On the Bedside Table - Books! Books! Books!

I went shopping this week and found some surprising things in Amazon's kindle store. 

First up is Hedda Hopper's From Under May Hat.  You can buy it here, or, you can read it for free thanks to archive.org (the most wonderful place on the Internet). I loved Hedda on screen as an actress and personality.  Her politics and her ability to hurt and sometimes destroy people as a columnist, reprehensible.  Nonetheless, she's fascinating.


I'd always meant to read Bette Davis' book This 'n That which came out in 1987 on the heels of B.D. Hyman's My Mother's Keeper (I am a Bette Loyalist and have not read Hyman's book).  This 'n That is now available as a kindle edition, you can buy it here.  Bette's earlier book The Lonely Life is also available as a kindle edition, and well worth a read.

Sadly, one of my favorite books on Bette is not kindle-enabled, Mother Goddam: Bette Davis by Whitney Stine.  It is a great document on her career and filled with Bette's running commentary.  Again, I consider it to be 1000%  required reading on Davis

Coming up in September is a new book on the final years of Bette Davis' life penned by her personal assistant, friend and co-founder of the Bette Davis Foundation, Kathryn Sermak.   Of course I will absolutely read it.  I guess you can say I am obsessed with Bette Davis.  Can you blame me??

I am also a fan of Joan Crawford.  Poor Joan has had raw deal.  Mommie Dearest by Cristina Crawford, and the film of the same name that followed did real and lasting damage.  Both damaging regarding her personal life and her screen reputation.  It has taken decades for Crawford's reputation to climb back up and for her career to be considered seriously.  There have been several bios of Crawford over the decades, but, I keep hoping that a truly scholarly work will finally bring her out from behind the long shadow that is Mommie Dearest.

All that being said, there is still a level of campiness to associate with Joan.  The cult classic My Way of Life has been released on kindle, as well.  Hardback copies of the original book can run up to $100, so $6.99 is not much to scratch the itch to learn to live like Joan.  Of course, you can also just listen to Joan reading the book.

Please, is there not someone who wants to do a really fine bio of Joan?? She totally deserves it!

The perennial cad at Warner Brothers in the 1930's was Ricardo Cortez.  Bear Manor Media released The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Career of Ricardo Cortez by Dan Van Neste.  Cortez got his start as a Valentino clone at Paramount, he starred with Garbo at MGM and tormented most of the leading ladies (especially Kay Francis) at Warners.  One of the few stars to successfully negotiate the transition from silence to sound.  My HB copy is on the way and it should be available as a kindle version soon.  Looking very much forward to reading this.

Speaking of cads, my favorite George Sanders Memoirs of a Professional Cad is also on kindle.  His witty acerbic memoir is a wonderful read.  Though not on kindle, I would be remiss not to recommend Brian Aherne's memoir of his friend A Dreadful Man: A Personal Intimate Book About George Sanders.

If you are a kindle junkie like me, I hate lugging a book on the bus to and from work, I think these are fine suggestions.


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