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Best Biographies and Coffee Table Books

Genevieve Simmons
 
Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood
Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood
"By far one of the best film books I've ever read. It centers around two of my favorite films of all time, The Graduate and Bonnie & Clyde, and describes how they spearheaded the revolution in the cinema of 1967. A must read."
Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution
Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution
"I have very mixed feelings about Marie Antoinette as a person, yet I couldn't put this book down. It's an in-depth view of the role fashion played in her downfall, and aims to rehabilitate Marie's image by proving that her penchant for frippery had deep psychological motivations."
Lulu In Hollywood: Expanded Edition
Lulu In Hollywood: Expanded Edition
"A riveting book by one of the luminaries of the silent screen. Brooks harbors no illusions about Hollywood."
The Beatles Anthology
The Beatles Anthology
"The definitive book on my favorite band. It weighs a hundred pounds, but it's worth it!"
The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn
The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn
"Anne Boleyn is my favorite person in the entire history of the world, and Ives captures her every nuance in this landmark study. I'd only recommend it to people already extremely well-versed in Anne's life, however--it's not for the casual reader. That said, it's still one of the best biographies I've ever read, and it's the definitive work on AB."
Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties
Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties
"An excellent overview of the women who ruled my favorite decade. Zelda was 100% nuts!"
A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties
A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties
"Suze Rotolo is one of my favorite rock girlfriends--she's right up there with Pattie Boyd in my book, and her memoir doesn't disappoint. It's a fun, light read about the girl on Dylan's arm."
Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir
Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir
"This was written by Jack Kerouac's one-time girlfriend, and it does a fantastic job at bringing to life the man behind the legend. I'd recommend it to anyone who loved On the Road."
Movies of the 60s
Movies of the 60s
"A beautifully-illustrated coffee table book on my favorite decade for film. It doesn't just stick to American cinema, either!"
Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood: Rebels, Reds, and Graduates and the Wild Stories Behind the Making of 13 Iconic Films
Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood: Rebels, Reds, and Graduates and the Wild Stories Behind the Making of 13 Iconic Films
"The inside story on 13 Hollywood classics and legendary flops, straight from the pages of Vanity Fair."
French New Wave, The
French New Wave, The
"A must-have. The French New Wave is my personal favorite film movement, and this coffee table book covers every glorious moment of it."
Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design
Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design
"FASHION PORN."
The Audrey Hepburn Treasures
The Audrey Hepburn Treasures
"I love Audrey, and this book proves that she was more than Holly Golightly."
Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard
Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard
"The man, the myth, the legend. It's also got some great scoop on Anna Karina!"
The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family
The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family
"You are now entering the Mitford section of this list! This is one of the best biographies I've ever read. It's a great intro to the sisters, both as a group and individually."
The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters
The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters
"This book is 800 pages, but I read it in a week. It reads like a novel!"
Hons and Rebels (New York Review Books Classics)
Hons and Rebels (New York Review Books Classics)
"This is the first part of Decca's autobiography (A Fine Old Conflict being the second), and it's a doozy. It covers her unconventional upbringing and her first marriage."
Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford
Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford
"This book is MASSIVE in scope. Decca may have come off as a tough chick sometimes, but her letters here prove that she could be a real softie, especially in regards to her two husbands. Her deathbed letter to Bob Treuhaft is both loving and witty--classic Decca to the end."