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The Five Books You Would Take To A Desert Island And Why

May 21, 2000

Robert W. Nudelman, 44, president of Hollywood Heritage, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Hollywood history.

1. "The Parade's Gone By . . . ," by Kevin Brownlow

Brownlow gave back credibility to the silent film era with this book in 1968. He outlined early Hollywood and silent films by interviewing all the people who worked on them. Everyone from stars to technicians. Now the book has become the best remembrance of that time. It's like a time capsule.

2. "Lyrics, 1962-1985," by Bob Dylan

I consider Dylan to be the greatest songwriter and poet of the 20th century. You can always go back and listen to or read his lyrics and get a different meaning out of them depending on your situation at the time. It's as if the lyrics are alive and breathing.

3. "David Copperfield," by Charles Dickens

Although it was written in the mid-19th century, the characters are people you can very much identify with today. It's a timeless book in that sense. The details of life today are different, but the core of the experience is still the same.

4. Encyclopedia Britannica

It covers any question or issue that would come up. It's something you can read for five minutes or five hours. That's what I used to do with it as a kid. You look up one thing and then all of a sudden you're looking up something else and then a couple hours pass. If you're

going to be stuck out there for a long time, you might as well get something that's long and interesting to read.

5. "Architecture and Its Photography," by Julius Shulman

It covers a wide range of architectural history, in particular the Los Angeles area, through Shulman's photography. He probably gives one of the best portraits of how L.A. has evolved architecturally this century. He touches on other places, but L.A. is the main focus. It is interesting to see the pictures and hear in his writing how the pictures came about.

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