Why These Books?

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Liz
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Why These Books?

Unread postby Liz » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:32 pm

This is a list of the past, present and future books of ONBC. The list contains only books that we’ve already discussed or that are actually on the calendar. They are organized by date and contain name, author and the reasoning behind choosing the book.

November 2003
Secret Window, Secret Garden by Stephen King
Johnny was filming the movie (Secret Window) at the time we were reading it.

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February 2004
Perfume, the Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
From
USA Weekend

"I'm re-reading it."

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March 2004
The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan
Taken from the
Le Musée Imaginaire interview ,
25 August 2002 (in reference to TTOYL)
JD: "Fantastic! Unbelievable! Just… crazy. Beautiful. And perfect. And a kind of -- for me, like a bible. A bible because, yeah: 'The time of your life' - which is tiny - live! And don't hold anything against others. But if someone comes in and you have to take care of it, you have to take care of it. Take 'em out."


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April 2004
The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson
Johnny Depp was supposed to have started filming this with Hunter and Benecio Del Toro in December 2003, but the movie was delayed. Apparently Johnny has taken over production, but there is no date as of yet on the filming.

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June 2004
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
In
VIBE Interview:
“On The Road was my bible for years. I went back and forth in my head about it. Do you do that to that book? The other side of me was saying jump on it, because someone else will do it and they'll f*** it up. But I decided it was one of those things you shouldn't touch. Just let the characters live in your head. Don't force images on people. They'll get their own if they read the book.”
Also in an article written in his own hand:
THE NIGHT I MET ALLEN GINSBERG
An appreciation of KEROUAC, BURROUGHS, CASSADY and the other bastards who ruined my life
“I had found the teachers, the soundtrack and the proper motivation for my life. Kerouac's train-of-thought writing style gave great inspiration for a train-of-thought existence -- for better or for worse. The idea to live day to day in a 'true pedestrian' way, to keep walking, moving forward, no matter what. A sanctified juggernaut.”
JD liked Jack so much he paid $15,000 for his raincoat and $10K for his tweed coat.

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August 2004
J.M. Barrie and the Lost Boys by Andrew Birkin
The bio of the author of Peter Pan played by Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland. Johnny was subsequently nominated for Critics Choice, Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG and an Academy Award.


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October 2004
The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys
Johnny Depp’s film of the same name is based on this play.


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January 2005
Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins
Johnny recommended it in
In Style Magazine, Culture Club Celebrity Tips on What to Spin, Rent and Read, pg. 260. “It’s about a CIA agent who has a taste for sex, drugs and rock and roll, plus the supernatural. What a combo.”

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March 2005
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Raold Dahl
CATCF was released in July 2005. Johnny was subsequently nominated for best actor in a musical or comedy for his role as Willy Wonka at the Golden Globes.


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May 2005
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Johnny's production company, Infinitum Nihil, has purhcased the rights to Shantaram; and Johnny will star as the Australian adventurer, Lin.


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July 2005
I, Fatty by Jerry Stahl
Johnny has always been a fan of the early silent film actors. I, Fatty is another book recommended by Johnny and also a movie to be made by his production company.


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September 2005
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
Johnny was a great admirer of Hunter S. Thompson’s writing and a very good friend of his. Johnny spoke fondly of Hunter S. Thompson on the Tonight Show, July 2005:
“Hunter S. Thompson was…is still one of the most important writers of the 20th Century, as far as I am concerned. He wrote a classic book called Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Depp starred as the man himself in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the movie.

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November 2005
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
ALWD was also optioned by Infinitum Nihil.


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February 2006
Inamorata by Joseph Gangemi
Another future IN production.


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April 2006
The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy

From the Irish Independent, January 21, 2006: "Donleavy has a new spring in his step following the news that Johnny Depp, an admirer of Donleavy's work, wants to bring The Ginger Man to the screen. The pair recently met up in New York and got on swimmingly. Depp will try where countless others - including John Huston and Robert Redford - have failed."

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June 2006
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Johnny starred in the part of Roux in the 2000 movie adapted from the novel.


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August 2006
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Johnny was slated to star with Robin Williams in Terry Gilliam’s production of the novel, but funds for the project fell through.


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October 2006
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by George Dibdin Pitt
This collaboration with Tim Burton was released in December 2007. It earned Johnny his first Golden Globe Award, and the film a GG also, both in the Musical/Comedy category. Johnny was also nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Sweeney Todd.


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December 2006
Happy Days by Laurent Graff
Another future IN production. The last word (from Le Parisien) is that filming is planned to begin in 2008.


