Top 10 Book Recommendations

by Steve Cuden

Discovering great stories and gaining insights from accomplished authors is a rewarding part of our journey at StoryBeat. Here are some top recommended books from our guests that offer a deep dive into their fascinating lives and careers. From Hollywood legends to soap opera royalty, these books provide inspiration and wisdom for anyone interested in the world of entertainment. Enjoy these remarkable reads and the lessons they impart from some of the best storytellers around.

Letters from Hollywood by Rocky Lang and Barbara Hall

Letters from Hollywood by Rocky Lang and Barbara Hall

“Letters From Hollywood” is a fascinating deep dive into the personal lives of some of Hollywood’s most celebrated icons and more via letters that they wrote and received. The lesson I took away from this book is that famous and successful people live very different lives from most of us while being just like us as humans.

Bryan Cranston A Life in Parts

"A Life in Parts" by Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston’s “A Life in Parts” shows you just how dedicated one must be to have a truly successful career as an actor in TV and movies.  I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Bryan twice and he is as nice as he is talented. His book shows you how to be make it in the big leagues of show business while staying truly down-to-earth.  A fun read.

William Shatner Live Long and

"Live Long and..." by William Shatner

I conducted one of my most intense and absorbing interviews ever with the one and only William Shatner. This was live before 1100 exceptionally enthusiastic fans in a large auditorium.  He certainly did not disappoint. Bill Shatner is bigger than life. On top of having one of the biggest acting careers of all time, he’s also published numerous books. His writing is excellent, filled with his rich philosophy on life and career.

Cary Elwes As You Wish Princess Bride

"As You Wish" by Cary Elwes

How lucky am I that I’ve gotten to interview Cary Elwes twice, once before a packed auditorium of over 1000 and once on StoryBeat. A truly humble and wonderful guy, Cary has been at the top of the heap for a long time, ever since, “The Princess Bride,” which is what he writes about in his witty and laugh out loud book, “As You Wish,” which unpacks his remarkable experiences of making that landmark, classic movie.

Melody Thomas Scott Always Young and Restless

"Always Young and Restless" by Melody Thomas Scott

Melody Thomas Scott is true soap opera royalty, and a fabulous bundle of energy to interview. “Always Young and Restless” details her illustrious career in making movies and then more than 40 years playing Nikki Newman on “The Young and the Restless.” If you want to know what it takes to be a show biz trooper. Check this out.

Candi Milo Surviving the Odd

"Surviving the Odd" by Candi Milo

I’ve known Candi Milo for a couple of decades from when I wrote a lot of TV animation in Hollywood. She’s one of the most gifted voice actresses that’s ever spoken into a microphone. There are at least a thousand characters in her head. But her memoir, “Surviving the Odd,” is more about her life growing up in a household led by her entertainer father who decided to open a home for adults with serious psychiatric issues. This is one wild tale told with wit, pathos, and a lot of laughs.

Suzi Quatro Unzipped

"Unzipped" by Suzi Quatro

The first ever chart-topping female Rock ‘n Roll bassist, Suzi Quatro is a major creative force to be reckoned with. “Unzipped” and her various books of poetry are masterworks of deeply felt emotion and passion. Her poetry was not what I was expecting – it was much more so. Well worth the read.

Stephen Rebello Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho

"Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho" by Stephen Rebello

A very young Stephen Rebello managed to become friends of a sort with a much older, incredibly powerful Alfred Hitchcock, who was, for my money, the greatest film director ever. Hitchcock even played a funny, ghastly joke on the young Stephen that he discusses on StoryBeat. Stephen’s book, “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” takes us behind the scenes on the development and creation of one the most influential horror movies in the genre’s long and bloody canon.

Billy Mumy The Full Mumy

"Danger, Will Robinson: The Full Mumy" by Bill Mumy

When I was growing up watching endless amounts of television, one of the actors I really took a shine to was a kid named Billy Mumy. He plays Anthony who wishes his family and neighbors into the corn field on “The Twilight Zone.” He played Will Robinson on the great 60’s series, “Lost in Space.” And he went on to be a longtime working actor and musician, including a wonderful run playing Lennier in “Babylon 5.” “Danger, Will Robinson: The Full Mumy” recounts his decades long Hollywood career, including working with the likes of Jimmy Stewart, Brigitte Bardot, Steve McQueen, and Dustin Hoffman. This book is a ton of nostalgic fun.

Sheldon Epps My Own Directions

"My Own Directions" by Sheldon Epps

Sheldon Epps forged a trail in the world of theater and TV as one of the first African American writer-director-producers to run a major regional theater like The Pasadena Playhouse. As well, Sheldon also directed top TV shows like “Friends” and “Frasier.” He also conceived and directed several Broadway musicals, including “Play On,” and “Blues in the Night.” “My Own Directions” is his fantastic memoir about overcoming extraordinary adversity in his rise to the top.

George Stevens Jr My Place in the sun

"My Place in the Sun" by George Stevens, Jr.

Interviewing George Stevens, Jr., remains one of my favorite StoryBeat experiences. Growing up the son of one of the most successful movie directors ever, George Stevens, George Stevens, Jr., blazed an extraordinary, memorable path of his own, producing thousands of documentary movies and a few features, too. But his biggest contributions to the world are probably in creating “The American Film Institute” and “The Kennedy Center Honors.” George’s memoir is a captivating remembrance of what it was like to grow up in the heady world of Hollywood with an Oscar-winning father, and spending time with folks like Elizabeth Taylor, and ultimately working with John F. Kennedy and other Washington power players.

Robert Crane, "Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father's Unsolved Murder"

"Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father's Unsolved Murder" by Robert Crane

What a story!  Robert Crane, aka Bob, is the son of the actor, Bob Crane, who most famously played Col. Robert Hogan on the unique 1960s TV Series, “Hogan’s Heroes.” Bob Crane also led a somewhat sordid private life that led to his ultimate, brutal demise in 1978 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Robert Crane’s powerful look at his own upbringing in and around his celebrity father and dealing with the aftermath of his father’s tragic death makes for an intense and powerful read.