I'll Have What She's Having: How Nora Ephron's Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy by Erin CarlsonAnybody who recognizes the source of this book's title will enjoy this engaging exploration of three much-loved romantic comedies: When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You've Got Mail. While the focus is on Nora Ephron (who scripted Harry and co-wrote and directed the other two), there are also plenty of goodies for fans of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Entertainment journalist Erin Carlson also sheds light on the challenges that women face in a youth-oriented and male-dominated Hollywood, both as actors and directors.
Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast by Marc Maron and Brendan McDonaldFor nine years, Marc Maron has hosted the popular WTF podcast, interviewing notables from comedians (Patton Oswalt) and musicians (Bruce Springsteen) to the former leader of the free world (President Barack Obama). Here, he's organized his guests' revelations into 11 categories (like "Identity" or "Relationships"), each of which provide insight into their lives -- and the human experience in general. "Profound and powerful," says Kirkus Reviews, with plenty of humor as well.
Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life... by Zoë QuinnIn 2014, video game designer Zoe Quinn was the target of an ex-boyfriend's revenge campaign that spiraled wildly from accusations of unethical behavior to hate mail, death threats, and other forms of online (and IRL) abuse. This harassment -- which targeted several other women in the video game industry -- came to be known as Gamergate, and while Quinn started hiding her location, she refused to stay silent. In her book, Quinn outlines her efforts to find justice, describes the legal system's weaknesses when it comes to online abuse, and talks about the victims' advocacy group she founded. She also provides practical steps for creating a safe internet culture.
Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters... by Annie SpenceHave some books near-memorized? Wanted to throw others across the room? If so, you'll love this collection of letters to books -- whether love letters or break-up letters, they clearly capture reader Annie Spence's opinions! As a librarian, she's also got a professional curator's eye, but anyone who's ever ogled someone else's bookshelves will find plenty to agree (or disagree) with -- and that's part of the fun.
Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia WilliamsComedian Patricia Williams (better known as Ms. Pat) grew up in Atlanta in the 1980s, raised by an alcoholic mother who taught her to steal by the time she was eight. A mother of two herself by age 15, Williams eventually started dealing drugs to support them. But she wanted better for her children, and worked hard to turn her life around, turning to comedy when her criminal record made it difficult to find a job. Her memoir -- "both savagely honest and often genuinely funny" (Kirkus Reviews) -- pulls no punches.
The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead... by David BianculliThis in-depth examination of the history of television staunchly proclaims that the best era for TV is... now! (Well, starting in 1999, though TV critic David Bianculli allows for some exceptions before then). Dividing programs into several genres (such as "workplace comedy" or "spies"), and highlighting five shows within each category, this well-researched and comprehensive analysis will have you reaching for the remote -- to try intriguing new shows -- in no time.
True South: Henry Hampton and Eyes on the Prize, the Landmark Television Series... by Jon ElsePublished to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the making of the 1987 civil rights documentary Eyes on the Prize, this sweeping, thorough history reveals the impact that the landmark PBS series had on documentary film-making. More importantly, it sheds light on how Eyes on the Prize shaped how the U.S. understood the civil rights movement itself. Mixing memoir, biography, and history, True South is a compelling read for those interested in civil rights or documentary film-making.
Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (And Everything in Between) by Lauren GrahamPublished last year to coincide with the return of Gilmore Girls (on Netflix), this collection of brief, diary-style essays about actress Lauren Gilmore's experiences on the set (of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood) also shares stories about her upbringing, early jobs, and future plans -- another novel? Producing a movie with Mae Whitman? More Gilmore Girls? It's all possible. For a special treat, pick up the audiobook version -- Graham narrates it herself.
TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time by Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller SeitzWith a complex rubric that incorporates six criteria (innovation, influence, consistency, performance, storytelling, and peak), television critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz rank the 100 best scripted American television shows of all time. Which is quite an undertaking -- one that may lead you to binge-watch the best. The essays that accompany their decisions are sure to provoke discussion, and are complemented by short lists of other bests as well as supplementary appendices. Don't know what to watch next? We're pretty sure TV (The Book) can help.
The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History by Chris SmithA cultural behemoth, The Daily Show ran for 16 years under the leadership of the beloved Jon Stewart, and this uncensored history of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning television show highlights its evolution. With quotes and stories shared by contributors like Stephen Colbert and Mo Rocca, guests like John McCain, and other, less well-known, individuals, no fan of the show should miss out on leafing through this entertaining, enjoyable narrative.
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