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February 2007
The People’s Act of Love by James Meek
Another future IN production. Johnny is quoted as saying:
"As with any great work, James Meeks’ The People’s Act of Love is bound to raise comparisons – and as in almost all cases, being wrangled into that snare is a trap that should be avoided at all costs. This incredible book should and will rest on its own laurels as a treatise on the complicated nature of love and humanity. The author has himself earned every brilliant word, sentence and chapter of this divine masterpiece."

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April 2007
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges
Johnny starred as Gilbert Grape in the 1993 movie adapted from the novel.


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July 2007
The Bomb in My Garden by Dr. Mahdi Obeidi & Kurt Pitzer
Another future IN production. From the Robert Edwards (writer/director) website:
“Currently, Edwards is adapting the book THE BOMB IN MY GARDEN for Warner Brothers, Initial Entertainment Group, and Johnny Depp's production company Infinitum Nihil. "The Bomb in My Garden," co-written with journalist Kurt Pitzer, is the memoir of Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, who until his escape from Iraq in 2003 had been the architect of Saddam Hussein's covert program to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.”


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September 2007
Wait Until Spring, Bandini by John Fante
Johnny was originally supposed to write an introduction for this book. In fact, Amazon UK and Canongate were both advertising it on their websites. That is why we chose the book. But when Noodlemantras began receiving their copies in the mail from Amazon, they found the intro to be written by John Fante’s son, Dan. We thought Amazon had sent the wrong books out. After much persistence from us, the managing editor of Canongate (the publisher) emailed the following to Liz and explained the confusion:

“Johnny Depp was writing an introduction to this, but became so busy with filming and also with his daughter being ill, that in the end - despite delaying publication considerably - we had to go ahead and publish without his introduction, using Dan Fante's excellent and knowledgeable words instead. It's possible Johnny Depp may produce an introduction at some point in the future, as he is a big fan of John Fante's.”

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November 2007
Ask The Dust by John Fante
Being that we know that Johnny is a “big fan of John Fante’s”, why not continue the adventures of Arturo Bandini and read Fante’s most well-known novel and a favorite of Charles Bukowski’s.


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February 2008
Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough
Johnny is currently filming Public Enemies, based on Burrough’s true account of the public enemies of 1933-34 and the birth of the FBI. Johnny is cast as Public Enemy #1 – John Dillinger.


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May 2008
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominque Bauby
Producer, Kathleen Kennedy, wanted Johnny to play Jean Dominique Bauby in the film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. And Johnny wanted Julian Schnabel to direct. Schnabel remained with the project. However, in the end, Johnny was unable to play Jean-Do due to his commitment to Pirates.


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August 2008
The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
The Club Dumas was the inspiration for the film, The Ninth Gate (1999), in which Johnny Depp plays Dean Corso (Lucas Corso in the book).


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October 2008
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Johnny has mentioned AMF numerous times, and his fondness for Paris and the era of the 1920s. Ernest Hemingway was also one of Hunter S. Thompson’s favorites.
From
The Irish News:
“When I was a kid reading Ernest Hemingway’s reminiscences of Paris in the 20s, I thought, ‘that’s what I want to do. That’s where I want to go’. Now I’m there and I love it,”
From La Repubblica (Italian daily):
“I was charmed by France and its way of life as I read Hemingway's A Movable Feast, and I went to Paris two and a half years ago and I met Vanessa so I never left.”
From Rolling Stone - 30TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL:
“It's not easy in Hollywood. It's all about trying to force commerce and art together. I don't think that's possible. I don't believe movies can be art now. We accept formula. And people don't read. That's a drag. When you read A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway, and you look at how he and Fitzgerald were living in Paris as expatriates in the Twenties it's unbelievable that somebody could have lived that life. The newness of experience it's unfair that we don't get it.”

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January 2009
The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist
On August 25, 2008, The Hollywood Reporter announced that (Jayson) “Rothwell, repped by Paradigm and Zero Gravity Management, is writing "Glass Books of the Dreameaters" [by Gordon Dahlquist] for Warner Bros. and Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil.”


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February 2009
Parallel Worlds by Dr. Michio Kaku
In the wee hours of the morning on August 30, 2008 (after the Kids Concert at Club Cinema, Pompano Beach, FL), Johnny shared with Noodlemantra Charlene that he was currently reading Parallel Worlds:
“It’s a bit scientific, but it’s good.”

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April 2009
Loser's Town by Daniel Depp
A first novel full of Hollywood intrigue by Johnny's brother, Daniel Depp.


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July 2009
Dillinger - The Untold Story by William J. Helmer

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Johnny on the set of Public Enemies reading about his character,
John Dillinger.

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September 2009
Attica by Garry Kilworth
Kilworth's book about three intrepid explorers in a fantastical world
has been optioned by Infinitum Nihil.


