“My stack of reading books is eclectic, and it always seems to encompass the things I’m most passionate about exploring in my films,” says the British filmmaker behind the 2002 hit Bend It Like Beckham. Chadha’s new movie, Blinded by the Light, in theaters on August 16, is based on a memoir about the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and his love of Bruce Springsteen’s music. (Springsteen, a fan of Manzoor’s book, loved the script and gave Chadha the go-ahead to use his music throughout.) Here, Chadha recommends three books, including, it should come as no surprise, Springsteen’s 2016 memoir.
The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys, and the Southern California Experience, by Timothy White
I love the Beach Boys, and their story of family disharmony and transcendence is inspiring. They painted such vivid, cinematic visions of California for a girl growing up in West London, long before I met my Japanese-American husband, who grew up in the same neighborhood as the band. This book highlights their musical genius and their ability to persevere and leave an incredible legacy despite harrowing childhoods.