Brilliant Book Titles #120

it can't happen here
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
‘An eerily prescient foreshadowing of current affairs’ Guardian

‘Not only Lewis’s most important book but one of the most important books ever produced in the United States’ New Yorker

A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fearmongering demagogue runs for President of the United States – and wins. Sinclair Lewis’s chilling 1935 bestseller is the story of Buzz Windrip, ‘Professional Common Man’, who promises poor, angry voters that he will make America proud and prosperous once more, but takes the country down a far darker path. As the new regime slides into authoritarianism, newspaper editor Doremus Jessop can’t believe it will last – but is he right? This cautionary tale of liberal complacency in the face of populist tyranny shows it really can happen here.

The Silent Ones by William Brodrick

The silent ones
Always  a pleasure to read about Father Anselm Barrister turned Gilbertine monk often called back to solve crimes . Even though the crimes in this book were grim it was still a lovely gentle read lovely descriptions of monastic life. Very interesting courtroom scenes ,and the simplicity os the monastery shines through it all.  I wonder why the BBC haven’t made a series of  it spite of the Catholic ethos which is quite understated it is quintessentially British.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

5 New Beauty Books to Watch Out For

lazy perfection
Lazy Perfection: The Art of Looking Great Without Really Trying by Jenny Patinkin
 (18 May 2017)
Could you use a little Lazy Perfection in Your Life?
Every woman wants to look like the best version of herself-natural, radiant, and confident. But who has the time to master complicated makeup steps or the patience to sift through the glut of choices at the beauty counters? Celebrated makeup artist Jenny Patinkin cuts through the confusion and clutter with her “lazy perfection” approach to beauty, replacing complex techniques and hard-to-wear trends with a streamlined, sophisticated approach to makeup.
Here you’ll find guidance on finding a beauty routine that works for you-without a lot of involved steps or overpriced products. Guiding you through an initial makeup drawer purge, through setting beauty priorities, to crafting a finished look, Jenny gives you real-life tips for spending your limited time (and budget) to achieve the results you want. With Lazy Perfection you’ll know that you’re putting your best face forward-minus the fuss!

fear and clothing
Fear and Clothing: Unbuckling American Style
by Cintra Wilson (23 May 2017)
Wilson reports the findings of her “fashion road trip” across the United States, a journey that took three years and ranges across the various economic “belt regions” of America: the Cotton, Rust, Bible, Sun, Frost, Corn, and Gun Belts. Acting as a kind of fashion anthropologist, she documents and decodes the sartorial sensibilities of Americans across the country. Our fashion choices, she argues, contain a riot of visual cues that tell everyone instantly who we are, where we came from, where we feel we belong, what we want, where we are going, and how we expect to be treated when we get there. With this philosophy in hand, she tackles and unpacks the meaning behind the uniforms of Washington DC politicians and their wives, the costumes of Kentucky Derby spectators, the attractive draw of the cowboy hat in Wyoming, and what she terms the “stealth wealth” of distressed clothing in Brooklyn.

In this smart and rollicking book, Wilson illustrates how every closet is a declaration of the owner’s politics, sexuality, class, education, hopes, and dreams. With her signature wit and utterly irreverent humor, Wilson proves that, by donning our daily costume, we create our future selves, for good or ill. Indeed: your fate hangs in your closet. Dress wisely.


love your skin
Love Your Skin: The Ultimate Guide to a Glowing Complexion by Abigail James (25 May 2017)
The skin you look at in the mirror is not the same as that of a friend’s. Just because they swear by an amazing face cream doesn’t mean it’s going to be your skincare hero too. Your genetic background, where you live, and what you eat will all have an impact, as will your stress and hydration levels, gut health and sleep patterns. Covering everything from the key product ingredients to look out for, to alternative low-cost solutions and home-made beauty products that really work, Abigail’s advice will truly benefit your complexion.From her top habits for healthy skin, to the best professional treatments and methods, by way of facial yoga and massage, red carpet tips and backstage fashion secrets, Love Your Skin is all you need to ensure your skin is always at its best.

