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Beatles forums => Books, Magazines, Articles => Topic started by: Jema on November 11, 2011, 03:02:08 AM

Title: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Jema on November 11, 2011, 03:02:08 AM
These are the books I'm thinking about getting:
A Twist of Lennon by Cynthia Lennon, Imagine This:Growing Up With My Brother,John Lennon by Julia Baird, The Beatles Shadow:Stuart Sutcliffe & His Lonely Hearts Club by Pauline Sutcliffe, The Beatles Anthology, The Beatles:The Biography by Bob Spitz.

Could you please tell me which one out of that list is most worth reading or tell me what you thought about any of the books in that list.The first 2 books I listed are in high interest to me so could you please tell me what you thought about them?Thank you so much for answering :)
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: In My Life on November 11, 2011, 04:49:58 AM
I read a book by Julia Baird called "My Brother John Lennon". I enjoyed it; it gave a different, more positive view of him than what I'd read before. It was written earlier than the one you mentioned and I wonder how much different they can realy be.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Bobber on November 11, 2011, 02:41:59 PM
Personally, I would forget about the Bob Spitz book as it's full of errors. But that's my personal quest I guess. ha2ha
Anthology is a must really.
I don't know about the book by Pauline Sutcliffe. I haven't read it, but she doesn't appear to me as a reliable source.
'John' is the more recent book by Cynthia and it seems to be a rewrite of 'A Twist Of Lennon'. Older and milder probably. It was a good read, but also errors that I couldn't understand (f.i. John wrote All My Loving for her?)
I haven't read Julia Baird's book, so I wouldn't know.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Jema on November 12, 2011, 02:30:51 AM
I read a book by Julia Baird called "My Brother John Lennon". I enjoyed it; it gave a different, more positive view of him than what I'd read before. It was written earlier than the one you mentioned and I wonder how much different they can realy be.
I was wondering why there were two books by her because I think she could've just written it all in one book (I'm not trying to be mean at all,it's very nice of her to even write a book) because I also am wondering how they could be different.That's good about the positive view though.Thank you for answering :)

Personally, I would forget about the Bob Spitz book as it's full of errors. But that's my personal quest I guess. ha2ha
Anthology is a must really.
I don't know about the book by Pauline Sutcliffe. I haven't read it, but she doesn't appear to me as a reliable source.
'John' is the more recent book by Cynthia and it seems to be a rewrite of 'A Twist Of Lennon'. Older and milder probably. It was a good read, but also errors that I couldn't understand (f.i. John wrote All My Loving for her?)
I haven't read Julia Baird's book, so I wouldn't know.
Thank you for telling me about the errors in Bob Spitz's books,it's really annoying when there's a lot of errors.I also was thinking about reading John by Cynthia but like you said,it's probably almost just like a rewrite of A Twist Of Lennon but maybe I'll just read both with A Twist being the first to read.The error about her saying John wrote All My Loving for her kind of makes sense but is probably not true,I don't mind errors like those.Thank you for answering :)
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: In My Life on November 12, 2011, 06:13:48 AM
Quote from: Jema
I also was thinking about reading John by Cynthia

I've had that one sitting on my shelf for almost a year now. I guess I ought to read it!
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Jema on November 14, 2011, 07:26:54 PM
I've had that one sitting on my shelf for almost a year now. I guess I ought to read it!
I actually got that book yesterday!I've only read 2 chapters though so far.I also have books that I get and never read,or books that I start but never finish.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Strawberry Field on November 14, 2011, 11:59:33 PM
Bob Spitz's Beatles bio is pretty great. I like that there are a lot of details of the early days.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Bobber on November 15, 2011, 09:03:42 AM
Bob Spitz's Beatles bio is pretty great. I like that there are a lot of details of the early days.

Welcome to the forums Strawberry Field! I hope you'll enjoy them.

Sorry to say, but the Bob Spitz book is a mess and the author is an a**hole.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Strawberry Field on November 15, 2011, 03:24:21 PM
Welcome to the forums Strawberry Field! I hope you'll enjoy them.

Sorry to say, but the Bob Spitz book is a mess and the author is an a**hole.

What did you not like about it? I thought it was pretty good.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Bobber on November 15, 2011, 04:14:58 PM
What did you not like about it? I thought it was pretty good.


