“I Do and I Don’t: A History of Marriage in the Movies” by Jeanine Basinger. Knopf, 2013. $20.49
Marriage in films has been a leading theme since the beginning of the movies. Renowned film historian Jeanine Basinger’s “I Do and I Don’t: A History of Marriage in the Movies” examines this theme in her expertly researched book.
It tracks the many ways Hollywood has explored relationships through functional and dysfunctional portrayals. Basinger is not shy about discussing social issues, such as money, infidelity, divorce, love triangles and even murder. The issues reflected in the films are explained within the social and legal contexts of their eras.
Loaded with iconic movie stills and studio photos, this book is highly recommended for movie buffs interested in an accurate, objective overview of relationships and their portrayal on the silver screen.
Vivian Solar, Prairieville
“Gods of Mischief” by George Rowe . Touchstone/Simon & Schuster 2013. $25.99
George Rowe’s account of his three years undercover in the Vagos motorcycle gang is possibly one of the most under-titled books imaginable.
“Gods of Mischief” indeed — hardly what beatings, bullying, drug dealing and murder could be called in the outside world.
It’s a clear picture of a tribe, more than a gang, with a defined territory, a chief and tribal leaders, specific headdress and gear, strict rules of behavior and occasional warlike forays into rivals territory.
Subterfuge in a tightly-knit brotherhood is far from an easy task, and Rowe had numerous close calls which he dodged through cunning, luck and an agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. His learning to wear a high-tech wire, and bizarre performance on a ferris wheel come close to adding a touch of humor to the account.
“Gods of Mischief” is a fascinating read and a venture into a place best entered through the printed page.
“Etched in Sand” by Regina Calcaterra. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2013. $15.99
“Etched in Sand” is an eye-opening memoir. It is the true account of how Regina not only learned to survive the severe hardships of her childhood in Long Island, but to keep her siblings safe as well.
The middle child of four (all with different fathers no longer in the picture), Regina suffered destitution unimaginable to most. Trying to keep her two younger siblings alive, sheltered, fed and out of the destructive path of their alcoholic and abusive mother was no easy task for a 13-year-old.
“To me, feeling secure means the opposite of what it means to most kids. Children are supposed to their greatest safety and comfort in the arms of their mothers. Instead, Cookie’s homecoming is our darkest danger, like the worst storm anyone can imagine.”
A truly inspiring tale that is sure to tug at your heart strings and make you appreciate everything, and everyone, you have.
Sarah Hebert, Baton Rouge