Saturday, December 02, 2017

Friday, December 01, 2017

This Film Version of 'Treasure Island' Gave Us Our Image of Pirates

This Film Version of 'Treasure Island' Gave Us Our Image of Pirates

Song of the Day

The Aero-Nuts of 1785

The Aero-Nuts of 1785: From our “Dustbin of History” files, here’s the harrowing tale of a little-known milestone in aviation history.

Today's Vintage Ad

The Tianjin Binhai Library is a Book Lover’s Dream

The Tianjin Binhai Library is a Book Lover’s Dream

Annoying slideshow.

PaperBack



Ngaio Marsh, Final Curtain, Pocket Books, 1948

The ten most expensive movie flops of all time

The ten most expensive movie flops of all time

Forgotten Books: Prime Sucker -- Harry Whittington

Hank sat at the table and wanted George's wife.  It was like being drunk, the way she made him feel.

That's the opening paragraph, and right away you know things aren't going to end well.  You also know that when it comes to writing a novel about sexual obsession, Harry Whittington knew what he was doing.  

Hank, the sucker, is George's boss.  Amy is George's wife.  Hank's own wife, Ethel, is cold and a little twisted. Amy's twisted in a different way: "I want whatever you want, her eyes had said, and he knew in his sickness that they also said, I want what any man wants. Any man."  George has used Amy for the old badger game before, but this time something happens.  Amy really does fall for Hank. 

Will Hank be able to break away from Ethel and find happiness with Amy?  This was the '50s.  That should answer the question.  Whittington puts Hank his characters through the wringer and there's raw emotion on every page.  This isn't one of Whittington's noir classics, but it's worth your time.  

Another rerun.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Jim Nabors, R, I. P.

The New York Times: Jim Nabors, a comic actor who found fame in the role of the amiable bumpkin Gomer Pyle in two hit television shows of the 1960s while pursuing a second career as a popular singer with a booming baritone voice, died on Thursday at his home in Honolulu. He was 87.  

Hat tips to John Duke and Jeff Meyerson,

America’s Jack the Ripper and the Downfall of Eliot Ness

America’s Jack the Ripper and the Downfall of Eliot Ness

Song of the Day

Today's Vintage Ad


12 Tips From a Rare Books Expert to Keep Your Books Looking Great

12 Tips From a Rare Books Expert to Keep Your Books Looking Great 

WWI food propaganda forever changed the way Americans eat

How WWI food propaganda forever changed the way Americans eat � For Our Consideration: Meatless Mondays. Local is best. Eat less wheat. These sound like food fads plucked from 2017’s buzziest blog headlines but are in fact from 100 years ago. Each was a campaign from the U.S. Food Administration during World War I, and the food propaganda it represented was as important to the war effort as Uncle Sam’s “I want YOU for the U.S. Army.”  

Some nice vintage ads with the essay, too.

PaperBack



Frank Kane, A Real Gone Guy, Dell, 1958

The Author of ‘Frankenstein’ Also Wrote a Post-Apocalyptic Plague Novel

The Author of ‘Frankenstein’ Also Wrote a Post-Apocalyptic Plague Novel: ‘The Last Man’ was derided in its time for being too grim, but today it would fit in with a growing genre of dystopian fiction

The Story Behind The Natural

The Story Behind The Natural 

Forgotten Music

The Life of a Song: ‘Not Fade Away’

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A New Story by the Master of Hardboiled Detective Fiction

A New Story by the Master of Hardboiled Detective Fiction: “The Glass That Laughed” by Dashiell Hammett  

Hat tip to John Duke.

A Short and Sweet History of the Whitman's Sampler

A Short and Sweet History of the Whitman's Sampler

Song of the Day

I Miss the Old Days

Fascinating Vintage Photos of People Wearing Levi's Jeans on the Streets in the 1970s

Today's Vintage Ad


Why the Can Opener Wasn't Invented Until Almost 50 Years After the Can

Why the Can Opener Wasn't Invented Until Almost 50 Years After the Can

PaperBack



Weston Clay, Boot Hill, Handi Books, 1951

Or Maybe You Did

26 Fun Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Libraries  

Video with John Green.  

An (Almost) Comprehensive History of Rat Kings

Mental Floss: A ball of furry fury, a rat king occurs when the tails of rodents become twisted, wrapped, and warped into a knot so impossible that not even the world's most loyal Boy Scout could untangle it. Rat kings have been reported since the mid-16th century (almost entirely within Germany), and everything about them—from their name, to their cause, to their very existence—remains suspended in mystery.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

12 Fascinating Facts About Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush

12 Fascinating Facts About Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush 

Song of the Day

I Miss the Old Days

41 Amazing Photos That Capture Rollerskates at Venice Beach, Los Angeles in 1979 

Today's Vintage Ad


The First Detective

The First Detective

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Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Runaway Corpse, Pocket Books, 1969

Western Musings: A Conversation with Paul Bishop

Western Musings: A Conversation with Paul Bishop

Ultra-Cool New Illustrations For the Original James Bond Novels

Ultra-Cool New Illustrations For the Original James Bond Novels

Overlooked Movies -- Passengers

Passengers, an SF movie starring Chris Platt, Jennifer Lawrence, and Michael Sheen, was generally disliked by critics.  I can understand why, but I don't agree.

On a starship with everyone in suspended animation for 120 years, Pratt is awakened early because of a glitch.  He learns that he still has 88 years to go, with only a robot bartender (Sheen) for company.  In that situation, I'd probably do just what Pratt does.  He wakes another passenger (Lawrence).  The critics found this creepy and stalkery.  Maybe it is, but facing 88 years of loneliness, I'd probably do the same.  Of course he doesn't tell Lawrence the truth, which causes trouble later, but there's a lot more serious trouble to come.  Saying what that is would spoil things, so I'll keep mum.

Pratt and Lawrence are charmers, and Sheen just about steals the movie.  The movie looks great, and there's action and romance aplenty.  No need to go out of your way to see it, but there's no need to overlook it, either.

Passengers

Monday, November 27, 2017

Judy Crider, November 5, 1943 - November 27, 2014

Worst day of my life.  There were so many good days before this one, so many great days, that I try not to dwell on this one.  It's still a source of awe and wonder to me that someone as beautiful, smart, and kind as Judy would fall for a goober like me, but I guess everybody deserves one fantastic stroke of luck in his life, and Judy was mine.  The blog will remain dark the rest of the day in loving memory.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The 35 best science-fiction movies since Blade Runner

Song of the Day

Moonlight Towers

Moonlight Towers

Today's Vintage Ad


27 Vintage Snapshots That Capture People Posing With Their Grilled Turkeys in Thanksgiving Day

27 Vintage Snapshots That Capture People Posing With Their Grilled Turkeys in Thanksgiving Day 

PaperBack



Frank Kane, Esprit de Corpse, Dell, 1965

You Probably Don't Want to Read These

Bad sex award 2017 shortlist: the contenders in quotes

14 Things You Owned in the '70s That are Worth a Fortune Now

14 Things You Owned in the '70s That are Worth a Fortune Now