little book
The Little Book of Life Hacks by Yumi Sakugawa (13 Jun 2017)
Author, illustrator and comic book artist Yumi Sakugawa shares a wide range of useful and unexpected tips for looking and feeling better, streamlining and improving your home life, and creating fun and artsy DIY projects that can brighten your living space. Inspired by her popular “Secret Yumiverse” tips originally posted on WonderHowTo.com, The Little Book of Life Hacks offers a wide range of practical advice and fun tips for everything from how to: – Remove dark circles from under your eyes – Make cold brew iced coffee at home – Throw the perfect apartment party on a budget – Work out at home without a gym membership – Take the perfect afternoon power nap…and more! Featuring Yumi’s signature hand-drawn illustrations throughout, The Little Book of Life Hacks is a distinctive and perfect gift for recent graduates and young working women who want to learn practical ways to organise and improve their daily life while still having fun.

hi gorgeous.jpg
Hi Gorgeous! Transforming Inner Power into Radiant Beauty by Candis Cayne (29 Jun 2017)
Trailblazing transgender actress, activist, and style icon Candis Cayne has spent a lifetime learning how to see herself for who she really is, and along the way has taught herself and others how to celebrate inner beauty as the perfect starting point for outer radiance. Drawing from her personal journey to self-acceptance and comprised of a unique combination of cross-barrier, body-positive wellness and style advice, Hi Gorgeous is a one-of-a-kind beauty guide that will speak to all women.

Engagingly written, highly visual, and filled with “Glam on the Go” tips and exclusive interviews with Candis’s team of “radiance experts,” the book will cover everything from new definitions of womanhood and beauty (with elements of Candis’s own journey artfully woven in) to hands-on makeup and style tips aimed at enhancing every woman’s natural beauty.

Hi Gorgeous! opens with a foreword by Candis’s best friend, former Olympian and transgender star Caitlyn Jenner. Part I focuses on “Finding Your Natural Radiance,” Part II on “Giving Them the Highlights” (makeup tips), and Part III on “Accentuating Your True Self” (fashion, accessories, putting forward your best).

As Candis says, “Inner empowerment leads to owning who you really are, which creates true, radiant beauty. The rest is just the icing on the cake.” This beautiful, inspiring, and informative book will empower women on their own path and help them convey their radiance to the world.

 

Faking It by Christine D’Abo (Ringside Romance)

faking it cd[3]
The first book in this series, Working It, I reviewed on the blog in February calling it ‘one the best romance books I’ve read this year’ so as you can imagine, I was very excited to get my hands on Faking It, especially since it was about Zach’s friend Max, who runs the gay bar Frantic.

But. This was just. No. Not for me.

My main problem with it was the absolute change in tone – which, look, is fine, but just rubbed me up the wrong way here. Working It was a workplace romance with a stressed out boss and anxiety ridden assistant. It was very grounded in reality and dealt wonderfully with a romance featuring a character with anxiety. Faking It features Max pretending to be a rich boy reality tv star’s fiancée, so he’s not forced into an arranged gay marriage for business. I mean, what?

It was just so far removed from Working It, that I never really got into it. I mean, I didn’t expect it to cover the same topics, but it was such a shift that it threw me. Despite this, I liked Max and Grady, although, strangely, I think I liked Max more in his supporting role in Working It, than I did in this. I liked the emphasis on father-son relationships, and the prickly problems they can cause, but overall, this book didn’t really work for me. I stayed up late to finish it, and then thought to myself that I should’ve gotten the sleep instead.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book. It’s a pretty solid romance, I suppose though it’s the trope that just throws me – I like my romance believable, and though D’Abo does try her best, and it very nearly works, it doesn’t completely for me. That said, I absolutely will read the next two in the series, as I enjoy the shared setting of Ringside (especially since it’s getting more prominent in each book). Do give it a go if the blurb tickles your fancy, but ultimately this just wasn’t for me.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Brilliant Book Titles #119

heartthrobs
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
What can a cultural history of the heartthrob teach us about women, desire, and social change? From dreams of Prince Charming or dashing military heroes, to the lure of dark strangers and vampire lovers; from rock stars and rebels to soulmates, dependable family types or simply good companions, female fantasies about men tell us as much about the history of women as about masculine icons.

