Here is my favorite type of book: the kind where you have to keep stopping to Google things. I think of it as “interactive nonfiction.” If you’re ready to spend an afternoon reading, watching old music videos, and looking up actors, check these out.
This focuses just as much on the year’s rap, heavy metal, and other musical genres as it does on the superstars like Prince and Madonna. Spoiler alert: you will be watching some Twisted Sister videos.
This explores the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Doctor Doolittle, and Bonnie and Clyde. You may recognize the author’s name from his recent book Mike Nichols: A Life.
Not exaggerating: I watched about 50 YouTube videos of David Bowie, Harry Nilsson, Rod Stewart, the Who, etc. during this one.
You may have forgotten what a great movie year 1999 was – it saw the releases of Office Space, The Matrix, Election, American Pie, Rushmore, The Virgin Suicides, The Sixth Sense, American Beauty, Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, Boys Don’t Cry, Magnolia, and many, many more. Raftery not only gives great portraits of the films, he situates them in the zeitgeist. The book is chock-full of back stories, making-of moments, and alternative casting ideas.