Tuesday, April 27, 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 Kat about her "HEARTBREAKER: TWO MONTHS WITH JUDY."

So this go round you covered a book about Judy Garland.  Just give us an overview of Judy in case someone's never heard of her -- as hard as that might be to believe.

Kat: Sure.  Judy Garland and her sisters were a musical act.  She went on to become a child star.  THE WIZARD OF OZ established her as a star.  That musical has gone on to be a classic and is aired repeatedly on TV to this day.  She plays Dorothy Gale, a young girl who lands in the land of Oz when a tornado picks up her Kansas home.  In the film, she sings many songs but the classic is "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."  She'd go on to sing many more songs and make many more films.  "For Me and My Gal," "The Pirate" and "Summer Stock" -- the last one contained her classic performance of "Get Happy" --  are the three films she co-starred in with Gene Kelly.  With Fred Astaire, she made "Easter Parade."  Some of her other classic films include THE HARVEY GIRLS, THE CLOCK, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, A STAR IS BORN, JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG, IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME, BABES IN ARMS, ZIEGFIELD GIRLS, STRIKE UP THE BAND, LITTLE NELLIE KELLY, PRESENTING LILY MARS, A CHILD IS WAITING . . . I could go on and on.  After MGM fired her, she would go on to become a world class stage entertainer with legendary concerts around the world.  Along with "Over The Rainbow," she had classics with "Get Happy," "Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart," "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," "The Trolley Song," "The Man That Got Away" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."

We wanted you to detail that because, as we said, people might not know who Judy was.  But we also wanted you to provide that overview to see if you'd offer more than John Meyer did in his book and, we'd argue, you offered more in your response to us than he did in the entire book.

Kat: I would agree.  He spent far too much time on the banal and you had to wonder why because who writes banal details and anecdotes when they're writing about Judy Garland?  I couldn't believe how boring the book was.  He claims he met her and I believe that.  He claims they spent about two months together.  A little harder to believe, but okay.  He claims he was deeply attracted to her as a straight man and I find that impossible to believe.  

You found him to be homophobic as well?

Kat: I -- I don't know.  We live in different times, I know that.  I know that we've had a huge sea change for many people.  But this book was published after everyone should have known better.  If it had been published pre-Stonewall or even in the 70s, I would've cut hm some slack.  But this book was published in 2015.  And he's so mean and cutting about this gay man -- an openly gay man.  And I thought we'd gotten beyond that -- beyond the point where closet cases felt they had to prove they were straight by attacking gay men.  I guess we really haven't or maybe John Meyer just never entered this century?  I had to wonder what he thought he was achieving with that?  Judy Garland is an icon to many gay males and Judy's non-gay fans aren't homophobic so I had to wonder who he thought would be reading his book and enjoying his tearing apart a gay man for being gay?  

Did you feel like you learned anything about Judy?

Kat: Not at all.  If the book was accurate, he had a very dull time with Judy Garland.  If it wasn't, he should have lied better to make it interesting.  There are many, many more books about Judy out there that are worth reading.  I would recommend, for example, Gerold Frank's JUDY, Gerald Clark's GET HAPPY: THE LIVE OF JUDY GARLAND, Lorna Luft's ME AND MY SHADOW and especially David Shipman's JUDY GARLAND: THE SECRET LIFE OF AN AMERICAN LEGEND.  John Meyer's book is the worst book I've ever read about Judy Garland and, please note, I've been reading books about Judy Garland since Andrea McArdle played her in the TV movie RAINBOW back in 1978 and the paperback book the movie was based on, Christopher Finch's RAINBOW: THE STORMY LIFE OF JUDY GARLAND, was available in drug stores everywhere.  That was a good book, by the way.  But it was followed by some paperbacks that weren't so good over the next five years.  Even the worst Judy Garland book that I read in the late 70s and early 80s was better than John Meyer's books.  I can't think of one reason why a Judy Garland fan would want to read it.

Okay, thank you so much for that review.  Are you enjoying AMAZON's KINDLE UNLIMITED?

Kat: To a degree.  I'm probably just going to focus on music books.  I may read a book about Elton John next.


 is a 1978 American made-for-television biographical musical drama film which chronicles the early years of singer-actress Judy Garland, portrayed by Andrea McArdle. Directed by Jackie Cooper, it was written by John McGreevey based on the 1975 book Rainbow: The Stormy Life of Judy Garland by Christopher Finch



"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Stan, Ava and C.I.)


"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Elaine, Dona, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Mike, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Trina, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Stan, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)"

"KINDLE UNLIMITED (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)"









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