Forget all the stodgy, dusty tomes produced by the Academy itself; if you want to know all about the Academy Awards through the years, the book to read is Mason Wiley and Damien Bona's Inside Oscar.
Filled with all the dirt on what was going on, say, when the Academy decided to give The Greatest Show on Earth Best Picture, the "unofficial" guide dives into the often frustrating but always fascinating history of the little gold man, including complete nomination lists for each year.
Unfortunately, the sequel isn't as good as the original. Whereas Inside Oscar is a fun read, Inside Oscar 2 (which was penned by Bona solo, after Wiley's death) turns bitter, with bizarre tirades against winners old (Walt Disney) and new (Titanic, Gladiator).
Click here to purchase the Inside Oscarbooks from Amazon.com.