Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer Reading

You don't have to be at the beach or a pool to enjoy a "summer read" which is defined as "not a taxing read - like The History of Algebra" or something similarly dry. 

Mrs. L - Conversations with Alice Roosevelt Longworth by Michael Teague   203 pages   $19.95

Author Teague was lucky enough to have spent many afternoons visiting with Mrs. L at her Washington, DC, home where she had ruled since 1961.  The daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, she lived in the White House - and hated to leave "like everyone did."  But not for any sentimental memories of having been married in it.  When asked at Tricia Nixon's wedding there whether it brought back any memories, she replied, "Not a goddamn thing."

Dying at 96, she knew and most certainly had opinions on 18 Presidents.  The book has 170 photos showing her with such as the Dowager Empress of Japan and with her five brothers from Roosevelt's second marriage; Alice's mother having died not long after her birth, as well as life at Sagamore Hill and various ultra society events such as being presented at Court.

Blind Item by Kevin Dickson and Jack Ketsoyan   360 pages   $26.99

Both authors are long-time entertainment PR specialists and can dish with the best of them (who are mostly dead anyhow - Rona Barrett, Hedda Hopper, and so forth.) 

The plot line involves three wanna be's in that field and while they are interesting enough (once you get into it) the absolute stars of it are a pair of rival talent agency heads who have had a running feud for years and years.  Sample -The women are lunching at The Ivy.  Crystal's lunch is a martini with a rack of olives.  Gaynor is having fried chicken and raving about it.  The myth is that Crystal never eats.  But it's equally well-known that she will excuse herself from the table to go to the bathroom where she devours the neatly-wrapped sandwich the waiter hands her on the way in to the Ladies.

Crystal says:  "My clients are booking lots of things."  Gaynor shoots back, "The only thing your clients are booking is hospice care" and it goes south from there.  Very enjoyable.  I love witty bitchery and this book delivers.


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