Jay-Z: Made in America by Michael Eric Dyson; foreword by PharrellWhat it's about: Written to coincide with rapper Jay-Z's 50th birthday, this concise primer celebrates his artistry and cultural impact.
Is it for you? Longtime Jay-Z fans may not find much new info here, though curious newbies and lovers of cultural critique will appreciate Michael Eric Dyson's incisive study.
Try this next: Fans of Jay-Z's equally famous wife will want to pick up Queen Bey, a thought-provoking study of Beyoncé's artistry and activism, edited by Veronica Chambers.
I am C-3PO : the inside story
by Anthony Daniels
The beloved Star Wars actor shares insights into the concepts, evolution and unexpected hazards of his iconic character while describing his collaborations with such legends as Sir Alec Guinness, Carrie Fisher and George Lucas.
Trick mirror : reflections on self-delusion
by Jia Tolentino
A New Yorker writer presents nine original essays examining the fractures at the center of culture today, offering insights into the conflicts, contradictions, incentives and changes related to the rise of toxic social networking.
A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee by Danny FingerothWhat it is: an engaging and evenhanded biography of Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee that addresses his career triumphs and controversies.
Topics include: Lee's fight against comics censorship in the 1950s; legal battles with artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko; his cameos in Marvel films; his lasting influence on nerd culture.
Reviewers say: "This is a sure hit for comics fans of all camps" (Publishers Weekly).
Vanity Fair's Women on Women by Radhika Jones (editor) with David FriendWhat's inside: an absorbing collection of 28 Vanity Fair profiles of women by women and published over the last 35 years.
Featuring: illuminating write-ups on Michelle Obama, Frida Kahlo, Gloria Steinem, Tina Turner, Cher, Lena Waithe, Meryl Streep, Princess Diana, Lady Gaga, Emily Post, and many more.
Don't miss: "#MeToo and Me" by Monica Lewinsky.
All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire by Jonathan AbramsWhat it is: a reflective look back at the groundbreaking HBO crime series The Wire.
What's inside: revealing interviews with the show's cast and crew, including Dominic West, Idris Elba, and Michael B. Jordan.
Further reading: Rafael Alvarez's The Wire: Truth Be Told offers a richly detailed companion to the series.
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden; foreword by Rob ReinerWhat it's about: actor Cary Elwes' experiences filming the 1987 adaptation of William Goldman's The Princess Bride.
Have fun storming the castle: Featuring never-before-told stories and reminiscences from cast, crew, and Goldman himself, this nostalgic and heartfelt read is perfect for fans of the highly quotable cult classic.
Inconceivable! François Truffaut was once attached to direct the film.
Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop by Marc MyersWhat it is: a toe-tapping, genre-spanning, five-decade retrospective of 45 popular songs, full of insights from the artists who created them.
Featuring: "Please Mr. Postman;" "Stand by Your Man;" "Walk This Way;" "Heart of Glass;" "London Calling."
Don't miss: Mick Jagger setting the record straight about the drug-laden subtext of "Moonlight Mile."
Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for... by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein; foreword by Judd ApatowWhat it is: an engaging behind-the-scenes look at The Simpsons by Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Mike Reiss, who's been involved with the series since its 1989 inception.
What's inside: juicy tidbits on the show's production and famous guest stars; answers to fans' burning questions; an honest assessment of the show's controversial depiction of Indian character Apu.
Reviewers say: "A charming look at a cherished American show" (Kirkus); "laugh-out-loud hilarious" (Booklist).
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