First, the bad news: We’re nearing the end of beach-reading season. The good news: There are plenty of new entertainment books coming out in the next few months that may teach us all a thing or two about the business of show and some of our favorite stars. Here are just a few that we’re looking forward to, in chronological order:

Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones
Pub date: September 24, 2013
This is a comprehensive biography of one of the 20th Century’s most innovative creative artists, Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets. The man behind Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy and Big Bird is revealed thanks to hundreds of hours of new interviews with Henson’s family, friends, close collaborators, and thanks to unprecedented access to private family and company archives. Jones also provides the context for Henson’s non-Muppet projects, including the richly imagined worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth—as well as misfires like Henson’s dream of opening an inflatable psychedelic nightclub.

British Film Studios by Kiri Bloom Walden
Pub date: October 22, 2013
This history of the U.K.’s film studios starts with the early development of film in Britain and carries on to the current renaissance of film production in the country. With a chapter on each major studio, the book reveals intimate details about the famous actors and filmmakers who worked in them. It’ll offer a “behind-the-scenes” look at the making of British franchises like the Bond films, and American classics like Star Wars. The book will also look at changes how changes in technology are affecting things.

Nicholson by Marc Eliot
Pub date: October 29, 2013
This biography explores the life and career of iconic Hollywood star Jack Nicholson, who’s got 12 Academy Award nominations under his belt. Relying on years of extensive research and interviews with insiders, the author explores the star’s working class childhood in New Jersey, raucous nights out on the town, tumultuous relationships with starlets like Anjelica Huston, and Lara Flynn Boyle as well as his professional life — on movie sets with such legendary directors and costars during his 50-year career in film.

The Actor’s Secret: Techniques for Transforming Habitual Patterns and Improving Performance by Betsy Polatin
Pub date: November 5, 2013
This one is geared toward those in front of the camera. Alexander Technique teacher Polatin instructs actors and performers how to incorporate the fundamentals of kinesthetic disciplines Alexander Technique, Somatic Experiencing, and Breathing Coordination to reduce performance anxiety and stress; improve stage presence, breathing, and vocal production. Polatin is a movement specialist and master lecturer at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts.

The $11 Billion Year: From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood Machine by Anne Thompson
Pub date: January 7, 2014
Film critic Anne Thompson takes readers inside the movie business.

Secrets of Breaking into the Film Business: Tools and Tricks for Today’s Actors, Writers and Directors by Dean Silvers
Pub date: January 17, 2014
Independent producer Dean Silvers has led a popular seminar on breaking into the TV and film industry and a book subtitled “What the Film Schools and Academies Don’t Tell You.” He’ll continue to tell what others don’t through his book — out at the beginning of next year.

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