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Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir by Linda Ronstadt ( 2013 ) Hardcover
Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir by Linda Ronstadt ( 2013 ) Hardcover
21 used & new from $10.43

4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading if you are a Linda Ronstadt fan, March 15, 2015
If you are a fan of Linda Ronstadt you will like this book, as I did. It offers a good, concise overview of her whole career, but is devoted mostly to her music. There is little or no gossip. It's of modest length, circumspect in parts, elliptical. She doesn't try to cover everything. If you ONLY like her rock songs, you my be disappointed that she neglects some of her biggest hits. She is most anxious to trace her musical roots to her extensive Mexican American family in Tucson, AZ, and to express her joy in their communal singing -- an experience she re-lives with her early folk and country rock collaborators in LA and later with the Mexican musicians she performs with in her enormously successful Spanish language albums. She downplays her phenomenal popularity as the queen of rock 'n roll in the '70s and early '80s -- saying she's happy to have passed that hat to Chrissie Hynde of the the Pretenders. Still, there are stories about the Doors, Stone Poneys, the Eagles, Keith Richards, Jackson Browne, etc. She delights in her theatrical "Pirates of Penzance" performance, her standards with the great Nelson Riddle, and her albums of Mexican ballads. As in Keith Richards' excellent memoir, some of the best parts in this book are Ronstadt's detailed descriptions of the actual music, the recording sessions, the challenges of performing (she hates large arenas for their terrible sound). The book feels solid and straightforward. It made me want to put on a Linda Ronstadt album right away.

Working Man's Cafe
Working Man's Cafe
Price: $13.99
50 used & new from $2.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Ray Davies!, July 7, 2013
This review is from: Working Man's Cafe (Audio CD)
Why do I always feel like I am a character in a Nick Hornby novel when I read album reviews on Amazon?

That said, Working Man's Cafe is a first-rate album from one of rock's great songwriters and performers. It is the sort of album one can listen to repeatedly. It deserved much more air play and attention than it got in the USA.

I'd recommend this to anyone who loved the Kinks.

My personal favorite -- the Morphine song about the chaos and the humanity in the emergency room of a New Orleans public hospital -- something Ray Davies experienced himself when he was shot in that magical, musical and dangerous city.

What He's Poised to Do: Stories (P.S.)
What He's Poised to Do: Stories (P.S.)
by Ben Greenman
Edition: Paperback
42 used & new from $1.66

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Can Judge a Book by its Cover, January 29, 2013
I bought this book because of the cover. Seriously. A very attractive image of this woman on the edge of a bed. A brunette in black. Plus, I like short stories and frankly, the price was right. Five dollars? How can you go wrong? I was rewarded by some deft, graceful writing, and some strange & haunting stories.

The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father's Twentieth Century
The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father's Twentieth Century
by Margaret Talbot
Edition: Hardcover
108 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Entertainer, Box Office Gold, November 19, 2012
Margaret Talbot's "The Entertainer" is that rare Hollywood book that manages to mix nostalgia, memoir, social history and biography. A staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, Talbot manages to pull this off in part because she is such a fine writer. But she also combines the skills of a family historian -- this is the story of her father, after all -- with the perspective and insights of an experienced journalist. The result is a book that is informative, engaging, revealing, and at times, very moving. And what material she has to work with! Her actor father Lyle Talbot's career spanned nearly the entire 20th century and he acted in almost every facet of show business from tent theater companies in the old Midwest to Warner Bros. in the '30s, Broadway in the '40s, television in the '50s and '60s and beyond, and back to the stage. The author concentrates on Talbot's early years touring the Midwest and his brush with movie stardom during the Depression working with everyone from Bette Davis to Humphrey Bogart, Shirley Temple to Mae West. If I have one criticism of the book it's that it races through the latter years of Lyle Talbot's career when he was a ubiquitous presence on television as a character actor of many faces. Throughout the book, his daughter chronicles her father's extraordinary romantic life with actresses, chorus girls and lesser mortals, and his battle with alcohol, before being saved by a much younger fifth wife, Paula, with whom he had 4 remarkable children (three of them are journalists, the fourth a medical doctor). The author grew up as the youngest child listening to her father's stories of his charmed life, and he could not have passed them down to a more gifted chronicler.

Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love
Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love
by David Talbot
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.34
88 used & new from $0.98

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are going to San Francisco..., May 13, 2012
A fascinating book about San Francisco's wild history from the Sixties, through the tempestuous Seventies, into the early Eighties when the City comes together, after much trauma, to cope with the AIDS epidemic. It offers a major re-assessment of Mayor Dianne Feinstein's success in leading San Francisco out of the nightmare of the Jonestown massacre and the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. And Talbot also credits the 49ers football team of Joe Montana and Bill Walsh with helping San Francisco recover from the culture wars and violence of the '70s. This is a deeply reported book, not just a nostalgia trip. Even if you lived through these decades in San Francisco, you will discover things you never knew. And it's written in a very lively, passionate style. Talbot clearly cares about his City.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 15, 2013 2:56 AM PDT

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