Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Donna Parker Goes to Hollywood

As before, with second hand books: I think they are brilliant. This one - Donna Parker in Hollywood - was bought as a gift by somebody who knows me well, and who knew what a kick I would get out of the trashy cover. It was written by Marcia Martin, and published in 1961 by the Whitman Western Publishing Company.

Now, though I have never read this book - my to-read pile of books is about 15 books high at the moment, and rising - I like to think it's a tale of a young woman moving to Hollywood in search of glamour, and getting herself into all sorts of bother with boys and drugs, like in Valley of the Dolls. "From the moment the handsome boy sat beside her in the plane", the blurb reads, "Donna knew this trip was going to be special".

Here she is sitting thoughtfully next to her suitcase as she prepares, tearfully, to move away from her childhood home.

This is what all the glam folk in Hollywood get up to of an evening: a spot of crafting and make-do with their old clothes.

Not really sure what is going on in this picture. Maybe this is one of the boys she gets into trouble with, trying to give her a comforting clothes-on back rub.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Alice in Wonderland

There's nothing - well, apart from a good library, maybe - that I like better than a second hand book shop. The best ones are the kind managed by full-scale atomic book-nerds. These have books everywhere. I went in one once where the shelves reached the ceilings. Every shelf was full of paperbacks of every stripe: fiction, poetry, fantasy, horror, the classics. In the corner, they had a display case with old classics with trashy covers. At some stage, a publishing company or two must have liked the idea of putting out editions of Bleak House with a picture of a maiden, her bosoms out, swooning into the arms of a shovel-jawed gentleman in his undercrackers. My eyes, readers. My eyes.

Those close to me know about my secret (not at all secret) love of old books, and ply me sometimes with gifts that pander to my obsession. This was how I came to be in possession of a 1971 Bancroft Classic reprinting of Alice in Wonderland, with some rather spectacularly creepy illustrations.

Here's the rabbit in court:

Here's Alice upon discovering the 'drink me' potion:

...and here she is getting angry in court:

Currently reading

Diary of a Nobody George Grossmith