84 books like A Dance with Fred Astaire

By Jonas Mekas,

Here are 84 books that A Dance with Fred Astaire fans have personally recommended if you like A Dance with Fred Astaire. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Chance and Circumstance: Twenty Years with Cage and Cunningham

Louis Menand Author Of The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War

From my list on memoirs from a wide array of people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my career as a graduate student studying the Victorian period, a great age for autobiography. And although autobiography is no longer taught much in English departments, I guess I retain my passion for the genre. The greatest, of course, is Rousseau’s Confessions.

Louis' book list on memoirs from a wide array of people

Louis Menand Why did Louis love this book?

Even if you know nothing about dance, this (not short) memoir takes you inside one of the most imaginative collaborations of the twentieth-century avant-garde, and gives you the flavor of some of its extraordinary characters—not only Cage and Cunningham, but Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Morton Feldman, and others.

By Carolyn Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Carolyn Brown, one of the most renowned dancers of the last half-century, lived at the center of New York's bold and vibrant artistic community, which included not only dancers and choreographers but composers and painters as well. Brown's memoir recounts her own remarkable twenty-year tenure with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and provides a first-hand account of a pivotal period in twentieth-century art.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, Brown developed close relationships with musical director John Cage and set-designer Robert Rauschenberg and with Cunningham himself. Brown's memoir reveals the personal dynamics between the reserved and moody Cunningham and the…


Book cover of Tristes Tropiques

William Ophuls Author Of Plato's Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology

From my list on modern politics and industrial civilization.

Why am I passionate about this?

William Ophuls served as a Foreign Service Officer in Washington, Abidjan, and Tokyo before receiving a PhD in political science from Yale University in 1973. His Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity published in 1977 laid bare the ecological, social, and political challenges confronting modern industrial civilization. It was honored by the Kammerer and Sprout awards. After teaching briefly at Northwestern University, he became an independent scholar and author. He has since published a number of works extending and deepening his original argument, most prominently Requiem for Modern Politics in 1997, Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology in 2011, and Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail in 2013.

William's book list on modern politics and industrial civilization

William Ophuls Why did William love this book?

A classic work of philosophical anthropology containing the record of one anthropologist’s search for what it means to be human. Part personal memoir, part vivid travelogue, part scientific milestone, part critique of civilization, and all tour de force, the work defies easy categorization. Another rich playground for the intellect.

By Claude Levi-Strauss, Doreen Weightman, John Weightman

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A milestone in the study of culture from the father of structural anthropology

This watershed work records Claude Lévi-Strauss's search for "a human society reduced to its most basic expression." From the Amazon basin through the dense upland jungles of Brazil, Lévi-Strauss found the societies he was seeking among the Caduveo, Bororo, Nambikwara, and Tupi-Kawahib. More than merely recounting his time in their midst, Tristes Tropiques places the cultural practices of these peoples in a global context and extrapolates a fascinating theory of culture that has given the book an importance far beyond the fields of anthropology and continental philosophy.…


Book cover of The Tender Hour of Twilight: Paris in the '50s, New York in the '60s: A Memoir of Publishing's Golden Age

Louis Menand Author Of The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War

From my list on memoirs from a wide array of people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my career as a graduate student studying the Victorian period, a great age for autobiography. And although autobiography is no longer taught much in English departments, I guess I retain my passion for the genre. The greatest, of course, is Rousseau’s Confessions.

Louis' book list on memoirs from a wide array of people

Louis Menand Why did Louis love this book?

Despite the cheesy title, this is a revealing window on the world of postwar publishing. Seaver “discovered” Samuel Beckett as a graduate student in Paris after the war, and he eventually became an editor at Beckett’s American publisher, Grove, during its heyday under Barney Rosset.

By Richard Seaver,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tender Hour of Twilight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard Seaver came to Paris in 1950 seeking Hemingway's moveable feast. Paris had become a different city, traumatized by World War II, yet the red wine still flowed, the cafes bustled, and the Parisian women found American men exotic and heroic. There was an Irishman in Paris writing plays and novels unlike anything anyone had ever read - but hardly anyone was reading them. There were others, too, doing equivalently groundbreaking work for equivalently small audiences. So when his friends launched a literary magazine, "Merlin", Seaver knew this was his calling: to bring the work of the likes of Samuel…


Book cover of POPism: The Warhol Sixties

Louis Menand Author Of The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War

From my list on memoirs from a wide array of people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my career as a graduate student studying the Victorian period, a great age for autobiography. And although autobiography is no longer taught much in English departments, I guess I retain my passion for the genre. The greatest, of course, is Rousseau’s Confessions.

