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Book Report: Five Titles Currently On Our Shelves

Flip through the pages of this week's book roundup.

From Joseph Gordon-Levitt's third installment of Tiny Book of Stories to a look back at Hollywood history in Juliette Michaud's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, here's this week's roundup of books worth displaying on your coffee table.

 

The Dirty Side of Glamour 

By Tyler Shields

Violence between the sexes, sex that is violent, women of money, women rolling naked in money, Gary Busey in a straightjacket (not a huge leap of the imagination), Justin Long with scratch marks down his crotch (then again…): these are the works of controversial photographer Tyler Shields. Pret-a-Reporter stopped by his book release party at Guy Hepner Gallery in Beverly Hills last month and found much of the L.A. art scene, plus Shields acolytes like Emma Roberts, packed like sardines in between some of his more eye-popping works, collected here in all their provocative splendor.

The Dirty Side of Glamour by Tyler Shields, It Books, $25

Rock and Roll Stories 

By Lynn Goldsmith

Queen of rock n' roll photography Lynn Goldsmith compiles images and anecdotes of the world's greatest performers at the height of their glory, including ex-boyfriend Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Patti Smith, Carly Simon and James Taylor (with personal stories about her friendship with both), The Beastie Boys, Aretha Franklin, and countless more. Inside their dressing rooms, on their tour busses, at their homes -- Goldsmith's incredible sense of place and mood make this one hell of a beautiful page-turner.

Rock and Roll Stories by Lynn Goldsmith, Abrams, $60

The Tiny Book of Stories: VOLUME 3 

By Joseph Gordon-Levitt & wirrow

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or "JGL," used his online creative collective, hitRECord.org, to find contributions of new words and pictures for this third charming installment of Tiny Book of Stories.  Erring on just the right side of precious vs. precocious, the miniature book evokes some big thoughts, with lovely sketches paired alongside evocative verse.  For example, a naked woman floats in the ocean, her stomach just barely visible on the surface, a ship far off in the distance. "From my ship, adrift, I spied you. And I thought you were an island," it reads. "Alas, you were an iceberg."  Anyone else getting chills?

The Tiny Book of Stories: VOLUME 3 by Joseph Gordon-Levitt & wirrow, It Books, $14.99

The CG Story: Computer Generated Animation and Special Effects 

By Christopher Finch

For those more forward-thinking about the state of the industry, crack open this eye-dazzling look at the evolution of CG animation. From King Kong to Avatar, Toy Story to The Hobbit, Finch traces how early embracers of new technology like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas helped pave the way for Pixar to revolutionize animation and special effects. And for those less CG-savvy, it's still fun to revisit some of the more magical moments that can only happen in the movies.

The CG Story: Computer Generated Animation and Special Effects by Christopher Finch, The Monicelli Press, $75

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

By Juliette Michaud

This is our favorite kind of history book -- one with visual aids. From the silent era to the New Hollywood of the '60s, Michaud takes us on a brisk walk through the ages of cinema, stopping to indulge in fun interviews with the likes of Shirley MacLaine, Kirk Douglas and Jane Fonda, while hitting on some landmark moments like the making of Gone with the Wind and the musicals of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. It's a bit scattershot, and the images aren't exactly George Hurrell's, but it’s a nice refresher course for the Hollywood history buffs among us.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Juliette Michaud, Flammarion, $60, January 2014

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