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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:26 pm 
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Buzz Killington

Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:19 pm
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Location: Orange County, Calif.
Found a more detailed interview with Denis Avey from 2009 on the BBC's website. It includes audio and video interviews.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8382457.stm


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Buzz Killington

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Location: Orange County, Calif.
My Lady Scandalous: The Amazing Life and Outrageous Times of Grace Dalrymple Elliott, Royal Courtesan was written by Jo Manning, and reads like a novel. Dalrymple was born in Edinburgh in 1754, moved to London as a woman of marriageable age and at 17, married an older, social-climbing doctor named Elliott. Mrs. Elliott, a beautiful and bored young bride, was often left to her own devices by her apathetic husband. She was seduced by a young lord with money and position, and subsequently went through a very messy and public divorce with her husband. She moved to France and was the mistress of the Duc D’Orleans, the richest man in Europe, and after his cousin King Louis XVI, was the most powerful man in France. Elliott moved back to England where she caught the eye of the Prince of Wales, later to be King George IV, with whom she had a child. Elliott moved back to France, just in time for the French Revolution. Her lover lost his head. Elliott admitted after the revolution that she had been a courier for Marie-Antoinette, whom Elliott greatly admired. Evidence suggests Grace was acting as a spy for England. She barely escaped with her life.

The thing I like about this book is all the sidebars and information about the haute ton, the movers and shakers in Georgian society, including the story of the man who made a fortune of 90,000 pounds (over $7 million in modern currency) and lost it all in one night gambling in London.

Dalrymple had her portrait painted twice by Thomas Gainsborough, the best portraitist in Britain at the time. The portrait is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and looks like this:
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/20.155.1


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:50 pm 
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Buzz Killington

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Location: Orange County, Calif.
New hockey romance coming out soon!
http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Any+Man+of+Mine/?isbn=9780061579110


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:34 pm 
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Buzz Killington

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Location: Orange County, Calif.
I just finished The Sky's the Limit: Passion and property in Manhattan by Steven Gaines. He covers the history of development and residential housing, mostly on Park Ave. and Central Park West, but also throughout Manhattan. He discusses everyone from the farmer in the 1840s who stood on his porch with a loaded blunderbus to prevent the city from going through his orchard to build 11th Ave. to Steven Spielberg, Jerry Seinfeld and Henry Kissinger.

One of the more colorful properties is the Astonia Hotel, which housed New York City's first gay bathhouse. The Astonia had some of the most famous athletes, including Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey, as well as lots of musicians, opera singers and entertainers.

One of the Astonia's residents was Florenz Ziegfeld, founder of Ziegfeld's Follies. He had one apartment for his wife, another for his mistress, Lillian Lorraine.

Later in life, a reporter found Lorraine in a seedy apartment in a cheap part of town and asked, "What happened, Miss Lorraine? Ziegfeld said you were the greatest beauty he ever had in the Follies?"

Lorraine replied, "He was right. He had me in a tower suite at the Hotel Astonia and he and his wife lived in another tower suite. And I cheated on him...I had a whirl! I blew a lot of money, I got loaded, I was on the stuff, I tore around, I had abortions, I gave fellers the clap. So that's what happened."

The reporter asked her if she had to live her life over again, would she do anything differently.

Lorraine said, "I should have never cut my hair."


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:35 pm 
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Serious Cat
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Location: I hate everything!
You should do less reading and more job hunting...




















:P

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:37 pm 
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Serious Cat
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On another note, I'm staying in a hotel. So you know what that means right? It means I have a bible for sale.

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“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” -- Harlan Ellison

"Don't start chasing applause and acclaim. That way lies madness." -- Ron Swanson


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:31 pm 
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sassy molassy
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Location: Calgary, AB
DD, read Stil Missing by Chevy Stevens.

Amazing book.

Canadian author, too.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Serious Cat
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Actually you should buy my (slightly used) bible instead.

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“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” -- Harlan Ellison

"Don't start chasing applause and acclaim. That way lies madness." -- Ron Swanson


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:18 am 
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Buzz Killington

Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:19 pm
Posts: 2035
Location: Orange County, Calif.
Stewie Griffin wrote:
You should do less reading and more job hunting.

I tried. It didn't get me anywhere.

The most frequently stolen items from hotels: Gideon Bibles.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:32 am 
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Dances with stretch denim
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"Ten Apples Up On Top", Theo. LeSieg

Never gets old this book, ever.............


