Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 291)

NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

Published as a companion to an exhibition at the Museum of Television and Radio's New York and Los Angeles sites, this very serious anthology attempts to explain the qualities that have given soap operas such longevity and persistent popularity. Read full book review >
MONK by Laurent de Wilde
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"What he does have is a lot of half-digested and often inaccurate ideas about American racial, political, and jazz history."
De Wilde is a well-regarded jazz pianist, so a volume by him on Thelonious Monk (191882) ought to be worth reading. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"Although there are extensive and highly technical musical analyses, the less sophisticated jazz fan will find much here to prize as well."
DeVeaux (Music/Univ. of Virginia) puts bop into a historical, social, and economic context, using oral histories and musical analyses as well as period materials to examine an epochal shift in the jazz paradigm. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"This book also suffers from its screenplay origins—it doesn't read nearly as well as it plays—but it is a worthy albeit idiosyncratic window on American film and its shaping influence on a major director. (Book-of-the-Month Club selection)"
An engaging and lavishly illustrated look at American film, from the master director. Read full book review >
AS THOUGH I HAD WINGS by Chet Baker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 26, 1997

"Still, this is a morbidly fascinating window onto his hobbled genius."
A posthumous sliver of autobiography from one of the heroes of '50s jazz. Read full book review >

ON STAGE, OFF STAGE by Régine Crespin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 21, 1997

"Not as substantive as some of the Wagnerian roles Crespin made famous, but a lovely Mozartian memoir nonetheless. (illustrations, not seen)"
A breezy, charming walk through the life one of France's most renowned opera singers. Read full book review >
A DIRECTOR CALLS by Wendy Lesser
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 13, 1997

"Her piece-by-piece deconstruction of the directing process and her backstage revelations will be especially intriguing to people involved in the theater, in particular those playwrights naive enough to think their words are more than raw material to be thrown into the creative pot."
Lesser, editor and publisher of the Threepenny Review, probes the workings of British director Stephen Daldry and, through him, of the theater. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 13, 1997

"Shame on Twitchell for this diatribe disguised as cultural critique."
``I prefer polemic to precision,'' notes Twitchell (Adcult USA, 1996). Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 12, 1997

"Nonetheless, a significant reappraisal of a major, often neglected, moviemaker. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
An effective, in-depth evaluation of the life and work of the master movie mogul. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 12, 1997

"Invaluable source material, but much more than the ordinary reader wants or needs to know. (32 b&w photos, not seen)"
A massive, slow-moving oral history of 30-plus Hollywood blacklistees. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 3, 1997

"A perceptive and occasionally humorous view from the trenches of a great era in pro football. (20 b&w photos, not seen)"
Personal and often heartfelt reflections from Butkus on his love-hate relationship with the game of football. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SPORTS WRITING 1997 by George Plimpton
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 3, 1997

"Still, if much this collection represents the best stuff available, one hesitates to see the articles that didn't pass muster."
The editor of Paris Review and sporting dilettante extraordinaire Plimpton separates the sportswriting champs from the chumps in the latest entry in this annual series. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >