Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book Review: "House Divided" and more!

Finally getting around to writing my review for House Divided By Raul Ramos y Sanchez.
My bad...No excuse...
House Divided (America Libre Trilogy)
House Divided is the second book in the author's America Libre trilogy, which began with America Libre
I liked the first book, but the second one is really "tight" as one of his teenage characters would say. It is tight in every sense of the word, jammed with ideas, concepts, and thoughtful insights that make the reader go "ahhh...."
But don't panic folks, we're not talking fancy-schmancy "literary" writing here, folks--"House Divided" is easily as enjoyable a "poolside" summer read as any Tom Clancy or Dan Brown thriller in years.
And the book's protagonist, Manolo Suarez, is one of the best fictional heros in recent memory--and that doesn't mean he is not complicated, torn by emotional and cultural issues while he's trying to fight against the bad guys of every shade that never let the poor fellow rest. Check out this post (on Rosie's Renegade Humor Blog. )where she claims, quite understandably, to have a crush on this sexy barrio tough guy.
But I digress--the point is, the two books are well worth reading--do start with America Libre...and they will actually make you think a bit about the world we live in--albeit quite painlessly!
Speaking of reading new books--I was instructed to buy a book at a bookstore today by my agent friend Kelly Sonnack--who posted on Facebook:
"Save Bookstores! Buy a book (or 4) at Your local bookstore (or Powell's ships)
today, June 25th (the first Saturday of Summer!)
Why: Because we need to support our storefronts. No more obituary section in publishing news, please!"
So, let's all go buy a book...and I suggest you make one of the four House Divided (or America Libre) if you haven't read that one yet.
hasta pronto!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hollywood Top Five Reading List

Received a copy of a new Hollywood classic for my birthday: The Healthy Edit, by my friend John Rosenberg. The subtitle is Creative Editing Techniques for Perfecting Your Movie...The Healthy Edit: Creative Editing Techniques for Perfecting Your Movie
Since we're currently staying in a house "high in the Hollywood Hills" while developing some film projects, I dove straight into it. I've been reading it carefully and making notes, so I'm only a little ways into it, but I can already say with confidence that this is a book every filmmaker and film student should read. (That film editors and aspiring film editors should own it probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway.)
John is a brilliant film editor and has a real gift for explaining complicated ideas and theories in a way that's entertaining, clear, and concise. (He's also a fine fiction writer and I'll alert you when his upcoming novel "Tincture of Time" comes out.)
Here are four other Hollywood books I recommend--the last one, "Haywire," I also got as a gift last week. They are all memoirs, and all feature great writing and some sort of historic importance.
Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx and a co-writer...
Julia Phillips' You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again
Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
And last but not least, Haywire by Brooke Hayward. This is a new paperback edition (2010) of a book I had remembered loving long ago, and yes, it is as good as I remembered. Of course, the subject matter is once again, angst and the sins of our fathers (and mothers) and how drugs and drink were one's only allies in the war to keep from screaming aloud every minute of every day.
However, she is a fine writer, and the times and the bizarre cast of characters, both known and unknown, are truly fascinating.
hasta pronto!