BY Advocate.com Editors
October 30 2009 5:05 PM ET
Some Like It Hot: The Official 50th Anniversary Companion — This exquisitely illustrated coffee-table book is a must-own for fans of the quintessential Marilyn Monroe comedy, voted by the American Film Institute as cinema’s all-time funniest. Laurence Maslon has combed studio archives to offer a compendium of everything related to the 1959 classic, complete with many never-before-published color stills (consider the garish makeup and wigs on stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon and you’ll see why director Billy Wilder decided to shoot his film in more forgiving black-and-white), studio memos detailing Monroe’s legendary difficulties during this shoot, as well as stories about the Broadway musical version and the little-known television pilot.
Hold On to Your Dreams — The life of late gay musician and composer Arthur Russell, one of the most vital yet little-known contributors to New York’s fabled downtown music scene during the 1970s and '80s, finally gets his proppers in this richly detailed biography by Tim Lawrence. Russell grew up on the cornfields of Iowa but eventually migrated to New York where, until his AIDS-related death in 1992, he wrote and performed disco, new wave, quirky rock, and hip-hop-inflected pop and garnered a reputation as one of New York’s most audacious artists.
Letters of Little Edie Beale — If you thought this year’s Emmy award-winning HBO film adaptation of the cult documentary Grey Gardens would be the final word on everything related to Big and Little Edie, think again. Walter Newkirk, keeper of the Beale flame, has published a sequel to his 2008 scrapbook memoraBEALEia, generously illustrated with photos and watercolors and filled with his personal correspondence with Edie until just before her death that offers even more penetrating insight into the staunch character who continues to fascinate us.