It's a good book, but it's not my Typee...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Houdini House Party

Yesterday, I hosted a Houdini House Party courtesy of And we got to watch an advance copy of the first half of The History Channel's Houdini special that is coming on this labor day. It stars Adrien Brody and we enjoyed it quite a bit. I wasn't sure how my friends would react because I'm a huge Houdini fan, but that doesn't mean everyone around me shares my interest. It helped that most of the ladies in the group find Adrien Brody easy on the eyes.

One of the highlights for me was Houdini trivia. The winner got a Houdini martini shaker from House Party and The History Channel. I laid out my Houdini books on the refreshment table and we looked at pictures of him and his wife and his many amazing tricks. My guests had tons of questions about "The Needle Trick" which is pictured in my oldest Houdini book, Houdini: His Life-Story by Harold Kellock, originally published in 1928 just a couple of years after the magician's death.

In preparation for the party, I've been reading my various Houdini books and have reacquainted myself with some of the stranger facts about his life. I'd forgotten than when he was a teenager, he paid to have his picture taken with a chest full of medals he'd won in athletic competitions. Except he'd only won some of them. The rest were borrowed or were fake medals he'd made himself. Even at a young age, the man who would become Houdini was a master of advertising. I'd also forgotten that he was the first person to fly a plane in Australia. How weird is that?

If you're looking for a short read that will make you an expert on Houdini's early life and career, look no further than Houdini: Escape into Legend by Manny Weltman. It's only 51 pages and includes a lot of photos of Houdini and his family, as well as some of his birth certificates and passport documentation which show his attempt to shed his original name (Ehrich Weiss) and change his birthplace from Hungary to the US. The book wasn't listed on Goodreads yet, so I had to enter all the info on their website and create an entry for it. I've done that before for several other obscure books, but there's always some pressure involved since you are responsible for describing the book to the entire Goodreads community. Not something you want to screw up.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Too many books!

I'm sure I've said this before, but there are too many books and not enough time to read them! I sincerely hope that Heaven has a giant library because there's no way I can read everything I want to before I die. My list of books to read on Goodreads is well over 100 and that's with me really restraining myself.

And it's not just books I personally want myself to read. There are the books I need to read for my book club, most of which I'm actually looking forward to. There are the books friends tell me I need to read (I never read The Giver as a kid and so I've been instructed to do so by my friend Angie). And then there are the books I started reading and refuse to give up on now even though they're terrible. So what if I only read a couple of pages a week? I'll have it done in a year or two, tops.

It's a delightful problem to have, but a little frustrating because I know I can't possibly get to all the books I want to. Even if I quit my job and read in a cardboard box, there aren't enough hours in the day.

One of my goals is to at least read every book I own. Ok...maybe not every book I own because I still have tons of books in my bedroom at my parents' house and a collection of nautical books in our second home. I'll read every book at my house for starters. Ok...maybe not every book at my house because some of them aren't even mine; they belong to my husband. So I just need to read the 100 or so books that I own and that are currently in my house. In addition to the book club books and the ones I can't resist downloading onto my Kindle because they're free. In other words, I might read all of them by the end of the decade if I'm lucky.