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Book reviews in the news



Carole Lombard must've heard two books that feature her received glowing reviews today. Here's the lowdown:



First up, Michelle Morgan's "Carole Lombard: Twentieth-Century Star." OK, so this bio is two years ago, but some classic Hollywood buffs are only now learning about it. (Better late than never.)

Nicole Sherwood of the site "Old Hollywood" gave the book five stars. Here's proof. (Editor's note: I assisted Morgan in researching it at the Margaret Herrick Library at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and am one of two people the book is dedicated to.)



Sherwood is a fan of Morgan's work, but says this is the first non-Marilyn Monroe volume of hers she's read. And Sherwood "absolutely loved it":

"With Michelle's books you can tell that she is passionate about the subject and she researches the facts and avoids the scandals."

And that Morgan does here, as she emphasizes Lombard's life and personality more so than her tragic demise.

Sherwood needed little persuasion about Carole, whom she called "a remarkable woman, ahead of her time in terms of her attitude towards business, beauty, women, war and work. ... There is so much to learn about Carole as she had a very energetic and positive personality and an honest, open attitude towards life."

She applauds Morgan's decade-long research on the book, including production notes and other documents heretofore unavailable to Lombard biographers. Interviews with Carole herself also emphasize her modernity.




And the photos? Sherwood loves them, calling the images "beyond beautiful." (Which they are.) She comments:

"Carole was a very private woman who endured a lot of tragedies and struggles during her career and lifetime. She is an inspiration and her story and legacy deserves to be celebrated. That is exactly what Michelle does with this beautiful book."



See Sherwood's review at https://medium.com/@nlsherwood/book-review-carole-lombard-twentieth-century-star-781b1808ff5b.

The other book is one I've yet to read, but publicized less than two weeks ago (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/933141.html). Fortunately, my White Sox fan friend Dan Day Jr. has, and he likes it too:



"Hitchcock's Heroines" (written by Caroline Young)? Yes, it's a title rarely associated with Lombard -- but she indeed was a lead in a Hitchcock film, not a thriller but an American screwball comedy, 1941's "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." And while Day adores Lombard as much as I do, he examines the entirety of the women who starred on his films. (There were so many, headed by multiple leads Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren.)

Day provides this insight:

"One of the main themes of this book is Hitchcock's quixotic personality when it came to relating to women. The author makes the case that Hitchcock was very respectful toward major stars who were not intimidated by him, such as Carole Lombard and Ingrid Bergman. However, this work does not shy away from the accusations made toward Hitchcock by women such as Tippi Hedren and Vera Miles. The charge that Hitchcock's work had a misogynistic streak running through it is also discussed."

(Day notes that having a woman write this book, with her perspective, was a definite plus.)

The reviewer also is a fan of the photos and the emphasis on the wardrobes these leading ladies wore, as it shows Hitch's emphasis on beauty.



Day concludes with, "I already own a number of books written about Alfred Hitchcock and his movies, and I'm glad I added this one to the list."

Read his review at https://dandayjr35.blogspot.com/2018/09/book-review-hitchcocks-heroines.html?showComment=1536883576993#c6208505389629344085.
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