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Muffins and Mayhem, Recipes for a Happy (if disorderly) Life
AUTHORBUZZ: Discover new books, "meet" the authors and enter to win: Goto: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader
I'm on vacation cooking and building a tree house with my four grandchildren. Wish me luck!
Today's column is written by New Yorker, Emma Straub. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published by TIN HOUSE, THE PARIS REVIEW DAILY, TIME, SLATE, and THE NEW YORK TIMES, and she is a staff writer for ROOKIE. Emma Straub lives with her husband in Brooklyn, where she also works as a bookseller. I previewed an advance copy of her upcoming release and loved it and I think you will too. Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, will be released in September and will be featured in the Fiction Book Club in October.
Welcome Emma to the book club (she will personally reply) and enter her 10 book giveaway. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Take it away Emma...
I have always loved books--that's true for every author worth her salt--but it is also true that I have always loved the movies. When I was a child, I would go to movies with my parents and be shocked to discover that it was indeed still daylight when I got back outside. As a teenager, I would go to movies by myself, finding solace from my high school angst in high school movies with neat, happy endings. Now that I'm an adult, the pleasure hasn't dulled in the slightest, and I still go to the movies as often as possible. Just give me some candy and the dark, and I'm a happy camper.
It was this love of movies that inspired my novel. Finally, watching movies was no longer just for fun, it was work! I'm sure that every generation finds previous decades' films mysterious and wonderful, but I truly fell head over heels for old Hollywood. I know this is a site for readers, but I thought I'd take this opportunity to give you guys a list of some of my favorite actresses in their best roles, all of whom contributed to my fictional Laura Lamont.
Ginger Rogers, Top Hat (1935)
I am a terrible dancer, but I love to watch, and no one is better to watch than Ginger Rogers at the top of her game. Yes, the saying is true, she does the steps backwards and in heels, but she also does them in marabou feathers, and silk, and petite chapeaus.
Dame Judith Anderson, Rebecca (1940)
Because sometimes the heroine is not the most intoxicating woman on screen. The twisted, malicious Mrs. Danvers is my favorite villainess of all time, never with a hair out of place.
Gene Tierney, Laura (1944)
See above! Judith Anderson wins this one too, in part because the titular Laura doesn't appear for the first third of the film.
Grace Kelly, To Catch a Thief (1955)
It would have been a crime for Grace Kelly not to have become a princess, given her cool, hard perfection. If there was ever a human diamond, she was it.
Elizabeth Taylor, Giant (1956)
Speaking of diamonds. Taylor had far glitzier roles than this dusty Texan one, and far more flattering ones, but this is my kind of epic. James Dean gets to play old and rich, the way he should have been in real life, and Liz gets to marry Rock Hudson.
And what do you know, three of the five films mentioned above (Rebecca, Laura, and Giant) started their lives as books. Maybe I'm not the only writer who dreams of lives on the big screen...
If you're interested in reading about my fictional movie star, you're in luck! My wonderful publisher, Riverhead Books, is giving away 10 advance review copies. Email me at email@example.com with your favorite screen siren of any era to enter the sweepstakes!
Cheers to all of you, and thanks for having me!
Email Emma and enter her book giveaway: firstname.lastname@example.org Be sure to include your mailing address, in case you're a winner.
*There's still time to Enter, the 8th Annual Write a Dear Reader Contest. Details, prizes, samples, and deadline, go to: http://www.dearreader.com/contest2012
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
* This month's Penguin Classics book is THE HARBOR by Ernest Poole. Start reading now and enter to win a Penguin totebag. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/July12Classics
AUTHORBUZZ: A SIMPLE THING (Fiction) Kathleen McCleary
How far would you go to protect your family? When Susannah Delaney finds out her son is being bullied and her teenage daughter is spinning out of control, she moves them to a beautiful, remote island in the Pacific Northwest for a year. Susannah hopes their life without computers, phones or even electricity will change them all. But the move threatens her marriage to the man she's loved since childhood, and her very sense of self.
Go to: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader click on A SIMPLE THING to find out more about the book and the author, Kathleen McCleary. Send her an email, she'd love to hear from you.