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Performance & Film

MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, & Gavin Edwards

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has, without question, changed the landscape of movies and movie making forever. But what is the origin story of the juggernaut that seemingly cannot be stopped? I guarantee the real story will surprise you and make you think of these properties in an entirely different life. Told in a ridiculously addictive and intimate manner through interviews and first-hand accounts, this book is perfect for the nerd or Hollywood buff in your life. 


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MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios By Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, Gavin Edwards Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631497513
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - October 10th, 2023

August Wilson by Patti Hartigan

August Wilson has turned out to be one of the most ambitious and celebrated American playwrights. His vaunted Century Cycle, ten plays celebrating African American life and culture through each decade of the twentieth century, produced two hits, Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Patti Hartigan interviewed Wilson numerous times before his death, and here she shows some of the connections between his youth in Pittsburgh and the unprecedented views of Black life in his plays. This is a great read for anyone interested in American theater. 


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August Wilson: A Life By Patti Hartigan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501180668
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 15th, 2023

End Credits: How I Broke Up with Hollywood by Patty Lin

You may or may not know Patty Lin, but you almost certainly know the shows she’s written for—Friends, Desperate Housewives, Freaks and Geeks, and Breaking Bad among them. Piercingly relevant in light of the current writers’ strike, Lin’s incredibly candid, personal memoir pulls back the curtain on the fascinating (often dysfunctional, at times toxic) world of Hollywood writing. While the stories of celebrity and drama are riveting, the question Lin explores is also so important: In a relationship or a career, when is love not worth the pain?


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End Credits: How I Broke Up with Hollywood By Patty Lin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781958506066
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Zibby Books - August 29th, 2023

The Color of Dance by TaKiyah Wallace-McMillian

Photographer TaKiyah Wallace-McMillian’s response to the lack of racial diversity she encountered when her young daughter started ballet was to take pictures. She sent out a casting call for dancers of color and was overwhelmed by the response. Since then, she has created a popular Instagram account and nonprofit called Brown Girls Do Ballet to celebrate and support underrepresented dancers. Now, with this stunning book, she shares her beautiful images of “all hues, shapes, sizes, and different ability levels in ballet,” knowing that more people than just her little girl needed to see themselves in that space. 


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The Color of Dance: A Celebration of Diversity and Inclusion in the World of Ballet By TaKiyah Wallace-McMillian Cover Image
ISBN: 9780762479559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - September 26th, 2023

The Great White Bard: How to Love Shakespeare While Talking About Race by Farah Karim-Cooper

This book is part of our 2023 Fall Reading Challenge. Read more about the challenge here.

I love Shakespeare, even though elements of his work are, as the kids say, cringe. But don’t worry! Shakespeare scholar Farah Karim-Cooper makes the case that we can enjoy the plays and still acknowledge and engage with the issues of racism, misogyny, and othering implicit in them which often go ignored or even cut from productions. The Great White Bard is topical, accessible, and easily one of my favorite books this year.


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The Great White Bard: How to Love Shakespeare While Talking About Race By Farah Karim-Cooper Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593489376
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - August 15th, 2023

Making a Scene by Constance Wu

In one essay of this remarkable memoir, actress Constance Wu admits that her first passion was writing before turning to drama, and thank goodness for us that she found she could do both, because she is an excellent writer and so much fun. This is more than an actor’s journey (although there's plenty of that here to satisfy); it’s a work of art and a call to arms for those who struggle to find their spot in the light. Her humor, intelligence, and empathy shine through this wonder of a book—one that is as important as it is enjoyable.


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Making a Scene By Constance Wu Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982188542
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Scribner - October 4th, 2022

Mr. B: George Balanchine’s 20th Century by Jennifer Homans

Jennifer Homans, former professional dancer and bestselling author of Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet, has written a beautiful and compelling biography of dance legend George Balanchine. I was captivated by her ability to paint a picture of the duality of Balanchine’s life—from the terrifying cold and starvation of his childhood in revolutionary Russia to “creating a utopia through dance” through his glorious ballets in America. Mr. B places this deeply private person in historical context while also shining a light on the world he constructed. A magnificent read.


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Mr. B: George Balanchine's 20th Century By Jennifer Homans Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812994308
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Random House - November 1st, 2022

Madly, Deeply by Alan Rickman

I am inordinately excited about this posthumous collection of Alan Rickman’s personal diaries. Between missing his iconic performances, dry wit, and delicious voice, I think I’d read his grocery list, but this book, the curated result of his 25-year passion project, promises to be a true gift, going behind the scenes and into his personal life, sharing his thoughts on acting, politics, his activism and travel, and his everyday life. I can’t wait. 


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Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman By Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson (Contributions by), Rima Horton (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson (Contributions by), Rima Horton (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781250847959
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - October 18th, 2022

Unprotected by Billy Porter

I could not put down this engaging memoir by Emmy, Grammy, and Tony award winner Billy Porter, the star of Pose and Kinky Boots. Humorous, heartbreaking, sassy, and inspiring, Unprotected takes readers from Porter’s childhood in Pittsburgh (where his vocal talent and gayness were evident by age 5) to New York City, where he pursues his dream of being a performer. Porter leaps from past to present and from personal to political while calling out homophobia and racism in the industry, the church, and beyond. Incredibly gifted and hard working, he will have you cheering for him as he fights to live life as his authentic self.—S.B.

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Unprotected: A Memoir By Billy Porter Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419746192
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Abrams Press - October 19th, 2021

Center Center by James Whiteside

American Ballet Theater principal dancer James Whiteside details his rise to fame and his life beyond ballet in this energetic and humorous memoir. Knowing he was gay at an early age, Whiteside thought that ballet “was doing something super gay” only to be disappointed by the heteronormative roles that male dancers were cast in. While keeping up with the demands of ballet, he also ventured out into becoming a New York drag queen and breaking into the pop-music scene in order to stay connected to his true self. While Center Center doesn’t delve into the details of dance technique or the wonders of performances, it’s a fun read detailing the flair and determination it takes to reach the top.—S.M.C.

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Center Center: A Funny, Sexy, Sad Almost-Memoir of a Boy in Ballet By James Whiteside Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593297834
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: Viking - August 17th, 2021


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