Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 296)

WAGNER by Michael Tanner
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"There is no question that Tanner, by fair means as well as foul, celebrates Wagner's power to achieve that."
Tanner, a Cambridge philosopher and opera critic for the Spectator, offers analyses of the plots of Wagner's operas, the intellectual themes projected by them, and an evaluation of the music that is (for most of us) their justification. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Non- scholars—aside from those with special interest in cholera—will find this an unengaging patchwork, without enough texture, drama, or ingenuity to hold the documentary pieces together. (20 illustrations, not seen)"
Do we really need a whole book that documents Tchaikovsky's final illness and rails against the theory that he committed suicide? Read full book review >

GOLF DREAMS by John Updike
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"An enjoyable experience cover-to-cover and tee-to-green."
This gathering of 30 previously published fictional works, articles, and essays demonstrates Updike's "impassioned but imperfect devotion" to the game of golf. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 29, 1996

"Green the football raconteur is tempted to bite the hand that fed him—but Green the television sports commentator doesn't seem to want to draw blood. (Author tour; TV satellite tour)"
Ex-jock and TV commentator and novelist (Titans, 1994, etc.) Read full book review >
GRACELAND by Karal Ann Marling
Released: Aug. 16, 1996

"Peter Guralnick's biography remains the standard for those who want to understand the King. (35 line drawings)"
This cultural history of Elvis's interiors is intended as high-concept but reads like a hastily researched brochure from a generalized Presley museum. Read full book review >

Released: Aug. 8, 1996

"Jefferson's narrative summary of Schwarzkopf's career and art is less than probing, but it will do until a more reflective biographer comes along. (photos)"
An unauthorized biography of the Teflon diva's career from its beginnings in Nazi Germany to her old age. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Newcomers to Codrescu may be put off by some of his slapdash indulgences here, but his many fans will welcome the opportunity to roam around again in his quirky mind."
Prolific belletrist, novelist, and NPR commentator Codrescu (The Blood Countess, 1995; Zombification, 1994; etc.) offers his trademark benign-oddball perspective on a broad array of cultural topics in another scattershot collection. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Though occasionally marred by mean spirits, this is an unusually lively, provocative study. (180 photos, not seen)"
A caustic, gossipy, refreshingly idiosyncratic history of the music business in Los Angeles. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Overall, though, a petty scolding of those of whom Rorem disapproves, and a roaring tribute to himself."
A charmless collection of 37 prose pieces (including essays, reviews, dialogues, even obituaries) by the Pulitzer Prizewinning composer and writer (Knowing When to Stop: A Memoir, 1994, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: July 26, 1996

"For those truly interested in finding out about Stern, his radio show is much more entertaining and revealing than this pallid, perfunctory bio. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) (First serial to the Los Angeles Times Magazine)"
Despite brash touting as being unauthorized, this uninspired biography of the shock-jock is as mild as they come. Read full book review >
Released: July 25, 1996

"Englade might have done better to restrict his tale to one or two of its threads and explore in greater depth the world of wealth of which we get only a glimpse here."
Englade has a gripping tale of sordid doings in the super-rich world of show horses, but his narrative runs out of steam long before it reaches its conclusion. Read full book review >
Released: July 15, 1996

"While some passages are sharply insightful, there's too much that's dry, bewildering, and nearly unreadable."
Some bloodless writing hinders Bergman's otherwise intriguing examination of hunting as the most powerful metaphor we have for defining what it means to be male. 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 >