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 DC 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?
If you’re looking for a blueprint on big-time studio film making, or if you’re just curious as to what the hell a production designer actually DOES…look no further. Sidney Lumet, the luminary director behind classics like 12 Angry Men and Dog Day Afternoon, peels back the golden curtain and gives you a tour of the typical Hollywood production. While some elements may have aged (film photography has been mostly supplanted by digital since the production of Making Movies), the roles and responsibilities have not. With a wry and knowing voice, Lumet is the perfect tour guide through the world of studio film making.
There's so much good television being made these days that it's hard to know where to start! Thankfully we now have this book by seasoned TV critics Sepinwall and Seitz, who put together a roughly tiered list with complete with analysis, historical context and some choice bits about the creative staff. The book has its limits: it focuses explicitly on American television, which of course leaves out dozens of shows made across the world that are just as influential if not more so. But if you're in the mood to be convinced why The Simpsons may actually be a better show than either The Sopranos or The Wire, or find a new favorite in the endless sea of television, this is your best choice.