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February 2010 (we were late for an important date)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
Johnny and Tim Burton reunite for their 7th film in a sequel to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.


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April 2010
The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter’s novel was first discussed on ONBC in April of 2004. In celebration of the release of the film we revisited Paul Kemp in Puerto Rico (although the film was delayed until October 2011).


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July 2010
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Infinitum Nihil is the production company producing Martin Scorsese’s film by the same name, which is slated to be released in November 2011 (according to IMDb).


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October 2010
A Transatlantic Love Affair - Letters to Nelson Algren from Simone de Beauvier
In the winter of 2010, news came out that Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis are slated to make My American Lover together with Lasse Hallström directing. It is said to be based on the letters of Simone de Beauvier to her American lover, Nelson Algren. According to IMDb, the film is “in development.”


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January 2011
Babylon Nights by Daniel Depp
Babylon Nights is the second in a series a planned series of three by Johnny’s brother, Daniel, on the adventures of private detective, David Spandau.


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March 2011
On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
On Stranger Tides was the inspiration for the POTC series and the name of the most recent POTC film.


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July 2011
The Price of Freedom by A.C. Crispin
The Price of Freedom is the back story of Captain Jack Sparrow published by Disney.


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You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Liz
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Re: Why These Books?

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:52 pm

NOTE: The website will not allow me to list any more books on the original Why These Books? post. So I will continue the list in a new post......

October 2011
Life by Keith Richards
Life is Keith Richards’ autobiography. Keith, as we know, was a major inspiration for the Captain Jack Sparrow character and also played Jack’s dad in AWE.


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February 2012
The Thin Man by Dashiel Hammett
The Hollywood Reporter announced in March of 2011 that Johnny was attached to star in the remake of the classic private eye movie, The Thin Man, with Rob Marshall to direct. The Reporter indicated that Infinitum Nihil would produce the movie. WB has since delayed filming.


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May 2012
Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood by Kathryn Leigh Scott
Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood was chosen for discussion in conjunction with the release of Dark Shadow, a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration.


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August 2012
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
In “My Essentials” in Entertainment Weekly, December 11, 2009, Johnny lists The Master and Margarita as one of his essential books: “This dark, absurd, and subversive treasure lay hidden for many years, even after Bulgakov’s death, such was the fear of reprisal for such a pointed, authentic stab at life under the tyrannical malevolence of Uncle Joe and the withering Soviet climate of the time.” ~ Johnny Depp


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November 2012
Life After Death by Damien Echols
"Damien Echols suffered a shocking miscarriage of justice. A nightmare few could endure. An innocent man on death row for more than eighteen years, abused by the very system we all fund. His story will appall, fascinate, and render you feeble with tears and laughter. A brilliant memoir to battle with literary giants of the calibre of Jean Genet, Gregory David Roberts, and Dostoevsky." ~ Johnny Depp


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February 2013
House of Earth by Woody Guthrie
House of Earth is the first book to carry the Infinitum Nihil’s imprint under Harper Collins.
“The re-discovery of House of Earth reinforces Guthrie’s place among the immortal figures of American letters. Guthrie endures as the soul of rural American folk culture in the twentieth century. His music is the soil. His words – lyrics, memoirs, essays, and now fiction—are the adobe bricks. He is of the people, by the people, for the people.” ~ Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp


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July 2013
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Patti is part of the Depp Family – a close friend to Johnny. Also she captures a time, place and people – artists, writers, musicians – that was formative in terms of art and music history.


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January 2014
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Böll
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum is a book from a list of several books that we were very lucky to be able to confirm with the Patti Smith organization that both Ms. Smith and Mr. Depp have read.


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July 2014
Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill
Johnny starred as Whitey Bulger in the 2015 movie Black Mass, based on the book of the same name by Lehr and O’Neill.


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January 2015
The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery by Kyril Bonfiglioli
Johnny’s 2015 movie Mortdecai was very loosely based on The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery.


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June 2015
Devil’s Dance by Daniel Depp
Devil’s Dance is the final in the trilogy on the adventures of private detective, David Spandau, written by Johnny’s brother, Daniel.


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You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Why These Books?

Unread postby losami » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:34 pm

What in the world is "Oprah Noodlemantra's book club"? :perplexed: :-)

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Unread postby Liz » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:56 pm

Hi losami,

:welcome: to ONBC.

Oprah Noodlemantra's Book Club (ONBC) is a forum where we discuss books. The books can be books that Johnny has enjoyed reading, books by his favorite authors, books by his friends, books that have inspired his movies or books optioned by IN. This particular thread gives the reasons for each book we've discussed since our first book discussion in 2003 - of Secret Window, Secret Garden.