Read here: http://www.dmbeatles.com/forums/index.php?topic=3644.0 (http://www.dmbeatles.com/forums/index.php?topic=3644.0)
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Brynjar on November 26, 2011, 07:05:37 AM
What about this book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143037323/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143037323/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER)

Anyone read it?
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: peterbell1 on December 08, 2011, 11:17:42 PM
Of the two Cynthia books, I think I enjoyed "Twist of Lennon" a bit more than "John", although they are both basically the same book.
I suppose she was a little more bitter when "Twist" was written, and then when she turned "Twist" into "John" she toned things down a little!
Also, you can probably get "Twist" cheaper than "John" because "Twist" came out in a very cheap paperback edition.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Nada Surf on January 02, 2012, 05:19:37 PM
Personally, I would forget about the Bob Spitz book as it's full of errors. But that's my personal quest I guess. ha2ha
Anthology is a must really.
I don't know about the book by Pauline Sutcliffe. I haven't read it, but she doesn't appear to me as a reliable source.
'John' is the more recent book by Cynthia and it seems to be a rewrite of 'A Twist Of Lennon'. Older and milder probably. It was a good read, but also errors that I couldn't understand (f.i. John wrote All My Loving for her?)
I haven't read Julia Baird's book, so I wouldn't know.
Spitz made some mistakes in his book that he shouldn't have made, but overall his book was very well researched and he went into great detail. It's a must book to read.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Nada Surf on January 02, 2012, 05:41:32 PM
I agree that Spitz comes off as a pompous ass in public and in interviews and his mistakes in his book, though minor, were foolish to make, but Bobber is way way way way off on this book...
As an earlier poster stated, his research and detail of the early Beatles was interesting and often fascinating while he broke new angles and information...

Jema...I've just completed my 33rd Beatles book in the past three or four years and here's what I would recommend...

Geoff Emerick's "Here There and Everywhere." --he whines a lot and can be overly sensitive, but he was in the recording studio when it all happened and he didn't hold anything back as he didn't particularly like the Beatles personally...

Spitz' The Beatles...horrible name and lots of mistakes (though minor) but great detail into the early Beatles. Definitely one of the best...

Anthology...the Beatles tell their story, but though they're usually brutally honest, they won't tell you the good stuff.

Tony Bramwell's 'Magical Mystery Tours."--Bramwell was there nearly everywhere and he tells everything, home and on the road.

Doggett's, "You Never Give Me Your Money"...Somehow, the author takes the subject of the Beatles' breakup and the money involved after the breakup in the ugly 70s and makes it easy to read. Very detailed, too.

Seamann's "The Final Days of John Lennon." ...He undoes Yoko's brainwashing to Beatle fans and tells what Lennon was really like...He needed lots of help.

Miles' , "Many Years Ago." ...Based on McCartney interviews. Paul seemed to be brutally honest in this.

Anything by Mark Lewisohn...Usually reference-based books...Amazingly good stuff, always.

Cynthia Lennon's books...Whatever they're called. They were both quite good.

Goldman's 'The Lives of John Lennon.' ...Lennonists hate this book, but I have the feeling there's a whole lotta fact here. Hard to put down, either way.

AVOID
May Pang's book...A couple of interesting chapters on John's lost weekend (and, god was he pathetic along with Ringo), but she's a dimwit and thinks we have interest in her life...

Larry Kane's Ticket to Ride....repeats itself over and over. You can tell he's a Ted Baxter type broadcaster...like the movie 'Ground Hog Day," which was too bad since he had excellent access to the group.

Allan Williams' book....Williams was just goofy.

Anything recommended by Yoko Ono....She couldn't stand Lennon and now all she wants to do is prop him up to save her income.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Nada Surf on January 02, 2012, 06:47:08 PM
What about this book:

[url]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143037323/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER[/url] ([url]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143037323/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER[/url])

Anyone read it?
I read this...it's a collection of articles and parts of books on the Beatles...Worthwhile!
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: zipp on January 02, 2012, 09:16:13 PM

Jema...I've just completed my 33rd Beatles book in the past three or four years and here's what I would recommend...

Geoff Emerick's "Here There and Everywhere." --he whines a lot and can be overly sensitive, but he was in the recording studio when it all happened and he didn't hold anything back as he didn't particularly like the Beatles personally...

Spitz' The Beatles...horrible name and lots of mistakes (though minor) but great detail into the early Beatles. Definitely one of the best...

Anthology...the Beatles tell their story, but though they're usually brutally honest, they won't tell you the good stuff.

Tony Bramwell's 'Magical Mystery Tours."--Bramwell was there nearly everywhere and he tells everything, home and on the road.

