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Holiday Gift Guide | Books

From the Beatles to Liz Taylor

November 30, 2000|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Entertainment and arts books this season run the spectrum from a huge new anthology on the Beatles to everybody's favorite Mafia family, the Sopranos.

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Movies

"ON CUKOR," by Gavin Lambert, edited by Robert Trachtenberg, Rizzoli International ($50). Revised and expanded edition of Lambert's 1972 book on the legendary film director, George Cukor ("The Philadelphia Story," "My Fair Lady"). The new edition includes never-before-seen photos taken from the late director's personal collection, and more than 150 duotone photographs.

'ICONS OF FILM: THE 20TH CENTURY," edited by Peter W. Engelmeier, Prestel ($29.95). An addictive exploration of 84 movies that defined the past century of cinema--from Charlie Chaplin's landmark "The Kid" from 1921 to the 1999 best picture Oscar winner, "American Beauty." Each film is given a two-page dissection that includes highlights of the cast and crew, a bio of the director, an essay and numerous photographs.

"SOUND AND VISION: SIXTY YEARS OF MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACKS," by Jon Burlingame (an occasional Times contributor), forward by Leonard Maltin, Billboard Books ($18.95) A historical examination of the movie music from the beginning of talkies in the late 1920s to its evolution into a big international business. The book serves as a guide to the award-winning, biggest selling soundtracks from their start in 1938 to the present day.

"JAMES BOND:THE SECRET WORLD OF 007," by Alastair Dougall; illustrations by Roger Stewart, DK Publishing ($19.95). Enjoyable, detailed-oriented guide into the life and career of Ian Fleming's secret agent man, revealing such juicy tidbits that he is 6 feet 1, has a scar on his right shoulder and back of his right hand and his favorite gun is the Walther PPK.

"VANITY FAIR'S HOLLYWOOD," edited by Graydon Carter and David Friend with text by Christopher Hitchens; forward by Graydon Carter and afterword by Dominick Dunne, Viking Studio ($60). The coffee table book equivalent of a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts: This gorgeous gift book features 292 photographs from the archives of Vanity Fair, featuring the work of such masters as Edward Steichen, George Hurrell, Annie Leibovitz and Bruce Weber.

"LIZ," by Larissa Branin, Running Press ($19.98). A pictorial biography of the two-time Oscar-winning film legend Elizabeth Taylor includes more than 100 full-color photographs as well as the stories behind her eight marriages, her 40 surgeries, love affairs, addictions and her work in AIDS research.

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Art

"THE ULTIMATE PICASSO," by Brigitte Leal, Christine Piot and Marie-Laure Bernadac; preface by Jean Leymarie, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ($95). A pictorial of Pablo Picasso's artistic evolution. The spectacular coffee table book combines all of the distinct periods of the artist's long career into one volume and features reproductions of almost every significant work he ever created--there are 1,235 illustrations with 798 in color.

"WHEN I'M DEAD ALL THIS WILL BE YOURS," by Teller, Blast Books ($24.95) Teller, the slender, silent member of the avant-garde magic team of Penn & Teller, tells the story of his artist father, Joe, and his mom, Irene. Included are more than 50 cartoons and 20 full-color paintings done by Joe Teller, who is now 87.

"WHAT GREAT PAINTINGS SAY," by Rose Marie & Rainer Hagen, Taschen ($39.99). The Hagens examine 21 masterpieces from all periods of art history including paintings by Fra Angelico, Jan van Eyck, Bosch, Botticelli, Degas, Renoir, Rivera and Chagall. Each painting is broken down and analyzed section by section. The 500-page book features 600 illustrations.

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Comedy

"THE SECOND CITY," by Sheldon Patinkin, Sourcebooks ($45). History of the famed Chicago comedy troupe, which began in 1959. Patinkin, one of the troupe's founding fathers, offers the skinny on the funny folks who gravitated to Second City, including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Alan Arkin, Martin Short and Robert Klein. Two CDs of such routines as Chris Farley's "Motivational Speaker" are included.

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Radio

"THE GREAT AMERICAN BROADCAST," by Leonard Maltin, New American Library ($17.95). The film critic pays tribute to the golden age of radio. The oral history includes Maltin's personal interviews with actors, writers, sound-effects specialists and others who contributed to the cultural phenomenon of radio. Included are 125 black-and-white photos and illustrations.

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Television

"THE SOPRANOS: A FAMILY HISTORY," by Allen Rucker, New American Library ($40). Not only is the first season of HBO's Emmy Award-winning series arriving on video and DVD for the holiday season, so is this illustrated companion book. Written in a mock documentary style, "Sopranos" takes a look at the world of Tony Soprano, as well as his family, friends, therapist and the FBI. There's also a "Mobspeak" glossary of slang.

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Music

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