100 books like Out With the Stars

By Jim Heimann,

Here are 100 books that Out With the Stars fans have personally recommended if you like Out With the Stars. 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 The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper

Shawn Levy Author Of The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont

From my list on Hollywood glamour and sleaze.

Why am I passionate about this?

Shawn Levy is the author of 11 books of biography and pop culture history, including The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont, Paul Newman: A Life, Rat Pack Confidential, and Ready, Steady, Go! The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London. He was the longtime film critic of The Oregonian newspaper and KGW-TV in his beloved home city of Portland. He has written a history of the women pioneers of standup comedy which will be published by Doubleday in 2022 and at work on a podcast about the dark connections of politics and show business.

Shawn's book list on Hollywood glamour and sleaze

Shawn Levy Why did Shawn love this book?

Before he became a writer of potboiler novels and true-crime journalism, Dominick Dunne was a film and television producer and a social butterfly who also happened also to be an avid amateur photographer. This memoir of his Hollywood days, which resulted in a crash-and-burn from which he emerged as a writer, is filled with intimate, candid images of such friends (not all faithful) as Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, and Frank Sinatra, as well, of course, as Dunne and his family. There are dreamy and even eye-popping tales throughout, and if you're at all familiar with Dunne's books or magazine writing, you'll marvel at how so much of it so neatly dovetails with the life he actually lived and, thankfully, captured on film and in these frank and candid pages.

By Dominick Dunne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Way We Lived Then as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mesmerizing, revelatory text combines with more than two hundred photographs -- most of them taken by the author -- in a startling illustrated memoir that will both astonish and move you.

When Dominick Dunne lived and worked in Hollywood, he had it all: a beautiful family, a glamorous career, and the friendship of the talented and powerful. He also had a camera and loved to take pictures. These photographs, which Dunne carefully preserved in more than a dozen leatherbound scrapbooks -- along with invitations, telegrams, personal notes, and other memorabilia -- record the parties, the glittering receptions, the society weddings,…


Book cover of Masters of Starlight: Photographers in Hollywood

Shawn Levy Author Of The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont

From my list on Hollywood glamour and sleaze.

Why am I passionate about this?

Shawn Levy is the author of 11 books of biography and pop culture history, including The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont, Paul Newman: A Life, Rat Pack Confidential, and Ready, Steady, Go! The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London. He was the longtime film critic of The Oregonian newspaper and KGW-TV in his beloved home city of Portland. He has written a history of the women pioneers of standup comedy which will be published by Doubleday in 2022 and at work on a podcast about the dark connections of politics and show business.

Shawn's book list on Hollywood glamour and sleaze

Shawn Levy Why did Shawn love this book?

We call them 'movies' as a nickname for 'moving pictures,' and the immense importance of the 'pictures' part of that phrase is underscored by this lavish and gorgeous book celebrating the work of Hollywood's classic glamour photographers. In brief lives and portfolios of the likes of George Hurrell, Peter Stackpole, Phil Stern, Sid Avery, and Ruth Orkin, we see hundreds of photos of such icons as Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, James Dean, Judy Garland, Marlon Brando, and Shirley MacLaine on the set and off, posed for sumptuous portraits or grabbing coffee and a smoke between takes, in iconic images and remarkable candids. David Fahey and Linda Rich, important photographers themselves, are ideal guides to this gallery, pointing out aspects of the photographers' technique and craft without losing sight of the remarkable subjects of these memorable shots.

By David Fahey, Linda Rich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brings together the work of 44 Hollywood photographers.


Book cover of Easy Riders Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And Rock 'n Roll Generation Saved Hollywood

Nathan Abrams Author Of Kubrick: An Odyssey

From my list on fiction and nonfiction books about movie directors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was old (or young) enough to have only seen two Kubrick films in the cinema: Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut. I began teaching film studies and Hollywood in 1998, and I have been teaching and researching Kubrick intensively since 2007, visiting his archive in London on numerous occasions. At one point, I held the record for the researcher who had spent the most hours in the Archive. I also met Christiane and Jan and spoke to many others who knew and worked with Kubrick. Having been familiar with Robert Kolker’s work, it became clear that collaborating with an international authority on film was a necessity as well as a pleasure.

Nathan's book list on fiction and nonfiction books about movie directors

Nathan Abrams Why did Nathan love this book?

