Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews

ORSON WELLES'S LAST MOVIE by Josh Karp
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"Luckily, there's nothing unfinished in Karp's retelling. He follows every story, dollar and last legal battle in full detail. Whether the film sees a 2015 release on the anniversary of Welles' birth, as was speculated as of late last year, we at least have Karp to thank for the next best thing."
What became of The Other Side of the Wind, that crazy movie that took up the last 15 years of the life of Orson Welles (1915-1985)?Read full book review >
ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART by Richard Goldstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Indispensable for understanding the culture of the '60s and the music that was at its heart."
A memoir by one of the founders of rock criticism, on the era that gave him his vocation and ultimately broke his heart. Read full book review >

BILLY MARTIN by Bill Pennington
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Baseball (and Yankees) fans will devour this like ballpark popcorn, and all will muse about the many what-ifs of Martin's motley life."
A sympathetic examination of the fiery player and manager Billy Martin (1928-1989), who could dazzle between the lines but whose life outside the stadium was often boozy, libidinous, and rudderless. Read full book review >
BETWEEN YOU & ME by Mary Norris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 6, 2015

"A funny book for any serious reader."
A New Yorker editor since 1978, Norris provides an educational, entertaining narrative about grammar, spelling and punctuation.Read full book review >
BILLIE HOLIDAY by John Szwed
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"As with the best of Holiday's music, this elegant and perceptive study is restrained, nuanced, and masterfully carried out."
Esteemed music scholar Szwed (Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World, 2010, etc.) offers a portrait of Lady Day as artist and mythmaker rather than tragic victim.Read full book review >

EVERY DAY I FIGHT by Stuart Scott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A class act and a courageous voice to the end."
The posthumous memoir by the sportscaster who brought hip-hop to ESPN and subsequently showed his strength of character through his fight with cancer. Read full book review >
FOLLIES OF GOD by James Grissom
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"There have been plenty of books written about Williams over the past three decades, but few weave so many voices into an original and compelling portrait. Grissom honors the life and achievement of his doomed correspondent."
One of America's greatest playwrights as seen by himself and his many muses. Read full book review >
ALPHABETICAL by Michael Rosen
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"A delightfully informative book about letters, their meanings, and the words and meanings we derive from them."
A poet, writer of children's books and host of BBC Radio 4's Word of Mouth tells the history of each letter in our alphabet.Read full book review >
THE B SIDE by Ben Yagoda
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Jan. 22, 2015

"A provocative, consistently engaging counternarrative to the conventional wisdom that rock 'n' roll killed Tin Pan Alley."
The latest from Yagoda (Journalism/Delaware Univ.; How to Not Write Bad, 2013, etc.) shows good ears, strong critical instincts and an unabashed love for a variety of music, including the rock 'n' roll that supposedly closed the pages on the Great American Songbook—the few hundred standards that have endured through a wide variety of distinctive interpretations. Read full book review >
WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE WORLD? by Andrew Lawler
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Dec. 2, 2014

"A splendid book full of obsessive travel and research in history, mythology, archaeology, biology, literature and religion."
The title tells all in this comprehensive account of how an anti-social south Asian fowl became the world's favorite food. Read full book review >
HOPE by Richard Zoglin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"In this rich and entertaining work, Zoglin pulls no punches but also remains an astonished admirer."
A contributing editor and theater critic for Time weighs in with what will immediately become the definitive biography of the legendary comedian, born Leslie Townes Hope (1903-2003). Read full book review >
RESPECT by David Ritz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"An honest and genuinely respectful portrait of a true diva by a writer who feels the power of her art."
A biography of the "Queen of Soul" by the co-author of her memoir, From These Roots (1999). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >