Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 6)

45 by Scott Dikkers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"A disappointing twist on the bestselling 41: A Portrait of My Father (2014). Readers may wish the authors had aimed at bigger game: the flamboyant Donald Trump, say, parodied in the voice of his developer father."
A sometimes-amusing sendup of Jeb Bush, contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 2, 2015

"Rather than a nostalgic lament, this revelatory book celebrates an indelible cultural imprint."
An illuminating stroll through the decades of one of the most culturally significant streets in America. Read full book review >

ON THE ORIGIN OF SUPERHEROES by Chris Gavaler
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 1, 2015

"Despite occasional insight, a lack of continuity makes the book, despite the author's reverence and enthusiasm, a missed opportunity."
An unconventional analysis of the cultural phenomenon of superheroes that goes far beyond comic books. Read full book review >
TWO HOURS by Ed Caesar
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Caesar's winning prose will keep even armchair readers turning pages, perhaps tuning in to watch the next marathon."
A wide-ranging and compelling account of marathons and the very fastest men who run them. Read full book review >
JUNIOR SEAU by Jim Trotter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Although the text benefits from the author's deep knowledge of the game—and from many important interviews—excessive sentiment corrodes."
ESPN NFL reporter Trotter debuts with a very sympathetic account of the life of NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau (1969-2012). Read full book review >

HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL by Carrie Brownstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Unlike many rock star memoirs, there's no sense that this book is a chore or a marketing effort. It's revealing and riveting. On the page as in her songs, Brownstein finds the right words to give shape to experience."
First-class account of the life and times of an essential riot grrrl and the band she helped create. Read full book review >
SCIENCE OF THE MAGICAL by Matt Kaplan
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A charming romp through the history of science."
How myths and magical beliefs may provide the first glimmers of scientific discovery. Read full book review >
IF THE RAINDROPS UNITED by Judah Friedlander
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A more-misses-than-hits collection that will likely find a home in bathroom-reading bins."
A comedian presents a series of drawings and cartoons, most of which "are comedy. But some are serious. Or just weird." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Not without its flaws, but a good choice for fans of David Halberstam's The Amateurs (1985), Daniel Boyne's The Red Rose Crew (2000), and similar books."
A brightly told story of the triumph of underdogs. Read full book review >
SINATRA by James Kaplan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"An appropriately big book for an oversized artistic presence."
The meatiness of the material justifies the length of the author's second (and concluding) volume of his biography of Frank Sinatra (1915-1998). Read full book review >
WILDFLOWER by Drew Barrymore
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"It's easy to like Barrymore, and even if her life isn't quite an open book, we get an often funny, occasionally tear-jerking picture of a woman who has replaced past darkness with love and light and who just wants everyone to be happy."
An endearing, earnest, lightly cultivated garden of stories from the actress. Read full book review >
BEETHOVEN'S SYMPHONIES by Lewis Lockwood
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 26, 2015

"Of particular interest to specialists but written with an authority and passion that will appeal to general readers as well."
From music scholar and biographer Lockwood (Emeritus, Music/Harvard Univ.; Beethoven: The Music and the Life, 2002, etc.), a close examination of nine works at the heart of the Western classical tradition.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >