Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Summer Reading List

It's almost July and my Summer Reading Classic Film Book Challenge is in full swing. If you haven't signed-up yet you have until July 15th! Here is what I'm reading this summer.

The Unconscious Actor: Out of Control, In Full Command
by Darryl Hickman
When I asked Darryl Hickman about fond memories he had of working in Hollywood as a child star, he directed me to his book. He shared a few memories with me during our chat on the TCMFF red carpet but if I wanted to hear anymore I know I'd have to dive into this gem. This book is half autobiography, half a missive on acting and should prove to be an interesting read.

The First King of Hollywood book poster at BEA 2015

The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks 
by Tracey Goessel
My excitement for this title started when I spotted the cover art on display at Book Expo America in 2015. Chicago Review Press is a fantastic publisher with a growing list of excellent classic film books. I'm reading this one now and it'll be my first review for the summer reading challenge.

William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come
by James Curtis
I enjoyed Curtis' 1,000 page biography on Spencer Tracy that I thought I'd try his newest book about master film production designer William Cameron Menzies. I love learning about the people behind-the-scenes beyond just the directors. It takes a team of talents to make films and Menzies left his mark on many of them.

Mark A. Vieira at the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival

Into the Dark: The Hidden World of Film Noir, 1941-1950
 by Mark A. Vieira
I had a chance to meet Mark A. Vieira at the TCM Classic Film Festival and to get an advance copy of Into the Dark autographed. Content-wise this should be pretty light and I added it to my summer reading list to lighten my reading load. Also I'm still in withdrawal from last year's excellent Summer of Darkness course and noir series hosted by TCM. A little noir during the summer just seems right.

Hitchcock Truffaut (2015) film poster

by François Truffaut
I watched Hitchcock Truffaut (2015), the documentary about the legendary interview between the two directors, which is essentially a film about the making of this book. So of course I had to read this book! Hitchcock by Truffaut had been out-of-print but re-released thanks to the documentary.

The Dawn of Technicolor book

The Dawn of Technicolor 1915-1935 
by James Layton and David Pierce
 I started reading this beauty last year but life got in the way and I had to set it aside. I purchased it at Cinefest 35 and got to meet both authors, got the book signed and attended their Dawn of Technicolor presentation (which they also did at TCMFF that same year). I can't wait to read this one in earnest.

What are you reading this summer?

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