Monday, March 15, 2010

Reading, Reading, and Reviewing

For my first foray into celebrity bio non-fiction, I honestly couldn't have picked a better one than THE TIME OF MY LIFe, by Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi. Although John's got numerous bios laying around the house (ex. Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn, Tom Brokaw), I never could become interested in the subject matter. Although Ronnie -- well, yeah, he was a cool cat. And Lord knows I've got enough non-fiction books myself on European history non-fiction. I don't think I need to repeat myself here and spew all of my reasons for wanting to read the Swayze book, so I'll just leave it at that.

What I loved about THE TIME OF MY LIFE was the conversational style it was written in, as if Patrick himself is sitting right there in your living room, telling you all these stories of his dancing days in Houston and New York City, the first time he laid eyes on Lisa, and even a few behind-the-scenes stories on the Dirty Dancing set.

Some things I didn't know before reading the book:

  • Patrick's mom, Patsy, worked with Lisa as choreographers for the movie Urban Cowboy. Subsequently, the Swayze clan became pretty good friends with John Travolta. 
  • Lisa, at one time, moved out and got her own place when she couldn't deal with Patrick's way of handling depression -- booze. Supposedly, within the pages of THE TIME OF MY LIFE is the first time they made this public knowledge.
  • Patrick was a 3-pack/day habit smoker.
  • "She's Like the Wind", one of the hit songs from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, was actually written by Patrick many years earlier for Grandview, USA.
  • The infamous crashing of his Cessna in Arizona back in the 90s was actually the result of hypoxia, not booze, after he'd flown too low and valves on the plane stuck due to tar and cigarette smoke coating them. He and Lisa were bad about smoking in the cockpit in-flight.
  • Patrick lost his sister, Vicky, to suicide.  

And I think I'll end it there because I don't think I can do justice for this book in a review here. It's enough to say that I enjoyed it and now I'm eager to try other bios of this nature -- possibly the Andre Agassi one?

Now I've moved on to one that's more of something I'm used to, NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES by Leslie Carroll. It's a review book, and one I'm enjoying immensely although some of it is stuff I already knew before from past books I've read on the subject. I'm loco for any of these anthology-style books where each chapter features another couple or individual.

Oh yes, and I've also got a book I'm planning on finishing for Keishon's TBR challenge -- THE KING'S MISTRESS by Terri Brisbin. Although I have plenty of books by her in the TBR, this is my first time reading one. It's hard to picture a former mistress (considered a whore by many, in this case) of Henry Plantagenet in the role of heroine, but I can see some of the shine through the gritty exterior, and it's actually working. For now...

No comments: