Saturday, June 11, 2011

Three (Very) Different People

He was a Yorkshire veterinarian turned best-selling author. His stories were so popular that more students signed up to be vets and tourists from all over the world beat their way to his doorstep. His son lovingly writes his biography and seems to be determined to get it right to the point of including vet school grades! The beginning of the tale was confusing because "James Herriot" is a pen name - his real name was Alfred Wight. While he was pleased with the attention and honors he received, he often said, "I am 1% author and 99% vet."
The Real James Herriot, A Memoir of My Father" by Jim Wight Ballantine Books 371 pages $25

She had a difficult childhood, but in her teens she became the darling of the Hollywood set. She married director Howard Hawkes, then famed agent/producer Leland Haywood and, finally, Kenneth Keith, an English Lord.

She ran around with Ernest Hemingway, but was not interested in him sexually. She said he rarely bathed and wore the same clothes for days on end. Hemingway's wife "Miss Mary" distrusted her and there was the very real fear that if she accepted a safari invitation from the couple, there would be a "bang!" she'd be dead and Miss Mary would be smiling quietly to herself.
"Slim, Memories of a Rich and Imperfect Life" bu Slim Keith with Annette Tapert Simon & Schuster 319 pages $22.95

She had a long and adventurous life and became an icon for cooks all over the world. She towered over them literally as she was 6 ft. tall. She met Avis Devito after she wrote a letter to Devito's husband, Bernard, about his article on American knives. They hit it off to the point that Avis became Julia's mover and shaker on the publication of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." "As Always, Julia - the Letters of Julia Child and Avis Devoto" edited by Joan Reardon Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 416 pages $26

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