40 books like Leytonstone

By Stephen Volk,

Here are 40 books that Leytonstone fans have personally recommended if you like Leytonstone. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Daniel Weizmann Author Of Cinnamon Girl

From my list on the dark side of show biz.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up blocks from Hollywood Boulevard in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and had something like a front-row seat to the greatest pop culture five-car pile-up in American history. At the Canteen on Hollywood and Vine, where my aunt would take me on summer weekdays for the “Extras for Extras Smorgasbord,” you’d rub shoulders with aging starlets, cowpokes, starry-eyed young hopefuls, and “leading men” in five-and-dime ascots who never had a leading role. Even Billy Barty, always of good cheer, would make the scene—he was so nice to me, and I had no idea he played my hero, Sigmund the Sea Monster!

Daniel's book list on the dark side of show biz

Daniel Weizmann Why did Daniel love this book?

Woody made fun of movie novelizations in Manhattan, but they have a special charm, especially when written by the director.* Tarantino’s gripping novel captures the changing of the guard in Hollywood ’69 as only a native son could, with special attention paid to Manson’s floppo music career.

The book also features some intense scenes that aren’t in the flick. For instance, in one chapter, Manson Family acolyte “Pussycat” creepy crawls into an elderly couple’s home at midnight and strips naked in their bedroom while they sleep and then…yeah, well, try not turning the pages, I dare ya. 

*(Another fine example is The Last Days of Disco, With Cocktails at Petrossian Afterward by Whit Stillman.)

By Quentin Tarantino,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE DELUXE HARDBACK EDITION FEATURING NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN PHOTOS, BONUS MATERIAL & AN EXCLUSIVE BOUNTY LAW SCRIPT BY QUENTIN TARANTINO

Quentin Tarantino's long-awaited first work of fiction - at once hilarious, delicious, and brutal - is the always surprising, sometimes shocking new novel based on his Academy Award-winning film.

The sunlit studio back lots and the dark watering holes of Hollywood are the setting for this audacious, hilarious, disturbing novel about life in the movie colony, circa 1969.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of washed-up actor Rick Dalton. Once Rick had his own television series, a famous western…


Book cover of Blonde

Andrew Hook Author Of Candescent Blooms

From my list on fictional stories featuring real life people.

Why am I passionate about this?

The central themes in my own writing have always encompassed those of identity, the nature of reality, and variations on immortality. The lives of ‘celebrities’ touch upon all those themes, albeit through a distorted kaleidoscope where their own lives and the public’s perceptions of their lives intersect and are amplified and a third ‘character’ – that of the composite person, is then brought into existence. I find it fascinating how we can all be myriad people dependent upon who we interact with, and this is heightened when layered over the notion of ‘celebrity’ and fame by association. The books I've chosen act as mirrors to celebrity, but also work as great storytelling.

Andrew's book list on fictional stories featuring real life people

Andrew Hook Why did Andrew love this book?

Blonde is a fictional biography of Marilyn Monroe. I tend not to read thick books – and this is over 600 pages – and I only had a passing interest in Monroe before beginning it, but the book was highly recommended so I gave it a go. I’m glad that I did. 

This is a colossus of a book – in size, in scope, in adaptation, in emotion. The mood is tragedy – tragedy on so many levels it hurts to think about them. Oates pitches the 'Monroe' character perfectly. And for me, the book's strength comes from the fact that I'm content with this as a piece of fiction. I don't need to know the 'truth' (however, so much truth can ever be known).

It's also a book that makes me angry. A book that pitches hope against fate, all men against one woman, fame against success. We want…

By Joyce Carol Oates,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The National Book Award finalist and national bestseller exploring the life and legend of Marilyn Monroe

Now a Netflix Film starring Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale and Julianne Nicholson

In one of her most ambitious works, Joyce Carol Oates boldly reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker—the child, the woman, the fated celebrity, and idolized blonde the world came to know as Marilyn Monroe. In a voice startlingly intimate and rich, Norma Jeane tells her own story of an emblematic American artist—intensely conflicted and driven—who had lost her way. A powerful portrait of Hollywood’s…


Book cover of The Atrocity Exhibition

Andrew Hook Author Of Candescent Blooms

From my list on fictional stories featuring real life people.

Why am I passionate about this?

The central themes in my own writing have always encompassed those of identity, the nature of reality, and variations on immortality. The lives of ‘celebrities’ touch upon all those themes, albeit through a distorted kaleidoscope where their own lives and the public’s perceptions of their lives intersect and are amplified and a third ‘character’ – that of the composite person, is then brought into existence. I find it fascinating how we can all be myriad people dependent upon who we interact with, and this is heightened when layered over the notion of ‘celebrity’ and fame by association. The books I've chosen act as mirrors to celebrity, but also work as great storytelling.

Andrew's book list on fictional stories featuring real life people

Andrew Hook Why did Andrew love this book?

The Atrocity Exhibition is an experimental novel that reads more like a collection of loosely-linked short stories split into a series of vignettes. Written in 1969 it alludes to many celebrities of the period, focusing in particular on those who met violent or tragic ends. So the (not literal) ghosts of J. F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Albert Camus are represented as springboards for themes that are mostly sexual, fetishistic, centred around art and celebrity and the personification of desire and status represented by the automobile. It’s not an easy read – and for some, it might be considered obscene – however, the cumulative effect is to shine an unrelenting arc light on the nature of celebrity and how it bleeds into the everyday lives of consumers, who feel they know their stars inside out but who probably don’t know them at all.

By J.G. Ballard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A prophetic and experimental masterpiece by J. G. Ballard, the acclaimed author of 'Crash' and 'Super-Cannes'. This edition includes explanatory notes from the author.

The irrational, all-pervading violence of the modern world is the subject of this extraordinary tour de force.

The central character's dreams are haunted by images of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, dead astronauts and car-crash victims as he traverses the screaming wastes of nervous breakdown. Seeking his sanity, he casts himself in a number of roles: H-bomber pilot, presidential assassin, crash victim, psychopath. Finally, through the black, perverse magic of violence he transcends his psychic…


Book cover of He

Andrew Hook Author Of Candescent Blooms

From my list on fictional stories featuring real life people.

Why am I passionate about this?

The central themes in my own writing have always encompassed those of identity, the nature of reality, and variations on immortality. The lives of ‘celebrities’ touch upon all those themes, albeit through a distorted kaleidoscope where their own lives and the public’s perceptions of their lives intersect and are amplified and a third ‘character’ – that of the composite person, is then brought into existence. I find it fascinating how we can all be myriad people dependent upon who we interact with, and this is heightened when layered over the notion of ‘celebrity’ and fame by association. The books I've chosen act as mirrors to celebrity, but also work as great storytelling.

Andrew's book list on fictional stories featuring real life people

Andrew Hook Why did Andrew love this book?

He is a fictionalized account of the comedian Stan Laurel's life. Being a massive fan of Laurel & Hardy, whose films remain irrepressibly funny to this day, and having read several factual books about Stan and his sidekick, it was a no-brainer to pick this up and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Whilst at times it feels like a ‘tick box’ situation regarding some of the events that an aficionado of Laurel would expect to be covered, at other times it provides an acute insight into the man behind the films. The similarity of the process on show here is so close to Blonde that a comparison is inevitable, and whilst he doesn’t provide the same emotional impact and is quite clinical in the telling, it nevertheless remains an important work in its own right and therefore is highly recommended.

By John Connolly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An extraordinary recreation of one of the most enduring and beloved partnerships in cinema history: Laurel & Hardy.

Winner of the 2017 Ryan Tubridy Show Listener's Choice Award at the Irish Book Awards.

John Connolly recreates the golden age of Hollywood for an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity and the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists.

An extraordinary reimagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who loved, and was loved in turn; who betrayed,…


Book cover of The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory

Mark William Roche Author Of Alfred Hitchcock: Filmmaker and Philosopher

From my list on Alfred Hitchcock.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have taught philosophy and film for almost 40 years, first at Ohio State and then at Notre Dame. My focus had been German cinema, but I was drawn to Hitchcock for three reasons: first, he received his origins in Weimar Germany and owes much to German expressionism; second, his films are so cinematically beautiful and effective that I began teaching them again and again, and the students loved them; finally, I thought it worthwhile and a fun project to address the extent to which his films raise deep and engaging philosophical questions.

Mark's book list on Alfred Hitchcock

Mark William Roche Why did Mark love this book?

If one wants to learn about Hitchcock’s complex relation with women, one can turn to Donald Spoto’s The Dark Side of Genius or Laurence Leamer’s recent Hitchcock’s Blondes, but if one wants to contemplate the aesthetic question, how are women portrayed in Hitchcock, Modleski is far more rewarding.

I learned much from her weighing of Hitchcock’s ambivalence toward women. The book offers a strong feminist account of seven films, and I have consistently recommended it to my students as one of the best books on Hitchcock. 

By Tania Modleski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Women Who Knew Too Much as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in 1988, The Women Who Knew Too Much remains a classic work in film theory and feminist criticism. The book consists of a theoretical introduction and analyses of seven important films by Alfred Hitchcock, each of which provides a basis for an analysis of the female spectator as well as of the male spectator. Modleski considers the emotional and psychic investments of men and women in female characters whose stories often undermine the mastery of the cinematic "master of suspense." The third edition features an interview with the author by David Greven, in which he and Modleski reflect…


Book cover of The Hitchcock Romance: Love and Irony in Hitchcock's Films

Mark William Roche Author Of Alfred Hitchcock: Filmmaker and Philosopher

From my list on Alfred Hitchcock.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have taught philosophy and film for almost 40 years, first at Ohio State and then at Notre Dame. My focus had been German cinema, but I was drawn to Hitchcock for three reasons: first, he received his origins in Weimar Germany and owes much to German expressionism; second, his films are so cinematically beautiful and effective that I began teaching them again and again, and the students loved them; finally, I thought it worthwhile and a fun project to address the extent to which his films raise deep and engaging philosophical questions.

Mark's book list on Alfred Hitchcock

Mark William Roche Why did Mark love this book?

This is the first book I read that confirmed my own intuition—that Hitchcock’s works are as rich and complex as great literary works.

Brill’s book was a relatively early work of Hitchcock criticism, but an enduring one, a humanistic study with considerable attention paid to the films’ aesthetic and religious dimensions. The latter is fitting because Hitchcock was a deeply Catholic director.

The book offers excellent analyses, with good attention to cinematic and artistic features.

By Lesley Brill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Was Alfred Hitchcock a cynical trifler with his audience's emotions, as he liked to pretend? Or was he a profoundly humane artist? Most commentators leave Hitchcock's self-assessment unquestioned, but this book shows that his movies convey an affectionate, hopeful understanding of human nature and the redemptive possibilities of love. Lesley Brill discusses Hitchcock's work as a whole and examines in detail twenty-two films, from perennial favorites like North by Northwest to neglected masterpieces like Rich and Strange.


Book cover of The 39 Steps

Clemens P. Suter Author Of Rebound

From my list on people with guts.

Why am I passionate about this?

Clemens P. Suter is an author of adventure novels. His books deal with people that overcome impossible, life-changing situations. These are entertaining adventure books, with dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and Scifi elements.

Clemens' book list on people with guts

Clemens P. Suter Why did Clemens love this book?

Buchan’s books are full of DIY heroes, men thrown into impossible situations but who manage to survive through their wits, a healthy dose of humor - and if necessary, with their fists. The book follows the hero Hannay, as he tries to escape German spies, first through England and then the wilderness of Scotland. The odds are stacked high against Hannay, but his bravura and strong will help him solve the mystery and dissolve the spy ring. Some of the views expressed in Buchan’s books are no longer politically correct and his works should always be understood in the context of his times, yet they make for very compelling reading.

By John Buchan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 39 Steps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Movie by Alfred Hitchcock, Licensed by ITV Global Entertainment Limited and an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon Characters: 3m, 1f Comedy WINNER! 2 Tony® and Drama Desk Awards, 2008 WINNER! BEST NEW COMEDY Laurence Olivier Award, 2007 The 39 Steps, is Broadway's longest running comedy, playing its 500th performance on Broadway, May 19th, 2009! Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced who


Book cover of Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock

Mark William Roche Author Of Alfred Hitchcock: Filmmaker and Philosopher

From my list on Alfred Hitchcock.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have taught philosophy and film for almost 40 years, first at Ohio State and then at Notre Dame. My focus had been German cinema, but I was drawn to Hitchcock for three reasons: first, he received his origins in Weimar Germany and owes much to German expressionism; second, his films are so cinematically beautiful and effective that I began teaching them again and again, and the students loved them; finally, I thought it worthwhile and a fun project to address the extent to which his films raise deep and engaging philosophical questions.

Mark's book list on Alfred Hitchcock

Mark William Roche Why did Mark love this book?

If one wants to hear Hitchcock’s voice, this set of interviews provides the gold standard. The book, which was also important for Hitchcock’s reception, includes discussions of every major film.

Hitchcock talks informally about what his intentions were, how he created individual scenes, and what kinds of meanings lie hidden in the works. Most readers are drawn to Hitchcock criticism after being engaged by an individual film, and they will find welcome orientation here.

By Francois Truffaut,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One is ravished by the density of insights into cinematic questions...Truffaut performed a tour de force of tact in getting this ordinarily guarded man to open up as he had never done before (and never would again)...If the 1967 Hitchcock/Truffaut can now be seen as something of a classic, this revised version is even better. Phillip Lopate The New York Times Book Review


Book cover of Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories That Scared Even Me

Lisa M. Lucero Author Of Waves Crashing

From my list on thrilling, creepy tales of mystery and suspense.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a former journalist who has written for several newspapers in Kansas and Texas. Ever since I was young, I had an incredible imagination, a love for storytelling, and an adventurous spirit. I started writing my first novel Waves Crashing, a suspense romance, when I was a senior at McPherson High School; then I worked on it some in college, and it was published in 2019. I'm also the author of the science fiction novels The Death Firm and The Re-Creation of the Death Firm. I'm currently working at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, as an administrative assistant in data and records. I plan on starting to write my fourth novel in 2023. 

Lisa's book list on thrilling, creepy tales of mystery and suspense

Lisa M. Lucero Why did Lisa love this book?

These stories were picked out by the master of suspense, himself, Alfred Hitchcock. These stories are both horrific and suspenseful. With tales involving a flesh-eating troll, something creepy lurking about in the woods that kills anything that comes into its path, and an uninvited odd boy that comes to a party with evil intentions, one will not be able to put this book down. It might even make you want to leave the lights on during the night.

By Alfred Hitchcock (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Published by Random House. Per the dust jacket: ...twenty-three stories, a novelette, and a novel guaranteed to turn your hair white overnight." Stories selected by Mr. Hitchcock include: Casablanca by Thomas M. Disch, Fishhead by Irvin S. Cobb, Camera Obscura by Basil Copper, A Death in the Family by Miriam Allen deFord, Men Without Bones by Gerald Kersh, Not With a Bang by Damon Knight, Party Games by John Burke, X Marks the Pedwalk by Fritz Leiber, Curious Adventure of Mr. Bond by Nugent Barker, Two Spinsters by E. Phillips Oppenheim, The Knife by Robert Arthur, The Cage by Ray…


Book cover of Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers

Carol LaHines Author Of Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss

From my list on themed anthologies.

Why am I passionate about this?

The anthology form unites diverse voices around a common theme—in the case of Distant Flickers, identity and loss. The stories in the anthology explore intense personal relationships—of mother and child, old lovers, etc. Some of the stories are in the moment and some recounted with the perspective of time, some are fable-like, some formal, and others more colloquial. Reading them the reader is struck by the variety of approaches a writer might take to a subject. The device of the contributor’s notes enables the reader to see the story behind the story and how life informs art—life furnishing the raw material or day residue of the story.  

Carol's book list on themed anthologies

Carol LaHines Why did Carol love this book?

Sheila Kohler, a mentor of mine whose work is featured in this thrilling collection, is fond of saying that suspense arises from putting a vulnerable character in a dangerous situation. A literary writer of the highest caliber, Sheila knows how to generate the suspense that keeps the page turning. Crime fiction has a long history going back to Dostoevsky and beyond, to the great tragedians—the commission of a crime entails motive, means, and is inherently dramatic. This eclectic selection of mystery and female noir, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, features superstar writers like Edwidge Danticat, Margaret Atwood, Sheila Kohler, Elizabeth McCracken, and Joyce Carol Oates herself. The writing is luminous, the themes are varied—from domestic horror to the erotic to dark fairy tales—and the tales keep the reader turning the page.

By Joyce Carol Oates (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A chilling noir collection featuring fifteen crime and mystery tales and six poems from female authors.

Joyce Carol Oates, a queen-pin of the noir genre, has brought her keen and discerning eye to the curation of an outstanding anthology of brand-new top-shelf short stories (and poems by Margaret Atwood!). While bad men are not always the victims in these tales, they get their due often enough to satisfy readers who are sick and tired of the gendered status quo, or who just want to have a little bit of fun at the expense of a crumbling patriarchal society. This stylistically…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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