Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Farewell, August, and All of Your Best Books



PowerhouseWith one day left in the month, this is our last chance to look at some of our favorite books of August before hitting the powerhouse publishing months of September and October. And speaking of powerhouses, we mentioned this somewhat guilty pleasure on its publication day, but since then several of us have become mildly, perhaps unhealthily, obsessed with James Andrew Miller's oral history of the Creative Arts Agency, possibly Hollywood's closest relative to the NSA. Seira Wilson wrote:

When Powerhouse first crossed my desk I was mildly intrigued with the idea of getting an inside look at the Creative Arts Agency, which has come to represent some of the biggest names in Hollywood and beyond. Then I read fifty pages and was totally hooked. I'm not even familiar with all the players—though of course names like Tom Cruise and Michael Ovitz jumped right out—but it didn't matter because their anecdotes about the people and personalities who re-wrote the rule book on how agents work with their celebrity clients are completely addicting. There are stories of overblown egos and overindulgence, brilliant strategy and crushing betrayal—this is a no-holds-barred account of five decades of Hollywood's movers and shakers told by the people who lived it. Whether you're an avid movie goer or only watched the Academy Awards when Tina Fey was hosting, Powerhouse is a front row seat to the building of an entertainment industry icon in all its garish glory. And it's nearly impossible to look away.

Fair warning: you might want to bring a gawker's interest in the Bizzaro World of the entertainment industry; the customer comments are polarized.

Here are some more of our favorites. See them all in the Best Books of the Month.

 

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The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Jeffrey E. Stone
Three of the four authors listed here are the heroes of the title, and their tale of thwarting a terrorist attack on a train--one that potentially would have killed more than 500 people--is as gripping for the story as it is for its dramatic point-of-view structure.
 
 

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Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day by Joel Selvin
When you think about law and order, you think about Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Well, at least someone organizing the Rolling Stones's free concert at Altamont Motor Speedway did, leading to the death of Meredith Hunter--and as many say, the 60s.
 

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The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State by Lawrence Wright
Drawing on articles originally published in The New Yorker, Wright, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, charts the course of the War on Terror from 9/11 to ISIS, its history of then-unknown knowns made paradoxically predictable through the lens of hindsight.
 

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In the Barren Ground by Loreth Anne White
A few weeks back, Amazon Senior Editor Chris Schluep speculated that the new landscape of apocalyptic fiction is wilderness. This thriller features a wolf mauling, a psychotic killer, and the endless nights of northern Canada--a territory seemingly located at the end of the world.
 


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