Star Wars, Harry Potter, Judd Apatow and more! – Film and Television books for August

Here is a great selection covering the history of Hollywood, famous movies and famous people.

Syndetics book coverHollywood traitors : blacklisted screenwriters : agents of Stalin, allies of Hitler / Allan H. Ryskind.
“Too often, the “Hollywood Ten” brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee are memorialized as victims of an unjust witch-hunt and heroes who stood up for free speech. The truth is shocking: Not only did these supposed liberal paragons adore Josef Stalin and take their orders directly from the Communist Party, but they also sympathized with Adolf Hitler. Ryskind, who grew up in the heart of the Hollywood scene and personally knew many of the key players in this real-life Hollywood drama, has penned a definitive, myth-busting account of the Hollywood Ten and Hollywood Blacklist that will forever change the way you think about the ideological battle waged in the movie capital of the world.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSick in the head : conversations about life and comedy / Judd Apatow.
“Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. He took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club so he could watch endless stand-up for free. He hosted a show for his local high school radio station on Long Island – a show that consisted of Q & As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd – and he’s still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do. Sick in the Head gathers Apatow’s most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career, but his entire adult life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUltimate Star Wars / written by Patricia Barr, Adam Bray, Daniel Wallace, Ryder Windham.
“Become an expert on the Star Wars galaxy! Ultimate Star Wars® is an in-depth visual feast exploring the characters and storylines from the Star Wars galaxy. This is a beautifully illustrated guide that is structured chronologically and packed full of information about key characters and storylines from the Star Wars movie saga, The Clone Wars , and Rebels(tm) . Ultimate Star Wars will get new and old fans caught up and knowledgeable on all things Star Wars.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA wish your heart makes : from the Grimm brothers’ Aschenputtel to Disney’s Cinderella / Charles Solomon ; introduction by Kenneth Branagh.
“With its kind heroine who receives her just reward with the help of her Fairy Godmother, ‘Cinderella’ is one the most beloved fairy tales throughout the world. A Wish Your Heart Makes will trace the history and many incarnations of the fairy tale, emphasising its strong ties to Walt Disney and his studio. The book will conclude with the making of the 2015 live-action film Cinderella directed by Kenneth Branagh, including interviews with Branagh, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham-Carter, Derek Jacobi and Lilly James.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYear of the fat knight : the Falstaff diaries / Antony Sher ; with illustrations by the author.
Year of the Fat Knight is legendary stage actor Sir Antony Sher’s account–splendidly supplemented by his own paintings and sketches–of researching, rehearsing, and performing one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters for a 2014 Royal Shakespeare Company production. This follow-up to Sher’s 1985 classic Year of the King is a terrific read, rich in humor and excitement, that also stands as a celebration of the craft of character acting.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHarry Potter : magical places from the films : Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and beyond / by Jody Revenson.
Harry Potter: Magical Places from the Films: Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Beyond offers an unprecedented look at the creative process that transformed the magical locations of the wizarding world from the page to the big screen. Readers will discover the many challenges the studio faced to build the fantastical sites depicted in Rowling’s books, from Hogwarts castle and its many classrooms and dormitories, to Diagon Alley and the Ministry of Magic. Organized by film appearance, the book takes readers on a behind-the-scenes visual journey through all eight of the Harry Potter films. Gorgeously designed, visually stunning, this is truly is an unmatched look at the imaginative sets that were designed, built, furnished, and digitally enhanced specifically for the films.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBroadcast hysteria : Orson Welles’s War of the worlds and the art of fake news / A. Brad Schwartz.
“On October 30, 1938, regular radio programming was interrupted by an announcer delivering news of a meteor strike in New Jersey. With increasing intensity, the announcer read bulletins describing terrifying war machines moving toward New York City. Some listeners sat transfixed before their radios, while others ran to alert neighbors or call the police. But the broadcast was not breaking news–it was Orson Welles’s adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic The War of the Worlds. In Broadcast Hysteria , A. Brad Schwartz examines the history behind the infamous radio play. Did it really spawn a wave of mass hysteria? Schwartz is the first to examine the hundreds of letters sent directly to Welles after the broadcast. Relatively few listeners believed an actual attack was under way. But even so, Schwartz shows that Welles’s broadcast prompted a different kind of “mass panic” as Americans debated the bewitching power of the radio and the country’s vulnerability in a time of crisis.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverConquering chaos / by Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra.
“Since Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra shared their story of teen pregnancy and adoption on the MTV’s ’16 and Pregnant’ and ‘Teen Mom’, they’ve been known for their inspiring commitment to growing up right. Between their experience placing their first daughter for adoption, and their struggle to cope with problems in their families, Catelynn and Tyler were challenged in every imaginable way. But against all odds, the childhood sweethearts rose above the dysfunction to become responsible adults whose story has inspired many others. How did two troublemaking kids from the trailer park make it through the storm of family dysfunction, teen pregnancy, and adoption without letting go of each other? In their debut book, Catelynn and Tyler tell the story in their own words…and they leave nothing out.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow Star Wars conquered the universe : the past, present, and future of a multibillion dollar franchise / Chris Taylor.
“Why do most people know what an Ewok is, even if they haven’t seen Return of the Jedi? How have Star Wars action figures come to outnumber human beings? How did ‘Jedi’ become an officially recognised religion? When did the films’ merchandising revenue manage to rival the GDP of a small country? Tracing the birth, death and rebirth of the epic universe built by George Lucas and hundreds of writers, artists, producers, and marketers, Chris Taylor jousts with modern-day Jedi, tinkers with droid builders, and gets inside Boba Fett’s helmet, all to find out how STAR WARS has attracted and inspired so many fans for so long.” (Syndetics summary)