Here are 6 summer books — or as I call them, books — you might want to pick up.
Directed by James Burrows by James Burrows. Jon Cryer was almost Chandler on Friends! Lucille Ball turned down the role as Diane’s mom on Cheers! A lot of people don’t like Rob Schneider! Those are just some of the stories told by the legendary sitcom director in this entertaining memoir.
James Patterson by James Patterson. The author, who made some controversial headlines this week, has written an autobiography that shows how he went from a top advertising exec (he wrote the ad line “I’m a Toys R Us Kid”) to one of the most successful writers of all time.
Be My Baby by Ronnie Spector. This is an updated and expanded edition of the late singer’s 1990 memoir, with a new introduction by Keith Richards.
On the Trail of Sherlock Holmes by Stephen Browning. This follows the career of Arthur Conan Doyle and how he came up with the idea for the iconic detective, who was based on a real person.
Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra. I’ll let the publisher describe this novel: “The epic tale of a brilliant woman who must reinvent herself to survive, moving from Mussolini’s Italy to 1940s Los Angeles … .On the eve of America’s entry into World War II, Maria is an associate producer at Mercury Pictures, trying to keep her personal and professional lives from falling apart.”
Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney. This mystery revolves around a family reunion that takes place on an isolated island. Each family member is killed one by one. Book Riot’s one-word review for this is “BANANAPANTS.” (Not out until August 30, but that’s still summer.)
Amazon Is Not a Library!
Is it wrong to buy an ebook and then return it for a refund? That’s the debate right now, as authors are upset that Amazon gives people seven days to return an ebook. That means someone can read a book, either disliking it or not liking it enough to read it again, and return it for a full refund. (Amazon keeps track and will impose a limit on how many books you return if you’re abusing the policy.) This can actually cost an author money.
I don’t think this would happen with physical books. A person wouldn’t bother mailing it back to Amazon and would either give it to someone else or throw it away.
I’ve never been to a Stuckey’s — there aren’t any in Massachusetts right now and I wasn’t aware of any when I was a kid — but I’ve been aware of them through reading about road trips and American pop culture references. A lot of the locations (there are currently around 65, down from 368) aren’t in the best shape, and the new owner is trying to change that.
Actually, the “new” owner has an old name: Stuckey. Stephanie Stuckey knew she had to do something when she saw how far the chain had fallen during pandemic times, and with that last name she knows what has to be done.
Let’s check in with Miss Manners and see what people are talking about. Ah, the “correct” way to eat with a knife and fork.
The LW (that’s “letter writer” in MM world — MM is “Miss Manners”) says that she has spent a lot of time in England and France and noticed that Europeans and Americans hold their utensils the same way when cutting food, the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right (I’m right-handed so I’m not sure how you left-handed weirdos do things).
But that’s where the similarity ends! In America, most people then put their knife down, transfer the fork to their right hand, and eat. In Europe, they don’t transfer the fork to their right hand, they just eat with the left hand, even if it’s not their dominant hand. (The LW says something about “spearing” the food with your knife and then “transferring” the food to the fork, which sounds bizarre to me — the fork is already doing the “spearing” for you.)
Is this true? I have to admit it’s something I never really thought about (the closest I’ve ever been to Europe is that Rick Steves show on PBS). I guess not transferring the fork to your right hand would save time but it seems unwieldy to me (especially if you’re not left-handed) and would probably make you eat faster, never a good thing.
Miss Manners says the American way is more civilized and explains that it was actually Europeans who brought it over.
Question: How do you use a knife and fork? Let me know in the comments below.
RIP Philip Baker Hall, Julee Cruise, Matt Zimmerman, Donald Pippin, and Baxter Black
Philip Baker Hall was an acclaimed character actor who appeared in many movies, including Magnolia, Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, The Rock, Air Force One, The Insider, Midnight Run, and the one-man Nixon film Secret Honor, but may be best remembered to TV fans for playing Bookman the library cop on Seinfeld. He also appeared on many other TV shows. He died Sunday at the age of 90.
Julee Cruise was a singer and songwriter who worked a lot with director David Lynch, including providing vocals for the series Twin Peaks. She appeared on the show, its sequel, and the feature film and also released several solo albums. She died last week at the age of 65.
Matt Zimmerman was best known as the voice of Alan Tracy on the Thunderbirds series and movies. He died last week at the age of 87.
Donald Pippin was an Emmy- and Tony-winning conductor and musical director. He died last week at the age of 95.
Baxter Black was a cowboy poet and storyteller. He died last week at the age of 77.
This Week in History
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Released (June 11, 1982)
Did you know that Harrison Ford filmed a scene as Elliott’s principal that was ultimately cut out of the movie?
Watergate Break-In (June 17, 1972)
For the 50th anniversary, CBS Sunday Morning has a feature on how the scandal changed Washington, D.C.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Sunday Afternoon Callers” (June 17, 1950)
Do people still have family and friends come over on Sunday afternoons? We had visitors every Sunday when I was a kid, but I don’t remember my mother looking as irritated as the couple on this George Hughes cover.
National Onion Ring Day
June is National Turkey Lovers Month. But since there’s no way that day should be celebrated in June — turkey is more a November/December thing — let’s talk about onion rings (definitely a summer thing). National Onion Ring Day is next Wednesday.
Here’s a recipe for Old-Fashioned Onion Rings from AllRecipes, and here’s one for Oven Baked Onion Rings from the same place. Just a Taste has a recipe for Beer-Battered Onion Rings, and if you’re looking for something really healthy-sounding, try these BBQ Bacon Wrapped Chocolate Dipped Onion Rings from Scrappy Geek.
You can eat them with your fingers so there’s no utensil confusion.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Father’s Day (June 19)
Take a look at our cover gallery of classic dad moments.
First Day of Summer (June 21)
It officially begins at 5:14 a.m. EDT.
Featured Image: Shutterstock
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