- BRC Book Club: September Edition
BRC Book Club: September Edition
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami
Here’s what the team was reading in September, in their own words…
Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic
Written by Glenn Frankel
I just read a great “Biography of a film”—“Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic” by Glenn Frankel. Frankel does more than tell the (fascinating, unlikely) story of the making of “Midnight Cowboy” in 1969. He tells the story of everyone involved, going especially deeply into the lives of director John Schlesinger and the author of the original book, James Leo Herlihy. NO ONE expected this film to be a breakthrough success: they were all doing it for the right reason, because it was worth doing. Great storytelling about great storytelling that also captures a pivot point in American culture.
—Rich Procter, Senior Writer
Stay With Me
Written by Ayobami Adebayo
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo is the story of a Nigerian marriage and how much both the wife and husband will sacrifice for the sake of family. I read this debut novel several months ago, and it has continued to work its way into my thoughts ever since. It’s a work of many layers and genuine surprises, great humor and tragic consequences, and it’s well worth your time.
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
Written by Deesha Philyaw
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw thankfully lives up to its great title. Philyaw renders her characters completely despite their brief appearances in this wonderful collection of short stories that explore the space between each character’s desires and what is expected of them. It’s a thoughtful and entertaining read.
—Carolyn Leach, Senior Writer
Always Crashing in the Same Car:On Art, Crisis, and Los Angeles, California
Written by Matthew Specktor
Always Crashing in the Same Car by Matthew Specktor is almost impossible to describe and equally as hard to put down. It’s part memoir, part cultural history of artists who toiled on the edges of success, and part portrait of Los Angeles. It’s a pretty haunting take on the knife’s edge between success and failure, both personally and professionally, and a weird love letter to LA.
The Practice of Groundedness
Written by Brad Stuhlberg
The Practice of Groundedness by Brad Stuhlberg is an antidote to all of the “grind it out, life/work hacks, break things quickly” bullshit we’ve all been force-fed for the last decade or so. As company favorite Scott Galloway says, “it’s a valuable guide on going from heroic individualism to a more sustainable, long-term vision of success.” If you’re not familiar with Stuhlberg and his work, you should be. He’s a voice of rationality and wisdom amidst the chorus of 21st century madness we all find ourselves in the middle of.
— Brad Shelton, Creative Director
Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The life of PL Travers
Written by Valerie Lawson
I became fascinated to know more about PL Travers and to find out how much of her childhood from Saving Mr. Banks was true. She stated while alive that she did not want anyone to ever write a biography about her yet she donated all her papers and letters with the most detailed notes about her life and process to a public library for all to view. She was an actress and a journalist. She traveled in the literary circles of W.B. Yeats and T.S. Eliot. She lived an extraordinary life seemingly by her very will do so. In my opinion, the more I read about her life, the more I see of PL Travers in Mary Poppins. Mary seems to be a flawed yet idealized version of herself while also being the reliable family she so yearned for.
—Cara Pico, Design Studio Director
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Not sure if this has already been covered but I just finished this and was absolutely enamored by how it balances the glow of Hollywood Glamour with the dark underbelly that exists just off camera.
This book revolves around a series of interviews with the a woman who was once the biggest star in Hollywood, Evelyn Hugo. After years of being a secretive recluse, Evelyn has finally elected to tell her side of the story to a young reporter who turns out to be more involved in Evelyn’s world than she could possibly imagine. The story is one part Halls-of-Power, one part mystery, two parts old Hollywood Glamour, and three parts romance, as Evelyn takes the reporter, and by extension us, from the studio system to the modern era of entertainment, all the while asking us to reflect on the grey that exists between what is good and what is bad. With an astonishing scale that rivals the epics of a Hollywood gone-by, The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a must read for anyone who loves movies and the stars that make them possible.
— Jordan Beeks, Design Manager