The Hot Sheet

BY Advocate.com Editors

December 03 2010 8:55 AM ET

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Books

KAY THOMPSON SAM IRVIN X300 | ADVOCATE.COM

Kay Thompson: From Funny Face to Eloise by Sam Irvin — The multifaceted career and complicated life of Thompson gets a long-overdue examination in this rather breezy bio. The versatile entertainer is best-known to contemporary audiences for her scene-stealing turn in the 1957 Audrey Hepburn musical Funny Face, and a behind-the-scenes look at her feud with costar Fred Astaire makes for some of the book's most entertaining passages. But her legacy endures as author of the beloved Eloise books, vocal coach to Sinatra, Dietrich, and Horne, godmother to Liza Minnelli, and, with gossipmongers, for her long-rumored affair with Judy Garland, an allegation the author thoroughly dispels. (Simon & Schuster, $26.99)

LEONARD BERNSTEIN AT WORK X300 | ADVOCATE.COM

Leonard Bernstein at Work by Steve Sherman — Ah, to be Leonard Bernstein, one of American music’s bona fide geniuses and a man who seemingly relished every moment of life — at the podium, at the piano, at the after-party. The final six years of the maestro’s life are chronicled in the new Leonard Bernstein at Work. As historical photo books go, this one can border on monotonous — seeing a conductor again and again with baton in hand is not always as scintillating as, say, Maria Callas event-hopping in endless couture dresses by Marcel Escoffier — but Bernstein’s sheer vitality as seen through the lens of Steve Sherman is instantly endearing, as is the foreword by Lauren Bacall. A must for any classical music lover this season. (Amadeus Press, $34.99)  

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