Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 11)

EVERY SONG EVER by Ben Ratliff
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A collection of essays that makes unlikely connections that will encourage music fans to listen beyond categorical distinctions and comfort zones—though reading the book feels a little incomplete without the listening that should accompany the experience."
A veteran New York Times critic, Ratliff here goes beyond the focus on jazz in his previous books (The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music, 2008) to explore the consumption of music in its widest variety and availability. Read full book review >
MY FATHER, THE PORNOGRAPHER by Chris Offutt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Though his relationship with his father was distant, melancholic, and precarious, Offutt quite movingly weaves his personal history into a fascinating tapestry of a compulsive writer with a knack for the naughty."
A fond memoir of life with a prolific writer of science fiction and pornography. Read full book review >

WEST OF EDEN by Jean Stein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Slips occasionally into hearsay and grievance but rivets readers with 'a kind of fascinated horror.'"
Through interviews with remnants of a long-gone Hollywood, a vivid sense of some of the great formative families emerges. Read full book review >
SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS by Dave Stewart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Amid the glut of music veteran memoirs, this holds more interest than most, though Stewart admits that he isn't very reflective and he too rarely goes deeper than surface anecdote."
A rock star who realizes that he's a very lucky man shares how he made his own luck. Read full book review >
BETTER LIVING THROUGH CRITICISM by A.O. Scott
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A zealous and well-considered work of advocacy for an art too often unappreciated and misunderstood."
An exploration of criticism, which "is not an enemy from which art must be defended, but rather another name—the proper name—for the defense of art itself." Read full book review >

THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL by Jack Viertel
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An enlightening trip for lovers of musicals."
From overture to final curtain, a close look at how musicals work. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An academic yet concise, fresh, and deeply informed look at how we read."
How does the study of disability help us to understand stories? Read full book review >
ON MY OWN by Diane Rehm
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The prose reads like journal entries or letters to readers, punctuated by sometimes-trite remarks: 'Death is the ultimate finality,' she writes. 'There is no turning back.' Nevertheless, her perspectives on old age are brave and uplifting."
NPR host Rehm (Life with Maxie, 2010, etc.) reflects on loneliness, loss, and aging.Read full book review >
GRACE & STYLE by Grace Helbig
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A witty and entertaining jab at what's in vogue in makeup, clothing, and fashion accessories."
A comedian and actress gives her slant on the world of fashion. Read full book review >
SING TO ME by L.A. Reid
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An entertaining, thoughtful account of the music business, one that would-be machers will want to study closely."
"I always know in a few seconds." Music mogul Reid reveals the secrets of the producer's trade. Read full book review >
SOUL SERENADE by Rashod Ollison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Honest and painful. Readers inclined to lament their own circumstances may brighten up when considering the odds Ollison has overcome."
An elegiac look at a childhood marked by violence, dysfunction, poverty, sorrow—and plenty of good music. Read full book review >
JAZZ DIASPORAS by Rashida K. Braggs
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A fascinating look into an important chapter in cultural history. Braggs should return to the subject in more depth."
A study of a key epoch in the transition of jazz from a distinctively American music to an international art form. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >