Monday, July 20, 2009

Wonderful Tonight

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience:
this is the ideal life.
Mark Twain
Wonderful Tonight
George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Me
Patti Boyd

A few years ago Pattie Boyd wrote a book about her life and I knew I had to get around to reading it. Here was the woman who had lived my fantasy life—married to George Harrison AND Eric Clapton! Talk about doesn't get any better then then having married two of my favorite musicans.

George Harrison was always been my favorite Beatle, and Clapton-well he's Clapton. He played with so many great groups, Blind Faith, Cream, Yardbirds, Derek and the Dominos, Delany and Bonnie… some of the best from the sixties and seventies. Ms. Boyd had married two of the most famous musicians of all time and she inspired them to write some great songs, and they were about her; Something, I Need You, by Harrison—Layla, Wonderful Tonight, Old Love by Clapton….. just to name a few. How did one woman become the muse to two of the most gifted and talented rockers in history?

Ms. Boyd was a teenager on the set of the movie A Hard Days Night when she met Harrison. He asked her out on the second day....she said no, as she had a boyfriend When he asked her out again she said yes. (The boyfriend was gone) It was a whirlwind time, Boyd's modeling career was taking off and the Beatles-they ruled the music world. Boyd and Harrison married and it being the 1960’s, they entered the world of sex, drugs and rock & roll. Boyd and Harrison adored each other and were very happy, which she makes evident. They moved in a world of rock ‘n roll royalty which included the Rolling Stones, the Who, Mick Fleetwood, and Eric Clapton. Living a life so public can have it's toll, and living the life that you are expected to live can bring some unpleasentness with it.

Clapton was Harrisons best friend and living with Boyd’s sister Paula at the time. Clapton and Harrison spent a lot of time together having dueling guitar sessions, making music, drinking and doing drugs. Clapton fell in love with his best friend’s wife, and wanted her. By now, the Harrison marriage had hit a rocky time, but both wanted to try and work it out. Clapton pursued Boyd, even in front of Harrison. Getting nowhere, Clapton put his passion and feelings for her into the song Layla. Eventually, as we know, he succeeded in getting Boyd to leave Harrison for him. Clapton seemed to adore Boyd, their life together wasn’t what she had hoped. Here again, it was sex, drugs and rock & roll and went downhill quickly.

Ms. Boyd’s early life was interesting; she grew up in Africa and came from a dysfunctional family. It wasn’t an easy childhood and, as she states, you do become a product of your upbringing. Did she enable Harrison and Clapton? Wanting to be what she thought they wanted her to be she joined in with the drugs and alcohol. Letting herself be treated the way they treated her was what she had observed in her own family growing up and so she accepted it. Being strong enough to walk away from everything took courage. The fact that both Harrison and Clapton kept in touch with her after the divorces, even when they remarried, does say a lot about how they felt about her. When Clapton’s son died, Boyd was one of the first people he called. He asked her to come to his son’s funeral. Harrison kept in touch with her, visiting her, making sure she was doing okay; he had told her if she ever needed anything, he would be there for her. When Harrison died, Boyd had a hard time grasping that she had lost such a big part of her life, and her friend.
What happens in your life makes you who you become; Boyd came out the other side stronger and happy with being Pattie Boyd. This is her story, how she remembers it and what she wants to share. She doesn’t really “dish the dirt” and I was so glad she didn't and I do respect her for it.
Did I like the book? Yes, I liked it very much. Did I wish there had been more? Yes, but sometimes you always want more from a book. I am going to pick up Clapton's book, it always great when you get both sides of the story.

She still lived my fantasy........ and I am glad I didn't.

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 13, 2009

In the Summertime.....

In the summertime when the weather is high
You can reach right up and touch the sky,
When the weather's fine
You've got reading... you've got reading
On your mind....

Tip of the hat to Mungo Jerry

Great kick-off to the adult summer reading program, Surf into a Good Book! Over fifty people signed I am with Ellen, our first person to sign-up. Thank you for signing up! We are off and reading for the next five weeks. Check out the posters we have around the library to see if you can recognize your favorite library person.

Stop by and we can chat about books...what you're reading, what I'm reading.

Here's hoping everyone finds a good book to surf into! Enjoy the summer to the fullest!

Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hmmmm-What Old Friends Would I Revisit?

