The best books for movie lovers

Why am I passionate about this?

Tyler Schwanke is a writer and a filmmaker. He holds an MFA from Hamline University, and his short stories have been widely published in online journals and literary magazines, including Chaotic Merge, Havik, and Fiction Southeast. He is also a graduate of the New York Film Academy and Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he was awarded a Minnesota Film and TV Grant. Several of his award-winning short films have played at festivals across the country. Tyler lives in the Minneapolis with his wife and their dog. Breaking In is his debut novel.


I wrote...

Breaking In

By Tyler Schwanke,

Book cover of Breaking In

What is my book about?

Millie has one goal: to make a movie in tribute to her late father. At the Manhattan Movie Academy, run by Ricky O’Naire, her favorite director, she’s determined to make it happen. But before she can finish her project, the academy is shut down. Seven months later, she sees a preview for the new O’Naire movie—and he’s stolen her idea.

Outraged, she reunites her former film crew to steal the movie and hold it for ransom days before its high-profile premiere. Putting their training and film-nerd backgrounds to use, they pull off the heist in extravagant fashion. But when an unexpected femme fatale uncovers their plan, it’s not long before a trio of hardened criminals want in on the take.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Ready Player One

Tyler Schwanke Why did I love this book?

A video game treasure hunt filled with movie geek trivia? Sign me up.

I don’t know a single person who’s read this book and has been disappointed. Set in a not-too-distant future, this YA sci-fi novel is a fun and fast read that’s even better than the movie. 

I love how the plot, and the video game treasure hunt, are propelled forward by movie and pop culture references. This really spoke to me as a reader who loves that stuff, and showed me how I could use the same type of film references in my own book. 

By Ernest Cline,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Ready Player One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that…


Book cover of Zeroville

Tyler Schwanke Why did I love this book?

Possibly my favorite book ever (only time will tell) this novel is a fever dream of Ike “Vikar” Jerome’s journey into Hollywood starting in 1969 and expanding over a decade.

With a tattoo of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor from A Place in the Sun on his bald head, this novel reads like Forrest Gump in the way that Vikar shows up at historical moments in Hollywood’s golden age, making friends with thinly veiled Hollywood titans as they get their start in the film industry. 

By Steve Erickson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Erickson, Steve


Book cover of Final Girls

Tyler Schwanke Why did I love this book?

If you love books that tie themselves to movie genre tropes, you’ll not only love my novel, but also this one by Riley Sager, his first novel that launched a huge career and made him a household name.

Set around Quincy, a young woman who survives a horrible massacre in which all her friends are killed, she becomes what’s known in horror movies as Final Girl meaning she’s the only one who made it out alive. Linked to 2 other Final Girls by the media, Quincy leads a pretty normal life until someone starts killing Final Girls.

A fun read that’s inspired countless knockoffs that would make a killer movie. 

By Riley Sager,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'If you liked GONE GIRL you'll like this' STEPHEN KING

FIRST THERE WERE THREE

The media calls them the Final Girls - Quincy, Sam, Lisa - the infamous group that no one wants to be part of. The sole survivors of three separate killing sprees, they are linked by their shared trauma.

THEN THERE WERE TWO

But when Lisa dies in mysterious circumstances and Sam shows up unannounced on her doorstep, Quincy must admit that she doesn't really know anything about the other Final Girls. Can she trust them? Or...

CAN THERE ONLY EVER BE ONE?

All Quincy knows is…


Book cover of Radiance

Tyler Schwanke Why did I love this book?

A sci-fi space opera that’s told like a documentary film.

This was the first book (but certainly not the last) that ever made me jealous I didn’t write, and inspired countless hours of me trying to duplicate.

Set in an alternate 1986 where silent films still reign and using various forms (reality tv, movie, celebrity rags, audio transcripts) this is a genre-bending collective gorgeously told and seriously underread. 

By Catherynne M. Valente, Catherynne M. Valente,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Severin Unck is the headstrong young daughter of a world famous film director. She has inherited her father's love of the big screen but not his exuberant gothic style of filmmaking. Instead, Severin makes documentaries, artful and passionate and even rather brave - for she is a realist in a fantastic alternate universe, in which Hollywood occupies the moon, Mars is rife with lawless saloons, and the solar system contains all manner of creatures, cults and colonies. For Severin's latest project she leads her crew to the watery planet of Venus to investigate the disappearance of a diving colony there.…


Book cover of The Woman in the Window

Tyler Schwanke Why did I love this book?

A modern version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, this book is a twisty psychological thriller about Anna, an alcoholic recluse who never leaves her home.

She spends her time drinking alone, watching old movies, and spying on her neighbors, paying particular interest to the new family that just moved across the way.

What’s fun about this book is trying to decipher what’s reality and what’s in Anna’s head as she stumbles down the rabbit hole, certain the neighbor across the street has killed his wife but unable to provide any proof.

Is the new neighbor really a murderer or has she lost her grasp on reality, a result of the heavy drinking and having watched one too many movies? 

By A. J. Finn,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Woman in the Window as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

OVER 2 MILLION COPIES SOLD!

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by 20th Century Fox, starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman and Julianne Moore

'Astounding. Thrilling. Amazing' Gillian Flynn

'One of those rare books that really is unputdownable' Stephen King

'Twisted to the power of max' Val McDermid

'A dark, twisty confection' Ruth Ware

What did she see?

It's been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too…


You might also like...

Rip Current

By Sharon Ward,

Book cover of Rip Current

Sharon Ward Author Of In Deep

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a kid, I was intrigued by the underwater world, so as an adult, I learned to scuba dive. I took to it like a fish to water, and my husband and I spent the next several years traveling to tropical islands to experience the local dive conditions whenever possible. I loved learning how every island had a different culture and a different undersea environment. Since I love tropical islands, scuba diving, mysteries, and adventure stories, these books really hit my sweet spot.

Sharon's book list on mysteries set on a tropical island

What is my book about?

Unsettled weather has caused life-threatening rip currents to sprout up seemingly at random in the usually tranquil sea around Grand Cayman. Despite posted warnings to stay out of the surf, several women lose their life when caught in the turbulent waters. Fin attempts some dangerous rescues, and nearly loses her own life in the process.

Meanwhile, Fin and the team at RIO are struggling to find more sources of funding for the Institute’s important research, and danger arises from an unexpected source while Fin and hot movie star Rafe Cummings are filming an upcoming documentary. When a young internet influencer…

Rip Current

By Sharon Ward,

What is this book about?

Unsettled weather has caused life-threatening rip currents to sprout up seemingly at random in the usually tranquil sea around Grand Cayman. Despite posted warnings to stay out of the surf, several women lose their life when caught in the turbulent waters. Fin attempts some dangerous rescues, and nearly loses her own life in the process.
Meanwhile, Fin and the team at RIO are struggling to find more sources of funding for the Institute’s important research, and danger arises from an unexpected source while Fin and hot movie star Rafe Cummings are filming an upcoming documentary.
Soon after a young internet…


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