Saturday 13 April 2019

The A-Z Blog Challenge, Letter L

Letter L of My Favourite Books by title
Three books - three authors 
Two autobiographies - One Horror

I like to read autobiographies of some of my favourite people and authors - from Agatha Christie, Clive Barker, & James Herbert, to Billy Connolly, John Bishop, & Paul O'Grady and these two autobiographies are one's that made a lasting impression - and fortunately they both have an L title! first is, Love Life, is from American actor Rob Lowe. Here's the blurb:

When Rob Lowe's first book was published in 2011, he received the kind of rapturous reviews that writers dream of and rocketed to the top of the bestseller list. Now, in Love Life, he expands his scope, using stories and observations from his life in a poignant and humorous series of true tales about men and women, art and commerce, fathers and sons, addiction and recovery, and sex and love.

I have been a lifelong fan of Rob Lowe. I lapped up all the Brat Pack movies in the 80s and then everything that had him in it after - I also noted how he seemed to appear naked at some point in so many of them!

This is the second autobiography, or memoir, he has written - a sequel if you will. The first, Secrets I Tell My Friends, was also good, but really you need to be a fan of The Outsiders (the movie) to full embrace all its contents, and he does a lot of big name dropping.

Love Life goes a little bit deeper. Rob talks about his children, being a parent, his addiction and all the things he's learnt along the way, and the heartfelt chapter towards the end, about his wife, is one that moved me very deeply. This book really touched me, and made me reflect on my own life and marriage, and review how I had lived.

Rob had an easy style of writing that flows well. I wouldn't have missed this one for the world.

*** second is Lucky Man, from American actor Michael J. Fox. Here's the blurb: 

In September 1998, Michael J. Fox stunned the world by announcing he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease -- a degenerative neurological condition. In fact, he had been secretly fighting it for seven years. The worldwide response was staggering. Fortunately, he had accepted the diagnosis and by the time the public started grieving for him, he had stopped grieving for himself. Now, with the same passion, humor, and energy that Fox has invested in his dozens of performances over the last 18 years, he tells the story of his life, his career, and his campaign to find a cure for Parkinson's.

Being a child of the 80s, there weren't many of Michael J. Fox's movies or TV series that I missed - from The Secret of My Success to Spin City. And I still enjoy watching him now in The Good Wife and The Michael J Fox Show. He's funny, and really enjoyable to watch, and he seems to never age!. I was interested to know more about his diagnosis and the disease that he's refusing to let stop him acting. His autobiography is open and candid and goes into detail about every aspect of his diagnosis and how he deals with the condition.

Michael's writing style is distinctive, and I felt like I could hear him speaking the entire time I read this book. It was funny and light and quite impressive that he was able to write it himself. He goes into detail about how the drugs he takes to control the Parkinsons work, and even uses an example of how his own handwriting, and how it becomes legible after they start working. I felt that I had been given a glimpse into who he really is, and I liked him even more after reading this book.

  *** because this book had an L title, it couldn't be missed:  
The Lost by American author Jack Ketchum. Here's the blurb:

In 1965, teenage friends Ray, Tim, and Jennifer liked hanging out in the campgrounds, but Tim and Jennifer didn't know what Ray had in mind for those two girls in the neighboring campground. Four years after Ray murdered the two girls, he's never been charged. Tim and Jennifer thought the worst was behind them. They were wrong. 

I love horror, but when I came across this book it had been a while since I had read any new authors in the genre, and I was struck by this new (to me) voice - one that I had missed out on up until that point. 

The Lost is a graphic, suspenseful and chilly story - everything a true horror reader loves. I even remember when I read it - after my first child was born, lapping it up while he lay napping between feeds in the rocking chair in his room. 

And I wouldn't have read this book if Stephen King hadn't recommended this author - which reminds me of a recent discussion in a book group about whether famous authors should do this. Personally, I am grateful that he did, otherwise I would never have discovered it. And although, as yet, this is the only book of Jack Ketchum's I have read, I definitely plan on getting my hands on more. Unfortunately he died in 2018, though, so there won't be anything new.   



  1. michael j fox certainly has an incredible story, no?

    Joy at The Joyous Living

  2. I'm not sure I can tackle the Ketchum book but those two autobiographies look intriguing.
    Enjoy your reading and Happy A-Z'ing.

    1. Horror is not for everyone. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Always looking for good new horror books, so thanks for the rec!

    1. There's plenty more to come so stay tuned.