Monday, September 22, 2014

Books About...

I love nonfiction books that talk about my favorite subjects: books, movies, tv. The three here are three of my favorites. What books have you enjoyed about your favorite subjects.


Unknown said...

Favorite book about movies: Lots of 'em, but Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade would be at or near the top.

Books about books: A Gentle Madness by Nicholas Basbanes.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I like biographies :-) One I especially enjoyed was David McCollough's John Adams.

Anonymous said...

What Bill said about the Goldman. Great book. Other books about movies:

William Wellman, A Short Time for Insanity (memoir)
Kenneth Anger, Hollywood Babylon
Steven Bach, Final Cut (on Heaven's Gate)
Richard Schickel, Conversations With Scorsese
Don Miller, "B" Movies

Other lists to follow.

Jeff M.

Al Tucher said...

I like true crime when the crime makes a larger point about the time and place. Two good recent examples are DEVIL IN THE GROVE, by Gilbert King, and THE SAVAGE CITY, by T.J. English.

Charles Gramlich said...

Most nonfiction I read is either about rock music, science, or writing. I used to read a lot of history and loved it but I seldom have the time.

Anonymous said...


David Denby, Great Books
Sara Nelson, So Many Books, So Little Time; similarly
Nina Sankovitch, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair (she read a book a DAY for a year!)
Nick Hornby, Ten Years in the Tub
Helene Hanff, 84 Charing Cross Road
Also Leon Edel on Henry James and Michael Reynolds on Hemingway.

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...


Linda Ellerbee, "And So It Goes"
Alan Sepinwall, The Revolution was Televised

Another favorite area of mine is baseball:

Leo Durocher, Nice Guys Finish Last
Roger Angell, The Summer Game
William B. Mead, Even the Browns
G. H. Fleming, The Unforgettable Season (1908)
Roger Kahn, The Boys of Summer
Lawrence S. Ritter, The Glory of Their Times
Jim Brosnan, The Long Season
Harvey Araton, Driving Mr. Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry & Baseball's Greatest Gift
Michael Lewis, Moneyball
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir
Al Stump, Ty Cobb: A Biography (of an appalling human being)

Jeff M.

George said...

My latest favorite book in this genre is Kenneth Turan's "Not to Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites From a Lifetime of Film." I'm slowly working my way through the 54 movies Turan recommends.

pattinase (abbott) said...

BOYS OF SUMMER is the greatest. Also some of the baseball books by players-Like BEHIND THE MASK.
Always enjoyed the Pauline Kael books.

Unknown said...

My favorite film books include Pauline Kael's books, A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel-True, The Lost One (Peter Lorre), McGilligan's Hitchcock, Film Noir The Encyclopedia, Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon, Basinger's The Star Machine, Robin Wood's Hitchcock's Films, David Thomson's The Big Screen. My favorite history book, Howard Zinn's People's History.

Gerard said...

The only book I can think of within that category is I KILLED: TRUE STORIES OF THE ROAD FROM AMERICA'S TOP COMICS.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have the Thomson book sitting on a shelf. The slighter the book, the more chance I will read it.
There's another one I liked about TV called Difficult Men. Looked at Soprano, Walt White, Don Draper, etc. Very good.

Anonymous said...

I think I read all the Kael books too.

Oh, a few football books:

Michael Lewis, The Blind Side
H. A. Bissinger, Friday Night Lights
Roy Blount, Jr., About Three Bricks Shy of a Load
Arthur J. Donovan, Fatso: Football When Men Were Really Men (pro football in the 1950s)

Jeff M.

Deb said...

I recently read (I think it was a book George had recommended) Jo Walton's What Makes This Book So Great?, about rereading her favorite science fiction books. I enjoyed her writing style even if I felt quite a lot of the books would not be my cup of tea.

Stephen Bach's book about the making of Heaven's Gate is hard to beat, but The Devil's Candy, about the equally difficult production of The Bonfire of the Vanities, runs a close second.

Kent Morgan said...

Books to Die For was my favourite non-fiction book in 2012. Like Jeff M. I could list a bunch of baseball and other sports books but I won't. I collect books on journalism and enjoy collections that could be described as long-form, narrative and creative nonfiction. Some recent ones in my collection are:

Renegades - Robert Ward
Silk Parachute - John McPhee
Into the Story - David Maranis
Heroes and Villains - David Hadju
The Silent Season of a Hero the Sports Writing of Gay Talese

I particularly enjoy it when the writers tell about the process undertaken to produce a piece.

Kieran Shea said...

A friend pushed The Revolution Was Televised on me. Enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

Deb, I was going to mention that Jo Walton book too, even though I will never read most of her choices. I cannot believe how fast she reads (and rereads). She makes George Kelley look slow!

Jeff M.

jervaise brooke hamster said...
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Cap'n Bob said...

I've read a ton of books about George Armstrong Custer and one of the best is Son of the Morning Star.

Yvette said...

Since someone mentioned baseball books:

WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR, A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin

BALL FOUR by Jim Bouton

THE DREYFUS AFFAIR by Peter Lefcourt

Books about books and reading:


EX LIBRIS by Anne Fadiman


BOOK LUST by Nancy Pearl

MORE BOOK LUST by Nancy Pearl

BIRD BY BIRD by Annie Lamott

USED AND RARE by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone

SLIGHTLY CHIPPED by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone

...and a book on birds that I especially loved and recommend VERY highly as - with most books about specific things, it's really all about the life we live:


pattinase (abbott) said...

have read a lot of these!