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 4:06 pm 
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Buzz Killington

Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:19 pm
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Location: Orange County, Calif.
puckstar wrote:
DD, read Stil Missing by Chevy Stevens.

Amazing book.

Canadian author, too.

I'll keep this on my library account. I'm trying to work my way through the stacks of books I've got all over my place.

I've nearly finished Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. Nemirovsky was born in Ukraine, but moved to France to escape the Russian revolution. She was an established novelist, but was considered Jewish even though she had converted to Catholicism. She was arrested by French police and deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz where she was executed in 1942.

Suite Francaise was discovered by Nemirovsky's daughter in the 1990s, published in France in 2004, then translated into English in 2006. It's two novellas, A Storm in June, about the impending invasion of Paris by the Nazis, and Dolce, the effect of German soldiers living in a French country town in 1941. Nemirovsky had plans for 3 more novellas, but died before she could write them.

Nemirovsky's writing is beautiful, lucid, and there's a great chapter in A Storm in June which has a cat hunting birds as a metaphor for the Nazis taking over Europe.

This is from the New York Times Book Review:
"She wrote what may be the first work of fiction about what we now call World War II. She also wrote, for all to read at last, some of the greatest, most humane and incisive fiction that conflict has produced."


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:05 pm 
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Buzz Killington

Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:19 pm
Posts: 2035
Location: Orange County, Calif.
Thanks to a shitty upper respiratory infection, I got a lot of reading done.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is a fictionalized account of the life of Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob of Old Testament fame who had two wives, Leah and Rachel, and two concubines. The title refers to a tent used by nomadic Jews where women went to menstruate and give birth. Dinah refers to Jacob’s wives as her four mothers, who teach her everything they know about midwifery. Diamant does a good job of creating a good story within family conflict: Jacob’s honesty versus Laban’s (his father-in-law’s) trickery, Jacob’s monotheism goes up against his wives and father-in-law’s polytheism, Dinah’s two eldest brothers wind up killing her husband and his family, and Dinah moving to Egypt and it’s customs and the different upbringing she had in Israel. Dinah is never quoted in Genesis, and I like the fact that Diamant, who has a background of writing Jewish non-fiction books, finally gives her a voice and relates events from her point-of-view. If you like epic novels, this is the book for you.

Playing with Boys by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez is a chick lit novel featuring three female protagonists that are Latina. The main character is an entertainment manager who’s Mexican-American, raised in Texas with a BA and an MBA, the next character is an American-Dominican actress who can’t break out of the maid-hooker roles she’s offered, and the last character is a Salvadorian writer who has a raging case of post-traumatic stress disorder after watching her father being executed by a death squad. The story is set in Los Angeles and Orange County. Valdes-Rodriguez is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, knows the entertainment industry, and local Latino culture. The writing’s decent, and this is a good beach read.

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes has been sitting on my bookshelf for years. I decided to pick it up when I hurt my back the other day. The book barely resembles the movie by the same name. Mayes is a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University, and she, along with a guy named Ed (she never defines her relationship with him) spend their three-month summer breaks in Tuscany. They realized that they were spending so much money on hotels that a house would probably be cheaper. They get in contact with a real estate agent who takes them around the Tuscan countryside, looking at houses missing roofs or walls. Five elderly sisters are selling their father’s country home, Bramasole, which hasn’t been used in more than 30 years, and Mayes and Ed pump all their resources into buying the house. They’re fascinated when they find things like ancient Etruscan walls on their property. Mayes organized the book into short vignettes that vividly capture Tuscany and its people. She also includes some phenomenal-sounding recipes. It makes me want to listen to Vivaldi and make pasta for dinner.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:11 pm 
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Buzz Killington

Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:19 pm
Posts: 2035
Location: Orange County, Calif.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is Khaled Hosseini's novel about two women, Mariam and Laila. Mariam is the illegitimate daughter of a business owner and a housekeeper. Her father, who already has multiple wives and 9 children, sends her away to Kabul to be married to a man old enough to be her father. Laila is the daughter of a university educated teacher and a forward thinking mother who are killed in a rocket attack. As an orphan in Afghanistan, she needs the protection of a man, and when she marries at 16, her husband is old enough to be her grandfather. The backdrop of the story is the regime changes in Afghanistan, from the Afghan monarchy to the Soviet invasion, the mujahedeen, the Taliban, and the post 9-11 era. Hosseini's novel is about love, forgiveness and eventually, optimism in a seemingly hopeless situation.

