Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dream Lucky by Roxanne Orgill

About the book: The time: 1936-1938. The mood: Hopeful. It wasn't wartime, not yet. The music: The incomparable Count Basie and Benny Goodman, among others. The setting: Living rooms across America and, most of all, New York City.

Dream Lucky covers politics, race, religion, arts, and sports, but the central focus is the period's soundtrack—specifically big band jazz—and the big-hearted piano player William "Count" Basie. His ascent is the narrative thread of the book—how he made it and what made his music different from the rest. But many other stories weave in and out: Amelia Earhart pursues her dream of flying "around the world at its waistline." Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., stages a boycott on 125th Street. And Mae West shocks radio listeners as a naked Eve tempting the snake.

Critic Nat Hentoff praises the "precise originality" with which Roxane Orgill writes about music. In Dream Lucky, she magically lets readers hear the past.

My Review: I really enjoyed having the chance to read Dream Lucky by Roxanne Orgill. This is probably not the type of book I would normally pick up and I would be missing out!

What I loved about this book is that it totally transported me to the time period and really brought it to life! The chapters are short and the book is filled with pictures so it is easily digestable. She did her research so well, that she's able to tell the story like a novel and seamlessly weave in quotes and ideas from the time period. I also really really want to read more about some of these people now. If you like learning a little bit about history in a non-threatening way or if you have an interest in this time period or jazz music, I think you'll enjoy this!

Dream Lucky is published by Harper Collins and is available in stores now.

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