Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 301)

NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"Neither Kuralt nor Kerouac on the road, Piraro offers a sporadically funny tale of a freeloader's pilgrimage to fanland. (Author tour)"
A popular cartoonist decides to hit the road to promote the latest collection of his strips. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"Wood has thoughtfully recreated one of ancient history's most fascinating periods. (56 color, 56 b&w illustrations)"
British historian Wood (The Magician's Doubts, 1995, etc.) absorbingly recreates Alexander the Great's epic conquests, in a tie-in to a series to air on PBS in early 1998. Read full book review >

THE HISTORY OF JAZZ by Ted Gioia
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"Although Gioia is much too generous to jazz-rock fusion of the '70s and '80s and probably gives more space than necessary to white dance bands like the Casa Loma orchestra, if you wanted to introduce someone to jazz with a single book, this would be a good choice. (9 b&w photos, not seen)"
Gioia, musician and critic, winner of the ASCAPDeems Taylor Award for The Imperfect Art (not reviewed) takes on a daunting task, tracing the history of jazz from preCivil War New Orleans to the embattled music of today—and does a creditable job of it. Read full book review >
BLUE by Eric Nisenson
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"This book certainly isn't it."
Nisenson (Ascension: John Coltrane and His Quest, 1993, etc.) adds another voice to the increasingly shrill debate on the future of jazz and the role of Wynton Marsalis and his friends in that future. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 31, 1997

"It has many startling insights, shrewd observations, and considerable narrative momentum."
What do Richard Nixon, Freddy Krueger, O.J. Simpson, and Edgar Allan Poe have in common with one another—but not with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Ralph Waldo Emerson? Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 31, 1997

Bickley, a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, offers an exasperated overview of the controversial Rodman's life, concentrating on the power forward's recent career and off-court hijinks. Read full book review >
RUPERT HUGHES by James O. Kemm
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 30, 1997

"History's verdicts are often unfair, but despite Kemm's best, belabored efforts to resurrect Cousin Rupert's reputation, he's arguing a losing case. (30 b&w photos)"
A tediously enthusiastic biography of a once celebrated man of letters. Read full book review >
JOHANNES BRAHMS by Jan Swafford
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 30, 1997

"For readers of Swafford's biography, Brahms's Lullaby will never sound the same. (16 pages of illustrations, not seen)"
A definitive work about one of the 19th century's most influential classical music composers. Read full book review >
MARSHALL McLUHAN by W. Terrence Gordon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 29, 1997

"But as an intellectual history, it's first-rate. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A thoughtful study of the life and ideas of the celebrated media philosopher. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 27, 1997

"More intriguing than any book club's mail-order stratagems is the question of how books like this get sold—to Ivy League departments in the form of dissertations, grant-makers (the Guggenheim in this case), and university presses. (9 illustrations, not seen)"
A virtual self-parody of obfuscation and solipsism in cultural studies. Read full book review >
SOLTI ON SOLTI by Georg Solti
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 21, 1997

"An adequate rendering by a man renowned in the musical world for his excellence. (16 pages photos, not seen) (First printing of 50,000)"
A behind-some-of-the-scenes look at the life and thoughts of one of the 20th century's greatest conductors. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 20, 1997

"A warm, engaging valentine to a bygone art form and era. (130 b&w photos)"
A broad and glossy, but thoroughly entertaining tour of old- time radio. 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 >