Reading Recommendations: Doris Day, The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door, David Kaufman.
Doris Day is the rare American icon who millions of people feel they know intimately. For nearly six decades, Day's manufactured persona has remained intact, the woman born Doris Kappelhoff has always been seen as "American as apple pie" and as "The girl next door".
But as David Kaufman reveals in his long awaited definitive biography, Doris Day, The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door, the truth is far more fascinating and complex than has ever been previously divulged. Day is much more the girl no one ever really knew than she is the girl next door. And thanks to his unprecedented access to Day's intimates and his unflinching attention to detail, Kaufman gets to the core of who Doris Day is while taking readers to the epicenter of American culture from the 1940's to the present.
In Kaufman's biography readers will discover: Never before heard stories about a vast array of major players in Day's life, including Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock, Jack Lemmon, Cary Grant, Mickey Mantle, Candice Bergen and many more; the truth behind Day's legendary scream in Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much; as well as the reason for her nervous breakdown after the making of Calamity Jane; how she was hoodwinked out of $22.8 million due to her husbands gullibility; her close relationship with her only son and her difficult journey through grief after his untimely death; details about her life after the cameras stopped rolling; how she turned a lifelong devotion to animals into the focus of her retirement; and much more.
Hurry back and listen to Day's unforgettable songs such as Sentimental Journey, Secret Love, and Que Sera, Sera and perhaps see some of her movies on TV reruns. Doris Day was a joy to watch through the years.
And, The Unlikely Lavender Queen, a Memoir of Unexpected Blossoming, Jeannie Ralston.
In 1990, Jeannie Ralston was a successful magazine writer and bonafide city girl, the type of woman who couldn't imagine living on soil not shaded by skyscrapers. By 1994, she had called off an engagement, married Robb, a National Geographic photographer, and was living in Blanco, Texas, population 1,600.
The Unlikely Lavender Queen is the intimate story of a woman who gives up a lot for the man she loves, her beloved blue state, bagels, and all night bodegas, only to have to wonder: Was it too much? Ralston offers a lively chronicle of her life as a wife, new mother, and an urban settler in rural Texas. As she labors to convert a dilapidated barn into a livable home, deal with scorpions and unbearably hot summers, raise two young children while Robb is frequently away on assignment, she realizes her ultimate struggle is to reconcile her life plans and goals with her husband's without coming out the proverbial loser. And just when it seems like she might be losing that fight, and herself, a little purple bloom changes her life.
The Unlikely Lavender Queen will resonate with all women who have faced the tough choices that come with "having it all" and hoped for adventure to come along and surprise them. One tiny surprise-our town of San Saba is mentioned in an interesting rural way.
If the reader has not walked by the Texas bookshelves lately, do take a moment to check out what's really there and available for checkout. There's so much good material, both past and present. I'll mention books along to whet your reading appetite!
See you at Rylander!