Louis' book list on memoirs from a wide array of people

Louis Menand Why did Louis love this book?

OK, Warhol probably did not write a single word of this book, and OK, you should believe nothing in it (or that Warhol ever said). But Pat Hackett channels Warhol’s voice and attitude uncannily, and the stories, however dubious the provenance, are funny and insightful about the art world of the nineteen sixties.

By Pat Hackett, Andy Warhol,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Anecdotal, funny, frank, POPism is Warhol's personal view of the Pop phenomenon in New York in the 1960s.

A cultural storm swept through the 1960s—Pop Art, Bob Dylan, psychedelia, underground movies—and at its center sat a bemused young artist with silver hair: Andy Warhol. Andy knew everybody (from the cultural commissioner of New York to drug-driven drag queens) and everybody knew Andy.

His studio, the Factory, was the place: where he created the large canvases of soup cans and Pop icons that defined Pop Art, where one could listen to the Velvet Underground and rub elbows with Edie Sedgwick and…


Book cover of Stanley Kubrick: A Biography

Robert P. Kolker Author Of Kubrick: An Odyssey

From my list on books about Stanley Kubrick.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kubrick has fascinated me since I watched Paths of Glory at MoMA, one of Stanley’s old haunts, in the early 1960s. I first saw 2001 in London and then once a year after that back home in New York. I taught courses devoted to Kubrick, and when I taught the course online at the University of Virginia, welcomed his brother-in-law, Jan Harlan, to talk to us long distance. With each move, I drew closer and closer to our subject. I visited the Manor at Childwickbury and had lunch with Kubrick’s wife, Christiane. I studied documents in the Kubrick Archive in London. There became a point of recognizing myself in Kubrick himself and his films. A biography was inevitable. 

Robert's book list on books about Stanley Kubrick

Robert P. Kolker Why did Robert love this book?

I loved this biography of the director, the first of its kind, which is filled with loads of anecdotes, and curious insights based on its author chatting to people Kubrick new.

I also enjoyed it because LoBrutto did his research, consulting historical records in New York City, and reconstructing the director’s early life. In many ways, our book follow in LoBrutto’s wake.

By Vincent Lobrutto,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Stanley Kubrick, director of the acclaimed films Path of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: Space Odyssey. A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Full Metal Jacket, is arguably one of the greatest American filmmakers. Yet, despite being hailed as a giant" by Orson Welles, little is known about the reclusive director. Stanley Kubrick ,the first full-length study of his life,is based on assiduous archival research as well as new interviews with friends, family, and colleagues.Film scholar Vincent LoBRutto provides a comprehensive portrait of the director, from his high school days, in the Bronx and his stint as a photographer for…


Book cover of George Lucas: Interviews

Peter Krämer Author Of American Graffiti: George Lucas, the New Hollywood and the Baby Boom Generation

From my list on the life and films of George Lucas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have turned my childhood fascination with Hollywood into an academic career. For four decades I have explored, not least through extensive archival research, all aspects of the history of American cinema – films, filmmakers, studios, production histories, marketing campaigns, critical reception, audiences. Among other books, I have published three volumes in the British Film Institute’s Film Classics series (on Buster Keaton’s The General and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey). I have focused on some of the most highly acclaimed, most commercially successful, most ardently loved, and most influential movies of all time. The starting point for my work is always my passionate engagement with particular movies.

Peter's book list on the life and films of George Lucas

Peter Krämer Why did Peter love this book?

Apart from presenting George Lucas in his own words, this book offers a concise introduction to his career, including a chronology and a filmography.