Peter Biskind chronicles the rise of New Hollywood in the 1970s, featuring such "movie brat" directors as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Steven Spielberg. But he also refers to such older directors as Stanley Kubrick.

It’s written in a chatty and easy-to-read style and is full of useful tidbits of information about Kubrick and especially his new backers at Warner Brothers.

By Peter Biskind,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Easy Riders Raging Bulls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the low-budget biker movie Easy Rider shocked Hollywood with its success in 1969, a new Hollywood era was born. This was an age when talented young filmmakers such as Scorsese, Coppola, and Spielberg, along with a new breed of actors, including De Niro, Pacino, and Nicholson, became the powerful figures who would make such modern classics as The Godfather, Chinatown, Taxi Driver, and Jaws. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls follows the wild ride that was Hollywood in the '70s -- an unabashed celebration of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll (both onscreen and off) and a climate where innovation and…


Book cover of Hollywood Babylon: The Legendary Underground Classic of Hollywood's Darkest and Best Kept Secrets

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?

If this beautifully illustrated collection of Hollywood tragedies were only kink, only lurid scandal like so many cheap TV potshots, it wouldn’t be the iconic masterpiece it has become. Kenneth Anger’s take on the faded and fallen Hollywood differs because he loves the place and its people with all his heart.

A child starling and renegade director in his own right (Scorpio Rising, Kustom Kar Kommandoes), he oozes child-like wonder and horror on every page. As he puts it in the book’s equally stark sequel, Hollywood Babylon II, the movies “promise immortality, but don’t really deliver.”   

By Kenneth Anger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Kenneth Anger has fashioned a delicious . . . box of poisoned bonbons. Picking through the slag heap of the Hollywood dream factory, [he] has put together a truly prodigious anthology of star-studded scandal.”—The New York Times

Kenneth Anger is a former child movie actor who grew up to become one of America’s leading underground filmmakers. Hollywood Babylon was originally published in Paris, and quickly became an underground legend. Not a word has been changed. Not a story omitted. Here is the hot, luscious plum of sizzling scandal that continues to shock the world.


Book cover of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Kayla Anderson Author Of Moon Northern California Road Trip: Drives along the Coast, Redwoods, and Mountains with the Best Stops along the Way

From my list on embarking on epic adventures from your armchair.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised in Northern California, right on the banks of the Sacramento River. While I didn’t realize it growing up, it was an epicenter for outdoor adventures. Along with skiing, snowboarding, hiking, wakeboarding, and camping, I always read a lot. My dad was worried that I would have no sense of direction because I was always in the back of our van or RV reading a book. That led to writing…and I had my first article published in a wakeboarding magazine when I was 15 years old. Traveling always took a backburner to reading, but now it’s front and center of my writing. 

Kayla's book list on embarking on epic adventures from your armchair

Kayla Anderson Why did Kayla love this book?

Anyone who has ever worked in the food or hospitality industry—as a cook, a waitress, a hostess, a barista, or otherwisecan identify with this book.

The restaurant business is a different beast, and Anthony Bourdain took a huge risk in writing this and burning bridges with his bosses and coworkers. But in doing so, he unlocked the universal hidden language that food and hospitality workers share.

As a former hostess/waitress myself who spent most of her college years with a part-time job at IHOP and the Golden Waffle, I could relate to a lot of what Bourdain experienced working in NYC, especially with minority groups and how they were treated during that time. He was a huge inspiration to a lot of people, including me. 

By Anthony Bourdain,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Kitchen Confidential as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE CLASSIC BESTSELLER: 'The greatest book about food ever written' 'A compelling book with its intriguing mix of clever writing and kitchen patois ... more horrifically gripping than a Stephen King novel' Sunday Times 'Extraordinary ... written with a clarity and a clear-eyed wit to put the professional food-writing fraternity to shame' Observer _____________________________ After twenty-five years of 'sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine', chef and novelist Anthony Bourdain decided to tell all - and he meant all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky-tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown;…


Book cover of Skinny Legs and All

Lynda Allen Author Of Grace Reflected

From my list on life-changing world-rocking books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of myself as a listener and life in progress. As a poet and author, I’m always listening to the words that move through my heart. I’m also a spiritual seeker, always looking for the Divine in the world around me and almost always surprised by the ways it shows up when I’m paying attention. Yet, there’s another part of me that is a Jersey girl through and through, looking for humor or irreverence in the face of life’s challenges. All these aspects come together in an unusual harmony, creating an openness to being changed by the things that come into my life. Hence, a list of life-changing books.

