Monday, February 22, 2021




In 2018, community sites took turns covering a book every week.  You can see "In 2018, we read books" to review that coverage.  We didn't want to repeat ourselves in 2019 or 2020.  So when Marcia came up with a way to cover books but with a twist, we were all for it.  Marcia's idea was for us to digital books -- we're largely a printed text crowd -- and to use AMAZON's KINDLE UNLIMITED.  So for 2021, we'll be doing a book a week and trying to just use KINDLE UNLIMITED. This week, we're talking with Mike about his "Book review CONVERSATIONS WITH CAPOTE."

So you went looking for something of substance, saw Truman Capote and thought Lawrence Grobel's CONVERSATIONS WITH CAPOTE would be something worth reading.

Mike: And then I read it.  I mean it's . . . dishy?  Is that the word?  We learn that he hates Meryl Streep's acting and looks.  I can agree with him but it didn't build anything or up to anything.  

Truman Capote, for those who don't know, was a highly praised writer who never wrote the masterpiece he teased in the last years of his life.  He never completed it.  But he wrote non-fiction, such as IN COLD BLOOD which you loved.

Mike: I did.  I thought it was a great book.  And I think you can see its impact on every good and bad true crime book that followed.  I mean, I don't think we'd have Norman Mailer's THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG without having had IN COLD BLOOD first.  Truman really set the standard.  And Harper Lee helped him with that book to some degree.  But I really didn't learn about that or anything in CONVERSATIONS WITH CAPOTE.  It was dishy, gossipy.  I blame Truman Capote -- or Truman E. Capoat -- I'll get back that.

We know what you're talking about.

Mike: I know you do.  But I blame Lawrence Grobel.  I can't believe this is the best he could collect from conversations with Capote.  Cloris Leachman recently passed away.  Among other things, she won an Emmy for THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW.  In one episode, Mary needs an assistant and ends up hiring friend Phyllis -- Cloris' character -- to be the assistant.  Instead, Phyllis wants to run the TV station, especially the news.  And she thinks Ted, the anchor, can do better than Murray's writing.  So she goads him into a meeting with the boss, Lou Grant.  And Ted wants better writers, like this Truman Capoat that Phyllis is telling him about.  "E," Phyllis says, meaning "Capote" -- that's how it's said.  But Ted says something like, "Oh, right, Truman E. Capoat."  That always me laugh.  Nothing in the book made me laugh.  It was dishy.  He talks about Jane Fonda and says she was a spoiled brat and talks about her in early adulthood coming into the Fonda living room while he was talking to Henry Fonda and she wants some dress and Henry says no and she falls to floor kicking and screaming and throwing a tantrum -- right in front of Henry and Truman.  That's what you get in the book.  Meryl's looks, Jane's tantrum, stuff like that.  It's all gossipy and unimportant.  

So it was not the literary book you hoped for.

Mike: Not at all.  I was hoping to get some spinach and just got more candy.  I get enough candy already, as I noted in my review.  If you're a huge fan of Truman Capote and you want to pretend you had a good gossip session with him at lunch, this is the book for you.  Otherwise, no.


Mike: Not really impressed.  I found that book on page six or seven of literature and fiction.  You, as my mom noted last time with you ["KINDLE UNLIMITED (Trina, Ava and C.I.)"], can't really search for KINDLE UNLIMITED books.  You try searching by author or title and it turns up all KINDLE BOOKS -- ones that you buy, ones that you can read for free on KINDLE UNLIMITED.  It's not helpful.  So you really do have to browse by genre.  I would work on that.  I would also rotate books and make new additions regularly and make it easy to find those.  I keep saying the same damn books -- over and over -- that I've seen since I started my subscription at the end of December.  

So you're not impressed with the search function and you're not impressed with what's being offered.

Mike: Yeah.  That sums it up.  I want to add something else.  I'm not impressed with the app.  I don't have a KINDLE.  Since about 2013, I've purchased KINDLE books and I just read them in my AMAZON CLOUD.  But some of the books KINDLE UNLIMITED offers, I ask to put them in my CLOUD and get told it won't go and that I need to put them in an app.  So I've had to install, on my desktop, an AMAZON APP and why?  Why do I need two different things to read KINDLE books? It should be possible to read them in just one manner.  

No one's raised that so far, so thank you.  Anything else?

Mike: I'm going to try to do a piece of literature or about literature this year.  I'll give it one more try.

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