Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews

ALICE IN CHAINS by David de Sola
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Exhaustively researched but too discursive for its own good."
Biography of a drug-ridden Seattle grunge outfit whose fame peaked in the mid-1990s. Read full book review >
SABAN by Monte Burke
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"A positive though often blunt and unpleasant story of a man who has it all yet remains restive."
A staff writer for Forbes expands to full, generally flattering length a profile of Alabama football coach Nick Saban published in that magazine.Read full book review >

DYLAN GOES ELECTRIC! by Elijah Wald
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 25, 2015

"An enjoyable slice of 20th-century music journalism almost certain to provide something for most readers, no matter one's personal feelings about Dylan's music or persona."
Music journalist and musician Wald (Talking 'Bout Your Mama: The Dozens, Snaps, and the Deep Roots of Rap, 2014, etc.) focuses on one evening in music history to explain the evolution of contemporary music, especially folk, blues, and rock.Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 21, 2015

"In terms of overarching significance, this is a slight book. It's worthy, however, for devoted professional baseball fans and for its artfulness in creating a narrative focused primarily on just one pitch—like that achieved by Mike Sowell in The Pitch that Killed (1989)."
New York Daily News sports columnist Bondy (Who's on Worst?: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History, 2013, etc.) builds an entire book around one controversial play during a game between the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals on July 24, 1983. Read full book review >
BARBARIAN DAYS by William Finnegan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"A lyrical and intense memoir."
An award-winning staff writer for the New Yorker offers a probing account of his lifetime passion for surfing.Read full book review >

FUTURE DAYS by David Stubbs
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 21, 2015

"Stubbs' doorstop is well-researched, well-written, intensely detailed, and oftentimes gripping, but unless you have a couple of Ash Ra Tempel albums in your collection or are intensely curious about German culture in the 1970s, you might be hard-pressed to make it through this exhaustive study of a relatively short-lived genre."
A massive answered prayer for fans of Krautrock, without which "hip hop, techno, electropop, ambient and post-rock might never have evolved." Read full book review >
LET'S BE LESS STUPID by Patricia Marx
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"A sly, irreverent take on the latest obsessions regarding self-improvement."
New Yorker staff writer Marx (Starting from Happy: A Novel, 2011, etc.), the first woman elected to the Harvard Lampoon, brings her wit and quirky curiosity to the timely topic of mental acuity.Read full book review >
THE GRIND by Barry Svrluga
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 14, 2015

"It's no grind whatsoever to read Svrluga's flowing prose. An illuminating and entertaining must-read for the baseball obsessed."
A season in the trenches—well, on the diamond, anyway—with the Washington Nationals. Read full book review >
THE ART OF THE CON by Anthony M. Amore
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 14, 2015

"An engrossing read about brazen, artful scams."
The big business of art fraud. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 14, 2015

"With acumen, Knight delivers an elegant précis of a baseball team's season, and you don't have to be a Dodgers fan to enjoy it."
A searching portrait of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 2013 season, from ESPN Magazine writer Knight.Read full book review >
IT'S GOOD TO BE GRONK by Rob Gronkowski
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"It may be good to be Gronk; it's not so great to read Gronk."
A prince of football tells all about growing up Gronk. Read full book review >
THE HIRSCHFELD CENTURY by Al Hirschfeld
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 8, 2015

"An intelligent, carefully representative look at Hirschfeld's work that ably shows why the artist deserves to be remembered today."
A richly illustrated study of the artist who richly illustrated publications, marquees, and other venues for eight decades. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >