The Contender by William J. Mann

Staff Pick

Beginning with the sobering and somber testimony Marlon Brando gave at his son’s sentencing hearing for murder, William J. Mann’s biography, The Contender (Harper, $35), interweaves three major motifs into each stage of Brando’s life and work. First, there’s Brando’s personal brand of masculinity; bucking traditional chauvinism, this included highly intimate, even romantic (as in the case of the French actor Christian Marquand), relationships with men. Then there’s the actor’s lifelong commitment to social justice. Brando participated in conventional protests—most famously the 1963 March on Washington, which Mann reconstructs in detail, including Brando’s efforts to drum up celebrity support—and unconventional activism, most famously, by having Sacheen Littlefeather appear on his behalf at the 1973 Academy Award ceremony to refuse the Oscar. Perhaps most significantly—or possibly most salaciously, as Mann never shies away from details—there’s Brando’s near constant romantic and familial drama, which Mann characterizes as the star’s greatest failure. Brando’s perennial affairs and his neglect of his family clash with the popular image of Brando as a
ladies’ man.

The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando By William J. Mann Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062427649
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - October 15th, 2019

Bruce Lee: A Life - Matthew Polly

Staff Pick

By the time of his death at the age of thirty-two, Bruce Lee had achieved unparalleled success in martial arts and film. With the posthumous release of his movie Enter the Dragon, he became one of the icons of the 20th century.  Although much has been published about him, Matthew Polly has written the definitive biography on Lee. By the end of this excellent book, readers will feel like they've come to know the man behind those fists of fury.

Bruce Lee: A Life By Matthew Polly Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501187629
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 5th, 2018

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls - Lauren Graham

Staff Pick

A genre that I’ve recently grown to love and look for is the “successful and funny women writing about their successful and funny lives” genre. I enjoyed reading the tales of Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling but nothing filled my heart quite like the witty and relatable stories of Lauren Graham in Talking as Fast as I Can, which I’ve admittedly read more than once. From her beginnings as a D.C. local, to her college years on stage and her performances as the endearing Lorelei Gilmore and the rebellious Sarah Braverman, Graham opens the door to her life in a way that will make fans love her more than they already do. But back off she’s mine, okay? 

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) By Lauren Graham Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425285190
Availability: Backordered
Published: Ballantine Books - October 3rd, 2017