A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns
its back on you and remains a friend
Author Unknown

Being asked what I would re-read made me take a good look at my bookshelf, Hmmm, what would I re-read? I posted on some of my favorite books on October 18, 2008, and those I have reread. These are some I would add these that list. When you pick up a book you have read and it brings back the enjoyment and good feeling had when you read it, it means it's a good one to read again. Here are some I would revisit:
If you pick up one book that will probably take you all summer to read and make you think, make that book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
I recommended this to a friend of mine, who has been reading it and he went and bought his own copy because he loves the book. (And it's a long book) Yes, you do have to plug through the first hundred pages, but trust me, it will be well worth it. Rand wrote this book over fifty years ago, and it is as relevant now as it was then. Opening with the question, "Who is John Galt?" we are off to find out. Galt said he would stop the motor of the world and sets out to do just that. What happens when all the great minds of America are penalized by the government? When attempts are made to stop the "thinking?" When farms, factories, shops go bankrupt, or shut down? When food is in such short supply there are riots? Dagy Taggent, the protagonist, struggles to manage a transcontinental railroad, as the pressures and restrictions of bureaucracy increases. She watches as society collapse around her, and the innovators, artists, and business are disappearing under mysterious circumstances. You find out who Galt is and what he is attempting to do and you hope that someone like this really doesn't exist. Mystery? Thriller? Science Fiction? Judge for yourself. As my friend said, he is doing some self reflecting while reading this. With things the way they are, time for a re-read with this one.

A Time to Kill by John Grisham.
This was his first novel, turned down many times because it was felt that nobody would want to read about racism in the South (!) What happens when you feel the only way justice will be served is if you do it yourself? When your ten year daughter has been raped and left for dead by two remorseless young white men and the the town, your town, chooses sides, and after what happened, it's not yours? Great courtrooms scenes, dialogue...Grisham shows what will be coming with his future books with this one. This would be a good time to give a plug to first time authors and urge you to give one a try, they can be a very pleasant surprise.

Like Fantasy? Here are two terrific ones to choose from:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon--- One minute you are strolling through the Scottish highlands in 1945, just happy to be back from WWII and finally reunited with your husband after even touch a innocent looking rock and whoosh! You are in Scotland and it's 1743! War is raging, the clans are raiding the borders and you meet the love of your life, it's just he's two hundred years older then you. Meet Claire Randall who has to reconcile what has happened to her and quickly. She is accused of being a witch and it seems her husband she left in the future--his ancestor just happens to be the mortal enemy of her soon to be new husband! On top of all that, how the heck does she get back to the future? Thank goodness she is a nurse and will do whatever she has to to survive old time Scotland. Confusing, yes. Fun, absolutely. Great historical novel with some love story.

The other one is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley--- If you are a lover of the Arthurian legends like I am, this is one of the best books you can read about it. What does the Lady of the Lake know about the future and the past? Can the new ways still have room for the old as Christianity clashes with the pagan religions? This is full of love, betrayal, religion, battles for the throne.....Arthur, Lancelot, Knights of the Round Table and Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's Queen. The story is told from the women's viewpoint of what happened, the rise and fall of Arthur and Camelot, which makes it even more fascinating. When I finished this book I just went, wow. Love this one.

The title caught my eye with this one, In the Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke.
I ask you, with a title like this, wouldn't you look twice? This is the sixth in his Dave Robicheaux series. After reading this it has became one of my favorite series. In this one Robicheaux has dream like encounters with General John Bell Hood and his troop,who are in the swamps of New Iberia, Louisiana. A movie company arrives in New Iberia to film a Civil War movie and hence, awakens the dead so to speak. Robicheaux is a Cajun cop who is trying to keep the modern world from infiltrating his old world. Whenever the two worlds collide it doesn't bode well. Here, thanks to the movie company, the body of a man murdered 35 years before shows up in the bayou, a serial killer is on the loose, and the movie company is backed by the local thug, and oh yeah, that wondering band of Confederate soldiers who appear to Robicheaux from time to time, and there's General Hood who keeps trying to tell him something. Always violent, moody, very Southern and descriptive Burke hooked me with this one and I am glad he did.

Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett
Spies, WWII espionage, the Middle East, edge of your seat thriller, Here you go. Fiction based on a true story-always the best. Meet Alex Wolff, with a mix of German and Egyptian blood flowing through his veins who better to help the Axis liberate Egypt from the British? Intelligent, competent, with a sadistic streak Wolff is dedicated to his mission and nothing and nobody is going to stand in his way. The outcome of Rommel's North African campaign hinged on the information Wolff sent to them. Definitely a old favorite that was a page turner.

These are some "old" friends that I would definitely revisit with pleasure. What are some of your "old" friends?

Happy Reading!