When girls were supposed to be shrinking violets, passionate females risked being seen as ‘unbridled’, or dangerously out of control. Change came slowly, and young women remained trapped in double-binds. You may have needed a husband in order to survive, but you had to avoid looking like a gold-digger. Sexual desire could be dangerous: a rash guide to making choices. Show attraction too openly and you might be judged ‘fast’ and undesirable.

Education and wage-earning brought independence and a widening of cultural horizons. Young women in the early twentieth century showed a sustained appetite for novel-reading, cinema-going, and the dancehall. They sighed over Rudolph Valentino’s screen performances, as tango-dancer, Arab tribesman, or desert lover. Contemporary critics were sniffy about ‘shop-girl’ taste in literature and in men, but as consumers, girls had new clout.

In Heartthrobs, social and cultural historian Carol Dyhouse draws upon literature, cinema, and popular romance to show how the changing position of women has shaped their dreams about men, from Lord Byron in the early nineteenth century to boy-bands in the early twenty-first. Reflecting on the history of women as consumers and on the nature of fantasy, escapism, and ‘fandom’, she takes us deep into the world of gender and the imagination. A great deal of feminist literature has shown women as objects of the ‘male gaze’: this book looks at men through the eyes of women.

5 Queer Classics You Should Read

For our final post as part of pride month, here’s five queer classics you should read:

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
stone butch blues
Published in 1993, this brave, original novel is considered to be the finest account ever written of the complexities of a transgendered existence.Woman or man? Thats the question that rages like a storm around Jess Goldberg, clouding her life and her identity. Growing up differently gendered in a blue–collar town in the 1950s, coming out as a butch in the bars and factories of the prefeminist 60s, deciding to pass as a man in order to survive when she is left without work or a community in the early 70s. This powerful, provocative and deeply moving novel sees Jess coming full circle, she learns to accept the complexities of being a transgendered person in a world demanding simple explanations: a he-she emerging whole, weathering the turbulence.
[NOTE: My friend recommended this to me and said it was essential. I’m really looking forward to reading it but it’s extremely out of print – and not even in the library- and fetching high prices on Amazon, so perhaps time for some charity shop diving] 

Orlando by Virginia Woolf
orlando
Virginia Woolf’s Orlando ‘The longest and most charming love letter in literature’, playfully constructs the figure of Orlando as the fictional embodiment of Woolf’s close friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West. Spanning three centuries, the novel opens as Orlando, a young nobleman in Elizabeth’s England, awaits a visit from the Queen and traces his experience with first love as England under James I lies locked in the embrace of the Great Frost.

At the midpoint of the novel, Orlando, now an ambassador in Costantinople, awakes to find that he is a woman, and the novel indulges in farce and irony to consider the roles of women in the 18th and 19th centuries.

As the novel ends in 1928, a year consonant with full suffrage for women. Orlando, now a wife and mother, stands poised at the brink of a future that holds new hope and promise for women.

In the Eyes of Mr Fury by Philip Ridley
fury
On the day Concord Webster turned eighteen, the Devil died. The Devil’s real name was Judge Martin, but Concord’s mother called him the Devil. She said he boiled babies for dinner and made lampshades out of human skin. So why did she, who hated him so venomously, have a key to his house?

The key will unlock more than just Judge’s front door. It will also unlock a multitude of stories – where magic children talk to crows, men disappear in piles of leaves, and James Dean lookalikes kiss in dark alleys – and reveal a secret history that will change Concord’s life forever.

Philip Ridley’s second novel (following the sexually charged tour de force Crocodilia) was an instant cult classic when originally published in 1989. Now, for this new edition, Ridley has reimagined the story, expanding the original novel into the world’s first LGBT magical realist epic. A vast, labyrinthine, hall-of-mirrors saga, its breathtaking imagery and stunning plot twists – covering over a hundred years – reveal Ridley to be one of the most distinctive and innovative voices in contemporary fiction.