Lynda's book list on life-changing world-rocking books

Lynda Allen Why did Lynda love this book?

What a world-rocking, mind-blowing journey reading Skinny Legs and All was! I read it in my twenties, and it truly was life-changing. It is imaginative and thought-provoking. It expanded my perspective on life and what might be happening right in front of my eyes that I’m missing with my limited imagination.

It’s wickedly funny and irreverent and yet addresses difficult issues that are relevant today, such as the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The storytelling is so unique, I’ve never read another book like it. It’s a book that leaves me envying someone else’s first read of it.

It also served as a source of inspiration for me as an author many years later. There was a scene in the movie Finding Forrester, where a young writer (Rob Brown) is facing writer’s block. His instructor (Sean Connery) suggests he start typing the content of a book he loves word for…

By Tom Robbins,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Skinny Legs and All as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Arab and a Jew open a restaurant together across the street from the United Nations....

It sounds like the beginning of an ethnic joke, but it's the axis around which this gutsy, fun-loving, and alarmingly provocative novel spins, in which a bean can philosophizes, a dessert spoon mystifies, a young waitress takes on the New York art world, and a rowdy redneck welder discovers the lost god of Palestine-while the illusions that obscure humanity's view of the true universe fall away, one by one, like Salome's veils.

Skinny Legs and All deals with today's most sensitive issues: race, politics,…


Book cover of Five Quarters of the Orange

Lyn Farrell Author Of One Dog Too Many

From my list on stories of survival in WWII beyond the battlefield.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a lifelong reader who has always been interested in the period of WWII. Stories of courage under fire are my favorites. As a little girl, I attended a one-room school without a library. Luckily, my enlightened teacher contracted with a Bookmobile, a travelling library. The first time I got inside the Bookmobile, I decided I’d like to live there and was only removed forcibly by the bus driver. I'm an educator turned author who worked for thirty-five years at the medical school at Michigan State University. Luckily, my circle of family and friends includes doctors, lawyers, and police officers who are consulted regularly for advice on my mysteries.

Lyn's book list on stories of survival in WWII beyond the battlefield

Lyn Farrell Why did Lyn love this book?

This book is powerful to me because of the intense mother/daughter conflict she relates. My mother was lovely, well-read, and held an important position at our state university. However, she was also extremely critical of her children. Because I never rebelled against my mother, I was entranced with Joanne Harris’ young character, Framboise, who plans and carries out a rebellion against her mother that is worthy of the French resistance. Many years later, when Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous woman they hold responsible for a tragedy during the German occupation.

The past and present are inextricably entwined in a scrapbook of recipes and memories that Framboise inherited from her now-deceased mother. The journal contains the key to the tragedy that indelibly marked that summer of her ninth year. The mother…

By Joanne Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Five Quarters of the Orange as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gripping page-turner set in occupied France from international multi-million copy seller Joanne Harris. With the sensuous writing we come to expect from her, this book has a darker core. Perfect for fans of Victoria Hislop, Fiona Valpy, Maggie O'Farrell and Rachel Joyce, this fascinating and vivid journey through human cruelty and kindness is a gripping and compelling read.

'Her strongest writing yet: as tangy and sometimes bitter as Chocolat was smooth' -- Independent
'Harris indulges her love of rich and mouthwatering descriptive passages, appealing to the senses... Thoroughly enjoyable' -- Observer
'Outstanding...beautifully written' -- Daily Mail
'Very thought provoking.…


Book cover of Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History

Andrew T. Huse, Bárbara Cruz, and Jeff Houck Author Of The Cuban Sandwich: A History in Layers

From my list on reads for when you’re hungry.

Why are we passionate about this?

Our obsessions with food and history mean that recipes are not the end of the journey, but the beginning. Recipes are an answer to a whole host of questions, challenges, and opportunities, and those are the stories that interest us. A recipe with no history is like the punch line with no preceding joke, incomplete at best.   

Andrew's book list on reads for when you’re hungry

Andrew T. Huse, Bárbara Cruz, and Jeff Houck Why did Andrew love this book?

In the Twentieth Century, the U.S. took stock of its regional specialties, resulting in landmark publications around the country. Many of the resulting books then and now tend to fixate on recipes alone, the tip of the culinary iceberg.  

