Drama-Rama: 9 Star-Quality Audiobooks about Hollywood

It’s that time again: the 2023 Academy Award nominees have been announced, sparking chatter about snubs and surprises, who really deserves their nominations, and what might come to a head on film’s biggest night.

Unless you are one of the smarties who actually abide by the screen time limits on your phone, there’s a chance that you caught wind of the drama permeating Tinseltown this year. Let’s face it: harmless celebrity gossip and Old Hollywood-esque scandals can be pretty fun to follow.

Fill the weeks before the red carpet with novels and non-fiction tell-alls full of secrets, scandals, and unsung heroes behind the glitz. Press play, darling:

The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man is an revelatory memoir about Paul Newman, culled from thousands of pages of transcripts of Newman’s family, friends, and Newman himself, talking honestly about Newman’s life. The result is a raw, candid, unvarnished memoir of an American icon.

Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time—threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie. In Something to Talk About, the gossip spreads, and it starts to affect all areas of their lives…but is the rumor really so off base after all?

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. Then Annie meets Drew, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days…can he?

Author: Amy Kaufman
Read By: Amy Kaufman

The Bachelor franchise has been a mainstay in American TV viewers’ lives. Los Angeles Times journalist Amy Kaufman is a proud member of Bachelor Nation and has a long history with the franchise. In Bachelor Nation, Kaufman has interviewed dozens of producers, contestants, and celebrity fans to give readers never-before-told details of the show’s inner workings.

Author: Emma Straub
Read By: Molly Ringwald

Elsa Emerson relishes appearing onstage at her family’s playhouse. While still in her teens, Elsa flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Irving Green, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who refashions her as serious, exotic brunette Laura Lamont. She becomes an Academy Award­-winning actress—and a genuine movie star. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures is as intimate as the great films of the golden age of Hollywood.

Actress Lizzie Pepper’s marriage to Hollywood mega-star Rob Mars was tabloid gold. But now, Hollywood’s “It” couple are over—and Lizzie is going to tell her side of the story. Celebrity ghostwriter Hilary Liftin chronicles the tabloids’ favorite marriage as Lizzie Pepper realizes that her romance isn’t what she and everyone else thought. Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper is a journey to the heights of Hollywood power and a life in the spotlight that is nearly impossible to escape.

Since 1929, Hollywood’s brightest stars have flocked to the Chateau Marmont. But despite its mythic reputation, much of what has happened inside the Chateau’s walls has eluded the public eye. With wit and insight, Shawn Levy recounts the wild revelries, scandalous liaisons, the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns to which the hotel has been a party. The Castle on Sunset is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from inside the walls of its most hallowed hotel.

In 1991, Thelma & Louise was a revelation. But if the film’s place in history now seems certain, at the time its creation was a long shot. In Off the Cliff, Becky Aikman tells the full extraordinary story behind this feminist sensation. Drawing on 130 exclusive interviews with the key players, Aikman tells an inspiring and important underdog story about creativity, the magic of cinema, and the unjust obstacles that women in Hollywood continue to face to this day.

Author: Ron Shelton
Read By: Ron Shelton

Bull Durham, the breakthrough 1988 film about a minor league baseball team, is widely revered as the best sports movie of all time. But back in 1987, Ron Shelton was a first-time director and no one was willing to finance a movie about baseball—especially a story set in the minors. In The Church of Baseball, Ron Shelton explains the rarely revealed ins and outs of moviemaking, the nuts and bolts of directing, the postproduction process, and even through its release.