‘Philip Ridley’s stories compel attention.’ – The Times (London)

‘Ridley is the master of modern myth.’ – The Guardian
[This is my favourite book of all time. I read it in the original 1989 version and loved this. This version, republishing it for the first time, is heavily revised and expanded to over double the length. Get one version. Get both. Just. Read. It.]

Whipping Girl by Julia Serrano
whipping girl
In the updated second edition of Whipping Girl, Julia Serano, a transsexual woman whose supremely intelligent writing reflects her diverse background as a lesbian transgender activist and professional biologist, shares her powerful experiences and observations,both pre- and post-transition,to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole. Serano’s well-honed arguments stem from her ability to bridge the gap between the often-disparate biological and social perspectives on gender. In this provocative manifesto, she exposes how deep-rooted the cultural belief is that femininity is frivolous, weak, and passive, and how this feminine” weakness exists only to attract and appease male desire. In addition to debunking popular misconceptions about transsexuality, Serano makes the case that today’s feminists and transgender activists must work to embrace and empower femininity,in all of its wondrous forms.

At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill
at-swim-two-boys-jamie-oneill-paperback
‘Weren’t you never out for an easy dip?’ he asked . . . ‘I don’t mean the baths, I mean with a pal. For a lark like.’

Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of Dublin rock where gentlemen bathe in the scandalous nude, two boys meet day after day. There they make a pact: that Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, they will swim the bay to the distant beacon of the Muglins rock, to raise the Green and claim it for themselves. As a turbulent year drives inexorably towards the Easter Rising of 1916 and Ireland sets forth on a path to uncertain glory, a tender, secret love story unfolds. Written with verve and mastery in a modern Irish tradition descended from James Joyce and Flann O’Brien, At Swim, Two Boys is a shimmering novel of unforgettable ambition, intensity and humanity. 

‘One of the greatest Irish novels ever written’ David Marcus

‘The music of Jamie O’Neill’s prose creates a new Irish symphony’ Peter Ackroyd

‘Heartachingly beautiful’ Independent on Sunday

‘A vivid picture of human freedom’ Sunday Times

5 Queer Non-Fiction Books You Should Read

As part of Pride Month, today we’re pointing out some new queer non-fiction that has caught our eye.

Oh, and today is Dublin Pride! A Happy Pride to one and all!

Queer City by Peter Ackroyd 
queer city.jpg
*** A Sunday Times Bestseller ***

In Queer City Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way – through the history and experiences of its gay population.

In Roman Londinium the city was dotted with lupanaria (‘wolf dens’ or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels) and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops, monks and missionaries. And so began an endless loop of alternating permissiveness and censure.

Ackroyd takes us right into the hidden history of the city; from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century. He journeys through the coffee bars of sixties Soho to Gay Liberation, disco music and the horror of AIDS.

Today, we live in an era of openness and tolerance and Queer London has become part of the new norm. Ackroyd tells us the hidden story of how it got there, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand; but reminding us of its very real terrors, dangers and risks on the other.

‘Peter Ackroyd is the greatest living chronicler of London’ Independent

Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter by Heath Fogg Davis
beyond trans.jpg
Goes beyond transgender to question the need for gender classification.

Beyond Trans pushes the conversation on gender identity to its limits: questioning the need for gender categories in the first place. Whether on birth certificates or college admissions applications or on bathroom doors, why do we need to mark people and places with sex categories? Do they serve a real purpose or are these places and forms just mechanisms of exclusion? Heath Fogg Davis offers an impassioned call to rethink the usefulness of dividing the world into not just Male and Female categories but even additional categories of Transgender and gender fluid. Davis, himself a transgender man, explores the underlying gender-enforcing policies and customs in American life that have led to transgender bathroom bills, college admissions controversies, and more, arguing that it is necessary for our society to take real steps to challenge the assumption that gender matters.

