2023 Holiday Picks - Music / Performing Arts


Music/Performing Arts

Charlie Chaplin vs. America: When Art, Sex, and Politics Collided by Scott Eyman. The fascinating story of Charlie Chaplin's years of exile from the United States and how it ruined his film career. In the aftermath of WWII, Chaplin was criticized for being politically liberal and internationalist in outlook. He had never become a US citizen, something that would be held against him as xenophobia set in when the postwar Red Scare took hold. Politics aside, Chaplin had another problem - he had been married three times and had had numerous affairs. In the 1940s, he was the subject of a paternity suit, which he lost, despite blood tests that proved he was not the father. Refused permission to return to the US from a trip abroad, he settled in Switzerland, and made his last two films in London.

Energy Follows Thought: The Stories Behind My Songs by Willie Nelson. In celebration of his 90th birthday this year, an American icon provides the stories behind the lyrics of 160 of his favorite songs, along with a dynamic assortment of never-before-seen photos and ephemera. From his earliest work in the 1950s to today, Willie looks back at the songs that have defined his career, from his days of earning $50 each to his biggest hits, from his less well-known songs (but incredibly meaningful to him) to his concept albums. He also shares the stories of his guitar Trigger, his family and "family," as well as artists he collaborated with.

MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards. The unauthorized, behind-the-scenes story of the stunning rise -- and suddenly uncertain reign -- of Marvel Studios draws on more than 100 interviews with actors, producers, directors, and writers to present the definitive chronicle of the studio and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  “Marvel's inescapable obsolescence is the best argument for MCU; the genre should be studied with the same rigor as film noir. The book's admiration for Marvel movies works in its favor, freeing the writers to skip straight to the gossip, like the relative who pulls you aside at Thanksgiving to whisper about your cousin's divorce.” --Amy Nicholson, The New York Times

My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand. One of entertainment’s living legends tells her own story, from growing up in Brooklyn to her first appearances in New York nightclubs to her breakout performance in Funny Girl (on stage and in film) to the long string of successes in every medium. She recounts her early struggles to become an actress, eventually turning to singing to earn a living; the recording of some of her acclaimed albums; the years of effort involved in making Yentl; her direction of The Prince of Tides; her political advocacy; and  her fulfilling marriage. One of Fall’s most anticipated books - and rightly so.