Mexican Enough: My life between the borderlines was written by Stephanie Elizondo Griest, a third generation Mexican-American on her mother's side of the family, and white Kansas WASP on her father's side. Throughout her life, she didn't identify herself as Hispanic unless it suited her needs (college scholarships). Like most third generation Mexican Americans, Griest didn't speak Spanish, and her mother's accent was so bad, she wound up learning Russian in school. When she was 30, she learned enough Spanish to get by, then went down to Mexico. While she was there, she hung out with traditional Mexican wrestlers (lucha libres), matadors, and finds out the devastating effects to families when one or more members go to El Norte (the United States) as illegal immigrants. She stayed in La Zona Rosa, the Pink Zone, just north of Mexico City, the only place in the country where people can be openly gay. She later investigates the death of a gay activist who ran a store selling condoms, sex toys, and pamphlets about STDs, which doesn't go over well in a heavily Catholic country. She also goes to Chiapas and hangs with the Zapatistas, goes into a prison in Oaxaca, and back in Texas, rides along with the U.S. Border Patrol. (One of my favorite parts of the book is a former schoolteacher turned Border Patrol agent saying his students were so mean, he'd sooner take his chances with narcos on the border.) Griest goes back to Mexico just in time for the 2006 presidential election, which eerily mirrored Bush vs. Gore in 2000. Calderon was declared the winner by the courts, even though there was ample evidence of voter fraud against Obrador.

This book also helped me understand a lot of my friends who are Mexican-American, like a gay friend who came out to his parents and was disowned, and other friends who are second or third generation and don't speak Spanish (Mexicans turn on them, start name-calling, and it gets ugly). I'm going to give this book to my friend Luis, who was brought to the U.S. as a young child, because he and his Mexican wife can't believe how "Anglo" their teenagers act.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:41 pm 
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Buzz Killington

Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:19 pm
Posts: 2035
Location: Orange County, Calif.
Why am I the only person reading books?

Got a new scale to rate books, which is:
Swing and a miss
Assist
Goal
Gordie Howe hat trick

First up, Duchess, A Novel of Sarah Churchill by Susan Holloway Scott, is about the rags to treason story of Sarah Churchill, a lady-in-waiting to Anne Stewart. This book takes an interesting story and makes it boring. I lost interest a few hundred pages into it. Swing and a miss.

Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue is about a poor girl in London who becomes a prostitute, then takes refuge with a family in her mother's hometown of Monmouth near the Welsh border in the mid-1700s. This is the anti-Jane Austin. It's a good read, but it's a downward spiral that's telegraphed from the beginning of the book. Assist.

Any Man of Mine is Rachel Gibson's latest hockey romance novel. She really put a lot of thought into who her characters are, which is a nice change from other hockey romance novels, which seem slapped together and contrived. If you like hockey romance novels, it gets a Gordie Howe hat trick.

March is Geraldine Brooks Pulitizer Prize winning novel, which is a parallel novel to Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. While Little Women focuses on life in Concord while the father is away fighting in the Civil War, Brooks's work focuses on what the father's life is like fighting for the Union. Much of the inspiration for this book is from the writings of Bronson Alcott, Louisa's father, who was a mentor to both Emerson and Thoreau. It's vivid, well-written, and an interesting read. I also read and enjoyed Brooks's previous novel, Year of Wonders. Gordie Howe hat trick.

The Two Lives of Charlotte Merryweather by Alexandra Potter looks at a question: if you could run into your former self ten years ago, what advice would you give your younger self? This is an amusing read. Assist.

I also read Potter's Me and Mr. Darcy. Meh. Assist, and I'm being generous.

Ask A Mexican by Gustavo Arellano is from the homey's column in OC Weekly. Arellano was born in Anaheim to an illegal immigrant and a worker in the local tomato cannery. Arellano also has a master's degree in Latin American history, so he can explain the history behind Mexican culture. The Mexicans have a strange obsession for Morrissey, yup, the guy from The Smiths, and Arellano spends 7 pages on the subject. I now understand why Mexicans use the word "chino" to mean, "Chinese" or "curly", something that always baffled the hell out of me. One of my favorite letters to the column asks "Why do Mexicans sell oranges on freeway off-ramps?" Arellano shot back, "What do you want them to sell? Steinways?" Gordie Howe sombrero de truco


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Serious Cat
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Location: I hate everything!
I read technical manuals and car magazines.

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"Don't start chasing applause and acclaim. That way lies madness." -- Ron Swanson


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