Library Loot, August 3 – 9

This week’s loot reflects my current passion for everything early ’60’s. I started watching Mad Men last week and I am infected. I’d never had any interest in Mad Men before now, but found myself watching the first season one evening when there was not much else on TV. I’ve now made it to the end of season 2 and have re-discovered my interest in this fascinating time in America’s history. I say re-discovered because I did have a previous interest in this time period during my teen years. It started when I was spending the summer with my grandparents and found some vintage copies of Vogue in my grandma’s storage closet. They covered the years from about 1961-66 and I was enthralled. I hauled them all out of their dusty boxes and looked at them over and over and over again throughout the summer. I wish I would have had the foresight to ask my grandma if I could have them, but I didn’t and they are long gone. The images stayed with me, however, and now I am revisiting my interest in the early ’60’s.

Here’s this week’s loot (with help from my cat Mabel and her spooky eyes):

1. The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and His Friend Marilyn Monroe by Andrew O’Hagan. This is the story of the last two years of Marilyn Monroe’s life told by her dog, Maf. I started it last night and it is very quirky and …. different. It’s very hard to describe, but I’m enjoying it.

2. Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House by Sally Bedell Smith. You can’t read about the early ’60’s without reading about the Kennedys.

3. Mad Men: The Illustrated World by Dyna Moe. A tongue-in-cheek look at the habits, fashion and alcohol of Mad Men.

4. The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa. Published in 1958, it showed up on the NYT Best Seller list in 1960.

5. Mad Men, Season 4. I probably won’t get to season 4 for a week or so, but I am greedy and didn’t want anyone to get it before me!

What are you passionate about this week?

10 thoughts on “Library Loot, August 3 – 9

  1. I love watching Mad Men too, but I’m really glad I didn’t live through that era! After I started watching it I called my mother to ask if everyone really smoked and drank as much as in the show. She assured me they did but she refuses to watch the show, it reminds her of how horribly sexist (and racist) the era was.

    I think there are also lists online of books that are seen in the show, like The Group by Mary McCarthy. There’s also a hilarious blog called Project Rungay that analyzes the women’s clothing after every episode. The attention to detail by the costumers is fascinating, and they discuss how the clothes reflect all the women and their characters. It’s really interesting if you’re into the show.


    1. I am also grateful to not have to have been a woman during that time, but I find the realistic depictions of social problems fascinating. Thanks for the mention of Project Rungay – funny! I’ve seen the book lists and did check out The Group after I saw it on the list.


  2. The same thing happened to me! but with the 1940s, after long hours in the college library immersed in old Life magazines (when I should have been studying, of course).


  3. For some reason I haven’t watched Mad Men at all, I think I’ll have to now! It sounds like it might be quite nostalgic for someone born in 1959. It’s the 1930s and 40s that I love though.


  4. Ihope you enjoy the leopard ,i ve two new short storie collections one from a german writer the other from a austrian ,alkso the new andrey kurkov novel ,all the best stu


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