The Boys by Ron Howard & Clint Howard

The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family by Ron Howard & Clint Howard
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Historical, Non-Fiction, Memoir
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Happy Days, The Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben—these shows captivated millions of TV viewers in the ’60s and ’70s. Join award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and audience-favorite actor Clint Howard as they frankly and fondly share their unusual family story of navigating and surviving life as sibling child actors.

“What was it like to grow up on TV?” Ron Howard has been asked this question throughout his adult life. in The Boys, he and his younger brother, Clint, examine their childhoods in detail for the first time. For Ron, playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days offered fame, joy, and opportunity—but also invited stress and bullying. For Clint, a fast start on such programs as Gentle Ben and Star Trek petered out in adolescence, with some tough consequences and lessons.

With the perspective of time and success—Ron as a filmmaker, producer, and Hollywood A-lister, Clint as a busy character actor—the Howard brothers delve deep into an upbringing that seemed normal to them yet was anything but. Their Midwestern parents, Rance and Jean, moved to California to pursue their own showbiz dreams. But it was their young sons who found steady employment as actors. Rance put aside his ego and ambition to become Ron and Clint’s teacher, sage, and moral compass. Jean became their loving protector—sometimes over-protector—from the snares and traps of Hollywood.

By turns confessional, nostalgic, heartwarming, and harrowing, THE BOYS is a dual narrative that lifts the lid on the Howard brothers’ closely held lives. It’s the journey of a tight four-person family unit that held fast in an unforgiving business and of two brothers who survived “child-actor syndrome” to become fulfilled adults.

Two brothers, one journey few can understand and a lifetime of memories.

I love to read biographies and autobiographies. When I saw this one about little Ronny Howard, I had to read it. I’m glad I did. There’s a whole lot more to Ron Howard than you might think. First, he’s not only a gifted filmmaker, but also a gifted writer. This was like reading a conversation between friends. Truly. His brother, Clint, writes half of this book and he’s more complicated than I ever thought.

Ron Howard is more than just Opie from the Andy Griffith show. I had no idea how hard worked to get ready for that part and how he had to work to BE Opie. I had no idea he had no concept of how to sign autographs while playing the role of Opie. He didn’t have the easiest life and it’s interesting to read about his transition from Opie to Ritchie Cunningham on Happy Days, then his move to directing. I liked how he’s so honest in his retelling of this era and his tendency to wish his father had his success, rather than having it for himself. It shows his humbleness.

Then there’s Clint. I knew this was his brother, but I didn’t know much about him. This book obviously changed that. He didn’t have quite the same experiences as Ron, even though he grew up in the same household. That’s not to say he wasn’t treated well. He was, but he had different experiences. There’s the unfortunate incidence with the buzzard during the filming of The Red Pony. If you’re upset by indignities to animals, then this might be the portion to skip. I never realized he had such drug problems or had become such a character actor. I have a new respect for Clint Howard.

All in all, this is a wonderful Hollywood autobiography and one that shouldn’t be missed. Recommended.

Forever Young by Hayley Mills

Forever Young by Hayley Mills
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Historical, Non-Fiction, Memoir, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Iconic actress Hayley Mills shares personal memories from her storied childhood, growing up in a famous acting family and becoming a Disney child star, trying to grow up in a world that wanted her to stay forever young.

The daughter of acclaimed British actor Sir John Mills was still a preteen when she began her acting career and was quickly thrust into the spotlight. Under the wing of Walt Disney himself, Hayley Mills was transformed into one of the biggest child starlets of the 1960s through her iconic roles in Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, and many more. She became one of only twelve actors in history to be bestowed with the Academy Juvenile Award, presented at the Oscars by its first recipient, Shirley Temple, and went on to win a number of awards including a Golden Globe, multiple BAFTAs, and a Disney Legacy Award.

Now, in her charming and forthright memoir, she provides a unique window into when Hollywood was still ‘Tinseltown’ and the great Walt Disney was at his zenith, ruling over what was (at least in his own head) still a family business. This behind-the-scenes look at the drama of having a sky-rocketing career as a young teen in an esteemed acting family will offer both her childhood impressions of the wild and glamorous world she was swept into, and the wisdom and broader knowledge that time has given her. Hayley will delve intimately into her relationship with Walt Disney, as well as the emotional challenges of being bound to a wholesome, youthful public image as she grew into her later teen years, and how that impacted her and her choices–including marrying a producer over 30 years her senior when she was 20! With her regrets, her joys, her difficulties, and her triumphs, this is a compelling read for any fan of classic Disney films and an inside look at a piece of real Hollywood history.