He examines four areas where we need to re-think our sex-classification systems: sex-marked identity documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses and passports; sex-segregated public restrooms; single-sex colleges; and sex-segregated sports. Speaking from his own experience and drawing upon major cases of sex discrimination in the news and in the courts, Davis presents a persuasive case for challenging how individuals are classified according to sex and offers concrete recommendations for alleviating sex identity discrimination and sex-based disadvantage.

For anyone in search of pragmatic ways to make our world more inclusive, Davis’ recommendations provide much-needed practical guidance about how to work through this complex issue. A provocative call to action, Beyond Trans pushes us to think how we can work to make America truly inclusive of all .

Homintern by Gregory Woods (23 Aug 2017)
homintern.jpg
A landmark account of gay and lesbian creative networks and the seismic changes they brought to twentieth-century culture In a hugely ambitious study which crosses continents, languages, and almost a century, Gregory Woods identifies the ways in which homosexuality has helped shape Western culture. Extending from the trials of Oscar Wilde to the gay liberation era, this book examines a period in which increased visibility made acceptance of homosexuality one of the measures of modernity. Woods shines a revealing light on the diverse, informal networks of gay people in the arts and other creative fields. Uneasily called “the Homintern” (an echo of Lenin’s “Comintern”) by those suspicious of an international homosexual conspiracy, such networks connected gay writers, actors, artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, politicians, and spies. While providing some defense against dominant heterosexual exclusion, the grouping brought solidarity, celebrated talent, and, in doing so, invigorated the majority culture. Woods introduces an enormous cast of gifted and extraordinary characters, most of them operating with surprising openness; but also explores such issues as artistic influence, the coping strategies of minorities, the hypocrisies of conservatism, and the effects of positive and negative discrimination.

Fighting Proud: The Untold Story of the Gay Men Who Served in Two World Wars by Stephen Bourne (30 Jun 2017)
fighting proud.jpg
In this astonishing new history of wartime Britain, historian Stephen Bourne unearths the fascinating stories of the gay men who served in the armed forces and at home, and brings to light the great unheralded contribution they made to the war effort. Fighting Proud weaves together the remarkable lives of these men, from RAF hero Ian Gleed – a Flying Ace twice honoured for bravery by King George VI – to the infantry officers serving in the trenches on the Western Front in WWI – many of whom led the charges into machine-gun fire only to find themselves court-martialled after the war for indecent behaviour. Behind the lines, Alan Turing’s work on breaking the ‘enigma machine’ and subsequent persecution contrasts with the many stories of love and courage in Blitzed-out London, with new wartime diaries and letters unearthed for the first time. Bourne tells the bitterly sad story of Ivor Novello, who wrote the WWI anthem ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’, and the crucial work of Noel Coward – who was hated by Hitler for his work entertaining the troops. Fighting Proud also includes a wealth of long-suppressed wartime photography subsequently ignored by mainstream historians. This book is a monument to the bravery, sacrifice and honour shown by a persecuted minority, who contributed during Britain’s hour of need.

Logical Family: A Memoir by Armistead Maupin (5 Oct 2017)
logical family
“A book for any of us, gay or straight, who have had to find our family. Maupin is one of America’s finest storytellers, and the story of his life is a story as fascinating, as delightful and as compulsive as any of the tales he has made up for us.”–Neil Gaiman

“I fell in love with Maupin’s effervescent Tales of the City decades ago, and his genius turn at memoir is no less compelling. Logical Family is a must read.”–Mary Karr

In this long-awaited memoir, the beloved author of the bestselling Tales of the City series chronicles his odyssey from the old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to ground-breaking writer and gay rights pioneer.

Born in the mid-twentieth century and raised in the heart of conservative North Carolina, Armistead Maupin lost his virginity to another man “on the very spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.” Realizing that the South was too small for him, this son of a traditional lawyer packed his earthly belongings into his Opel GT (including a beloved portrait of a Confederate ancestor), and took to the road in search of adventure. It was a journey that would lead him from a homoerotic Navy initiation ceremony in the jungles of Vietnam to that strangest of strange lands: San Francisco in the early 1970s.

