Reading Hollywood (or Thereabouts) | Wyatt’s World

As anyone who has been on a back-lot tour (even Disney’s manufactured one) can attest, the insider details of filmmaking and the stars who light up the screen can be endlessly addictive. Here are five books to recommend to patrons who wish to explore that fascination in greater detail.theactress071714

  • Arts & Entertainments by Christopher Beha (Ecco: HarperCollins).
    A washed-up former TV actor, now married and teaching drama at a boy’s prep school, decides to sell an old sex tape featuring a famous actress, yet what he discovers is his own life taken over and replotted.
  • Lucky Us by Amy Bloom (Random).
    Two sisters venture from Ohio to Hollywood—and to many points beyond—in Bloom’s beautifully wrought and character-rich coming-of-age story involving seekers of all kinds.
  • I Said Yes to Everything by Lee Grant (Blue Rider).
    Blacklisted in the McCarthy era, Grant rose again to become an Oscar winner. Her memoir is precise and gripping and illustrates the virtues of determination and resilience.
  • Watching Them Be: Star Presence on the Screen from Garbo to Balthazar by James Harvey (Faber & Faber).
    Film critic Harvey examines the distinct sway of stars on the silver screen in his sharp analysis of the intimate power of film.
  • The Actress by Amy Sohn (S. & S.).
    Indie actress Maddy Freed hits the big time in Sohn’s novel when she marries blockbuster movie icon Steven Weller, only to discover the gloss easily dulls. Glitzy beach reading awaits.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at