JULIE SATOW, The Plaza: The Secret Life of America’s Most Famous Hotel
From the moment in 1907 when New York millionaire Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt became the Plaza Hotel's first guest, to the afternoon in 2007 when a mysterious Russian oligarch paid a record price for the hotel's largest penthouse, the 18-story hotel radiated wealth and luxury.
But the true stories captured in The Plaza also include dark, hidden secrets, including the cold-blooded murder perpetrated by construction workers in charge of building the hotel and how Donald J. Trump came to be the only owner to ever bankrupt the Plaza. In this definitive history, award-winning journalist Julie Satow not only pulls back the curtain on one vaunted New York City address that has become synonymous with wealth, scandal, opportunity, and tragedy. With glamour on the surface and strife behind the scenes, the hotel became a reflection of New York's place at the center of the country's cultural narrative.
SHAWN LEVY, The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont
For 90 years, Hollywood's brightest stars have favored the Chateau Marmont as a home away from home. An apartment house-turned-hotel, it has been the backdrop for generations of gossip and folklore: 1930s bombshell Jean Harlow took lovers during her third honeymoon there; director Nicholas Ray slept with his sixteen-year-old Rebel Without a Cause star Natalie Wood; Anthony Perkins and Tab Hunter met poolside and began a secret affair; John Belushi suffered a fatal overdose in a private bungalow; and Lindsay Lohan got the boot after racking up nearly $50,000 in charges in less than two months. Much of what's happened inside the Chateau's walls has eluded the public eye. Until now. With wit and insight, Shawn Levy recounts the wild revelries and scandalous liaisons, the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns, the births and deaths that the Chateau has been a party to. Vivid, salacious, and richly informed, Levy's book is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from inside the walls of its most hallowed hotel.
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