silver screen legend

Marilyn Monroe  Vintage Heart Bathing Suit 

Sophia Loren relaxing on the set of the film Boccaccio ‘70 between her sister Maria


Marilyn Monroe on film location for the movie ‘The Seven Year Itch’ in 1954. See Rare Amazing Unseen Lost Footage of Marilyn Monroe found - On Location Filming of 'The 7 Year Itch’

Betty Grable, whose legs were insured by Lloyds of London for a million dollars in 1943                                                                                                                                    

Taken by Professional Photographer George Barris

Sophia Loren-Magazine Cover 8 may 1968

Guest Post by Laura Lam

10 Diverse LGBTQIA+ YA I Really Should Have Read by Now But Will in 2016

I’ve been falling behind on reading YA in the past year, and it makes me sad. I can usually read about 2 books a week, but it still feels like I’m never making enough of a dent in the things I want to read. Now that I’m technically writing adult books for the most part, I’ve found I’ve been reading more adult SFF or crime/thriller, plus loads of research nonfiction books (here’s my Goodreads if you’re curious about my book lists). So my goal in 2016 is to read more YA again, specifically with LGBTIA+ characters.

1. Far from You by Tess Sharpe

Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That’s how long recovering addict Sophie’s been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she’d already beaten, Sophie’s finally out and on the trail of the killer—but can she track them down before they come for her?

I’ve been meaning to read this since it came out! I bought it, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Tess is awesome and this thriller sounds so up my alley. It’d also be good research book, as a book I’ve turned in recently deals a lot with addiction.

 2. Everything Leads to You – Nina LaCour

A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

I’ve heard this is basically a f/f sweet rom com in book form, which is exactly what I want. I just watched Blue is the Warmest Colour, and I want something like that but with a happier ending, so hoping this delivers *crosses fingers*.

 3. Afterworlds – Scott Westerfeld

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

 Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

 I’ve been wanting to read this for ages, as I’ve long been a fan of Scott Westerfeld’s books. I like the idea of it being told in both the MC’s voice and bits of her novel. As an author who wrote a lot as a teen (all terrible; none remotely publishable), I think it’ll be a lot of fun.

 4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sàenz

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

 Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

 I know, I know! Everyone seems to have read this book and loved it, it won all the awards, and I’m sure it’ll be (if it’s not already) a core pillar of LGBT YA. I really, really need to read it, as it sounds beautiful.

 5. The Summer Prince – Alaya Dawn Johnson

A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

 The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

 Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

 Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson.

 This book came out a month after Pantomime did (the first time), so I heard a lot about it at the time, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Fururistic Brazil! Cool tech! Rebellion!

 6. Not Otherwise Specified – Hannah Moskowitz

Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

 Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; and not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere— until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca seems like Etta’s salvation, but how can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?

 The latest powerful, original novel from Hannah Moskowitz is the story about living in and outside communities and stereotypes, and defining your own identity.

All the Bs: Ballet, bisexuality, biracial (I think?). It also looks at the prevalence of eating disorders within the ballet word. It looks so good! I should have read it yesterday.

 7.  Cam Girl – Leah Raeder

Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art and her best friend—and sometimes more—Ellis Carraway. Ellis and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.

 Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.

 Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.

 She’s got nothing left to lose.

 So when she meets some smooth-talking entrepreneurs who offer to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night stripping on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.

 It’s just a kinky escape from reality until a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they chat intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. It’s an easy decision: she’s starting to fall for him. But the steamier it gets, the more she craves the real man behind the keyboard. So Vada pops the question: Can we meet IRL?

 Blue agrees, on one condition. A condition that brings back a ghost from her past. Now Vada must confront the devastating secrets she’s been running from—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself…

 This might be technically NA instead of YA, but rules are meant to be broken, right? ;-) I read and loved Unteachable by Leah Raeder a few years ago; and this looks just as awesome. It looks at gender identity as well and it’s definitely something I’m going to read sooner rather than later.

 8. Coda – Emma Treyvane

Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid.

 Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and free will. But will the girl he loves help or hinder him?

 This is another one I really should have read by now. Emma Trevayne is a friend and this is so up my alley it’s not even funny. Cyberpunk yesss. It’s another one I’ve bought but haven’t opened. How? I don’t know, but I’m gonna fix it.

 9. Wildthorn – Jane Eagland

Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove longs to break free from her respectable life as a Victorian doctor’s daughter. But her dreams become a nightmare when Louisa is sent to Wildthorn Hall: labeled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. As she unravels the betrayals that led to her incarceration, she realizes there are many kinds of prison. She must be honest with herself - and others - in order to be set free. And love may be the key…

Lastly, I just bought this a few days ago because it was pitched as YA Sarah Waters and really, that’s all you need to say to me before I yell “SOLD!” at the top of my lungs.

So there’s a selection of books I should have read over the last few years, but better late than never. What are some books you’ve been meaning to read but are amazed you still haven’t? What’s something you read that we shouldn’t miss?

Laura Lam is the author of the Micah Grey series: Pantomime, Shadowplay & the forthcoming Masquerade. The first two books in the series have just been re-released in ebook by Macmillan, with print to follow next year. Pantomime features a bisexual, genderfluid, and intersex character, the circus, and a hint of magic and more than a little romance. Her next book is the near-future thriller, False Hearts, out in June 2016, which features formerly conjoined twins, cults, and brain hacking.

We know everyone loves reading on the beach, so we’ve compiled a list of 10 recommendations for the summer! All contemporary, these are the best books to read over the summer and on the beach. If you’re looking for a quick, easy summer read, check these out!

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and – finally – a reunion in the city where they first met.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing. 

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love. 

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

Wherein Social Media Specialist Marya E. Gates (aka @oldfilmsflicker​) discusses her indifference to a canonical classic and why you should join us on April 8th at 8pm ET/5pm PT for a live tweet of THE WIZARD OF OZ (’39) and convert her.

This month on TCM we are celebrating silver screen legend Judy Garland. This Friday we will be showing arguably her most iconic film: The Wizard of Oz.

Released in 1939 - a year that is often considered one of the single greatest years in film history - WOZ has worked its way into the hearts of millions. Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum, there are many aspects of the film that are embedded in the American culture consciousness - from the ruby red slippers, to iconic lines like, “there’s no place like home,” “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!,” to the Wicked Witch of the West, to Garland’s masterful rendition of Over the Rainbow

So why don’t I share in the nostalgia? I love Judy Garland (give me weepies like The Clock and A Star Is Born any day!), I love musicals, and I love Technicolor.

But the film has yet to win me over. 

Every few years I watch it - usually with a group of people (in person or online) - in an attempt to “get it.” But when it’s over I still don’t love it. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. And I never feel the urge to revisit for enjoyment purposes, but rather to try to understand why it’s so beloved. 

With this is mind, I will be joining @tcmparty tomorrow night at 8pm ET/5pm PT as they live tweet, attempting to find the magic. For their live tweets, follow @TCM_Party. Follow me at @tcm and @oldfilmsflicker and feel free to send me your thoughts during moments you love so I can try to love them too!


A 1960’s Marilyn Monroe

  Marilyn Monroe at the Golden Globe awards March 5th 1962. Award for ‘World Film’ Favourite Actress’