Fug File: Freaky Fug Friday

GFY Giveaway: Scandals of Classic Hollywood, by Anne Helen Petersen


The cover of today’s giveaway fills me with gossip-loving glee:

9780142180679_ScandalsofCl-CVF.indd

I am sure many of you are familiar with Anne Helen Petersen, whose awesome column for The Hairpin on this very topic has made its way into many a Fugs & Pieces (and who interviewed us for them once, as well), and whose writing at Buzzfeed and elsewhere is reliably excellent and oft-linked to and awesome. I am very excited to be giving away her new book!

THE PRIZE: Let’s turn to our friends at Barnes & Noble and see what they say. Ahem:

Gossip meets history—a compulsively readable collection of Hollywood’s most notorious clashes and controversies in the spirit of Hollywood Babylon
Believe it or not, America’s fascination with celebrity culture was thriving well before the days of TMZ, Perez Hilton, Charlie Sheen’s breakdown and allegations against Woody Allen. And the stars of yesteryear? They weren’t always the saints that we make them out to be. Film professor Anne Helen Petersen is here to set the record straight with Scandals of Classic Hollywood. Pulling little-known gems from the archives of film history, Petersen reveals eyebrow-raising information, including:

  • The smear campaign against the original It Girl, Clara Bow, started by her best friend
  • The heartbreaking story of Montgomery Clift’s rapid rise to fame, the car accident that destroyed his face, and the “long suicide” that followed
  • Fatty Arbuckle’s descent from Hollywood royalty, fueled by allegations of a boozy orgy turned violent assault
  • Why Mae West was arrested and jailed for “indecency charges”
  • And much more

Part biography, part cultural history, these stories cover the stuff that films are made of: love, sex, drugs, illegitimate children, illicit affairs, and botched cover-ups. But it’s not all just tawdry gossip in the pages of this book. The stories are all contextualized within the boundaries of film, cultural, political, and gender history, making for a read that will inform as it entertains. Based on Petersen’s popular column on the Hairpin, but featuring 100% new content, Scandals of Classic Hollywood is sensationalism made smart.

THE TASK: We have five copies to give away today! I am going to pick our winners at random from the comments. To keep it fun, please tell us what Hollywood scandal you’d most like to see made into a (potentially terrible) movie. (My would be Lindsay Lohan’s Summer of Car-Jacking, starring Lindsay as herself, for Logo.)

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Monday. (US and Canada residents only, unfortunately.) FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, (a) I’m very glad you’re here and (b) the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you.

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GFY Giveaway: MADEMOISELLE: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History, by Rhonda Garelick


Ooh, this is a good one! I am looking at my copy of today’s (special Monday!) giveaway, and it’s really gorgeous. May I introduce you?

GARELICK_Mademoiselle

THE PRIZE: This book sounds fascinating, and it’s getting great notices. Let’s virtually flip it over and read the back. From Barnes and Noble:

Certain lives are at once so exceptional, and yet so in step with their historical moments, that they illuminate cultural forces far beyond the scope of a single person. Such is the case with Coco Chanel, whose life offers one of the most fascinating tales of the twentieth century—throwing into dramatic relief an era of war, fashion, ardent nationalism, and earth-shaking change—here brilliantly treated, for the first time, with wide-ranging and incisive historical scrutiny.

Coco Chanel transformed forever the way women dressed. Her influence remains so pervasive that to this day we can see her afterimage a dozen times while just walking down a single street: in all the little black dresses, flat shoes, costume jewelry, cardigan sweaters, and tortoiseshell eyeglasses on women of every age and background. A bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume is sold every three seconds. Arguably, no other individual has had a deeper impact on the visual aesthetic of the world. But how did a poor orphan become a global icon of both luxury and everyday style? How did she develop such vast, undying influence? And what does our ongoing love of all things Chanel tell us about ourselves? These are the mysteries that Rhonda K. Garelick unravels in Mademoiselle.

Raised in rural poverty and orphaned early, the young Chanel supported herself as best she could. Then, as an uneducated nineteen-year-old café singer, she attracted the attention of a wealthy and powerful admirer and parlayed his support into her own hat design business. For the rest of Chanel’s life, the professional, personal, and political were interwoven; her lovers included diplomat Boy Capel; composer Igor Stravinsky; Romanov heir Grand Duke Dmitri; Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster; poet Pierre Reverdy; a Nazi officer; and several women as well. For all that, she was profoundly alone, her romantic life relentlessly plagued by abandonment and tragedy.

Chanel’s ambitions and accomplishments were unparalleled. Her hat shop evolved into a clothing empire. She became a noted theatrical and film costume designer, collaborating with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and Luchino Visconti. The genius of Coco Chanel, Garelick shows, lay in the way she absorbed the zeitgeist, reflecting it back to the world in her designs and in what Garelick calls “wearable personality”—the irresistible and contagious style infused with both world history and Chanel’s nearly unbelievable life saga. By age forty, Chanel had become a multimillionaire and a household name, and her Chanel Corporation is still the highest-earning privately owned luxury goods manufacturer in the world.

In Mademoiselle, Garelick delivers the most probing, well-researched, and insightful biography to date on this seemingly familiar but endlessly surprising figure—a work that is truly both a heady intellectual study and a literary page-turner.