Reflecting on the profound impact those closest to him have had on his life, Maupin shares his candid search for his “logical family,” the people he could call his own. “Sooner or later, we have to venture beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense for us,” he writes. “We have to, if we are to live without squandering our lives.” From his loving relationship with his palm-reading Grannie who insisted Maupin was the reincarnation of her artistic bachelor cousin, Curtis, to an awkward conversation about girls with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, Maupin tells of the extraordinary individuals and situations that shaped him into one of the most influential writers of the last century.

Maupin recalls his losses and life-changing experiences with humor and unflinching honesty, and brings to life flesh-and-blood characters as endearing and unforgettable as the vivid, fraught men and women who populate his enchanting novels. What emerges is an illuminating portrait of the man who depicted the liberation and evolution of America’s queer community over the last four decades with honesty and compassion–and inspired millions to claim their own lives.

 

Brilliant Book Titles #118

hit makers
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
What makes a hit a hit? In Hit Makers, Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson puts pop culture under the lens of science to answer the question that every business, every producer, every person looking to promote themselves and their work has asked.

Drawing on ancient history and modern headlines – from vampire lore and Brahms’s Lullaby to Instagram – Thompson explores the economics and psychology of why certain things become extraordinarily popular. With incisive analysis and captivating storytelling, he reveals that, though blockbuster films, Internet memes and number-one songs seem to have come out of nowhere, hits actually have a story and operate by certain rules. People gravitate towards familiar surprises: products that are bold and innovative, yet instantly comprehensible.

Whether he is uncovering the secrets of JFK and Barack Obama’s speechwriters or analysing the unexpected reasons for the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, Thompson goes beyond the cultural phenomena that make the news by revealing the desires that make us all human. While technology might change, he shows, our innate preferences do not, and throughout history hits have held up a mirror to ourselves.

From the dawn of Impressionist art to the future of Snapchat, from small-scale Etsy entrepreneurs to the origin of Star Wars, Derek Thompson tells the fascinating story of how culture happens – and where genius lives.

 

The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson

child garden.jpg

Gloria Harkness lives in a ramshackle cottage with only her aging dog and cats for company. The cottage lies within the grounds of a care home in which Gloria’s teenage son lives.  Her life is quiet, her days filled with work as a registrar and her evenings spent visiting her son and trying to keep the cottage in a habitable condition.  All this changes one night when a childhood friend turns up at her door.  He claims that he is being stalked and has been coerced into meeting his stalker nearby.  Gloria finds herself in the middle of a situation which she fears could threaten the very future of the care home and her son.

I found this book fairly slow to get moving but it was very atmospheric and Gloria is a very likeable character. As the story unfolds, it is revealed that the care home was briefly used as an alternative school until the death of a pupil resulted in its closure.  The fate of its former pupils becomes intrinsically entwined in the current mystery.  I must confess to having some difficulty keeping track of who was in the school at the start but just as Gloria becomes familiar with their stories, so do we.

I would recommend The Child Garden if you enjoy a tense, slow-burning mystery.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

5 New Film Books

talking-pictures
Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies by Ann Hornaday (13 Jun 2017)
Whether we are trying to impress a date after an art-house film screening or discussing Oscar nominations with friends, we all need ways to watch and talk about movies. But with so much variety between an Alfred Hitchcock thriller and a Nora Ephron romantic comedy, how can everyday viewers determine what makes a good movie?
In Talking Pictures, veteran film critic Ann Hornaday walks us through the production of a typical moviefrom writing the script and casting to the final sound editand explains how to evaluate each piece of the process. How do we know if a film is well-written, above and beyond snappy dialogue? What constitutes a great screen performance? What goes into praiseworthy cinematography, editing, and sound design? And what does a director really do? Full of engaging anecdotes and interviews with actors and filmmakers, Talking Pictures will help us see movies in a whole new lightnot just as fans, but as film critics in our own right.

pwoerhouse
Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency Paperback – 29 Jun 2017
A New York Times bestseller

An astonishing—and astonishingly entertaining—history of Hollywood’s transformation over the past five decades as seen through the agency at the heart of it all, from the #1 bestselling co-author of Live from New York and Those Guys Have All the Fun.

