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April 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Arts Books
These 10 exemplary titles, reviewed in Booklist from November 1, 2016, to October 1, 2017, cover the arts spectrum, from an early celebrity photographer to a cherished TV character, an architect, a designer, a master jazz artist, a visionary director, and a risk-addicted curator, along with offering deep dives into pop music and a classic Hollywood film.
The Dream Colony: A Life in Art. By Walter Hopps. Ed. by Deborah Treisman.
2017. Bloomsbury, $30 (9781632865298).
Daring and influential curator Hopps (1932–2005) recorded more than 100 hours of wittily recounted stories that Treisman turned into a scintillating memoir.
Frasier: A Cultural History. By Joseph J. Darowski and Kate Darowski. 2017. Rowman & Littlefield, $38 (9781442277960).
Kelsey Grammer played Frasier Crane in Cheers and Frasier for 20 years, an indelible character the Darowskis astutely analyze in this solidly researched and entertaining inquiry.
George Lucas. By Brian Jay Jones. 2016. Little, Brown, $32 (9780316257442).
Jones’ in-depth and gripping exploration reveals that renowned director George Lucas is much more than the genius behind the iconic Star Wars franchise.
Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black & White, Body and Soul in American Music. By Ann Powers. 2017. Morrow/Dey St., $26.99 (9780062463692).
In her exciting analysis of the roots of sex and race in American popular music, critic Powers tracks the connections between the original sounds of New Orleans’ Congo Square, blues queens, rockers, and Beyoncé.
The Great Nadar: The Man behind the Camera. By Adam Begley. 2017. Crown/Tim Duggan, $30 (9781101902608).
Begley vividly chronicles the achievements of creative whirlwind Félix Tournachon (1820–1910), known as Nadar and renowned for his photographs of arts luminaries and balloonist adventures.
The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes and the Invention of Twentieth-Century America. By B. Alexandra Szerlip. 2017. Melville, $28.99 (9781612195629).
Szerlip portrays the brilliant industrial designer Bel Geddes, examining his visionary designs for everything from radios to refrigerators, cars, cocktail shakers, and theaters.
The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan. By Patricia Bosworth. 2017. Harper, $27.99 (9780062287908).
Bosworth looks back to her life-shaping experiences as a model, a member of the famed Actors Studio, and an actor on Broadway and in soap operas and film.
Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan. By Elaine M. Hayes. 2017. Ecco, $27.99 (9780062364685).
Music-historian Hayes elucidates Sarah Vaughan’s artistic mastery and roller-coaster life in jazz as she faced virulent racism and ultimately conquered the world.
We’ll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Movie. By Noah Isenberg. 2017. Norton, $27.95 (9780393243123).
Isenberg tells the full Casablanca story in this nonfiction thriller, delving into the film’s production and cultural significance while performing exciting detective work.
You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn. By Wendy Lesser. 2017. Farrar, $27 (9780374716776).
Lesser tracks each demanding phase in Louis Kahn’s evolution as an ardent, internationally revered architect preternaturally attuned to materials and how we relate to our surroundings.
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