Doggett's, "You Never Give Me Your Money"...Somehow, the author takes the subject of the Beatles' breakup and the money involved after the breakup in the ugly 70s and makes it easy to read. Very detailed, too.

Seamann's "The Final Days of John Lennon." ...He undoes Yoko's brainwashing to Beatle fans and tells what Lennon was really like...He needed lots of help.

Miles' , "Many Years Ago." ...Based on McCartney interviews. Paul seemed to be brutally honest in this.

Anything by Mark Lewisohn...Usually reference-based books...Amazingly good stuff, always.

Cynthia Lennon's books...Whatever they're called. They were both quite good.

Goldman's 'The Lives of John Lennon.' ...Lennonists hate this book, but I have the feeling there's a whole lotta fact here. Hard to put down, either way.

AVOID
May Pang's book...A couple of interesting chapters on John's lost weekend (and, god was he pathetic along with Ringo), but she's a dimwit and thinks we have interest in her life...

Larry Kane's Ticket to Ride....repeats itself over and over. You can tell he's a Ted Baxter type broadcaster...like the movie 'Ground Hog Day," which was too bad since he had excellent access to the group.

Allan Williams' book....Williams was just goofy.

Anything recommended by Yoko Ono....She couldn't stand Lennon and now all she wants to do is prop him up to save her income.

I like your list. I don't know if I agree with it but I like it.

What did you think of Chris O'Dell's book?
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: stevie on January 03, 2012, 09:30:17 AM
I'd avoid Julia Bairds book too - boring and seemed like a cash in.

Patti Boyds book was surprisingly boring too!
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Nada Surf on January 04, 2012, 05:13:42 AM
I read this...it's a collection of articles and parts of books on the Beatles...Worthwhile!
Well, can ya tell me what you don't like about my list?
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Bobber on January 05, 2012, 11:14:25 AM
Spitz made some mistakes in his book that he shouldn't have made, but overall his book was very well researched and he went into great detail. It's a must book to read.

Well researched??? The thing is: if you're not even able to get the simplest of facts straight, how can I trust the rest to be the truth? The thing is we don't know whether things really happened as Spitz described them, so we both don't know whether it is well researched, do we? I'm basing my opinion on the fact that there's numerous errors in the book that ARE researchable by us as well. I don't trust the author to have done his work better on the more in depth details.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Badgirl66 on January 05, 2012, 01:58:29 PM
I read a book by Julia Baird called "My Brother John Lennon". I enjoyed it; it gave a different, more positive view of him than what I'd read before. It was written earlier than the one you mentioned and I wonder how much different they can realy be.

It was my 3rd Book in 1989
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Nada Surf on January 05, 2012, 05:46:04 PM
Well researched??? The thing is: if you're not even able to get the simplest of facts straight, how can I trust the rest to be the truth? The thing is we don't know whether things really happened as Spitz described them, so we both don't know whether it is well researched, do we? I'm basing my opinion on the fact that there's numerous errors in the book that ARE researchable by us as well. I don't trust the author to have done his work better on the more in depth details.
You make good points. But Paul McCartney praised this book...I thought the detail was excellent and the minor mistakes he made were foolish and I don't understand that...Did you read the book?
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Nada Surf on January 05, 2012, 05:49:19 PM
Also, Spitz's mistakes were of the 64 concert rather than 65 variety...He also made the mistake on Julian or Sean, which he definitely knew who was who, but had the names mixed up...He needed a bit better editing, but I would still highly recommend this book and I'd bet most would as well.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Bobber on January 09, 2012, 08:24:59 AM
Also, Spitz's mistakes were of the 64 concert rather than 65 variety...He also made the mistake on Julian or Sean, which he definitely knew who was who, but had the names mixed up...He needed a bit better editing, but I would still highly recommend this book and I'd bet most would as well.

It seems there's a complete website devoted to his errors. And I'm not joking.
Title: Re: Are These Books Worth Getting?
Post by: Nada Surf on January 09, 2012, 04:57:18 PM
It seems there's a complete website devoted to his errors. And I'm not joking.
I realize you're not joking, Bobber..and I was surprised there were so many...but they were pretty much minor mistakes which tells me either Spitz was rushed at the end, or he didn't know many of the inner details of the group that most hardcore fans do...
For instance, you and I know the 64-65-66 American concerts inside and out...Spitz may not have..
On the other hand, the guy spent years interviewing people in Liverpool, many of which had not been interviewed, like Dot Rhone, for instance.