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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 07/21/2006

Essential Celebritology Vacation Reads

By Liz Kelly

Next week, I'll be spending a week at the beach on a self-imposed break from blogging and all current celeb news. We all have to detox, ya know? Five guest bloggers will take turns subbing for me each day of next week. Play nice, they are all fabulous, savvy Celebritologists. (Truth be told, one or two might not harbor the same zeal for the world of celebs, but it can't hurt to look at this menagerie from a different angle. Just smile, nod and know that person will be gone the next day.)

Still, I can't be expected to go cold turkey, so I've gathered a few books (and the makings of a pitcher of Mojitos) to take along to occupy the long hours on the sand, near the pool, on the chaise longue.

My picks are below. I haven't read them yet, but please share your recommendations for new or classic books about celebrities -- fiction and non-fiction both welcome. If we all pitch in, we'll have yet another list: Essential Celebritology Vacation Reads.

The Last Days of Dead Celebrities
By Mitchell Fink
(Miramax/non-fiction)

This immediately caught my eye a few weeks ago when scavenging the local mega-bookseller. I'm a sucker for the bizarre, so I'm hoping for obscure tidbits about the events surrounding the deaths of John Belushi, Tupac Shakur, Lucille Ball and more. (Note: Author Mitchell Fink discussed his book online July 20th).


(Courtesy Gotham Books)


The Man Who Heard Voices: Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale
Michael Bamberger
(Gotham/non-fiction)

Bamberger shadows Night (pun intended) as he brings "Lady in the Water" from concept to a big screen blockbuster (opening this weekend). I'm interested in Night's anti-Hollywood individualism: he's one of the biggest grossing filmmakers ever, yet still lives in his hometown (Philadelphia) and looks to have remained relatively independent. Luckily for Bamberger, Night had a falling out with Disney over "Lady" and ended his relationship with the studio while he was researching the book. Here's hoping it makes for fabulous reading. Just no twist endings, please.

Hollywood Babylon
Kenneth Anger
(Dell/non-fiction)

It's been sitting on my shelf for ages, but this vacation will be the one where I finally conquer Anger's trashy classic about Hollywood scandals from the '20s through the '60s. How can it go wrong with a back cover description like this: "Here is the hot, luscious plum of sizzling scandal that continues to shock the world"?

Whores: An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction
Brendan Mullen
(Perseus Books Group/non-fiction)

Before Dave Navarro was Carmen Electra's soon-to-be-ex and host of a reality competition show, he was actually a pretty decent guitarist who played with one of my favorite college-era bands, Jane's Addiction. Although I saw a rockumentary years ago, I'm interested in how this anomaly of a band formed and dissolved.

What am I missing? Add your recommendations below...

By Liz Kelly  | July 21, 2006; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Celebritology 101, Miscellaneous  
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