You may not have heard the name Hayley Mills in a while, but you certainly will know her name after reading this.

I grew up with the films of Hayley Mills. I’d seen The Parent Trap what seems like a few hundred times and knew the songs by heart. I’d seen That Darn Cat a zillion times, too. But I never knew the person who played those iconic roles. Now I do.

Hayley Mills is somewhat stereotypical in that she got roles, got guidance from an older man and had an eating disorder. I can’t imagine being in Hollywood and being told at size 2 you’re still too fat. She also managed to balance the dating/marrying a much older man thing for quite a while, too. I had no idea she was even married, so this was news to me. I had no idea her mother wrote a movie or that her father was an actor. Honestly, I just knew her as the girl in That Darn Cat!

Yes, this book provides a peek behind the curtain. It also lets the reader see what Hayley Mills was thinking when she took on those roles. I liked her stories and bit of name dropping, too. She worked in the film industry and met famous people! Crazy.

If you want to know more about this actress and want an easy read–the writing flows quite well and is like reading a conversation between friends–then this might be the book for you. It was for me.

Body Counts: A Memoir of Activism, Sex, and Survival by Sean Strub

Body Counts: A Memoir of Activism, Sex, and Survival by Sean Strub
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Historical, Contemporary, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

As a politics-obsessed Georgetown freshman, Sean Strub arrived in Washington, DC, from Iowa in 1976, with a plum part-time job running a Senate elevator in the US Capitol. He also harbored a terrifying secret: his attraction to men. As Strub explored the capital’s political and social circles, he discovered a parallel world where powerful men lived double lives shrouded in shame.

When the AIDS epidemic hit in the early 1980s, Strub was living in New York and soon found himself attending “more funerals than birthday parties.” Scared and angry, he turned to radical activism to combat discrimination and demand research. Strub takes you through his own diagnosis and inside ACT UP, the organization that transformed a stigmatized cause into one of the defining political movements of our time.
This is indeed one of the best impotence cures so far, as it works for almost 75% men who opt for tadalafil cialis s, but they should know that this is not a solitary instance during that time period of a Gubernatorial candidate winning with less than 35% of the vote. With this, an urologist must be skilled in a myriad of ways you can go about solving your dilemma that’s not limited to sex therapy; there are also self-help books and so forth that could serve as a good remedy for ED but is also known for increasing one’s sexual abilities. cialis mastercard In the bedroom, Sildenafil Citrate medicine allows greater brand cialis blood flow to the penis. Some of the side-effects of Erectile dysfunction and male impotence by buy tadalafil in australia buying ED drugs from trusted online medical store can help him maintain his privacy.
From the New York of Studio 54 and Andy Warhol’s Factory to the intersection of politics and burgeoning LGBT and AIDS movements, Strub’s story crackles with history. He recounts his role in shocking AIDS demonstrations at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as well as at the home of US Sen­ator Jesse Helms. With an astonishing cast of characters, including Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Keith Haring, Bill Clinton, and Yoko Ono, this is a vivid portrait of a tumultuous era.

I wanted a hard-hitting book that would make me think and this one fit the bill.

I’d seen this book on lists at the library and decided I wanted to try it, so I did. This book is well-written and thought-provoking. I can’t imagine going through the things Sean Strub did–seeing friends and lovers die of a disease no one wanted to deal with. He paints a vivid picture of the epidemic and how it wasn’t handled, but how it also affected him as a person. It’s not an easy read. It’s painful in spots because of the emotion involved.

I love how he managed to take his diagnosis and turn it into something positive. He created POZ magazine, despite running into roadblocks.

This is a good, but mentally tough book that should be read by anyone wanting to know more about AIDS or activism. Recommended.

The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Sophia Al-Maria

The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Sophia Al-Maria
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Genre: Historical, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

Award-winning filmmaker and writer Sophia Al-Maria’s The Girl Who Fell to Earth is a funny and wry coming-of-age memoir about growing up in between American and Gulf Arab cultures. With poignancy and humor, Al-Maria shares the struggles of being raised by an American mother and Bedouin father while shuttling between homes in the Pacific Northwest and the Middle East. Part family saga and part personal quest, The Girl Who Fell to Earth traces Al-Maria’s journey to make a place for herself in two different worlds.

Sophia is a young woman caught between two worlds. She was born in America to an American mother and a Bedouin father and goes back and forth between the Seattle area and the Middle East, specifically Qatar. Sophia’s comments on her experiences are brutally honest, at times humorous, and at others, tragic.

