Hats & Eyeglasses: A Memoir

Hats & Eyeglasses: A Memoir

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by Martha Frankel
     
 

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Martha Frankel grew up in a warm, loving family of diehard gamblers, where her father's poker games and her mother's mah-jongg blended happily with big pots of delicious food and endless gossip. As kids, she and her cousins bet on everything?from which of their Weight Watching mothers would lose the most to who could hold their breath longest underwater or eat the

Overview

Martha Frankel grew up in a warm, loving family of diehard gamblers, where her father's poker games and her mother's mah-jongg blended happily with big pots of delicious food and endless gossip. As kids, she and her cousins bet on everything?from which of their Weight Watching mothers would lose the most to who could hold their breath longest underwater or eat the most matzo. But once Frankel left for college and later became a successful entertainment journalist, gambling didn't factor much into her life. She thought her family legacy had passed her by.

In this ?fast-paced and amazingly funny? (The Times- Picayune) memoir, Frankel traces her love affair with poker, an obsession that didn't hit until her mid-forties. And she was good at poker. Frankel won routinely, whether she was playing in her Wednesday-night poker game or in one of the seedy, out-of-the-way rooms she always managed to find when on assignment. But all this changed when she discovered online poker. It was the beginning of what one of her uncles called ?hats and eyeglasses,? a term used to describe those times when you're losing so bad your ship is sinking until all that's left on the water's surface are your hat and eyeglasses. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Hats&Eyeglasses is a tale of passion, addiction? and those times in life when we almost lose our shirt.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440632143
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/14/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
966,189
File size:
241 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Martha Frankel grew up in a warm and loving family of die-hard gamblers, where her father's poker games and her mother's mah jongg mingled with big pots of delicious food and endless gossip and storytelling. The kids did their own gambling: Martha, her sister Helene, and their cousins bet on which of their ever-dieting mothers would lose the most every week, which cousin could hold their breath longest underwater or who could eat the most matzo. She went with her father and uncles to the track most Tuesdays, carrying the daily Racing Form in her bookbag.


When she was eighteen, Martha left for to the University of Miami, looking to find a life that didn’t include detailed daily study of the sports section. She thought the gambling gene had passed her by. She studied English in hopes of becoming a writer, dropping out when her ill-advised advisor told her that English majors become English teachers, not writers.


Then Martha met editor Annie Flanders, who was just starting the original Details magazine. Annie gave Martha her start as Details’ book reviewer. Martha also wrote the magazine’s first “Knifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” a first-person column about plastic surgery, where she described her own breast reduction (this was in the 1980s, when such procedures were far less commonplace).


Her first celebrity interview was Aidan Quinn, and she started doing more entertainment pieces. She interviewed Elizabeth Taylor and director Nicholas Roeg, and toured the newly opened Tribeca Film Center with Robert De Niro. In 1990, she started writing for other magazines and traveled around the world to interview international entertainment personalities such as Roman Polanski, Juliette Binoche, Anthony Hopkins, Susan Sarandon, a 19-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio, and then-heavyweight champ Mike Tyson.


Her work has appeared in magazines as diverse as The New Yorker, Fashions of the New York Times, Japanese and German Men's Vogue, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and Movieline's Hollywood Life. She has been an on-air contributor to VH1's Sexiest Movie Moments, Entertainment Tonight, and Inside Edition.


For the past fifteen years, she has co-hosted of the Woodstock Roundtable, a Sunday morning radio talk-show on WDST in Woodstock, NY. And since the inception of the Woodstock Film Festival in 2000, she has been the moderator of the Actor's Dialogue, a live interview which has featured, over the years, such noted actors as Lili Taylor, Stanley Tucci, Steve Buscemi, Liev Schreiber, Olympia Dukakis, David Strathairn, Marcia Gaye Hardin, and Peter Reigert.


She won a NYFFA Award in creative nonfiction, was the 1997 Philip Morris Fellow at The MacDowell Colony, and the 2003 Artist-in-Residence at SUNY Ulster, where she taught a class in memoir writing.


Martha Frankel lives near Woodstock, New York with her husband, woodworker and sculptor Steve Heller. Hats&Eyeglasses is her first book.

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Hats & Eyeglasses 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From Flowerstar.
DebbieWhite More than 1 year ago
This book, chronicling a gambling addiction, is funny and poignant and portrays addiction in way that the nonaddicted can understand (which normally we can't). It's propelled by hilarious characters, but mostly by the author's take on those characters and side remarks (yeah, I laughed out loud). The tone of the book is casual but smart. As honest and serious as the portrayal of addiction is presented here-how it creeps into your life innocently and reaches a point where it just takes over and pollutes everything else around you and turns you into a person carrying around a secret and a person of shame-the author manages not to get to too dark a place with the reader. Humor is what rescues you every time. Apart from the gambling addiction, this book is a window into family life that, no matter what the reader's background, anyone could envy-the kind where the parents are smart and funny and loving, exactly the tone of the book itself. This book can be read anytime, but I think I'd place it high on the summer reading list: laughing on a beach chair draws less attention than on the subway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago