Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 303)

NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 14, 1996

"He just goes fishin' and enjoys telling about it."
Magazine writer Thomas's fly-fishing pieces are ``written more from the perspective of Alice in Wonderland than Joe Brooks.'' Which is to say, he skips lightly over the technical claptrap and gets right to the fun of fishing and the joys of the great outdoors. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 13, 1996

"But he's totally on time when it comes to great art, and in a critical idiom that's his all alone."
For those unlucky readers who've missed such singularly American books as The Omni-Americans (1970) and Stomping the Blues (1976), Murray has collected his most recent essays from largely obscure sources and assembled another world-beating prose obbligato—necessary for the times by virtue of its transcendent aesthetics. Read full book review >

ALAN JAY LERNER by Edward Jablonski
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 9, 1996

"However, he relies on the standard literature in retelling Lerner's life, barely moving beyond a handful of well-known sources for further insights. (32 b&w photos, not seen)"
Serviceable biography of a noted Broadway and film lyricist/librettist. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 8, 1996

"Along with Final Cut and The Devil's Candy, one of cinema's great cautionary tales. (First serial to Esquire)"
Despite the lame, misleading title, a wry, even occasionally useful, real-life satire on low-low-budget moviemaking. Read full book review >
VAMP by Eve Golden
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"The author does make an effort to situate Bara in her historical context, but too often she settles for a superficial rehashing of film history commonplaces. (124 b&w photos, not seen)"
Golden, author of a well-received bio of Jean Harlow (Platinum Girl, 1991), inaugurates this new imprint with a trip even farther back into film history to examine the career of silent sex goddess Theda Bara. Read full book review >

HOT AIR by Howard Kurtz
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Given the evidence he offers of the enormous political influence of talk shows, it is a sobering question at the heart of a sobering critique. (Author tour)"
Washington Post media reporter Kurtz (Media Circus, 1993) looks at a nation awash in talk TV and radio, and concludes that it may be drowning. Read full book review >
MEDIA MARATHON by Erik Barnouw
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"If Barnouw's book misses an overall theme or meditation, it is saved by his deep knowledge and intimate, jargon-free style. (30 b&w photos, not seen)"
A compact companion to his monumental History of Broadcasting in the United States (not reviewed, etc.), Barnouw's spry and episodic selection of personal experiences covers a multimedia career ranging from musical revues and radio shows to TV and books. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Still, this is an extremely readable book about an important, underappreciated director; like all the best musicals, it is styled with an airy mix of gravity and joy. (39 b&w photos, not seen)"
Well-paced, deftly wrought show-biz biography of the director whom Jean-Luc Godard called ``the master of the musical.'' While Donen's name may not be a familiar one, he was responsible, either as director or codirector, for a substantial number of notable films, from Singin' in the Rain to Funny Face and Charade (the book's introduction is by Audrey Hepburn). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

Five-time Emmy Award winner Franken (formerly of Saturday Night Live) becomes a political pundit with a vengeance—a vengeance directed against Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, and others of similar stripe, as well as fat old Rush. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

An inspiring if static firsthand account of a celebrated baseball career, coauthored by Riley, an authority on the Negro Leagues. Read full book review >
REMOTE by David Shields
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"A winning combination of humor and insight—Seinlanguage for highbrows. (57 photos)"
Poised at the intersection of cultural commentary and self-analysis, fiction writer Shields (A Handbook for Drowning, 1992, etc.) creates an idiosyncratic, droll, sporadically ravishing assemblage that both investigates and replicates the fragmented, irony-poisoned, celebrity-obsessed consciousness of fin-de-siäcle America. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 25, 1996

"While the specialized nature of the material will probably limit its general appeal, this book should be required reading for all would-be filmmakers."
An insider's nuts-and-bolts dissection of the gritty machinery of independent film financing and distribution. 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 >