Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 293)

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 1, 1993

A superb analysis by King (Religion/Vanderbilt University), a renowned scholar of Far Eastern religions, of the curious marriage between Zen Buddhism and samurai fighting. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 29, 1993

"Best for avid golf fans who are not only interested in technical ins-and-outs but also enjoy the personal side of the game. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Maiorana (who writes for Golf Weekly) accompanies top linksman Davis Love III to the 1992 Los Angeles Open, recording the player's every movement, golf swing, and—seemingly—thought both on and off the course. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 27, 1993

Wexler's account of how he talked his way into co-ownership of Atlantic Records and went on to produce some of the century's great pop music—all of which makes for some of the juiciest music history one could hope to find. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 26, 1993

"Burns renders his blues with an almost unfailing ear, and if he occasionally hits a wrong note (an episode on Jessica Savitch seems unnecessarily mean-spirited), he's redeemed by his sharp observations, comedic timing, and rare self-understanding."
A crisp report, both funny and sad, on the career of a TV-news correspondent. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 21, 1993

"A warm, fuzzy read for those who like to curl up with cozy philosophizing."
Good-natured parables in which the lessons learned from sailing are translated into lessons about living. Read full book review >

VAN CLIBURN by Howard Reich
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 1993

"Prospective Cliburnites are better advised to invest in the CD re-release of his legendary performances of Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto and Rachmaninoff's second. (Illustrations—16 pp. color & b&w—not seen) (First printing of 35,000)"
The noted American pianist receives an overlong popular biography, stuffed with irritating detail on virtually every page. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 8, 1993

"But with no chronology, life story, or even obituary, this is an interpretation without a narrative, a biography without a life. (Thirty illustrations, including eight pp. color—not seen)"
In what she claims ``might be called a postmodern biography,'' Brownstein (English/Brooklyn College; Becoming a Heroine, 1982) does not present the life-story of the 19th-century French ``star'' known only as ``Rachel'' (1821-58)—but, rather, she considers her as a ``text,'' interprets her as a ``cultural construct,'' and examines this daughter of peddlers who became an empress of the stage as a ``function of her personal effects.'' ``Stars,'' says Brownstein, because they are ``invented by writers,'' attract other writers, especially biographers—of which Rachel has had many (e.g., Joanna Richardson's Rachel, 1957). Read full book review >
CHICAGO JAZZ by William Howland Kenney
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 1, 1993

"A worthy bringing-back of Chicago's Roaring Twenties, with the jazz history layered like beds of coal beneath the phonograph recordings. (Twenty halftones)"
Cultural history of early Chicago jazz, less anecdotal than social, told in an impersonal voice that distances the reader from the music but strives to dig beneath an ``isolated world of instrumental mastery, chord progressions, and orchestral formations and disintegrations.'' A rousing history of Chicago jazz that buries its nose in the fumes and funk of the cafes and dance halls, in other words, is not what one gets here—or, rather, is what one gets only when Kenney (American Studies/Kent State) quotes leading figures in their own voices. Read full book review >
TRAVELS WITH MY TROMBONE by Henry Shukman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1993

"These are slim pickings, however, in a dull and disappointing work."
Thin, uninflected report on several months that English author/musician Shukman (Sons of the Moon, 1990) spent caroming about the Lesser Antilles and the South American highlands of Ecuador and Colombia. Read full book review >
NOEL AND COLE by Stephen Citron
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1993

"Coward's own Future Indefinite, 1986, and Charles Schwartz's Cole Porter, 1977). (Thirty halftones)"
Witty, urbane, and enormously gifted, Noel Coward and Cole Porter were both born in small towns and encouraged by strong mothers. Read full book review >
THE MEMORY OF ALL THAT by Joan Peyser
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 1, 1993

"Stick with Edward Jablonski (Gershwin, 1987), Deena Rosenberg (Fascinating Rhythm, 1991), and the other more balanced Gershwin commentators. (Thirty-two pages of b&w photographs)"
A Gershwin run-through, by the biographer of Bernstein (1987) and Boulez (1976): a disjointed mix of familiar anecdotes, so-so musicology, rancid gossip, and psychobabble. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 1, 1993

"Straight reporting with no surprises—or even anything that wasn't obvious to the most casual fan. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen)"
Georgia sportswriter Zack's first book follows the 1992 Atlanta Braves from spring training to their second straight World Series loss. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >