Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies (Quirk, $29.99) is a unique and illuminating document of some of film history’s greatest movies, from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to George Miller’s Fury Road. Andrew DeGraff has painted maps of thirty-five iconic films, including the routes taken by major characters, so one can now follow the path taken by Cary Grant’s Roger Thornhill in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest or visualize the hallways of the Overlook Hotel that Jack Torrance navigates in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. One of the most important aspects in a movie is its sense of place and geography which is why Cinemaps is a compelling and fun read: it makes the reader aware of the intricate mapping that goes into the main characters’ journeys within the films. The book also includes essays from film critic A.D. Jameson that examine the cultural importance of each film and explores why all of the thirty-five featured movies here, in their own ways, have solidly imprinted themselves in the collective imagination of everyone who has seen them.
It’s been more than half a century since The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance—the last time John Ford put John Wayne in a cowboy hat on-screen. By now, that screen moment has become part of a strain of nearly legendary American iconography: at one time, this is what it meant to be a prime American man, for better or worse. Nancy Schoenberger’s book, a brilliant double portrait of Wayne and Ford (Nan A. Talese, $27.95) and the movies they made together, wipes the grease off that image to reveal values more nuanced than generally assumed. She illuminates how men with such performative love for the mid-century patriotism as these two could create movies as conflicted about blinkered American militarism as Fort Apache. How they maintained personas that place male prowess so consistently front-and-center and could also give us loving portraits of camaraderie among “feminized” men, whose collective bluster naturally complements delicate underlying virtues. It’s telling that Schoenberger highlights the history of female writers who find what sets Wayne and Ford apart, from Joan Didion to Molly Haskell to the author herself. With a gentle force that matches her subjects’, she separates them from ossified tradition and demonstrates a new way of writing them into an ever-changing American story.
Podcast fans rejoice! The first collection of excerpts from one of the world’s most popular podcasts is here! In Waiting for the Punch (Flatiron, $27.99), Marc Maron and his producer Brendan McDonald bring us highlights from their podcast, “WTF with Marc Maron.” Maron is equal parts empathy and bitterness, introspection and derision. The honest approach he brings to interviewing encourages open dialogue, not canned Q&A. That authenticity makes this greatest-hits book a treasure trove of insight, and at over 800 episodes, there are loads of interviews to choose from. Arranged by theme—parenting, mental health, success, failure, addiction, to name a few—there is something in here for anyone looking to read hard-earned and frequently humorous lessons from some the world’s wisest personalities and most entertaining celebrities.