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Issue: Summer 2018

Summer Reading


Homer’s Odyssey: An Embiggened Simpsons Guide, by life-long fans Mitch Grinter and Brendan Dando, is an expansive guide to the longest running comedy show in TV history. Since its premiere in 1989, it has become one of the most popular and important animated series ever. A personal love letter to the show, these two “Simpsons” experts share their passionate insight and outstanding knowledge about beloved episodes, favorite quotes and iconic characters. From exclusive interviews with long-time crew members and entertaining behind-the-scenes stories to an ultimate trivia challenge, readers will fall in love all over again with television’s favorite yellow family. A hilariously intelligent and in-depth analysis, the book explores the unique impact this cultural phenomenon has had on the world—a supreme “Simpsons” reference book for both diehard fans and newcomers alike.

In The Essential James Garner, Stephen H. Ryan and Paul AJ. Ryan consider the prolific output of one of America’s most beloved actors. This book looks at the key feature films, made-for-television movies, and television Episodes of Garner’s career. The authors discuss each of the actor’s most well-known films as well as critically acclaimed television movies including Barbarians at the Gate and My Name is Bill W. Each entry provides details about the films production, critical reception, and commercial success. The authors also highlight the best episodes of Garner’s two iconic television shows Maverick and The Rockford Files, as well as his highly regarded but little seen series, Nichols. A tribute to the career of a Hollywood legend, the book will appeal to anyone wanting to know more about the actor’s best films and TV series.

The thoroughly revised and expanded, Sinatra! The Song is You is a thrilling look at the legacy of Frank Sinatra’s music. Regarded as one of the greatest, if not THE greatest entertainers of the 20 th century, Will Friedwald shares the musical legend’s life story, following the ups and downs of his career and the collaborations that turned into lifelong friendships. Unlike other biographies of the singer, author Will Friedwald focuses on Sinatra’s music, shedding a refreshing light on his five-decade career. He traces Sinatra’s working relationships with the most prominent musicians of his world, from bandleaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey to music arrangers Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Gordon Jenkins. This extensive biography also explores the technicalities of Sinatra’s inimitable, vulnerable sound.

With The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper, and the Making of a Classic, award-winning  New York Times reporter Richard Sandomir looks back at the enduring classic that honors Gehrig’s legacy. For the first time, Sandomir tells the entire story behind a movie on both the American Film Institute’s Top 100 list of the most inspiring films of all time and the greatest sports movies. The book provides a behind-the-scenes look at a movie that Goldwyn, who knew nothing about baseball, the great love between Lou and Eleanor Gehrig and how they faced the tragic illness that killed him at age 37. It tells the story behind the publicity-fueled search for who would play Gehrig and tells how Eleanor kept Goldwyn and the screenwriters on their toes with her critiques about inaccuracies in the scripts about baseball and her life with Lou. For those nostalgic for the Yankees’ early dynastic years  this book captures a fascinating moment in film and sports history. And for a new generation of movie baseball fans, Sandomir explains its historical importance.

Rounding out our summer reading selections, the John Shepphird’s debut novel Bottom Feeders is a page turning whodunit set in the wilds of a remote movie ranch about a hapless Hollywood cast and crew attempting to eke out a living working on low-budget fare. As if pandering to egotistical actors isn’t enough, someone’s picking off cast and crew members with a bow and arrows. Who will survive?

In an interview with Michael Hixon of The Beach Reporter, filmmaker/author Shepphird said he dedicated Bottom Feeders “to the legions of hard-working craftspeople and performers who have carried sandbags, set lights, cobbled together wardrobe, swung microphones, memorized dialogue, painted sets, dusted faces, teased hair, coordinated chaos, hit their marks, and built it all up only to tear it down again, making something out of nothing.”