Monday, April 28, 2008

TV To Go: Top 10 Books About Television



Let's face it, there may be times and places in our lives in which we find ourselves without the familiar comfort of television: a commute on the city bus, a visit to the park, a family vacation. Here is a list of the top ten books about television that might be able to help you get your fix.


When Television Was Young:
The Inside Story with Memories by Legends
of the Small Screen

by Ed McMahon and David Fisher


This is the first oral history of early television by those who made it happen. Reminiscences of the stars, the writers, the producers create a feeling of being there when television first came into America's homes. We all know how successful Ed McMahon's career has been, the perfect television icon to serve as a guide to the early days of television. Ed has interviewed writers, producers, cameramen and stars such as Annette Funicello, Dick Clark, Andy Griffith, Art Linkletter, Gale Storm, Barbara Billingsley, Walter Cronkite, Jerry Mathers, Soupy Sales, Ron Howard, Merv Griffin and many more.


A Reporter's Life: Peter Jennings
Edited by Kate Darnton and Lynn Sherr



This book chronicles Peter's career from the beginning to the end, including his childhood radio program, his first unsuccessful stint in the ABC News anchor chair, his experiences as a foreign correspondent, and his lengthy tenure with "World News Tonight." Jennings served as the popular a anchor of ABC News until 2005 when he died because of lung cancer. This book, edited by Peter's colleagues at ABC, consists of nearly a hundred interviews with friends, family, colleagues and friends that took place shortly after his death.. The book also details Jennings' feelings about being a Canadian working in the United States as one of the nation's top news anchors and his subsequent gaining of citizenship in 2003. A Reporter's Life offers a chance for those who turned to Peter throughout the years to say goodbye.

Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball
by Kathleen Brady


Lucy is an icon, television's leading lady. Featured mainly in B-movies in the 1930s at RKO, leading lady in several MGM films in the '40s, Lucille Ball was never a "star," but she became the Queen of TV with I Love Lucy, first aired in 1951. In this evenhanded, serious look at America's beloved comedienne, Brady describes how, under Buster Keaton's tutelage, Ball developed her talents, and how her husband's womanizing led her to conceive the TV series "because it would keep Desi at home." Brady's biography is a narrative roller coaster veering from heartache to terror to triumph as she depicts Ball as actress, wife, mother and producer. Ball's outrageous behavior after her last series, Here's Lucy, ended in 1974 and her struggle against aging are recounted in doleful detail. Ball died in 1989 at the age of 78 but, as Brady remarks, "Lucy Ricardo" achieved eternal life. Fans will appreciate the profusion of I Love Lucy lore and trivia.

True Stories of Law and Order
by Kevin Dwyer and Jure Fiorillo



Are you or someone you love a Law and Order junky? Summer vacations can be fun, but not if you can't get enough of the true crime git. Here's the perfect book to bring along on your travels, the real crimes that have inspired your favorite episodes of Law and Order. True Stories of Law & Order reveals the fascinating and shocking facts behind 25 of the hit show's most popular episodes-from the incredible account of how a woman's repressed memory leads to the solving of a 30-year-old cold case to the high-profile investigation of transvestite millionaire Robert Durst. And just like in Law & Order, the actual crime is just the beginning, as you follow these cases from the initial stages of the investigation through the trial and up to the often controversial verdicts.

Part of the reason millions of fans tune in to Law & Order is the gritty realism of its storytelling. The monumentally popular show has included many episodes inspired by actual cases ripped from the headlines-true crimes that are often stranger and more chilling than fiction. Here is a link to another book in the series, True Stories of Law and Order: SVU.



