Barbara Eden

The actress uncorks three magical reads.



Barbara Eden's stage and screen career spans decades, but she is perhaps best known for her role as the titular heroine of the NBC sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. Her new book Jeannie Out of the Bottle is not only an insider's guide to Hollywood in the last half century, but also a tale of the actress's own struggles with hardship and grief faced with insight and her characteristic humor. This week she folds her arms, nods her head, and conjures up recommendations for three books that include notes on craft, a co-star's memoirs, and bestselling fiction.


Books by Barbara Eden




The Actor's Ways and Means

By Michael Redgrave


"This book has always been my ultimate textbook on acting, my guide through movies, theater, and television, and no matter what type of part I played, Michael Redgrave's words of wisdom have always held me in good stead. Yet Redgrave's book isn't a dry tome written purely for actors. Based on a lifetime of acting experience from Hitchcock to Shakespeare, Redgrave's book will enthrall and enlighten anyone fascinated by acting, movies, and the theater."



Hello Darlin': Tall and Absolutely True Tales about My Life

By Larry Hagman with Todd Gold


"Larry's once-in-lifetime voice rings out from this rollicking autobiography, and his wild and generous spirit shimmers through every line. Spanning Larry's career from the early days, when, initially overshadowed by his mother Mary Martin, he ultimately made his mark in the theater, to his TV tour de force as Captain Tony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie. This role was topped only by his unforgettable if dastardly J.R. Ewing in Dallas. Larry's book is wise, witty, revealing, and above all is as honest and self-effacing as the man himself."



The Lovely Bones

By Alice Sebold


"A poignant and heartbreaking novel, which, however mystical in parts, is both achingly real and haunting. Written in the first person, the story is told from heaven through the voice of Susie Salmon who was raped and murdered at the age of only fourteen. Yet although the subject matter of the slaughter of a young girl and of death and mourning is harrowing in the extreme--particularly so for a mother who has lost a child herself--I ended up regarding it as a celebration of life as well. A masterly achievement on the part of the author and one which I not only applaud, but also go back to again and again."


April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."