Monday, December 5, 2016

Psychobabble's 10 Best Retro-Pop Culture Books of 2016



As 2016 comes to a long, long, long overdue finale, let’s try to forget about everything great we lost this year—David Bowie, Prince, Gene Wilder, democracy—and focus on the fun and superficial things that make Psychobabble our retro pop-culture oasis in a world gone mad.

We begin with my picks for the year’s best books, which include memoirs from groovy celebrity geniuses and a dude who worked with one, a semi-serious study of a guy who punches clowns while wearing tights, and the one-millionth book about The Beatles. Happy reading!
 (Items link to the original reviews)

10. Stanley Kubrick and Me by Emilio D’Alessandro
In short: “…D’Alessandro tells his stories without an ounce of pretension, and the charming, regular-guy simplicity of the storytelling further emphasizes the main thrust of Stanley Kubrick and Me: Kubrick was extraordinary in multitudinous ways, but when it comes down to it, he was still pretty down-to-earth and a real, flesh-and-blood human being.”

9. Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual History (Updated and Expanded Edition)
In short: “…even dry writing cannot tamp down the fun of this visual history.”
In short: “Hoskyns keeps his authorial distance for the most part, though he cannot hide his own enchantment with the storied burg, rendering its striking sights, sounds, and smells in three vivid dimensions…”

In short: “…the horrifying nature of these crimes…and the beauty of the songs they inspired delivers an emotional wallop ...”

6. I Am Brian Wilson by Brian Wilson and Ben Greenman
In short:Love, music, and an immensely sincere man’s true voice are what you should expect and what I Am Brian Wilson delivers.

In short: “…Frost really captures the creepy unease of his and Lynch’s series. The final pages dragged chills up my neck.”

In short:Comic Book Fever… is for kids like me.”

3. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
In short: “…uncomfortable, daring, imaginative, and unexpectedly moving…”

2. The Caped Crusade by Glen Weldon
In short: “…Weldon shows with good humor, there have been many Batmen… and all have done their part in creating a world in which children from eight to eighty can debate whether Adam West or Christian Bale is the “true” Batman … or any of the other silly things that make life a little more fun.”
In short: “All of this amounts to one of the most human portraits of The Beatles I’ve ever read. It’s also one of the best.”
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