No, not mine. Mine would be boring. No, I’ve been reading some for the past week, ones I’ve acquired or been given in the past two years that I’m just now getting to.
First, a book titled “Avid Reader,” written by Robert Gottlieb, who
stumbled into a job at Simon and Schuster. By the time he left to run Alfred A. Knopf a dozen years later, he was the editor in chief, having discovered and edited Catch-22 and The American Way of Death, among other bestsellers. At Knopf, Gottlieb edited an astonishing list of authors, including Toni Morrison, John Cheever, Doris Lessing, John le Carré, Michael Crichton, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Graham, Robert Caro, Nora Ephron, and Bill Clinton — not to mention Bruno Bettelheim and Miss Piggy.
I don’t know what prompted Mom to give this to me, and I felt no urgency to read it, but now I have and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s a great picture of publishing in the second half of the twentieth century, a period I know pretty well.
The next one is Graham Nash’s “Wild Tales,”. Do I need to explain who Nash is? The Hollies, Crosby Stills Nash (& frequently Young), solo and duet performer, photographer — he’s done a lot and he did it with most of the members of the Los Angeles rock n’ roll scene of the late Sixties and early Seventies. It’s good. It’s pretty personal and it’s pretty candid about himself, his bandmates, and his women. The story of his first collaboration with Stills and Crosby at either Joni Mitchell’s or Cass Elliot’s house (C&N remember it at Joni’s, Still insists it was at Cass’s, since he would have been too intimidated to sing as a group for the first time in front of Mitchell) is here, along with the famous “More Barn” tale when he first heard Neil Young’s 1972 album Harvest on a rowboat.
Finally (I just started this last night), Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,”, which Mom gave me for Christmas last year. It’s too soon to make a judgment but I’m enjoying it so far.
Read any good biographies or memoirs lately?