Terry’s Book Club

Welcome to my book club. Every month I’ll make a recommendation and tell you why I think it’s worth reading. You can also recommend books to me below. Let’s share.

caddy-shack

Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story

by Chris Nashawaty

Any Caddyshack fans out there?

The idea for this 1980 movie came from Bill Murray’s brother, Brian Doyle-Murray. It was based on the Murray brother’s childhood summers spent working as caddies on the snootiest golf courses along Chicago’s wealthy North Shore.

The slobs versus snobs premise bubbled with comedic possibilities.

Nashawaty also places an interesting context on the world Caddyshack entered – Animal House had just broken records, Meatballs had just brought in $43M on a $1.6M budget and comedic films were changing – moving from the laidback charm of George Burns in Oh, God! to the snide humour of the Lampoon.

In spite of a disinterested press, scathing reviews from critics and a cast and crew that partied more than they worked, Caddyshack would go on to knock Blazing Saddles off the list as the top-grossing comedy.

The backstories are surprising. Bet you didn’t know Chevy Chase played drums for an early incarnation of Steely Dan, that Chevy Chase and Bill Murray didn’t like each other and that Ted Knight earned five Bronze stars in WW2.

It’s all true. And it all came together to create a comedy classic.

Then there’s the gopher…

Top three reasons to read this book:

1

The fascinating history of how Saturday Night Live, Second City and the National Lampoon all merged for this movie.

2

The interesting reasons why Rodney Dangerfield had a difficult time performing in the movie without the sound of a live audience.

3

The story of how the movie poster came to be after two fist fights is hilarious.

Bookstream

The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, Scandal at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont
by Shawn Levy

This month’s book selection was recommended by listener Peter Blackmore. Thanks Peter. I directed hundreds of commercials over the years in Los Angeles and while on those many trips, one of my favourite spots was the infamous Chateau Marmont hotel. One day on the way to the airport, I was notified my flight was cancelled. […]

Dream Teams: Working Together Without Falling Apart
By Shane Snow

I have been a member of teams over the entire course of my career. The creative departments of advertising business are structured to be team-focussed. Writers are teamed with art directors. As a writer, I worked with a number of very talented art directors over the years. Some partnerships were better than others. So much […]

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
by A.J. Jacobs

Here’s a book to beat the February blahs. A.J. Jacobs was an editor at Esquire magazine in 2007 when he wrote this book. As an experiment, he wanted to see if he could go a full year trying to live by all the rules in the Bible. And he wanted to follow those rules literally. […]

Last Train To Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley
By Peter Guralnick

Aside from the subject of advertising, the largest category in my book collection is biographies. I’ve read hundreds of them. My favourite genre by far. So when I say the Last Train To Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (1994) is one of the best biographies I have ever read – maybe the best – […]

How To Fly A Horse:
The Secret History of Creation, Invention and Discovery

by Kevin Ashton

This remarkable book mines the mysterious process of creativity. It’s one of the best books I’ve read on the subject and I would recommend it as a perfect bookend to Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull. Ashton’s basic premise is this: There is no magical shortcut to creativity. No get-creative-quick schemes. Creators spend almost all of […]

The Gift of Fear
by Gavin de Becker

This month’s book recommendation is something a little different. Anyone who listens to our show or podcast knows I am endlessly curious about human behaviour. And I firmly believe that kind of learning can come from any discipline. Gavin de Becker is widely regarded as the foremost expert on the protection of public figures. He […]

You Can Negotiate Anything
by Herb Cohen

For this month’s selection, I’m going to recommend an book I read many years ago. It was written in 1982 and spent nine months on the New York Times Best-Seller List. It’s still easy to find online. Author Herb Cohen was one of the world’s top negotiators. He was brought in when corporations needed to […]

Creativity, Inc.
by Ed Catmull

Managing a creative business is never easy. I did it for 25 years and I can say firsthand that a creative company is all about culture. And that creative ideas are as fragile as soap bubbles. But what if you could spend a few hours extracting the wisdom from the CEO of one of the […]

The Man Who Sold America: The Amazing (But True!) Story of Albert D. Lasker and the Creation of the Advertising Century
By Jeffrey Cruikshank & Arthur W. Schultz

A few seasons ago, we did an episode on Albert D. Lasker, possibly the most fascinating adman of the 20th century. It was our most listened-to episode of the year. Lasker changed advertising for all time. He brought the concept of “salesmanship” to advertising, which up until then had only been used to deliver news. […]

The Mockingbird Next Door
By Marja Mills

My favourite movie is To Kill A Mockingbird. The movie was based on a book written by the reclusive Harper Lee. Published in 1960, it still sells close to one million copies per year. Astounding. But here’s the enduring mystery: It was the only book Harper Lee ever wrote. As a matter of fact, she […]

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