Tuesday, 31 January 2017

My Back Pages - January 2017


It's a new month and a new year and having aimed at reading at least 50 books this year January saw me wade through seven books. Just shows you what you can accomplish when you're not spending all your time reading Trump-related posts on Facebook. And I find my blood pressure's dropped, too.

Spies, detectives, musicians, actors and entertainers held my interest last month. I'd started an old Le Carre novel, A Perfect Spy, before I left Panama at the beginning of the month and wrapped it up when I got home.

Then it was into Powerhouse by James Miller - all about the agency business in Hollywood. It was kind if interesting with lots of behind the scenes stuff about the key agency movers and shakers. and how agencies grew from representing actors to getting involved in myriad other activities like banking and sports.

For What It's Worth was a bit of a guilty pleasure all about The Buffalo Springfield, the 60s group with Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay who all went on to bigger and better things.

Mr. Tambourine Man about the Byrds' Gene Clark was interesting but I don't think I really needed to know about how many drugs the guy did. Really - page after page. Unfortunately, while talented he was also tragic figure.

Of course, the trouble I have with music books, and the above two were no different, is then I cruise Amazon.ca for CDs by the artist. Some months can be a little expensive.

The Smothers Brothers Book was hilarious. I always liked them and their mid-60s TV show and it was interesting to see what motivated them to do the comedy they did and to host the musical groups they did.

I closed out the month with the first two Nero Wolf novels by Rex Stout. I remember finding a paperback or two around the house when I was a kid and thought I'd revisit this detective's adventures. Stout wrote just over 30 of these beginning in the mid-1930s. They were both a satisfying read.

A Perfect Spy - John Le Carre ****
Powerhouse: Creative Artists Agency - James Andrew Miller ****
For What It's Worth: The Story of The Buffalo Springfield - John Einarsson ****
Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story
of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour - David Bianculli ****
Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark - John Einarsson ****
Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolf #1) Rex Stout ****
The League of Frightened Men (Nero Wolf #2) Rex Stout ****

What are you reading? Let me know. I'm always interested in exploring something new. You don't want me going back to Trump tweets do you?

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