The best books about Hollywood insiders

Who am I?

I am the author of seven published books about Hollywood. I’m also actively involved in the entertainment industry day to day. Presently, I am the owner of Management 101, a firm that guides the careers of actors and writers. I’m also a producer of feature films and television shows including the GLAAD award-winning feature film Geography Club, Sins of our Youth, and Nickelodeon’s Dance On Sunset. I have taught at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and have appeared as a guest on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, Fox News, and CBS.


I wrote...

Hollywood 101: The Film Industry

By Frederick Levy,

Book cover of Hollywood 101: The Film Industry

What is my book about?

Hollywood 101 is a guide for anyone wanting to break into the film business. I break down the various jobs in Hollywood, on set and off, and through a series of interviews with top industry professionals, give advice on getting started in various Hollywood careers. My book is used as a textbook in film classes throughout the country and it’s considered by many to be the definitive guide to launching a show business career. Did I mention it was also a two-time, Los Angeles Times bestseller?

The books I picked & why

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No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

By Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer,

Book cover of No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

Why this book?

No one can question the incredible growth and success that Netflix has had over the last several years. As such, I was intrigued by what made the company so good at creating content and disrupting the distribution chains that had been a backbone of Hollywood for generations with the introduction and mainstreaming of streaming. Written by Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, I was fascinated to see how this small DVD distribution company blossomed into the behemoth power player that it has become. Beyond its relevance in Hollywood, this book really gave me great insight into how any successful corporation should operate. Their unique procedures for conducting business and think outside the box policies for running a large corporation are concepts that every CEO and business owner should absorb.

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

By Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked No Rules Rules as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hard work is irrelevant. Be radically honest. Adequate performance gets a generous severance. And never, ever try to please your boss.

These are some of the ground rules if you work at Netflix. They are part of a unique cultural experiment that explains how the company has transformed itself at lightning speed from a DVD mail order service into a streaming superpower - with 125 million fervent subscribers and a market capitalisation bigger than Disney.

Finally Reed Hastings, Netflix Chairman and CEO, is sharing the secrets that have revolutionised the entertainment and tech industries. With INSEAD business school professor Erin…


Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood's Creative Artists Agency

By James Andrew Miller,

Book cover of Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood's Creative Artists Agency

Why this book?

Since I work in talent representation, I’m always curious how my colleagues and competitors conduct business. CAA is, and has been, the top agency in Hollywood since I first started in this industry. I was anxious to read about the history of the company and how it has managed to not only survive, but thrive, throughout the decades. Filled with tantalizing stories of insider secrets, this is an eye opening account of one of Hollywood’s most powerful companies and the uber successful men and women who have worked there.

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood's Creative Artists Agency

By James Andrew Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Powerhouse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller, now updated with an afterword and exclusive new material From the #1 bestselling author behind acclaimed oral histories of Saturday Night Live and ESPN comes "the most hotly anticipated book [in decades]" (Variety): James Andrew Miller's irresistible insider chronicle of the modern entertainment industry, told through the epic story of Creative Artists Agency (CAA)-the ultimate power player that has represented the world's biggest stars and shaped the landscape of film, television, comedy, music, and sports. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash upstarts left creaky William Morris to form their own innovative talent agency,…


Stories I Only Tell My Friends

By Rob Lowe,

Book cover of Stories I Only Tell My Friends

Why this book?

When I think of Rob Lowe, I think of longevity and reinvention. As a kid, Lowe was one of the top box office movie stars. Today, he’s one of the most sought-after actors on television. What’s kept him relevant all these years is his good-natured approach to life, impressive work ethic, and humbleness that’s refreshing. Extra points to Lowe on the audio version of this book. It’s entertaining to hear the actor read anecdotes about his own journey. While there are lots of great Hollywood lessons to be learned, what really makes this read enjoyable is Lowe’s warm and friendly tone that makes you feel like he’s a dear friend.

 

Stories I Only Tell My Friends

By Rob Lowe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Stories I Only Tell My Friends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A wryly funny and moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye.

Teen idol at fifteen, international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood.

The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal…


The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

By Robert Iger,

Book cover of The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Why this book?

Stepping in to helm an already successful company seems like a walk in the park (pun intended)…but being able to read about how Iger turned an already successful business into an even more successful corporation through growth strategies, mergers, and acquisitions of other highly successful studios (Twentieth Century Fox) and IP (Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars) was just exhilarating. To read about his thought process in his own words was both educational and inspiring. 

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

By Robert Iger,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Ride of a Lifetime as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of the best business books I've read in years.' BILL GATES
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019
_____________________________

The CEO of Disney, one of Time's most influential people of 2019, shares the ideas and values he embraced to reinvent one of the most beloved companies in the world and inspire the people who bring the magic to life.

Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Morale had deteriorated, competition was intense, and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company's…


Inside Out: A Memoir

By Demi Moore,

Book cover of Inside Out: A Memoir

Why this book?

This is a more traditional biography by another member of the Brat Pack who has also successfully managed to stay in the public eye for decades. This one is eye-opening as I learned so much about Demi’s backstory that I hadn’t known previously: her struggles with addiction, being a victim of abuse…this book is stark and emotional but also inspiring. Despite everything holding her back, Moore was able to overcome so much pain to bring happiness to so many on the big screen. Reading this book, you really want to root for her continued success and I think this bio sets the stage for a promising third act. I’m excited for what’s to come in her career.

Inside Out: A Memoir

By Demi Moore,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Inside Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A Daily Mail Book of the Year. A Mail on Sunday Book of the Year.

Famed American actress Demi Moore at last tells her own story in a surprisingly intimate and emotionally charged memoir.

For decades, Demi Moore has been synonymous with celebrity. From iconic film roles to high-profile relationships, Moore has never been far from the spotlight - or the headlines.

Even as Demi was becoming the highest paid actress in Hollywood, however, she was always outrunning her past, just one step ahead of the doubts and insecurities that defined her childhood. Throughout her…


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