January 31, 2014

Book Haul!

This is some serious haulage eye candy, folks.

Thank you Amazon (yet again) for loosening my purse strings and making me succumb to your hypnotizing spell. No matter how many times I repeat to myself that I will never spend money on your site ever again - or, for at least a week - I always end up running back to you and throwing my hard-earned cash in your face.

It happened on a Monday ladies and gentlemen. I was bored at work and thought it'd be absolutely harmless if I trolled the interwebs (specifically Amazon) for a few minutes. Lo and behold, the "Your Recommendations" tab forced me to click on it and I was awash in a wave of classic film options - blurays, DVDs, books, calendars, paper dolls - you name it, it pulled me under.

Here is what I came away with that fateful morning in which I nearly lost my entire life's savings (okay, I'm exaggerating now):

  • Hollywood Dreams Made Real: Irving Thalberg and the Rise of MGM by Mark A. Vieira
  • Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture by Peter Kobel
  • Lulu in Hollywood: Expanded Edition by Louise Brooks
  • John Gilbert by Eve Golden

Now, since I can't offer you any in-depth reviews on the books yet, I thought I'd offer you some first impressions instead. You know, to tide you over until the main event (which probably won't be for another couple of months since I have so many new books to get through first, before this stack).

My first thoughts upon pulling the John Gilbert bio out of the amazon box was "Gee, I thought this would be bigger." Heh. That's what she said! No, but seriously ... when I pay over $30 for a new celebrity biography, I expect the book to be hefty. This one clocks in at only 366 pages and that's including the bibliography and index pages at the end. Its one saving grace was the amount of photos included in the book - they're spread out pretty liberally throughout the whole book as opposed to occupying only a couple of pockets within the binding. So, that's nice. Plus Gilbert is pictured smoking a pipe on the front cover, so I shouldn't really be complaining.

Next comes the ever elusive Lulu in Hollywood by silent film star Louise Brooks. Do you have any idea how long it took me to track down this autobiography? I've been searching for it for months online! Apparently it was out of print for the past couple of years and was only re-released recently by the publisher. Again, I wish this book could have been longer (it's about 120 pages) but I've heard so many great things about it that its size is irrelevant at this point. I'm so excited to get stuck into this one!

Now, on to the coffee table books (by far, my favourite part of any book haul)! Silent Movies packs a wallop of a punch: it's beautiful, it's big, and it's glorious! I don't know about you, but the first thing I do when I purchase a coffee table book is flip through its glossy pages and look at all the pictures (naturally, right?). From its front cover all the way to its back cover, this book is filled with rare behind-the-scenes shots of classic silent movies being made, candid shots of Hollywood stars, and original movie poster artwork that I'd never seen before. There were also some technical diagrams and drawings of intricate camera set-ups included and colour prints of vintage movie magazine covers from the 1900s, 1910s, and the jazzy 1920s. For someone like me who is still fairly new to the whole silent movie genre, I'm sure this book will prove a useful starting place for me.

Author Mark A. Vieira's latest offering is a tribute to the great movie producer Irving Thalberg entitled Hollywood Dreams Made Real - this is the first book that I placed in my cart because Vieira is one of my favourite classic film historians and authors. Out of the lot, this book is the most esthetically pleasing: underneath its dust jacket it's draped in a bright orange art deco-inspired design (almost as if it's wearing vintage panties). I can't believe I just said that. As one would expect from a Thalberg bio, this one contains many pictures of his wife Norma Shearer and the rest of MGM's roster of starlets and beefy men (I'm looking at you, Gable).

Until next time, this is me signing off with a much lighter bank account balance. Back to the grind!


  1. Oh fantastic! I don't have any of these except Lulu in Hollywood (took me an age to find that one too. Such a neat little paperback) Think I'm going to have to throw my pennies at Amazon too and purchase the Silent Movies one. Great post thankyou for the recommendations. Sarah

    1. Why is Lulu so hard to track down?? HAHA!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Have a great weekend (and don't shop too hard) xx

  2. Yum! These look terrific! You've done well, young Jedi.


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