In Get Happy, The Life of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke, he explores her genius and the tragedy of her roller coaster existence. I have always just adored Judy (remember watching The Wizard of Oz once a year when it would be re-shown on TV?), and her amazing life was like a train wreck--you couldn't look away. Clarke has done his homework, and it is a fascinating read.
Up your annual quota of current British slang with The Friendship Test by Elizabeth Noble--this is one of those "I-bought-it-at-Costco-because-it-had-a-cute-cover books", but it was more entertaining than I expected. Female Friendship with capital "F" is main theme (ditto in her first effort, The Reading Group) and Ms.Noble explores it well.
Change the World
Malcolm Gladwell has written two books, and both have been NY Times #1 bestsellers. His newer book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, illustrates his theory about " the magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire." He compares the spread of fashion trends (Hush Puppies, anyone?) to flu epidemics and supports this theory convincingly. The sections on children's television are frighteningly interesting. The ability to influence change in societal norms could be huge (think crime, politics, teenage behavior) and anyone who wants to affect change needs to read this book! While The Tipping Point is sure to become required in all marketing & advertising departments, it is actually a good read and filled with tons of cocktail party talking points.
By Joanna Glaze
community volunteer, mom, book aficionado