Hey howdy hey everyone! I can’t believe it but it’s finally SUMMER! Well, almost. One of my girls gets out this week and the other finishes on Tuesday. There’s 104 days of summer vacation and Hey Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do today! Read!! (If you don’t get that reference, go listen to the Phineas and Ferb theme song).
Okay, if I’m honest I listen to audiobooks via my audible account and app because with three kids I wouldn’t be able to read on my own. At least not long enough to enjoy whatever it is I’m reading! (Let’s just say I’m a “One more chapter” kind of girl). I’ve enjoyed loads of great Disney books and thought you all might like to give them a read. And while I’ve read most all of these, I haven’t read them all. Amy and Sarah have included their favorites too!
•Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler
This book is a fantastic and in-depth, albeit long, look into Walt’s life. From his very early days right up to his death, this book covers it all. This one actually earned me the Mount Everest badge in the audible app for listening to a title longer than 20 hours (It’s 33hrs 24min!) so don’t pick this book if you’re looking for a quick read. Very good though!
•How To Be Like Walt by Pat Williams & Jim Denny
This book is a great “quick read” and is a must-read for anyone wishing to know why the “Disney way” is often the most happy and magical way. You’ll learn Walt’s character traits as well as how he managed people so efficiently. This is a great read to cheer you up and make you feel like you can take on the world!
•DisneyWar by James Stewart
This book. Oh man, this book! Whew! I’ll start by saying that at the time all of this book’s events were happening is the time that I was barely double digits and loving every minute of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Blissfully oblivious. I had NO idea that this much drama (often melodrama on Eisner’s part) happened during the modern Disney renaissance period. If you’re wondering how things really went down and how Iger
came to power er, I mean became CEO, well this is the book for you. I was on the fence about this one but I’m so glad I read it. I found myself googling the people’s photos just so I could have a mental image of what they looked like to go along with the insanity that was unfolding. Highly recommend.
•How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor
This book is a super interesting read for any Star Wars fan from the most ignorant to the most dedicated. And if you’re not a Star Wars fan but have ever wondered why Star Wars has such a strong presence in popular culture, then this is also the book for you! More comprehensive and detailed than I could’ve imagined, this book will definitely fill you in on how the Star Wars franchise was conceived, created, and eventually how it became even bigger than its creator. With the added popularity of the new Star Wars movies, this book proves that Star Wars isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
•Universal Versus Disney by Sam Gennawey
This book was one that I was excited to read (and don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I did) but I was a little disappointed that it focused more on Unviersal and how they did and didn’t aim to be like Disney more than actually telling their respective stories alongside each other. Having said that however, this book was very interesting and informative. While I agree with most everything he cites as Universal’s flaws, what I most enjoyed from reading this book is the appreciation I got for the Disney parks after learning about how another company tried to compete. And while this rivalry is still very much alive today, it’s a fun read to learn about how the rivalry began. It starts much earlier than you might think!
•The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream by Sam Gennawey
This is one of my very favorites off of this list. I can’t say enough good things about it! Its highly detailed stories about how one of America’s most iconic landmarks came into existence will leave you astounded at how they actually made the park a reality. This is hands-down a must0read for anyone who loves Disney parks.
•Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
But wait, you say, Steve Jobs was the Apple guy, not Disney! Ah, but I found this book most interesting because I had no idea just how much Pixar background is in it! Nor did I realize just how much Steve influenced Pixar. Furthermore, I had no idea that if it weren’t for Steve, Pixar might not exist as we know it today. This is a very good read and I now appreciate the connection that he and John Lasseter had. While this one may not be exclusively about Disney or a Disney franchise, this one will definitely give you some good insight into how Disney now owns Pixar.
For the Parks:
•The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World by Susan Veness
This is a super fun and easy read that can be enjoyed almost anywhere and is an easy to put down and pick right back up kind of book. We first read this one 4 or 5 years ago and enjoyed all the little tid-bits of magic we hadn’t never even considered. This is one you’ll want to read and enjoy with your family before you next trip!
•Amy’s Pick: The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Selhinger
•Sarah’s Pick: Hidden Mickeys by Stephen Barrett
For The Kids:
•The Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson
This series is great for kids who have been to the parks because all of the fantastic things that happen to Finn and his friends happen inside the Disney parks after hours!
•Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
I’m only on chapter 7 but this book, set in the Biltmore estate, is a thrilling mystery that’ll intrigue and keep you coming back to figure out who the man in the black cloak is!
•The Never Girls Collection by Kiki Thorpe
What if real girls could go to Neverland? Check out these books and enjoy Never Land in a whole new way!
And what’s on my own to-read list?? Well, here’s a few that I’ve had my eyes on:
•John Lasseter: The Whiz Who Made Pixar King by Jeff Lenburg
•One Little Spark!: Mickey’s Ten Commandments and the Road to Imagineering by Marty Sklar
So that’s it!! What do you all think? What Disney books are your favorite that I missed? Please share with us and stay tuned for more summer fun in the days to come! ~Meredith ºoº