LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Biography: arts & entertainment

See below for a selection of the latest books from Biography: arts & entertainment category. Presented with a red border are the Biography: arts & entertainment books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Biography: arts & entertainment books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Happiness and Tears The Ken Dodd Story

Happiness and Tears The Ken Dodd Story

Author: Louis Barfe Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2020

In this, the first serious biographical assessment of Ken Dodd since the death of the feather duster-wielding Liverpudlian in spring 2018, respected historian of British light entertainment Louis Barfe charts the life and extraordinarily long comedic career of a man whose career straddled the very tail end of variety and the golden age of television comedy. When Dodd died, social media divided into two camps: those who wondered what all the fuss was about, and those who had seen him in live performance. Barfe argues that Dodd was the last of the great variety acts, a creator of superb absurd vulgarity who was at his best not on the small screen but on stage, where his act - 'a rolling boil of cumulative humour' - delighted his audiences across seven decades. This is the definitive life of the man called 'the last great music-hall entertainer', and a true British eccentric, who beat his audiences into submission with stand-up shows that stretched into the wee small hours of the morning.

Kokoschka

Kokoschka

Author: Rudiger Goerner Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/05/2020

The Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) achieved world fame with his intense expressionistic portraits and landscapes. In this detailed biography, Rudiger Goerner masterfully depicts the multifaceted artist's life and long career. He traces Kokoschka's path from being the bugbear of the bourgeoisie and a 'hunger artist' to becoming a wealthy and cosmopolitan political and critical artist who went on to shape the European art scene of the 20th century and beyond. The great painter's works as a playwright, essayist and poet bear witness to his remarkable literary quality. Music played a central role in his work, and his passion for teaching led him to establish in 1953 the School of Seeing, an unconventional art school conceived by Kokoschka as an attempt to revive humanist ideals in the horrific aftermath of war. The life and work of Oskar Kokoschka are a reaction against the monochrome monotony of existence; Goerner's biography portrays the artist in all his fascinating and contradictory complexity.

Funny Man Mel Brooks

Funny Man Mel Brooks

Author: Patrick McGilligan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/04/2020

A deeply textured and compelling biography of comedy giant Mel Brooks, covering his rags-to-riches life and triumphant career in television, films, and theater, from Patrick McGilligan, the acclaimed author of Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane and Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light. Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award-winner Mel Brooks was behind (and sometimes in front the camera too) of some of the most influential comedy hits of our time, including The 2,000 Year Old Man, Get Smart, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein. But before this actor, writer, director, comedian, and composer entertained the world, his first audience was his family. The fourth and last child of Max and Kitty Kaminsky, Mel Brooks was born on his family's kitchen table in Brooklyn, New York, in 1926, and was not quite three-years-old when his father died of tuberculosis. Growing up in a household too poor to own a radio, Mel was short and homely, a mischievous child whose birth role was to make the family laugh. Beyond boyhood, after transforming himself into Mel Brooks, the laughs that came easily inside the Kaminsky family proved more elusive. His lifelong crusade to transform himself into a brand name of popular humor is at the center of master biographer Patrick McGilligan's Funny Man. In this exhaustively researched and wonderfully novelistic look at Brooks' personal and professional life, McGilligan lays bare the strengths and drawbacks that shaped Brooks' psychology, his willpower, his persona, and his comedy. McGilligan insightfully navigates the epic ride that has been the famous funnyman's life story, from Brooks's childhood in Williamsburg tenements and breakthrough in early television-working alongside Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner-to Hollywood and Broadway peaks (and valleys). His book offers a meditation on the Jewish immigrant culture that influenced Brooks, snapshots of the golden age of comedy, behind the scenes revelations about the celebrated shows and films, and a telling look at the four-decade romantic partnership with actress Anne Bancroft that superseded Brooks' troubled first marriage. Engrossing, nuanced and ultimately poignant, Funny Man delivers a great man's unforgettable life story and an anatomy of the American dream of success. Funny Man includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert.

Poulenc A Biography

Poulenc A Biography

Author: Roger Nichols Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2020

An authoritative account of the life and work of Francis Poulenc, one of the most prolific and striking figures in twentieth-century classical music Francis Poulenc is a key figure in twentieth-century classical music, as well as an unorthodox and striking individual. Roger Nichols draws upon Poulenc's music and other primary sources to write an authoritative life of this great artist. Although associated with five other French composers in what came to be called Les Six , Poulenc was very much sui generis in personality and in his music, where he excelled over a wide repertoire-opera, songs, ballet scores, chamber works, piano pieces, sacred and secular choral works, orchestral works and concertos. This book fully covers this wide range, while also describing the vicissitudes of Poulenc's life and the many important relationships he had with major figures such as Satie, Ravel, Stravinsky, Diaghilev, Cocteau and others.

