Books on Film: A guide to digital books for cinema lovers

Books on Cinema
Picture digital manifestations of books like these, about cinema. (Credit: Pixabay)

It’s week number three of social distancing. What to do when Netflix, novelty games, and that 1,000-piece puzzle start to get old? If you’re a cinema lover, now is a great time to catch up on a memoir of your favorite actor, a little movie history, or the creative process of your favorite auteur. In addition to Kindle, Nook, and Audible, you can find many of these books in digital formats from your local library on services like Libby/Overdrive and hoopla! 

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor – Bruce Campbell 

Available on hoopla, Libby/Overdrive, Amazon Kindle, Audible, and Nook

Known for his down-to-earth, self-deprecating sense of humor, Bruce Campbell’s If Chins Could Kill is everything you’d expect from the man himself and more. A native of Birmingham, Michigan, there are tons of great stories about Campbell and his friends — Director Sam Rami, and Producer Rob Tapert — their formative years in Michigan and how they conceived, wrote, and shot the first two Evil Dead movies. The audiobook is narrated by Campbell himself — a major bonus! 

I Said Yes to Everything – Lee Grant 

Available on Libby/Overdrive, Nook, Audible, Amazon Kindle

At twenty-four years old, Lee Grant had been a Vogue “It Girl” and nominated for an academy award for Detective Story. One year later she found herself on the Hollywood Blacklist. Unable to work, with a small daughter to support and her marriage ended, Grant spent twelve years fighting the Communist witch hunts while rebuilding her life on her own terms. Grant’s story takes the reader from her beginnings as child of immigrants who studied and preformed in the New York theater world through Broadway in the 1950s and the star studded parties of the 1970s. I Said Yes to Everything is a fascinating, must-read biography. 

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity – David Lynch

Available on Libby/Overdrive, Kindle, Audible 

David Lynch shares his creative process, his personal working style, and how meditation has benefited him as an artist. 

Home Work: A Memoir of my Hollywood Years Julie Andrews 

Available on Libby/Overdrive, Amazon Kindle, Audible, and Nook 

A follow up to her acclaimed memoir, Home, Julie Andrews reflects on her extraordinary career including Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor Victoria. 

Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams The Story of Black Hollywood by Donald Bogle 

Audible, Amazon Kindle, Nook

Spanning nearly sixty years, Donald Bogle’s book tells the story of black actors in Hollywood. Through interviews and personal recollections of Hollywood luminaries, Bogle traces the story of Black Hollywood — a place with it’s own rules and hierarchy. 

If This Was Happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth by Barbara Leaming 

Available on hoopla and Audible – for order on Amazon

Rita Hayworth was so much more than “The Love Goddess” title for which she would be forever remembered. Hayworth was a phenomenally talented dancer and an actress of great depth. She was also a painfully shy child — trained as a dancer and thrust into the limelight as her father’s dance partner. After suffering sexual abuse at the hands of her own father, she sought protection in five marriages and succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease, which was largely misunderstood at the time. Essential for fans of Hayworth and the golden age of Hollywood.   

Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 by Robert Matzen

Available on hoopla, Amazon Kindle, Audible and Nook

 A first-ever examination of the events that led to the shocking flight mishap that took her life on the side of a Nevada mountain in 1942, author Robert Matzen ramps up the tension by alternating chapters with Lombard’s personal history and detailed accounts of the events that lead up to the fateful crash that January. An extremely well researched page-turner of a book. 

Role Models by John Waters

Available on hoopla, Libby/Overdrive – Amazon, Audible and Nook

From his friendship with former Manson Family member, Lesley Van Houten, to his unlikely crush and interview with Johnny Mathis, director John Waters dishes on the role models who shaped him as an artist. A fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of the most unique directors to grace American cinema.

The Devil’s Advocates Series

Available on hoopla, Amazon Kindle 

This series by Auteur Books from the UK is dedicated to exploring the classics of horror cinema. From The Thing, The Shining, and Suspiria to It Follows and Let The Right One In, each book offers an in depth analysis on genre masterpieces usually overlooked in traditional cinema studies. 

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