THE TASK: We have five copies to give away today! I am going to pick our winners at random from the comments. To keep it fun, please tell us what you would choose to take home if you were magically transported to the best Chanel store in the world, and told you could have one item. (I’d get a purse. Classic. Or maybe a suit. Those are ALSO classic. Hmm. I’ll need to percolate this.)

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday. (US and Canada residents only, unfortunately.) FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, (a) I’m very glad you’re here and (b) the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you

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Freaky Fug Friday: The Winter Guest


Are you ready for some people having romantical problems during wars? I always am:

THE PRIZE: This week, we are delighted to be giving away an autographed copy of The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff. Per Barnes and Noble (and the back of ye olde book):

Life is a constant struggle for the eighteen-year-old Nowak twins as they raise their three younger siblings in rural Poland under the shadow of the Nazi occupation. The constant threat of arrest has made everyone in their village a spy, and turned neighbor against neighbor. Though rugged, independent Helena and pretty, gentle Ruth couldn’t be more different, they are staunch allies in protecting their family from the threats the war brings closer to their doorstep with each passing day.

Then Helena discovers an American paratrooper stranded outside their small mountain village, wounded, but alive. Risking the safety of herself and her family, she hides Sam—a Jew—but Helena’s concern for the American grows into something much deeper. Defying the perils that render a future together all but impossible, Sam and Helena make plans for the family to flee. But Helena is forced to contend with the jealousy her choices have sparked in Ruth, culminating in a singular act of betrayal that endangers them all—and setting in motion a chain of events that will reverberate across continents and decades.

THE TASK: We have but one winner this week, and I will pick the lucky one from the comments by random draw. But to make it entertaining, please tell us your current favorite novel set in and around World War II. (This also seems like a good place to remind you that there is a GFY book club on Goodreads! All are welcome.)

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Monday. This contest is open to all readers! FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, (a) I’m very glad you’re here and (b) the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you

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Freaky Fug Friday: Anna Karenina


Are you ready for a sweeping epic? I ALWAYS am:

THE PRIZE:  The 1977 BBC version of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina — you know, for a little fizzy romance and light shenanigans. Per our friends at Acorn TV:

“Unspooling over 10 luxurious episodes, this Emmy® nominee for Outstanding Limited Series covers all the story lines and characters with the depth and richness that Tolstoy’s flawless tome deserves. The novel has been adapted many times for film and television, but never with such care and attention to detail as this one, which first aired on PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre in 1977 and has been a fan favorite ever since .

Set in Imperial Russia in the 1870s, this is an epic tale of passion, betrayal, society, and the search for happiness. Nicola Pagett (Upstairs, Downstairs) stars as Anna—young, beautiful, and trapped in a loveless marriage to the high-minded, much older Karenin (Eric Porter, The Jewel in the Crown). When she meets debonair cavalry officer Count Vronsky (Stuart Wilson, Prime Suspect, The Age of Innocence) on a Moscow train platform, she can’t resist looking back and sealing her fate.”

THE TASK: I am going to pick our winner at random from the comments. For fun, please name your favorite TRAGIC LOVE STORY.

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Monday. (US and Canada residents only, unfortunately.) FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, (a) I’m very glad you’re here and (b) the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you.

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Freaky Fug Friday: BIG LITTLE LIES


This is another good one! I’ve got your New York Times bestseller right here:

THE PRIZE: This book — as well as Moriarty’s previous one, The Husband’s Secret — has been recommended by a variety of Fug Nationals, AND Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon have just optioned it, and I am delighted to be bringing it to you today, not the least because it involves possible MURDER at a primary school fundraiser, a crime I suspect many parents have wanted to commit. It’s getting great reviews, and I myself am excited to read it. Per Barnes & Noble:

A murder . . . a tragic accident . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.
But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

THE TASK: I am going to pick our winner at random from the comments. However! In order to keep it fun, please tell us which Hollywood celebrity is, in your opinion, most often lied to by her stylist. You know, in the form of, “that looks GREAT on you! You should totally wear it.”

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Monday. (US and Canada residents only, unfortunately.) FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, (a) I’m very glad you’re here and (b) the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you.

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Freaky Fug Friday: Harry: A Biography


Not to be confused with my actually giving away a dude. That would not be legal. Anyway, today we are giving away a book that has been on my bedside table for a while now, and it’s been a treat to roll over and see this:

Prince-Harry-Marcia-Moody-Cover

Hello.

THE PRIZE: You’re looking at him. Er, it. Ahem, per Barnes & Noble: “Prince Harry is arguably one of the most recognized faces in the world today, and is never far from the media spotlight—sometimes to the dismay of the Royal Family. Yet in his relatively short life he has seen and done a variety of fascinating and unusual things, from setting up his own charities to serving on the front line in Afghanistan, and embarking upon his first solo tour…This biography covers it all, starting from his early years; the breakdown of his parents’ marriage; the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales; his relationships with Chelsy Davy, his father, and Camilla Parker Bowles; his time at Sandhurst and serving on the front line in Afghanistan; his charity walk to the North Pole; his partying; his first solo tour; and those naked photos from Las Vegas.” (Let’s just give it up for the smart people who wrote that product description for using the words “those naked photos.” You know you’re just in it for discussion of how Ryan Lochte finagled that nudity.)

THE TASK: We have THREE winners this week, and I will pick said winners from the comments by random draw. But to make it entertaining, please tell us your favorite ginger, real or fictional. (Mine is probably Ron Weasley. Sorry, Harry. It was a close call.)

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Monday. (US and Canada residents only, unfortunately.)

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