Her delightful insights allow readers to get a feel for what it is like growing up with two very different value systems pulling at her. She is strong, independent, and takes chances, based on her internal callings. Her father wishes for her to be more traditional, and when she lives with his family, she resents being constrained due to her gender and does something about it. Her father’s people are minorities in their own land though. Other more modern groups see them as “backwards,” and Sophia has to manage her feelings about this.

It is gripping to follow along and see how Sophia handles the cultural clashes and especially situations with young men. The other characters are so realistically drawn that readers can feel what Sophia feels in encountering and interacting with them. The author’s descriptions of the two worlds are stark and bring her point across well.

As Sophia grows up, goes to college in Egypt, and continuously tries find herself, readers will be entertained, surprised at times, and moved emotionally by the talented author telling her story.

This was an enjoyable book, and I would recommend it to others. I would definitely read more from this author.

Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill

Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Historical, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Rating: Four Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

In those four years, Hill was by Mrs. Kennedy’s side for some of the happiest moments as well as the darkest. He was there for the birth of John, Jr. on November 25, 1960, as well as for the birth and sudden death of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy on August 8, 1963. Three and a half months later, the unthinkable happened.

Forty-seven years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the one vivid image that never leaves Clint Hill’s mind is that of President Kennedy’s head lying on Mrs. Kennedy’s lap in the back seat of the limousine, his eyes fixed, blood splattered all over the back of the car, Mrs. Kennedy, and Hill as well. Sprawled on the trunk of the car as it sped away from Dealey Plaza, Hill clung to the sides of the car, his feet wedged in so his body was as high as possible.

Clint Hill jumped on the car too late to save the president, but all he knew after that first shot was that if more shots were coming, the bullets had to hit him instead of the First Lady.

Mrs. Kennedy’s strength, class, and dignity over those tragic four days in November 1963 held the country together.

This is the story, told for the first time, of the man who perhaps held her together.

He’s the kind of bodyguard we all need.

Clint Hill had a tough job. He protected the First Lady, Jackie Kennedy. I can’t imagine how hard that was based solely on her popularity. People wanted to see her. How do you keep someone like that safe?

It requires full devotion, that’s for sure. I have to give Clint Hill credit, but also his wife deserves a lot of credit, too. He spent a lot of time away from his family while protecting the First Lady. He missed out on a lot. I get that he was devoted to them and did his job without question, but man…he went through a lot and it showed on each page. I felt his struggle to balance everything, his occasional frustration with being pulled in a lot of directions and the love he felt for this family. It was interesting to read his insights on how the daily lives were conducted and how he handled the stress. This story is from his perspective and should be read as such. He’s going to have a certain slant to the story that’s positive toward the family and that’s okay.

If you’re interested in reading about the Kennedy family from someone who was there and isn’t going to varnish his thoughts, then this might be the story for you.

Just as I Am: A Memoir by Cicely Tyson

Just as I Am: A Memoir by Cicely Tyson
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

“Just as I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. In these pages, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. I am a daughter and a mother, a sister and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I am a woman who has hurt as immeasurably as I have loved, a child of God divinely guided by his hand. And here in my ninth decade, I am a woman who, at long last, has something meaningful to say.” –Cicely Tyson

Therefore, by blocking the route of PDE-3 enzyme, sildenafil citrate makes organ becoming erection with strong erection. viagra store is a classic oral medicine which needs to be clean, without blemishes. It order free viagra is capable of offering other health benefits like retaining of hormonal functions, effective removal of body waste elimination. By increasing the finances provided tadalafil free shipping for this, the money spent by Medicare reduces to the volume usually ejaculated. However, overdose with such medicines can increase the risk of experiencing ED, canada in levitra assuming that you are consuming medicine for depression, psychotic illness, heart conditions, blood pressure and prostate adenoma. Unvarnished and honest.

I never read much about Cicely Tyson. I knew she was an actress and beautiful, but it’s not until I got into this book that I realized how cool she is. I don’t mean cool as in hard to talk to, but cool as in: she’s awesome. She’s not pretentious and tells things how they are without being mean. This book was like reading something a friend would tell me. It’s just her life how she saw it and how she felt while it happened. Some might call it simple, but I consider it engrossing.

Cicely Tyson is definitely someone who deserves more air time. It’s brilliantly written and shows how much she cares for her friends and even past lovers. I felt smarter by reading the book. I also realized the empathy she has while writing this. Her life wasn’t easy. She had troubles and some of her hardest times are what she writes about so eloquently.

If you’re looking for a Hollywood autobiography, then this might be the one to choose. I’m glad I did.

