Most Interesting Man Speaks

movies from books

The life of an actor can be both precarious and interesting. Just ask Jonathan Goldsmith, best known as The Most Interesting Man in the World. His memoir is STAY INTERESTING, about his own interesting life as an often struggling audition seeker in that fantasy factory often described as “Tinsel Town.” Hollywood was arrived at via a Volkswagen from New York, a vehicle which died on arrival in much the same way that so many dreams die for young people seeking fame and fortune there. His subsequent homes included living on the bedbug infested couch of a future Star Trek cast member, on an unheated frog farm with the man later known as “Coach” on Cheers, and on a yacht once caught in a storm. Jobs too there were many, including hauling construction trash, painting, and being a reluctant gigolo between auditions. Westerns became his specialty as an extra, but he was killed by many stars, not just John Wayne, in being shot, drowned, blown up, machine gunned, run over, electrocuted, thrown off roofs, and hung. Memories recounted on movies and TV series include names like Fernando Lamas (a friend and business partner), Joseph Cotton, Leonard Katzman, Don Siegel, and Clint Eastwood. After decades of riding the Hollywood roller coaster, his career break came late in the game on an audition for a Dos Equis advertising campaign in which actors were asked to improvise with the ending line, “And that’s how I arm wrestled Fidel Castro.” And that’s how he later got to improvise for Obama in the Oval Office. Narrating the audiobook of his true story, Goldsmith presents an honest and surprisingly candid rumination on his life, with memories of his father, and reflections on what it all means. Now involved in charity work and advocacy, he lives in a rustic cabin with his wife and dogs, far from the “madding crowd.” As Spock would say, “fascinating.”

Tower Review: What do you like to read?  Yuja Wang: “Tolstoy, Victor Hugo, Murakami…I love reading, and there are lots of authors I enjoy. Each piece I play is like a story, and the better the storyteller the more interesting it is for the artist, I think. This is not a sporting event. It’s organic, and there is always room for improvement.”

Serena Williams VS Roger Federer

Serena Williams

No, Roger Federer didn’t make a statement like John McEnroe did. He doesn’t have a new book out to promo, either. But John’s statement has people imagining Serena playing top male tennis players…what would be the score, in this case? Does it matter? There was once a “battle of the sexes” in tennis, so it might be interesting to try it again. Serena and Roger would be a great matchup. Would the players consider it? Should they? Am not a big sports fan, although I do play and follow tennis, so am wondering if fans think this is a publicity stunt. John narrates his new audiobook BUT SERIOUSLY…out the same week as his statements. Perhaps we take the statements of celebs (and sports itself) too seriously?

 

Processed with Rookie

Carol Burnett Wins Grammy

Carol Burnett

Congrats to Carol Burnett for winning the Grammy in the best Spoken Word album category for IN SUCH GOOD COMPANYCarol Burnett is widely recognized for her work on stage and screen, most notably The Carol Burnett Show, which was named in 2007 by Time magazine as one of “100 Best Television Shows of All Time.” A highly acclaimed actress for her comedic and dramatic roles on television, film, and Broadway, Burnett has been honored with twelve People’s Choice Awards, eight Golden Globes, six Emmy Awards, the Horatio Alger Award, the Peabody Award, and the Ace Award. She has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is a Kennedy Center honoree, and has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. She is also a New York Times bestselling author.

We also recommend the new young novelist Catherine Ryan Howard, who scored well with accolades for her first novel DISTRESS SIGNALS, a suspense set on a cruise ship. And just for fun, with the upcoming Oscar Show, a throwback full cast album OSCAR’S HIJACK is a mystery with satire recommended by Audiofile and produced by Blackstone.

The Oscars

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Ray & Joan by Lisa Napoli

ray-and-joanRay & Joan is a quintessentially American tale of corporate intrigue and private passion: a struggling Mad Men–era salesman with a vision for a fast-food franchise that would become one of the world’s most enduring brands and a beautiful woman willing to risk her marriage and her reputation to promote controversial causes that touched her deeply. Ray Kroc was peddling franchises around the country for a fledgling hamburger stand in the 1950s—McDonald’s, it was called—when he entered a St. Paul supper club and encountered a beautiful young piano player who would change his life forever. The attraction between Ray and Joan was instantaneous and instantly problematic. Yet even the fact that both were married to other people couldn’t derail their roller coaster of a romance. To the outside world, Ray and Joan were happy, enormously rich, and giving. But privately, Joan was growing troubled over Ray’s temper and dark secret, something she was reluctant to publicly reveal. Those close to them compared their relationship to that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. And yet, this volatility paved the way for Joan’s transformation into one of the greatest philanthropists of our time. A force in the peace movement, she produced activist films, books, and music and ultimately gave away billions of dollars, including landmark gifts to the Salvation Army and NPR. Together, the two stories form a compelling portrait of the twentieth century: a story of big business, big love, big betrayal, and ultimately big giving by Joan.

The audiobook version is narrated by the author, Lisa Napoli.

jenn-morris

Jenn Morris is a voiceover talent. Would you like her advice on reading for a living? Would you like to try it yourself, first? See About at this new blog for details.