Sunday, February 27, 2011

Book #6: Here We Go Again: My Life In Television: 1949-1995 by Betty White

Anybody who knows me knows that I am a HUGE Golden Girls fan. I watch it every night. If there is a marathon, I watch that, too. I also own the entire series on DVD, so if I can't find something to watch on TV or need background noise while I'm working around the house, I pop one of those in and I'm all set.

Adding to that, my love of the last surviving Golden Girl, Betty White. I was thrilled at her commercial during the 2010 Super Bowl. I watched Saturday Night Live (a show I never watch) the night she hosted. I faithfully watch every episode of her current show, Hot In Cleveland. Last but not least, I have a Betty White calendar in my office.

When my dear friend, @kayakgal, asked if I knew about (or had read) Betty White's book, Here We Go Again, I was surprised that I hadn't. She made sure I received a copy and I couldn't wait to delve into it! I, of course, loved it!

Betty White is most certainly a television pioneer. She was there, doing live TV, before most people even had television sets. There are no tapes, obviously, of the first television shows she was on, so it was a pure delight to read her recount those days and what it was like for her, blazing a trail in this new frontier.

I was surprised to find out about her relationships prior to the love of her life, Allen Ludden. It was wonderful to read about their special relationship and how much they loved each other. She told stories about her famous friends as well. She showed them to all be such down to earth souls. It brought to mind many episodes of the Golden Girls that some of them guested on. I figure that they did the show because of Betty White!

The book reads just like Betty is sitting down with you, telling stories over coffee. Because of this, sometimes she jumps around in time. There were several times when I wasn't sure what year something happened, but all in all, it probably doesn't matter. Each tale was a joy to read.

If you have any interest in the history of television or, like me, are a Golden Girls junkie, you simply must read this book! Betty White is a hoot and she makes me wish I was along for the ride all those wondrous years.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book #5: Good Dog. Stay. by Anna Quindlen

My fifth book of 2011 was quite short. "Good Dog. Stay." by Anna Quindlen has just 82 pages and over half of those are pages with only pictures on them. It is about Ms. Quindlen's black Lab, Beau.

To be exact, although it is about Beau, it isn't a memoir. It is more of a brief look back at the author's own life and how the dog played a role in it. You don't get much of a look at his personality, but you do get a good glimpse of hers.

It is a pleasant little story and you can feel the love she and her family had for Beau. If you have 30 minutes and don't mind a couple of tears, read about Ms. Quindlen and her dog. I know I would want everyone to get a glimpse of my pets if they could and I bet that is why she shared her Beau in this story.

Book #4: Dog On It by Spencer Quinn

I had heard about this book long ago and thought I should read it. I saw favorable reviews and it was recommended by friends. I thought it would be a book that I would love. Instead, I just kind of liked it.

"Dog On It" by Spencer Quinn is a Chet and Bernie mystery; the human, Bernie, is a private investigator and Chet is his dog who didn't quite make it through police K-9 training. Together they make up the Little Detective Agency. Bernie is hired by a mother to find her missing teenage daughter. Not a few hours after he is hired, the girl comes home on her own. Case closed. Until she goes missing again, this time for real.

Bernie and Chet are on the case even though others think the girl will just turn up again. Bernie follows his intuition and Chet follows his nose. There are a couple of twists that probably should have really interested me, but I just couldn't seem to get into it. Bernie pretty much has the case figured out and lets the reader know "whodunit" in a rough sense. The only mystery at that point is finding the girl and piecing together the details.

I never found myself looking forward to reading what came next. Maybe the fact that I didn't have anything to ponder is what bored me. The characters were very likable, but it didn't seem to matter too much when something seemingly bad happened to them. I knew it would work itself out and I didn't care much how it would happen.

Although I wouldn't tell people it is a "must-read", it's not a bad little story. If you like mysteries, give it a try. If you read it too, let me know what you thought of it.
Just as an aside, I would recommend you check out Chet's blog; it's pretty cute!