Here's a link to our archives of all of our book discussions, along with Q&As with authors:



Our next book discussion will be of The Master and Margarita. We hope that you will join in the discussion. See the announcement entitled, "Summer reading with ONBC" at the top of the page for more details.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Why These Books?

Unread postby losami » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:13 am

Wow! Very interesting! I was just a little confused with the book covers! Then I realized they were 'adjusted' or photoshopped. :goodvibes:

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Why These Books?

Unread postby bluebird » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:33 pm

Just scrolled through all the books on this list. ONBC has discussed some fantastic book through the years! Anything on the horizon?
The edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. HST

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Why These Books?

Unread postby fireflydances » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:07 pm

Well, I am always up for a read and a write. The trick is getting a book that has ties to Depp and will also stimulate the interest of readers here. Early on I was hoping LAbyrinth would make a good choice, but the movie was sidelined for a bit. Now, of course, it's set to be released in early September under the title City of Lies. Still up for the read -- we'll have to see how the movie goes.

Another possibility is In The Name of the Son: The Gerry Conlon Story by Richard Rawe. Conlon spent fifteen years in a Northern Irish jail as one of the Guilford Four charged in the bombing of a pub. Eventually winning his freedom and given a 1 million pound compensation by the government, Conlon ran wild, spent the money, and developed a massive drug habit before beginning a new life as an activist. Depp, a long time friend of Conlon, wrote the foreword.

And then a third possibility would be Devotion (Why I Write), Patti Smith's latest book. A slim book of just over 100 pages, it is an account of her creative process. I've read reader comments on the book and they are resoundingly good.

Finally, timing is also a legitimate factor in the ONBC process. The articles are much fun to write, but they require a lot of work and a good deal of blank time when the writers truly have nothing else on the horizon. We'll have to see how it goes.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Why These Books?

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:32 am

:omg: I'm game!
Let's pick a book and take the ride! :ONBC:

Patti Smith is always a fun read and short enough for a busy summer.

The Gerry Conlon Story sounds the most intriguing and I'd love to read it someday. Just saw the movie In the Name of the Father, this would be a good follow-up.

Not too thrilled about LAbrynth, but it is next on the Johnny hit parade. It might be good to have some background on the case(s) before seeing the movie.

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Why These Books?

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:06 pm

Sorry for the delay! Lots going on today on the home front.

In any case, I started LAbyrinth in the Fall 2016, but didn't finish it. I would describe it as a non-fiction book, very well researched. Randall Sullivan is a journalist who has written for the Washington Post, The Guardian, The Rolling Stone, and Wired. Three of his books -- always nonfiction--were nominated for Pulitzer prizes. I think it's good. My only hesitation at the moment is we are very close to the release of City Of Lies. We don't know how that film will be received. If we are in the process of reading and the movie is panned, it could decrease interest. Conversely, if it's successful then our choice would be fortuitous. It is likely the most dense (word-wise) of the three books.

To be honest, In the Name of the Son doesn't interest me as much as In the Name of the Father would (the original film about Conlon's life in prison). The book hasn't attracted many reviews, although I read one from The Irish Times that was pretty good. I would want one of us to start the book and report back so that we are picking a book that others would find interesting.

Finally Devotion by Patti Smith. I've read decent reviews and reviews that didn't praise the book as highly as M Train or Just Kids. Again, I recommend that one of us take the leap and read the book. I have read several other of Patti's books.

I can continue to read LAbyrinth -- only up to page 50 -- and report back. I would also be willing to take a chance with Devotion, although if you wish to take it on, I would be more than comfortable with this. I think we know what we want -- high interest, good for tidbits, and generally of interest to our readers.

What say you about this way of proceeding? Scheduling questions would be next. I am taking one of my writing courses this month and next. Some plans for early August. My best time frame would probably be mid September as a start for tidbits.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Why These Books?

Unread postby cussot » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:34 pm

I've just put Patti's book on hold at the library. When I've read it I'll report back!

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Why These Books?

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:58 pm

Good show cussot! Thanks.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Why These Books?

Unread postby bluebird » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:12 am

Great! Looking forward to seeing what the decision is!
The edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. HST

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Why These Books?

Unread postby cussot » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:47 pm

I've had a chance to read Devotion. It begins in M-Train cultural territory, but then veers into a novella that I found tedious and trite. I can't really recommend it, except to say it's a fast read!

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Why These Books?

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:19 pm

cussot wrote:I've had a chance to read Devotion. It begins in M-Train cultural territory, but then veers into a novella that I found tedious and trite. I can't really recommend it, except to say it's a fast read!

:hatsoff: Thanks cussot!
I've got the book now and will be reading it this week. :noodlemantra:


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