I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This
by Bob Newhart


Bob, Newhart is one of the greatest television stars of all time. Newhart's career began with his 1960 Grammy-winning album, The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart, the comedian's 46-year career has included nightclub standup, TV series (The Bob Newhart Show), animation voices (The Simpsons), feature films (Catch-22, Elf)—and now his first book This isn’t a memoir like most memoirs. It’s a book only Bob Newhart could have written, with his unique worldview and irrepressibly wry humor on every page. Oh, and there’s a fair bit of plain silliness too. In this, his first book ever, Newhart gives his brilliant and bemused twist on a multitude of topics, including flying, the trials of a family holiday in a Winnebago, and more serious subjects, such as gold. And of course, there are side-splittingly funny stories from his life and career.


The Place to Be:
Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News
by Roger Mudd



Yes, you've read the title of the book correctly, in the 1960's CBS was the place to be for the most talented journalists, great stories, and political intrigue. Roger Mudd joined CBS in 1961, and as the congressional correspondent, became a star covering the historic Senate debate over the 1964 Civil Right Act. Appearing at the steps of Congress every morning, noon, and night for the twelve weeks of filibuster, he established a reputation as a leading political reporter. Mudd was one of half a dozen major figures in the stable of CBS News broadcasters at a time when the network's standing as a provider of news was at its peak.

In The Place to Be, Mudd tells of how the bureau worked: the rivalries, the egos, the pride, the competition, the ambitions, and the gathering frustrations of conveying the world to a national television audient in thirty minutes minus commercials. It is the story of a unique TV news bureau, unmatched in its quality, dedication, and professionalism. It shows what TV journalism was once like and what it's missing today.



Inside Inside:
by James Lipton



Each week Inside the Actors Studio takes the insights and intimate revelations of its guests, usually celebrated artists, into 84 million homes on the Bravo network and 125 countries. Sitting down to talk to Lipton has become a rite of passage to Hollywood's best. The book provides inside information abotu the itnerviews of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, Clint Eastwood, Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford, Martin Scorsese, Sharon Stone and some of the funniest like Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Mike Myers, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle. And the bonus, Lipton writes about Will Ferrell playing James Lipton on the Inside stage.


Top Chef: The Cookbook



Here is a cookbook based off of the number one cooking show on television. Chefs make up delicious dishes on the fly, cook with ingredients they've never used, and compete to impress a panel of judges and serious foodies. If the recipes in the cookbook are half as good as some of the completed dishes look at 9pm on a Wednesday, then this book is a must have. Fans of the show will rejoice because the book includes discussions with contestants, judges, and crew reveal the inner workings of the show, and lavish photographs take readers behind-the-scenes into the Top Chef pantry and the competition sites.


Television Game Show Hosts:
Biographies of 32 Stars
by David Baber



Game shows are a large part of the television experience. We have all spent time wondering about private lives and thoughts of the men and women behind our favorite game shows, from Love Connection to The Gong Show. There's no reason to worry because Television Game show Hosts provides answers to all of those questions. No where else will you find a single book that contains work profiles, the successes, the scandals and information about the private lives of 32 of the greatest game show hosts of all time. Included in that number are the original hosts like Bill Cullen and Peter Marshall as well as the classics such as Bob Barker and the contemporaries like Regis Philbin.

The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers

by Amy Hollingsworth



Who better to end with than everyone's favorite neighbor, Mister Rogers? Tom Brokaw of NBC Nightly News once said of the American icon Fred Rogers, "Mister Rogers was an ordained minister, but he never talked about God on his program. He didn't need to."

Eight years before his death, Fred Rogers met author, educator, and speaker Amy Hollingsworth. What started as a television interview turned into a wonderful friendship spanning dozens of letters detailing the driving force behind this gentle man of extraordinary influence. Educator? Philosopher? Psychologist? Minister? Here is an intimate portrait of the real Mister Rogers.

Did we miss anything? Hit reply and share your tops picks.

68 comments:

see you there! said...

I rarely watch TV - too busy reading, LOL! I'd read the books on Lucy or Bob Newhart tho.

Darla

Juré said...

Thanks for including True Stories of Law & Order on your list! My co-author and I are flattered—and glad you liked the book.

Cheers,
Juré Fiorillo
truestorieslaworder.com

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