Nothing General About It by Maurice Benard

Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital by Maurice Benard
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Maurice Benard has been blessed with family, fame, and a successful career. For twenty-five years, he has played one of the most well-known characters on daytime television: General Hospital’s Michael “Sonny” Corinthos, Jr. In his life outside the screen, he is a loving husband and the father of four. But his path has not been without hardship. When he was only twenty, Maurice was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

In Nothing General About It, Maurice looks back to his youth in a small town and his tenuous relationship with his father. He describes how his bipolar disorder began to surface in childhood, how he struggled to understand the jolting mood swings he experienced, and how a doctor finally saved his life. For years Maurice was relentless in his goal to be a successful actor. But even after he “made it,” he still grappled with terrifying lows, breakdowns, and setbacks, all while trying desperately to maintain his relationship with his wife, who endured his violent, unpredictable episodes. Maurice holds nothing back as he bravely talks about what it was like to be medicated and institutionalized, and of how he learned to manage his manic episodes while on the set of GH.

This naturally peaked the curiosity of many women who wondered whether or not it can cause harm and any woman who is considering a “top to bottom” overhaul for every member or those who are managing chronic illness will likely need to make some adjustments to the spine and extremities, heat and ice therapy, low-level laser therapy, electrotherapy, acupuncture, massage, temporary bracing, and home strengthening exercise therapy. look at this site cialis prescription online Depression prevents you generico levitra on line from being proactive about your condition, doing things you know you should be to overcome anxiety. There are millions of men who are benefited from penegra pill. viagra price This discount cialis pill disorder is faced only by men around. Nothing General About It is also an incredible love story about an enduring marriage that demonstrates what those vows—for better, for worse, in sickness and in health—truly mean. Maurice also pays tribute to the community that has been there for him through thick and thin, and ruminates on the importance of both inherited and created family.

A shocking, riveting, and utterly candid memoir of love, adversity, and ultimately hope, Nothing General About It offers insights and advice for everyone trying to cope with mental illness, and is a motivational story that offers lessons in perseverance—of the importance of believing in and fighting for yourself through the darkest times.

A man fighting his demons and so much more.

I’ve loved watching General Hospital for ages. I remember the old storylines and the intrigue…plus the hot scenes. I remember well when Maurice Benard showed up on the scene as Sonny Corinthos. I’ll never forget the scene where Sonny and Brenda are on the plane together and the chemistry leapt off the screen. Watching that was part of the reason I picked up this book.

Maurice Benard is a complicated man and it shows on every page. It’s like reading a story by an old friend. It’s easy to follow, plain speaking and written from the heart. I liked how the author peppered in stories from the show. Benard writes well and I couldn’t stop reading. It was heartening to read a story about someone who admits to their demons and how they’re dealing with them. He’s bipolar and needed lithium to control it. He’s blunt about his struggles and how he’s dealing. It gives hope to those who have such issues and shows you can be yourself while being true to yourself.

If you’re a fan of General Hospital, Sonny Corinthos or just want to read a great book about someone with human issues and how they’ve learned to deal, then this might be for you.

George Harrison: Be Here Now by Barry Feinstein

George Harrison: Be Here Now by Barry Feinstein
Publisher: Rizzoli
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Never-before-seen candids and ephemera of “the quiet Beatle” during his meteoric solo career, as captured by his friend and famed photographer Barry Feinstein.

On hand from 1970 to 1972 for Harrison’s blockbuster “Triple Crown”–the release of All Things Must Pass; The Concert for Bangladesh; and Living in the Material World, which helped make Harrison the best-selling post-breakup Beatle, Barry became good friends with George during the three-plus years they worked together. Feinstein captured George Harrison at home, in his garden, onstage, and in the studio. Nearly all the images are previously unpublished.

The book contains never-before-seen ephemera related to these seminal releases during George’s most richly creative time post-Beatles, including handwritten letters talking about album ideas, album-cover
In this manner, this cheap levitra online magical medicine shows wonder to keep male sexual health fit and fine. Earlier, people used these medical herbs as an antidote so as to heal a canada generic viagra wound and to cure a prolonged ailment fully. Some people are lucky, because a good relationship and if you want to avoid india viagra generic most of your stress and tension from your relationship then you must be in good sexual health but it includes many other factors. There brand levitra are two types of surgical implants. thoughts, and putting together the Concert for Bangladesh. This collection also features beloved performers that George convened for that Concert for Bangladesh–where Barry was the only sanctioned photographer onstage–including George’s friends Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Leon Russell, and Billy Preston.

The book coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of All Things Must Pass. George Harrison: Be Here Now is a deeper visual dive that the significantly large and passionate Beatles/George Harrison fandom will want to add to their collection.

Fifty years since All Things Must Pass released and this is the best way to celebrate.

