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GIFT GUIDE | BOOKS

Bocelli, Brando and the Blues

November 22, 2001|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

There is a small library of new entertainment books available for your favorite bibliophile this Christmas, ranging from biographies of Madonna and Marlon Brando to a glimpse inside "The West Wing" to a bird's-eye view into the success of the Broadway musical "The Producers." Here's a sample of what's new for the holidays.

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BIOGRAPHIES

"Andrea Bocelli: A Celebration," by ANTONIA FELIX, Thomas Dunne Books ($17.95). An illustrated biography of the tenor features never-before-seen photographs and new first-person interviews with his mother, Edi, and other relatives and friends of Bocelli.

"The Music of Silence," by ANDREA BOCELLI, HarperEntertainment ($25). The popular Italian tenor talks about his blindness, early life, stage fright, the importance of his family and the pressures he faces with his international stardom in this memoir, which he wrote on a Braille computer.

"Madonna," by ANDREW MORTON, St. Martin's Press ($24.95). The author of "Monica's Story" and "Diana: Her True Story" takes on the Material Girl in this new biography, which, according to the press release, "dismantles the carefully constructed facade and reveals the complex and unseen Madonna." Included are interviews with former lovers, friends and business connections.

"Marlon Brando," by PATRICIA BOSWORTH, Lipper/Viking ($21.95). The author of the acclaimed biography of Montgomery Clift has written this study of the two-time Oscar winner who came to fame on Broadway in 1947 as Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire." Bosworth concentrates primarily on his film work.

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MOVIES

"Blonde Heat: The Sizzling Screen Career of Marilyn Monroe," by RICHARD BUSHKIN, Watson-Guptill ($35). This behind-the-scenes look at every one of the screen goddess' films also includes her rarely seen screen tests and TV appearances. The volume includes 50 color and 50 black-and-white photographs.

"Hollywood: A Celebration!," by DAVID THOMSON, DK Publishing ($50). This examination of the enduring appeal of movies and movie stars features more than 640 pages and 900 gorgeous black-and-white and color photographs, many of them being published for the first time. The photos are from the Kobal Collection, a well-known movie-still archive.

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THEATER

"The Producers: The Books, Lyrics and Story Behind the Biggest Hit in Broadway History!" by MEL BROOKS and THOMAS MEEHAN, Hyperion ($40). The creators of the biggest hit on Broadway in years--the winner of an unprecedented 12 Tony Awards--offer an intimate look at the musical Brooks has called his "love letter to Broadway." It explores how the creative team turned "The Producers" into a hit. Also included are Brooks' songs, costume and set illustrations, photographs of scenes from the production and rehearsals and personal photographs and anecdotes from the cast and crew.

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ART

"Hirschfeld's Hollywood: The Film Art of Al Hirschfeld," text by DAVID LEOPOLD, foreword by LARRY GELBART, Harry N. Abrams Inc. ($15.95). This paperback highlights 115 famous and lesser-known Hirschfeld drawings of stars, movie posters and advertising work, going back to 1920 and concluding with his cartoon of the 2000 best actor and actress Oscar nominees.

"Cezanne: The Self-Portraits," by STEVEN PLATZMAN, University of California Press ($50). The first art book devoted to Cezanne's self-portraits is a lavishly illustrated coffee-table volume. It commences with works he produced when he was struggling to achieve success as a young man in the Paris art world of the 1860s, and concludes with his final years of introspection and skepticism.

"Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz," edited and designed by CHIP KIDD, introduction by JEAN SCHULZ, Pantheon Books ($29.95). This lovely little album includes color reproductions of more than 500 comic strips, sketchbooks, the late Schulz's first cartoon feature and early prototype drawings for "Peanuts" gathered from the Schulz archives in Santa Rosa, Calif.

"Van Gogh's Table at the Auberge Ravoux," by ALEXANDRA LEAF and FRED LEEMAN, Artisan ($35). A blend of art history and cookbook, "Van Gogh's Table" looks at the artist's last home and his paintings of cafe life. Penned by a culinary historian and a former chief curator of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the book features 50 recipes as well as old engravings, postcards, letters and an array of Van Gogh's paintings.

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MUSIC

"Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey: A Journey to Music's Heart and Soul," by BILL WYMAN with RICHARD HAVERS, DK Publishing ($40). Companion book to the former Rolling Stone's guitarist Bravo series--a personal history of the blues. The book profiles such blues legends as Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and Blind Lemon Jeffries and includes vintage photographs, some previously unpublished from Wyman's personal archives.

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TELEVISION /RADIO

"Inside the West Wing," by PAUL CHALLEN, ECW Press ($17.95). Described on the book cover as "an authorized look at television's smartest show," this paperback explores how the Emmy Award-winning NBC series is put together and why it is so popular. The book also explores the official and unofficial Web sites, provides profiles of the stars and gives an episode-by-episode guide to the first two seasons.

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