For this entry of book shopping, I’ll go over the Downtown Books which is in Downtown, Milwaukee. I just happened by a sign beckoning folks to it. It’s a used book store, and the owner was very friendly – he saw all my shopping from the Milwaukee Art Museum and asked about my day there.
The shop’s pretty awesome – not only does it have a huge book selection, but there were CDs, DVDs, videos and vinyl LPs. I did a little bit of shopping getting some books. Downtown Books is located 624 N. Broadway and is highly recommended.
Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited by Molly Haskell. Haskell is well-known feminist film critic – she wrote a pretty famous book about women and film – From Reverence to Rape. I’m not a huge fan of Gone with the Wind, but I find it an interesting Hollywood film – and the gender and race politics in the film is pretty crazy. Also, I find the main character – Scarlet O’Hare – a fascinating character that has a lot of strength and intelligence, but at the same time, ascribes to a lot of old-fashioned gender mores.
Is There a Nutmeg in the House? Essays on Practical Cooking with More Than 150 Recipes by Elizabeth David. Foodies and folks who love reading food writing will recognize the importance of David. She wrote about cultural attitudes about food as well as trends in food – there was a really funny article she wrote about the obsession of packet foods. I’ve never actually tried cooking her recipes, but they’re beautifully written. One of the Two Fat Ladies – Jennifer Paterson – wrote a wonderful obit for her.
The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy by Bill Carter. The controversy over the late night war between Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno took up a lot of ink and Web space. Leno gave up The Tonight Show for a primetime talk show. O’Brien was named the successor. Then Leno’s primetime experiment tanked, and O’Brien’s takeover of The Tonight Show resulted in the show’s lowest ratings; then Leno was given the option of having the show returned to him – O’Brien was pushed out and there was lots of bad blood between the two comedians. It’s interesting because Carter wrote about something like this before when Leno was battling with David Letterman for The Tonight Show, when its original host, Johnny Carson was retiring back in the early 1990s – like this feud, the tabloid went nuts over the ickiness between Letterman and Leno. Anyways, I liked Carter’s first book, so I picked up this as well.
The Unofficial Murder, She Wrote Casebook by James Robert Parish. I loved Murder, She Wrote – it was a great show, and Angela Lansbury is probably one of the greatest TV stars and actresses ever. This book is great because it goes over all the episodes, highlights some fun trivia facts and goes over what’s great about the episode. I was looking for something like this – and I couldn’t find the book for a reasonable price, so it’s great that I just happened on it at Downtown Books. The only thing, is that aside from the cover, there aren’t any pictures.
Second Act: An Autobiography by Joan Collins. Joan Collins is a best-selling author of trash, but she’s witty and so I thought it’d be a campy fun jaunt to read her autobiography. She’s very candid about her costars and she’s really frank about her career, her lovers and her life style. I remember watching an interesting A&E documentary, that was trailing her as she was scuttling about in Hollywood. She’s not a great actress – she’s beautiful, but pretty one-note, but she’s an amazing star, and that’s all that matters. Also, I wanted to get this book because I hope to read more about her battle with her publishers after she finished a manuscript that was so terrible, the publishers took her to court over it.