Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 303)

I LOVE THIS GAME! by Kirby Puckett
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 28, 1993

"Leo Durocher notwithstanding, nice guys don't always finish last—but perhaps they should be cautioned about wearying fans with their Panglossian perspectives on the sporting life. (The relentlessly upbeat text has eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
On the evidence of this bland, sunny-side-up (and apparently unassisted) autobiography, Puckett—one of major-league baseball's more solid citizens on the field and off—would be well advised to stick with his seasonal trade for as long as possible. Read full book review >
JOE MORGAN by Joe Morgan
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 26, 1993

"A winner all the way. (Photographs)"
Acutely intelligent baseball memoir by retired second-baseman Morgan, now a commentator for ESPN, and freelance baseball writer Falkner (The Short Season, 1986). Read full book review >

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 26, 1993

"The subtlety and richness of Till's argument cannot be conveyed by prÇcis: A feast for the intellectually adventurous. (Photographs—not seen)"
An erudite mix of music, history, philosophy, biography, sociology, and even depth psychology—adding up to a triumphant study of Mozart's supreme masterworks. Read full book review >
ORNETTE COLEMAN by John Litweiler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 16, 1993

"Litweiler focuses strongly on the music, though if one hasn't heard it, no words can describe it—and newcomers will find it tough to follow the overload of ever- shifting personnel changes. (Eight page of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Life of the innovative, ``free jazz'' composer-musician that attempts to place him among the gods with Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 16, 1993

"A tip of the hat to this playful yet thought-provoking work. (Fifty-two illustrations)"
Robinson (English/University of San Diego; Comic Moments, 1992, etc.—not reviewed) traces the cultural significance of the bowler hat from 1850 to the present—in a study as lighthearted and charming as its subject. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 13, 1993

"Unlikely to change the minds of hard-liners on either side of the gun debate; but, still, a fascinating study of the practical application of political power."
Beginning with the story of ``Eddie'' Purdy, who killed five children in a California schoolyard and then turned his AK-47 assault rifle on himself, Davidson (Broken Heartland, 1990) writes what at first seems an emotional antigun tract. Read full book review >
JAZZMAN by Robert Hilbert
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"Once underway, tremendously entertaining."
From the president of the International Society of Jazz Record Collectors: a life of great jazz clarinetist Pee Wee Russell (1909- 69), who cut the figure of a legendary drinker and inspired player but who during his life was at once reviled for incompetence and respected for genius. Read full book review >
HITTER by Ed Linn
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 1, 1993

"An unsentimental appraisal that succeeds in giving human dimensions to a baseball legend and in putting fresh luster on his fabled achievements. (Photographs—not seen.)"
An unusually thoughtful sports bio that puts the accomplishments and contentious nature of Ted Williams into clear perspective. Read full book review >
THE LAND WHERE THE BLUES BEGAN by Alan Lomax
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 1, 1993

"The devil's own music gets its due. (Photos—16 pp. b&w—not seen.)"
Singingly well-written cornbread-and-moonshine odyssey of folk-archivist Lomax's second swing through the Mississippi Delta in search of seminal blues songs and players, this time during early WW II. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 1, 1993

"Enough for a game perhaps, but far short of set or match. (Eight-page photo insert.)"
A decade after his account of life on the men's tour (Short Circuit, 1983), journalist/novelist Mewshaw (True Crime, 1991, etc.) turns his attention to the women's game—in a frequently insightful, but surprisingly tepid, chronicle of the 1992 season. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 1, 1993

"A fine and revealing report on economic man at work and play on a field of dreams."
Assuming that Bismarck was correct in his judgment that citizens should not see how either their sausages or laws are made, baseball fans might be well advised to eschew reports like the absorbing one at hand—which documents the many ways in which the national pastime is, at the major-league level, more a commercial venture than a sport. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 1, 1993

"Gracelessly written but stimulating study that could induce TV critics—and addicts—to redefine the meaning and impact of the medium in their lives."
In an impassioned rebuttal to those who complain that TV enslaves millions of zombielike viewers, freelancer Davis (Newsweek, Vanity Fair, etc.) argues that we neither passively receive—nor are much influenced by—our changing and complex TV technology. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >