July 30, 2006

Summer’s a great time for escaping the heat and losing one’s self in books and movies. The chaos out in the real world ain’t going away any time soon, right? So, it should come as no surprise that the lines between here and Amazon.com have been absolutely ablaze lately.

Books:

* Rome Sweet Rome by Scott and Kimberly Hahn was an interesting read, describing their spiritual journey from Presbyterianism to Roman Catholicism. More on this in the next few days, but I found the Hahn’s focus on “covenant” throughout the Old and New Testaments and how they came to see Roman Catholicism as the truest reflection of covenant and sacrament as it relates to Biblical truth powerful, challenging, and worthy of consideration.

* Catch A Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, by Peter Ames Carlin. While I’m only a third of a ways through it, it is, quite simply, the definitive work on the history of the Beach Boys as told through the life of their leader, Brian Wilson. If you’ve ever wondered why and how the Beach Boys and their music made such a mark on American pop culture, redefining “California” as not just a state but a state of mind both exhilarating and dark in its expression and scope, you simply cannot do better than Carlin’s magnificent work.

* SMiLE: The Story of Brian Wilson’s Lost Masterpiece, by Domenic Priore. On deck reading-wise, I’m looking forward to reading Priore’s book if only because it contains in-depth interviews with Van Dyke Parks (Wilson’s collaborator on SMiLE) and Frank Holmes (who did the artwork that exemplified the whimsy in Wilson’s music and Parks’ lyrics).

* South Sea Tales, by Jack London. Reading material for our Hawaiian cruise coming up in late September.

* Feeding The Monster: How Money, Smarts and Nerve Took a Team to the Top, by Seth Mnookin. Everyone in Boston is talking about this look-see into the inner workings of the Boston Red Sox following the sale of the team from the Yawkey Trust to the Henry/Werner/Lucchino ownership group. Oughta be a good one – I’m looking forward to cracking this baby open.

Movies:

* The Endless Summer – Bruce Brown’s legendary 1966 travelogue following two surfers around the world. Beautifully photographed, both the digital picture and sound quality is excellent and a must-add to your collection if you own a big-screen TV.

* The Sting – One of my all-time favorite films, with Redford and Newman playing con-men out to get Robert Shaw. It’s still in the mail, so I’ll let you know how it does in digital form.

* All The President’s Men (Two-Disc Special Edition) – Because it’s my all-time favorite film, I was hoping the special edition would enhance the movie experience itself, and it doesn’t disappoint. Not only do you get a number of special features that discuss the making of the film and its influence (both good and bad) on today’s journalism, you also get a version with Robert Redford’s own commentary throughout. Fabulous!

Music:

* Covered by The Beach Boys – I’m picking up this CD only because it contains two songs previously only available on LP: 1967 covers of The Box Tops’ “The Letter” and The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends”. For collection purposes only.

* Ride The Wild Surf: Complete Sandals 1964-1969 – The Sandals performed the music on Bruce Brown’s “The Endless Summer” (above) soundtrack and are often overlooked in the vast litany of surf groups the popularized the genre in early-60s California. I’ve always loved their music, though, and this collection will gladly replace the well-worn LP that has barely held up through numerous plays over the years.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 13:10 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. I watched The Sting again not long ago. “Four Jacks” is one of my all-time favorite film moments. That moment has never gotten old with me but it was pure movie magic the first time I saw it.

    Comment by Rob — July 30, 2006 @ 2:25 pm


  2. Hi Rob –
    For me, it’s when the con guy says, “I said PLACE that money on Lucky Dan – that horse is gonna finish second!” The look on Robert Shaw’s face is priceless.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — July 31, 2006 @ 11:03 am


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