Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” is by David Bianculli, and the title tells us exactly what the book is about. I wanted to borrow it because I’d always liked the Brothers and enjoyed their show. Unfortunately, the book does not live up to its title. Bianculli does give us interesting anecdotes about the Brothers and their show, but he kept repeating how avant garde the show was and how scandalous the network thought it was. Yes, the show was ahead of its time and yes, the censors were kept busy, but I didn’t need to have him remind me of it on every single page. I also got tired of reading about how each individual episode angered the censors. The book started out well, but I lost interest about halfway through. That is a real shame because the book had such promise.
My current reading From the Library is To Marry an English Lord, by Gail MacColl and Carole Wallace. This is a fascinating (and entertaining) look at how American heiresses married into the British (and, to a lesser extent, Continental) aristocracy in the mid-to-late 19th century (and even a little bit into the 20th century). I had heard of this book ages ago, but watching Downton Abbey over the last month made me want to read it. It’s an ILL book that is due back at my branch on December 2, meaning I need to finish it sooner rather than later because renewals are not possible.
I also took out 25 to Life: The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth by Leslie Crocker Snyder, a former judge in New York City. I was called to jury duty before Judge Snyder back in 2001, and the few hours I spent in her presence were enough to make me leave her courtroom impressed by her intelligence and her commitment to her job. She ran for District Attorney against incumbent Robert Morgenthau and lost (she lost again 4 years later when she ran against Cyrus Vance, Jr.), but I admire her greatly and am looking forward to reading her book.