The interviews collected herein go from a May 1971 article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the young filmmaker whose first feature, the rather abstract Science Fiction drama THX 1138, had just come out (and flopped!), all the way to a conversation with the Los Angeles Times in January 1999 about the forthcoming release of the first Star Wars prequel Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

Despite dramatic changes in Lucas’s status as a filmmaker (and businessman) across this period, the interviews reveal striking continuities, notably his striving for maximum control over his films and business affairs.

By Sally Kline (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A director, producer, and writer, George Lucas is the power behind ""The Force."" The son of a conservative small-town businessman, he grew up to become arguably the most identifiable and popular filmmaker in the history of the medium. Yet unlike his more publicly engaged contemporaries, Lucas rarely grants reporters an audience. This first book of Lucas's interviews affords fans and students of film and science fiction a rare opportunity. Editor Sally Kline collects conversations from the reticent director spanning Lucas's entire career, from the making of his first film, 1971's THX-1138, through American Graffiti, the triumph of the Star Wars…


Book cover of Show Trial: Hollywood, HUAC , and the Birth of the Blacklist

Brian Neve Author Of Film and Politics in America: A Social Tradition

From my list on Hollywood blacklist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Years ago, as part of my research, I interviewed Elia Kazan and Abraham Polonsky, two key figures in the blacklist story, and two men who were on different sides in terms of how they responded to the postwar Congressional investigations. These personal encounters – in New York and Los Angeles – fed a fascination with the anti-Communist purge in Hollywood, its dramaturgy, and the way filmmakers of that generation were caught up in it in different ways. There are more specialized works but the books recommended provide a substantive introduction to this still globally resonant topic, calling attention to the problematic and still difficult relationships between citizenship and cultural identity.

Brian's book list on Hollywood blacklist

Brian Neve Why did Brian love this book?

Renowned cultural historian Thomas Doherty provides a granular, blow-by-blow retelling of the events that led to the Hollywood blacklist. He places particular emphasis on the hearings as a ‘media-political spectacle,’ seeing it as the first such media event of the postwar era. He reexamines the events through a close and careful reading of press and media responses of the time. Less cinema-centric than other accounts, and less mesmerized by key individuals, Doherty gives us a cool, skeptical perspective on what is often an emotive or partisan discourse. There is much detail on how filmmakers, activists, politicians, newspaper and radio figures acted, and for what reasons, and how and why the post-war hearings played out as they did. The result is a sophisticated cultural history of the blacklist era.

By Thomas Doherty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1947, the Cold War came to Hollywood. Over nine tumultuous days in October, the House Un-American Activities Committee held a notorious round of hearings into alleged Communist subversion in the movie industry. The blowback was profound: the major studios pledged to never again employ a known Communist or unrepentant fellow traveler. The declaration marked the onset of the blacklist era, a time when political allegiances, real or suspected, determined employment opportunities in the entertainment industry. Hundreds of artists were shown the door-or had it shut in their faces.

In Show Trial, Thomas Doherty takes us behind the scenes at…


Book cover of George Lucas: A Life

Peter Krämer Author Of American Graffiti: George Lucas, the New Hollywood and the Baby Boom Generation

From my list on the life and films of George Lucas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have turned my childhood fascination with Hollywood into an academic career. For four decades I have explored, not least through extensive archival research, all aspects of the history of American cinema – films, filmmakers, studios, production histories, marketing campaigns, critical reception, audiences. Among other books, I have published three volumes in the British Film Institute’s Film Classics series (on Buster Keaton’s The General and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey). I have focused on some of the most highly acclaimed, most commercially successful, most ardently loved, and most influential movies of all time. The starting point for my work is always my passionate engagement with particular movies.

Peter's book list on the life and films of George Lucas

Peter Krämer Why did Peter love this book?

Published in 2016, four years after George Lucas had sold Lucasfilm Ltd., and with it the Star Wars franchise, to Disney, this is a worthy successor to Dale Pollock’s groundbreaking biography (first published in 1983 and last updated in 1999).

Brian Jay Jones brings that book’s story of an extraordinary filmmaker, who showed surprisingly little interest in movies during his early youth and then spent several years focusing on experimental short films before changing Hollywood with a series of huge blockbusters and newly formed businesses, to what appears to be its conclusion: since 2012 Lucas has largely withdrawn from filmmaking.

The book is not only very informative but in places, especially in the last chapter, also quite moving. 