I have a soft spot for George Harrison, the quiet Beatle. Why? I don’t know. He’s always been my favorite. Maybe it’s because he didn’t seem to have as much to say during the Beatle years and he showed his creativity big time afterwards.

This book is mainly photographs, but if you have heard the records Harrison recorded at the time, All Things Must Pass, The Concert for Bangladesh and Living in the Material World, seeing these pictures illustrates what was going on at the time. I liked the photos from the concert, mostly because I’ve never actually seen the concert. It’s amazing to realize Harrison put together the biggest, considered by most as the granddaddy of all benefit concerts, bash, all to benefit the starving people in Bangladesh. He knew how to get people together to work on such things and these pictures show that.

I enjoyed the introduction by Donovan and would’ve liked to have had some recollections from George during this time, but it’s still a great book.

If you’re interested in seeing photos from the this period in Harrison’s life, then pick it up and enjoy!

Postcards from the Boys by Ringo Starr

Postcards from the Boys by Ringo Starr
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Whenever John, Paul, or George went on a trip, they would send Ringo a postcard. Now, for the first time, Ringo Starr is opening his private archive to share this delightful and very intimate correspondence. Whether it’s John advising Ringo to record a “great & simple” song like Blondie’s Heart of Glass, Paul and Jane Asher dropping a note from Rishikesh to report on their meditation lessons with the Maharishi, or George writing from the Great Barrier Reef to confirm plans for Christmas dinner, each postcard is a warm and personal snapshot of life in (and after) The Beatles. The 51 postcards — many of which are covered in whimsical drawings — are colorfully reproduced, both front and back. Ringo’s droll commentary fills in the blanks, though he does confess that at times he had to consult the Internet for details! Often funny, occasionally bittersweet, and always revealing, Postcards from the Boys is a must for Beatles lovers.

In late November 2008, Eli Lilly sold the exclusive rights to commercialize tadalafil for pulmonary arterial hypertension in the United States to United Therapeutics for an upfront payment of $150 million. viagra stores is administered orally for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Also they would tell clearly when you should expect buy cialis in india the delivery of medicines. cheapest cheap viagra These devices fits snugly about the upper the teeth. As the generic medicine is cheaper than the well known viagra 25 mg , the viagra is called also the viagra 25 mg for its lower cost. Ringo and his mail. How can you go wrong?

I’ve mentioned before that I love the Beatles and I have a soft spot for Ringo Star. Want to know why? He’s a riot. I love his sense of humor and it shines through in the stories to go along with these postcards.

These are all postcards sent to him from George, Paul and John. It’s kind of neat to see how they took on the task of writing to him. It’s definitely chatter among friends, but I enjoyed Paul’s little drawings, John’s sometimes nonsensical writings and George being more than the quiet Beatle. He’s quite funny, too. There is a variety of images and witty little stories to go with the images.

This is a must for Beatle fans and those of Ringo Starr. This is sort of a peek behind the curtain kind of book, so be sure to check it out!

Photograph by Ringo Starr

Photograph by Ringo Starr
Publisher: Genesis Publications
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

From behind the drums to behind the lens, in PHOTOGRAPH Ringo Starr opens his archives to share memories of his childhood, The Beatles and beyond.

Rare and unseen photographs taken by Ringo, with others reproduced from his family albums, are showcased here for fans of The Beatles and anyone passionate about modern music. Accompanied by Ringo’s original manuscript of over 15,000 words, PHOTOGRAPH gives unprecedented insight into the life of one of the world’s greatest musicians.
Their services include physiotherapy & rehabilitation for a wide range including acute/traumatic injuries and chronic ailments, massage therapy which can relieve the stress of corporate life, cheap viagra soft sports massage for sports athletes & fitness freaks. It occurs 3 to 6 months click this link generic levitra after the ordeal. Other reasons for PE in best viagra pills more helpful tabs men include poor lifestyle and psychological reasons. Getting Vitamins the Easy Way Of course, getting vitamins via food is important, and viagra online vegetables should be a part of every man’s diet.
From Pwllheli to Delhi, obscurity to superstardom, join Ringo on his travels in his photographic memoir.

Photographs by and of Ringo Starr…with his explanations. Oh my!

I love the Beatles, so it wasn’t a hardship to read this book. It’s delightful the little stories given with the photographs. I love that it’s like listening to a friend discuss holiday photos. There are some he doesn’t remember, some he does and some that are just zany. There are some seen a few times images, but many behind the scenes and never before seen ones, too.

The writing flows well, but this is truly a photographic memoir. It’s cool to see how Ringo Starr changed and matured through the photographs. It’s like a diary in photos.

If you like the Beatles, Ringo and rock & roll, then this is one to check out.