Another Life

Korda, Michael. Another Life: a Memoir of Other People. New York: Random House, 1999.

Reason read: January is a selfish month so I’m reading a memoir…even though this is one about other people. Supposedly.

Michael Korda, through his position at Simon and Schuster, was able to come in contact with loads of notable and eventually, famous people. The cover of Another Life boasts of those notables: Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Larry McMurtry…the list goes on and on. But, fear not. Korda does the sensible thing and starts from the beginning, explaining his own rise in the world of publishing to editor in chief. The backbone of Another Life is the publishing industry itself; delving into the strange and often fickle elements that determine a bestselling author.

As an aside, before the age of the internet and Google the private lives of writers were not as well known. Their deep dark secrets could be kept as closeted as they wanted, as long as they behaved themselves. The over-the-top personality of Jacqueline Susann was not in the forefront of my mind when her bestseller, Valley of the Dolls was all the rage. Now I want to reread Susann knowing what I know now. In fact, it would be interesting to go back and read the books of everyone Korda has dished about in Another Life.

On a personal note, Korda mentions Dark Harbor, Maine. For those of you wondering, it is actually on Islesboro and closer to West Penobscot Bay…and nowhere near Monhegan.

Quotes I liked, “He seemed to be under the mistaken impression, thanks to Morris Helprin I felt sure, that I was a person of scholarly nature, prodigious learning, and refined taste” (p 31) and”It takes a lot of time and shared experiences to make a friendship permanent, to harden it…” (p 167). Very true.

Author fact: At the time of publication, Michael Korda was still editor in chief at Simon & Schuster.

Book trivia: the only thing missing from this dishy drama are photographs of all the celebs!

Nancy said: Nancy calls Korda’s style, “wonderfully affectionate” (p 152).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the very straightforward chapter simply called “Memoirs” (p 152).


January’s New Reads

A little something about the new year. I have absolutely no expectations of the year to come. No list of things I must pretend to accomplish. No run numbers, real or imagined. There has been an end to so many things. As a result I’m in day-by-day mode. Or, in the case of this entry, book-by-book. Here’s what I finished:

Fiction:

  • Captain of the Sleepers by Mayra Montero
  • Any Human Heart: a novel by William Boyd (AB + print)

Nonfiction:

  • Italy and the Grand Tour by Jeremy Black
  • Another Life by Michael Korda
  • Book of Puka-Puka by Robert Dean Frisbie. (I am now reading An Island to Oneself by Tom Neale as a continuation to Puka.)

Series:

  • Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright (finished the series)
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons (started the series). (I’m now reading Fall of Hyperion as a continuation.)

LibraryThing:

  • Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston. NOTE: I was supposed to receive this as an Early Review in 2014. When it didn’t arrive I borrowed it from a library two years later.
  • You Carried Me by Melissa Ohden (December 2016 batch)

For Fun:

  • Island Voices II by Poets of Monhegan Island ~ a gift from my mother.

2017: a new dawn

What can I tell you about the new year? Not much. I can tell you about the Challenge books! Here’s what I have planned:

Nonfiction:

  • The Book of Puka-Puka by Robert Dean Frisbie ~ in honor of National Geographic Travel Month
  • Italy and the Grand Tour by Jeremy Black ~ in honor of travel and a personal resolution to see Italy some day
  • Another Life by Michael Korda ~ in honor of the selfishness of resolutions (it’s all about me).

Fiction:

  • Captain of the Sleepers by Mayra Montero ~ in honor of Hostos Day in Puerto Rico
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons ~ in honor of Science Fiction month
  • Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright ~ to continue the series started in September (no I didn’t finish this last month like I thought I would)
  • Any Human Heart by William Boyd ~ in honor of the month most people start a journal

Early Review:

  • Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston (NOTE: I didn’t actually receive this as an Early Review. I was supposed to back in 2014. I just decided to borrow it from the local library & read it anyway).