Suggested Reading List
A Twist of Lemmon: A Tribute to My Father
Author: Lemmon, Chris
Description: First time in paperback, a very personal portrait of an actor audiences loved, written by his actor son. Jack Lemmon (1925-2001) was one of our most beloved movie stars, a two-time Academy Award winner for Mister Roberts and Save the Tiger. In A Twist of Lemmon, Chris Lemmon shares family tales, intimate father-son conversations, and anecdotes from and about his dad. Joining Chris are first-person tributes from Blake Edwards, Andy Garcia, Julie Andrews, Tony Curtis, Neil Simon, Shirley MacLaine, and Cliff Robertson, among others.
American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood
Author: Eliot, Marc
Description: As an actor, he seduces us with his tough-guy charm. As a director and producer, he amazes us with his artistry and technical savvy. As a Hollywood icon, Clint Eastwood, one of film's greatest living legends, represents some of the finest cinematic achievements in the history of American cinema.
In American Rebel, bestselling author and acclaimed film historian Marc Eliot examines the ever-exciting, often-tumultuous arc of Clint Eastwood's life and career. Unlike past biographers, Eliot writes with unflinching candor about Eastwood's highs and lows, his artistic successes and failures, and the fascinating, complex relationship between his life and his craft. Eliot's prodigious research reveals how a college dropout and unambitious playboy rose to fame as Hollywood' s "sexy rebel," eventually and against all odds becoming a star in the Academy pantheon as a multiple Oscar winner. Spanning decades, American Rebel covers the best of Eastwood' s oeuvre, films that have fast become American classics–Fistful of Dollars, Dirty Harry, Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Gran Torino.
Filled with remarkable insights into Eastwood's personal life and public work, American Rebel is highly entertaining and the most complete biography of one of Hollywood's truly respected and beloved stars–an actor who, despite being the Man with No Name, has left his indelible mark on the world of motion pictures.
Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre
Author: Mordden, Ethan
Description: Ethan Mordden has been hailed as "a sharp-eared listener and a discerning critic," by Opera News, which compares his books to "dinner with a knowledgeable, garrulous companion." The "preeminent historian of the American musical" (New York Times), he "brings boundless energy and enthusiasm buttressed by an arsenal of smart anecdotes" (Wall Street Journal). Now Mordden offers an entirely fresh and infectiously delightful history of American musical theatre.
Anything Goes stages a grand revue of the musical from the 1920s through the 1970s, narrated in Mordden's famously witty, scholarly, and conversational style. He peers with us over Stephen Sondheim's shoulder as he composes at the piano. He places us in a bare rehearsal room as the cast of Oklahoma! changes history by psychoanalyzing the plot in the greatest of the musical's many Dream Ballets. And he gives us tickets for orchestra seats on opening night-raising the curtain on the pleasures of Victor Herbert's The Red Mill and the thrill of Porgy and Bess. Mordden examines the music, of course, but also more neglected elements. Dance was once considered as crucial as song; he follows it from the nineteenth century's zany hoofing to tap "combinations" of the 1920s, from the injection of ballet and modern dance in the 1930s and '40s to the innovations of Bob Fosse. He also explores the changing structure of musical comedy and operetta, and the evolution of the role of the star. Fred Stone, the avuncular Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, seldom varied his acting from part to part; but the versatile Ethel Merman turned the headlining role inside out in Gypsy, playing a character who was selfish, fierce, and destructive.
From "ballad opera" to burlesque, from Fiddler on the Roof to Rent, the history and lore of the musical unfolds here in a performance worthy of a standing ovation.
Clint Eastwood, A Life
Author: The Editors of New Word City
Description: Confident and masculine, solitary and moral, Clint Eastwood’s screen persona represents a strain of the American character that is simple, true, and timeless. But Eastwood - though his pictures have grossed billions - is far more than an iconic movie star. He has produced and directed some of the most important films of the last three decades, earning 10 Academy Award nominations and four wins, two each for Best Director and Best Picture. Here, his life and career take center stage.
Jon Stewart: Beyond The Moments Of Zen
Author: Stewart, Jon
Description: Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, has been called a “cultural force,” a “fourth branch of government,” and “the most influential man in America.” In this newly expanded, new edition of this pioneering biography, award-winning journalist Bruce Watson charts Stewart’s remarkable rise from a wise-cracking New Jersey comic to a powerful pundit hosting presidents and prime ministers, all with a smirk.
New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer
Author: Maher, Bill
Description: Bill Maher is on the forefront of the new wave of comedians who have begun to influence and shape political debate through their comedy. He is best known not just for being funny, but for advocating truth over sensitivity and taking on the political establishment. Maher first came to national attention as the host of the hit TV program Politically Incorrect, where he offered a combustible mixture of irreverence and acerbic humor that helped him to garner a loyal following, as well as a reputation for being a controversial bad boy.
Bill Maher's popular new HBO television show, Real Time, has put Maher more front and center than ever before. Particularly one regular segment on the show, entitled "New Rules," has been a hit with his ever-growing legion of fans. It is the part of the show during which Maher takes serious aim, bringing all of his intelligence, incisiveness, wit, and his signature exasperation to bear on topics ranging from cell phones ("I don't need my cell phone to take pictures or access the Internet. I just need it to make a phone call. From everywhere! Not just the places it likes!") to fast food ("No McDonald's in hospitals. I'm not kidding!) to the conservative agenda ("Stop claiming it's an agenda. It's not an agenda. It's a random collection of laws that your corporate donors paid you to pass.")
His new book, the first since his bestselling When You Ride Alone You Ride with bin Laden, brings these brilliantly conceived riffs and rants to the written page. Appropriately titled New Rules, the book will collect some of the best of the rules derived from previously written material and will also contain substantial new material, including some longer form "editorials"—of course with a twist and bite that only Bill Maher can deliver.
Some Like It Cool: The Charmed Life of Jack Lemmon
Author: Freedland, Michael
Description: 'Some Like It Cool' is the story of Jack Lemmon, perhaps one of the best-loved stars in Hollywood's history. The first biography since his death in 2001, this book focuses not just on Lemmon's career, but also on his private life. It includes the story of his relationship with his mother, a broken first marriage, his drinking, his 'terrible' facelift and his fight with cancer. This is no rags to riches tale as his wealthy father sent him to Harvard where a Columbia Pictures talent scout invited him to Hollywood where the speed of his rise to success and stardom was astonishing. The author, Michael Freedland, who interviewd Lemmon frequently, confesses to being a Lemmon devotee, yet this biography presents a frank and honest account - as well as a celebration - of one of Hollywood's greats.