Motherhood of Art

Motherhood of Art

Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2020

Balance motherhood and creative pursuits! Women and new mothers are constantly encountering the message that they can never do anything for themselves once they have children. This conversational book is like brunch with girlfriends, offering you friendly advice, community encouragement, and tips on carving time out for creative endeavors. Meet women who not only defied the no more time to be an artist stereotype but found motherhood gave them focus, confidence, and efficiency in their art and creative endeavors. Becoming mothers renewed a sense of purpose in their creative pursuits, and by prioritizing this need to create, they became more patient and better mothers to their children. Interview questions cover a range of topics, including early days and creative work, community and vulnerability, and tactics for regular creative practice. Whether you read it front to back or pick it up for a 5-minute dose of encouragement, this is the encouragement you can lean on for balancing family life and art in your own way.

Malcolm McLaren The Authorised Biography

Malcolm McLaren The Authorised Biography

Author: Paul Gorman Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/04/2020

Malcolm McLaren is the fascinating and definitive life of the controversial cultural iconoclast and visionary who overturned the worlds of art, design, fashion, film, media, music, politics and television in his ceaseless search for expression as a visual artist. With unparalleled access, Malcolm McLaren will draw on a vast array of first-hand sources from within his inner circle, including family, friends and those who knew him best. Providing first-hand testimony about this complex, multi-faceted and often outrageous personality, contributors include family members, childhood friends, fellow students and art school teachers as well as his lovers, collaborators, fans and peers from Steven Spielberg (who employed McLaren as his Hollywood ideas guru and is providing the foreword), Quentin Tarantino, Marc Jacobs, Bella Freud, Greil Marcus and David Bailey to Richard Hell, Johnny Rotten, Boy George, Lauren Hutton, Chrissie Hynde and Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Michael Tippett The Biography

Michael Tippett The Biography

Author: Oliver Soden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/04/2020

'A delight to read' Philip Pullman 'Essential reading ... a genuine landmark publication' Tom Service A BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' The music of the British composer Michael Tippett - including the oratorio A Child of Our Time, five operas, and four symphonies - is among the most visionary of the twentieth century. But little has been written about his extraordinary life. In this long-awaited first biography, Oliver Soden weaves a century-spanning narrative of epic scope and penetrating insight. Soden has discovered troves of unpublished letters and manuscripts, and recorded moving interviews with Tippett's friends and colleagues. He paints a portrait of a powerful intellect and infectious personality: charming, stubborn, and great fun. But he also uncovers the sorrows and secrets that Tippett stowed away beneath his cheerfulness, not least the darker reaches of some tempestuous and often tragic love affairs. Soden's achievement is to have enriched our understanding not only of Tippett but of his times. Figures such as T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, Barbara Hepworth, and W.H. Auden jostle in the cast list. An Edwardian world of gaslight and empire cedes to turmoil and warfare; one startling revelation is the extent of Tippett's involvement in the fiery left-wing politics of the 1930s. The narrative roves from the mining villages of the north, blighted by unemployment, to a cell at Wormwood Scrubs, where Tippett was imprisoned as a conscientious objector. Later chapters uncover his operas' game-changing attitudes to gay and civil rights, against a backdrop of the Cold War and the Space Race. And singing from the page comes the music, through which Soden charts an exquisitely written course, offering lucid readings of Tippett's most famous works while resuscitating forgotten masterpieces. The result is a landmark in the study of twentieth-century culture, simultaneously an astonishing feat of scholarship and a story as enthralling as in any great novel.

When Giants Walked the Earth 50 years of Led Zeppelin. The fully revised and updated biography.

When Giants Walked the Earth 50 years of Led Zeppelin. The fully revised and updated biography.

