Today I continue my list of 365 Groovy Books Worth Reading (in random order). Click here for the previous 158 books - and click on a title for more information or to purchase a copy:
159) Doonesbury's Greatest Hits (1978) by G.B. Trudeau
This collection of 516 daily strips and 80 Sunday color pages follows Trudeau's cast of characters from 1975 (Early Post-Watergate) to 1977 (Early Disco).
160) Smash (1980) by Garson Kanin
Kanin, who also wrote and directed the 1946 Broadway play, Born Yesterday, and the 1960 Broadway musical, Do Re Mi, deservedly got some raves for this novel: "Smash is the hectic history of a Broadway musical from auditions through opening night, and it is absolutely fascinating and completely enthralling" (Orson Welles), "No one but Garson Kanin could have written such a fascinating, compelling, entertaining account of a musical out-of-town" (Bob Fosse), and "The best show business novel I've ever read" (Marvin Hamlisch). Also, DreamWorks optioned this book just for its title, which they then bestowed on their 2012-13 NBC musical drama.
161) Further Tales of the City (1982) by Armistead Maupin
This third book in Maupin's Tales of the City series finds Michael Tolliver looking for love at the National Gay Rodeo, society columnist Prue Giroux falling for a derelict living in Golden Gate Park, Anna Madrigal imprisoning an anchorwoman in her basement, and DeDe Halcyon Day and Mary Ann Singleton tracking a charismatic psychopath across Alaska. Never a dull moment in the lives of these memorable characters!
162) I, Rhoda (2013) by Valerie Harper
I loved reading her memoir - and so did Rosie O'Donnell: "I, Rosie, loved I, Rhoda, Valerie Harper's wonderful new book full of heart and Hollywood, friends and family. I have loved Val since I first saw her standing on Mary's balcony. Her amazing career and her beautiful life are woven together with grace and wit."
163) My Trip Down the Pink Carpet (2008) by Leslie Jordan
The Emmy Award-winning actor (Will & Grace, Sordid Lives) shares his life story and "delivers a fresh, laugh-out-loud take on Hollywood, fame, addiction, gay culture, and learning to love oneself."
164) The Brave and the Free (1979) by Leslie Waller
I enjoyed reading this paperback back in high school, and the novel is about some high school classmates, following them from their graduation in 1964 to a reunion in 1974. Mr. Waller later wrote - under the pseudonym Patrick Mann - a 1984 novelization of the TV series, Falcon Crest (which I have not read).
165) Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career (1997) by George Plimpton
This Amazon review best describes the book: "Plimpton interviewed more than a hundred people - from Capote's childhood to his peak period, 1966, when his Black and White Ball defined high society and In Cold Blood launched the true crime genre, all the way down to his last, sad days as a bitchy caricature of himself. Joanna Carson complains that Plimpton's book is "gossip," which it gloriously is. But it's also brimming with important literary history, and it helps in the Herculean task of sorting out the truth from Capote's multitudinous, entertaining lies."
166) Showtune (1996) by Jerry Herman with Marilyn Stasio
The Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist of such musicals as Hello, Dolly!, Mame, Dear World, Mack & Mabel and La Cage aux Folles shares his life story, including some behind-the-scenes encounters with Angela Lansbury, Carol Channing, Barbra Streisand, Ethel Merman and Judy Garland.
167) Conversations in the Raw: Dialogues, Monologues, and Selected Short Subjects (1969) by Rex Reed
This second collection of Reed's essays includes profiles/interviews with Bette Davis, Ruth Gordon, Jane Wyman, Ingrid Bergman, Myrna Loy, Uta Hagen, Patricia Neal, Colleen Dewhurst, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Omar Sharif, Albert Finney, Jean Seberg, Mart Crowley, Leslie Caron, Burt Bacharach, George Sanders, James Earl Jones, Oliver Reed and Patty Duke.
168) Raising Demons (1957) by Shirley Jackson
In between writing her 1948 short story, "The Lottery", and her 1959 novel, The Haunting of Hill House, Jackson edited some short stories into two amusing memoirs about her life as the mother of four children - Life Among the Savages (1953) and Raising Demons.