By Brian Jay Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

George Lucas by Brian Jay Jones is the first comprehensive telling of the story of the iconic filmmaker and the building of his film empire, as well as of his enormous impact on cinema. At once a biography, a business manual, and a film history, George Lucas will, for the first time explore the life and work of a fiercely independent writer/director/producer who became one of the most influential filmmakers and cultural icons - a true game changer.

On May 25, 1977, a problem-plagued, budget-straining, independent science fiction film opened in a mere thirty-two American movie theatres. Its distributor -…


Book cover of Skywalking: The Life And Films Of George Lucas

Peter Krämer Author Of American Graffiti: George Lucas, the New Hollywood and the Baby Boom Generation

From my list on the life and films of George Lucas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have turned my childhood fascination with Hollywood into an academic career. For four decades I have explored, not least through extensive archival research, all aspects of the history of American cinema – films, filmmakers, studios, production histories, marketing campaigns, critical reception, audiences. Among other books, I have published three volumes in the British Film Institute’s Film Classics series (on Buster Keaton’s The General and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey). I have focused on some of the most highly acclaimed, most commercially successful, most ardently loved, and most influential movies of all time. The starting point for my work is always my passionate engagement with particular movies.

Peter's book list on the life and films of George Lucas

Peter Krämer Why did Peter love this book?

There have been so many books about George Lucas’s most famous creation, the Star Wars saga, and about the man himself.

As far as biographical accounts are concerned, Dale Pollock’s volume (initially published in 1983, and updated in 1990 and 1999) has to be given a lot of credit for being the first to properly introduce this unique filmmaker, whose life and career have been so full of unexpected twists and turns, to the world – and to me!

Pollock’s well-researched and very readable book set a high standard for all the writers following in his footsteps.

By Dale Pollock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Filled with revelations about the origins and making of American Graffiti, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Return of the Jedi, this only full-length biography of filmmaker and cinematic visionary George Lucas has been updated with a substantial new chapter that discusses the revamped Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition, the Star Wars prequels, the filming of the first installment, and the controversial ways in which Lucas's approach and success continue to alter the landscape of the film industry.


Book cover of Spirit Week

Fleur Bradley Author Of Daybreak on Raven Island

From my list on scary stories for kids who love Goosebumps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love scary books for kids, and scary mysteries in particular. I’m a strong advocate for literacy and reaching reluctant readers, and the author of the multi-award-nominated middle-grade mystery Daybreak on Raven Island and Midnight at the Barclay Hotel, among others. The recent resurgence of horror has brought a fresh new bunch of scary stories for kids. And I love reading these books, even though I’m well out of the target age range. These new scary books for kids blend genres, tackle difficult issues, and show kids that even in the darkest, smallest hour of the night, you can solve the problem at hand and come out on the other side—better, stronger, smarter.

Fleur's book list on scary stories for kids who love Goosebumps

Fleur Bradley Why did Fleur love this book?

Graphic novels are seeing a real boom, and Ira Marcks’ Spirit Week is the perfect scary graphic novel middle-grade for visual readers.

Inspired by The Shining (you know, that Stephen King book made into a horror movie with Jack Nicholson), this graphic novel manages to weave horror and cinematic elements to make for a great nod to the horror genre.

Our main kid character Suzy is an aspiring engineer, and she’s at the Underlook Hotel to tutor a famous filmmaker’s son named Danny. But the kids are quickly sucked into solving the mystery of the hotel, alongside a cast of colorful characters. Part mystery, part cinematic horror, Spirit Week will appeal to all readers. I read it in one sitting, it was that good. 

By Ira Marcks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spirit Week as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Aspiring engineer Suzy Hess is invited to the famous Underlook Hotel, domain of the reclusive horror writer Jack Axworth, in the mountains above her hometown of Estes Park, Colorado. Suzy thinks she's there to tutor Jack's son, Danny, but instead she finds herself investigating a local curse that threatens the landmark hotel.

With the help of Elijah Jones, an amateur filmmaker who thought he'd been asked to make a film about the so-called King of Horror; Rena Hallorann, the hotel's caretaker; and Danny, who knows more than he's letting on, Suzy sets out to solve the mystery at the heart…


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