Author: Mick Wall Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/04/2020

Over ten years after WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH, Mick Wall's seminal biography of the band, comes this major and extensively researched revision, which provides an unflinching look at life inside one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time, and presents the definitive, final word on Led Zeppelin. They were 'the last great band of the sixties; the first great band of the seventies'; they rose, somewhat unpromisingly, from the ashes of the Yardbirds to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time. Mick Wall, respected rock writer and former confidant of both Page and Plant, unflinchingly tells the story of the band that wrote the rulebook for on-the-road excess - and eventually paid the price for it, with disaster, drug addiction and death. WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH reveals for the first time the true extent of band leader Jimmy Page's longstanding interest in the occult, and goes behind the scenes to expose the truth behind their much-hyped yet spectacularly contrived comeback at London's O2 arena in 2007, and how Jimmy Page plans to bring the band back permanently - if only his former protege, now part-time nemesis, Robert Plant will allow him to. Wall also recounts, in a series of flashbacks, the life stories of the five individuals that made the dream of Led Zeppelin into an even more incredible and hard-to-swallow reality: Page, Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and their infamous manager, Peter Grant.

It's All In The Mind The Life and Legacy of Larry Stephens

It's All In The Mind The Life and Legacy of Larry Stephens

Author: Julie Warren Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/04/2020

British popular culture would probably be very different had Larry Stephens not been born. We could now be living in a world without the Carry On films or Monty Python, and we may never have heard of Tony Hancock, Peter Sellers or Spike Milligan. Stephens' promising career as a jazz pianist was interrupted by the war, and after serving as an officer with the commandos he moved to London and struck up a friendship with Tony Hancock, becoming the sole writer of his stage material. Hancock introduced him to Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan and Michael Bentine and together they created The Goon Show, arguably the world's most influential comedy programme. As one of the main writers throughout its nine-year run, Stephens' experiences and acquaintances became themes and characters within the show. For the first time, the life and work of this unsung hero of British comedy has been thoroughly explored. Using unrivalled access to Larry Stephens' personal archive of letters, photographs and artwork, plus interviews with Stephens' many notable friends, family members, comrades and colleagues, It's All In The Mind tells the story of a boy from the Black Country whose short life had an enduring impact.

Malcolm McLaren The Authorised Biography

Malcolm McLaren The Authorised Biography

Author: Paul Gorman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/04/2020

Malcolm McLaren is the fascinating and definitive life of the controversial cultural iconoclast and visionary who overturned the worlds of art, design, fashion, film, media, music, politics and television in his ceaseless search for expression as a visual artist. With unparalleled access, Malcolm McLaren will draw on a vast array of first-hand sources from within his inner circle, including family, friends and those who knew him best. Providing first-hand testimony about this complex, multi-faceted and often outrageous personality, contributors include family members, childhood friends, fellow students and art school teachers as well as his lovers, collaborators, fans and peers from Steven Spielberg (who employed McLaren as his Hollywood ideas guru and is providing the foreword), Quentin Tarantino, Marc Jacobs, Bella Freud, Greil Marcus and David Bailey to Richard Hell, Johnny Rotten, Boy George, Lauren Hutton, Chrissie Hynde and Dame Vivienne Westwood.

The Last Leonardo The Secret Lives of the World's Most Expensive Painting

The Last Leonardo The Secret Lives of the World's Most Expensive Painting

Author: Ben Lewis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/04/2020

In 2017 the Salvator Mundi was sold at auction for $450m. But is it a real da Vinci? In a thrilling narrative built on formidable research, Ben Lewis tracks the extraordinary journey of a masterpiece lost and found, lied and fought over across the centuries. In 2017, Leonardo da Vinci's small oil painting, the Salvator Mundi was sold at auction for $450m. In the words of its discoverer, the image of Christ as saviour of the world is 'the rarest thing on the planet by the greatest human being who ever lived'. Its dazzling price also makes it the world's most expensive painting. For two centuries art dealers had searched in vain for the Holy Grail of art history: a portrait of Christ as the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci. Many similar paintings of greatly varying quality had been executed by Leonardo's assistants in the first half of the sixteenth century. But where was the original by the master himself? In November 2017, Christie's auction house announced they had it. But did they? The Last Leonardo tells a thrilling tale of a spellbinding icon invested with the power to make or break the reputations of scholars, billionaires, kings and sheikhs. Lewis takes us to Leonardo's studio in Renaissance Italy; to the court of Charles I and the English Civil War; to Holland, Moscow and Louisiana; to the galleries, salerooms and restorer's workshop as the painting slowly, painstakingly, emerged from obscurity. The vicissitudes of the highly secretive art market are charted across five centuries. It is a twisting tale of geniuses and oligarchs, double-crossings and disappearances, where we're never quite certain what to believe. Above all, it is an adventure story about the search for lost treasure, and a quest for the truth.