara, Errol Flynn – I could go on and on! The interactions the characters have with the stars makes them seem human and real, rather than “above” anyone and untouchable. I love the situations the characters get in, the stars they meet, the troubles they encounter, and what they do to get past them. It’s a great read so far, and certainly a series I would recommend to any vintage lover out there…hell, I would recommend it to anyone!
What books do you recommend for “summer” reading?