The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend—behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking.

Powerhouse is the fascinating, no-holds-barred saga of that ascent. Drawing on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled with CAA, as well as financial information never before made public, author James Andrew Miller spins a tale of boundless ambition, ruthless egomania, ceaseless empire building, greed, and personal betrayal. It is also a story of prophetic brilliance, magnificent artistry, singular genius, entrepreneurial courage, strategic daring, foxhole brotherhood, and how one firm utterly transformed the entertainment business.

Here are the real Star Wars—complete with a Death Star—told through the voices of those who were there. Packed with scores of stars from movies, television, music, and sports, as well as a tremendously compelling cast of agents, studio executives, network chiefs, league commissioners, private equity partners, tech CEOs, and media tycoons, Powerhouse is itself a Hollywood blockbuster of the most spectacular sort.

i-lost-it-at-the-video-store
I Lost It at the Video Store Paperback – 11 Jul 2017
Selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best indie books of 2015.

“This is a book that was waiting to happen, and fortunately it was Tom Roston who wrote it. After we lost it at the movies, a later era of cinephiles lost it at the video store, and this is their story in their wordsnostalgic, vivid, and important, because video germinated a new generation of great filmmakers.”
– Peter Biskind, author of Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film

In I Lost it at the Video Store, Tom Roston interviews the filmmakersincluding John Sayles, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell and Allison Anderswho came of age during the reign of video rentals, and constructs a living, personal narrative of an era of cinema history which, though now gone, continues to shape film culture today. This expanded edition includes an introduction by acclaimed filmmaker Richard Linklater (Boyhood) and a new appendix of conversations between Roston and various actors, directors, producers, and programmers (including Tim Blake Nelson, Paul Dano, Angela Robinson and more) about the past and future of film distribution and culture.

Tom Roston is a journalist whose work appears in The New York Times, The Guardian, Spin, The Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter, among other publications. A former senior editor at Premiere magazine, he also writes a weekly blog about documentaries for PBS award-winning POV website. He lives in Brooklyn.

lights-camera-game-over
Lights, Camera, Game Over!: How Video Game Movies Get Made Paperback – 28 Jul 2017
Since 1993, Hollywood has been rendering popular video games on the silver screen, mainly to critical derision and box office failure. While a few have succeeded, many have been hailed as the “worst movie ever” and left gamers asking: how did that get made? Super Mario fans expecting plumbers jumping on Goombas got an inter-dimensional battle between humans and evolved dinosaurs. Players expecting to see Ryu, Ken, and the rest of the World Warriors compete in the Street Fighter Tournament instead got a live-action GI Joe movie. This in-depth and entertaining work recounts the production histories of many of these movies, revealing the sometimes inspired and convoluted path Hollywood took to turn pixels into living flesh, with insights from more than 40 industry insiders, including film directors Paul W. S. Anderson (Resident Evil), Simon West (Tomb Raider), and Steven de Souza (Street Fighter).

opening wednesday.jpg
Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American ’70s Hardcover – 24 Aug 2017
“Movie criticism’s Dostoyevsky . . . Taylor reveals a national identity forged from the innocence we claim to have lost but never had in the first place.” –Steve Erickson, author of Zeroville

When we think of ’70s cinema, we think of classics like The Godfather, Taxi Driver, and The Wild Bunch . . . but the riches found in the overlooked B movies of the time, rolled out wherever they might find an audience, unexpectedly tell an eye-opening story about post-Watergate, post-Vietnam America. Revisiting the films that don’t make the Academy Award montages, Charles Taylor finds a treasury many of us have forgotten, movies that in fact “unlock the secrets of the times.”

Celebrated film critic Taylor pays homage to the trucker vigilantes, meat magnate pimps, blaxploitation “angel avengers,” and taciturn factory workers of grungy, unartful B films such as Prime Cut, Foxy Brown, and Eyes of Laura Mars. He creates a compelling argument for what matters in moviemaking and brings a pivotal American era vividly to life in all its gritty, melancholy complexity.