During the 1980s, John Egerton meandered around the South looking for vestiges of vittles only found there at a time when regional cooking specialties across the US seemed to be fading fast.  With snippets of travel writing, interviews with artisans, anecdotes, and recipes, Southern Food demonstrated the culinary vitality and diversity of the South in one volume.   

Egerton’s work revealed the need for deeper research and more context to make sense of culinary traditions. It also helped casual observers to recognize the importance of Southern food, and that before mass-produced popular culture took hold, all food was essentially regional.

By John Egerton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hailed as an instant classic when it appeared in 1987, John Egerton's Southern Food captures the flavor and feel of what it has meant for southerners, over the generations, to gather at the table. This book is for reading, for cooking, for eating (in and out), for referring to, for browsing in, and, above all, for enjoying. Egerton first explores southern food in more than 200 restaurants in eleven southern states; he describes their specialties and recounts his conversations with owners, cooks, waiters, and customers. Then, because some of the best southern cooking is done at home, Egerton offers more…


Book cover of Monday Mourning

Colin Cotterill Author Of The Coroner's Lunch

From my list on reads whilst awaiting radiology and/or death.

Why am I passionate about this?

When you write a book, it’s natural to put yourself in it. You’re the avenger, the rookie agent, the hard-drinking detective. But how many of us volunteer to be the corpse? I sit here every day in the cancer unit at a public Thai hospital and smile at folks who won’t be around much longer. I wrote fifteen books in a series about a coroner. I painted the victims colorfully when they were still alive but how much respect did I show them once they were chunks of slowly decaying meat? From now on my treatment of the souls that smile back at me will take on a new life.

Colin's book list on reads whilst awaiting radiology and/or death

Colin Cotterill Why did Colin love this book?

I’m cheating here a bit. I know Kathy and I like her a lot. Unlike me, she is a genius. I don’t need to tell any of her readers that. She is a well-respected forensic anthropologist who goes out of her way to uncover the secrets that the remains conceal. She writes about bones with the same affection we usually reserve for loved ones. I would be delighted to have her run her massive intellect over my skeleton when I’m gone.

By Kathy Reichs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

___________________________________
A gripping Temperance Brennan novel from world-class forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, the international no. 1 bestselling crime thriller writer and the inspiration behind the hit TV series Bones.

Three skeletons are found in a Montreal basement.

The building is old, and the homicide detective in charge dismisses the remains as historic. Not his case. Not his concern.

Forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan is not so sure. Something about the bones of these three young women suggests a different message: murder.

Soon she finds herself drawn ever deeper into a web of evil from which there may be no escape.…


Book cover of The Surprise Restaurant Manager

Jacqueline Jeynes Author Of Managing Health & Safety in a Small Business

From my list on managing a small business, including risks and boring bits.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mentioning health and safety is a great turn-off at parties when someone asks what you do for a living! Starting my training company 30 years ago, and later representing UK small business, it also became clear that we needed a practical, hands-on approach not a theoretical framework to ensure the safety and health of workers. Having five sons of my own (yes, really) gave even more reason to ensure people understood risk assessment, so my first book was published. Twenty years later, I am still writing non-fiction books and passionate about health and safety.

Jacqueline's book list on managing a small business, including risks and boring bits

Jacqueline Jeynes Why did Jacqueline love this book?

I couldn’t resist recommending this book, mainly because it is such a clever title! How can you suddenly, unexpectedly, become a restaurant manager? It is a brilliant story that lots of readers can identify with, the way you might suddenly find yourself in a role that you did not plan to take on. 

As well as telling a personal story, it outlines all the pitfalls of working out how to be the best manager you can be, and the lessons in how to deal with staff and customers in order to be a successful restaurant manager. Lots of tips, questions, and suggested rules to help you along the way.  

By Ken McGarrie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Surprise - you're in charge now!

Steady money and new opportunities awaited as you moved up from server or bartender to front-of-house manager. But too often, restaurant management find themselves leading with minimal training, a ton of responsibilities, and no clue how to improve. You've run the Friday night rush, you've juggled expectations of staff and guests-but have you figured out how to improve while keeping the business profitable?

In The Surprise Restaurant Manager, learn from Ken McGarrie, a restaurant operator who has helped launched dozens of successful restaurants, as he gives you the power to master the unexpected challenges…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in restaurants, Hollywood, and California?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about restaurants, Hollywood, and California.

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