Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews

ELIZABETH AND MICHAEL by Donald Bogle
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"A grounded and consistently absorbing biography."
A dual biography of entertainment legends Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson that explores their individual careers and personal lives leading up to and including their 25-year friendship. Read full book review >
PLAY ALL by Clive James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"A gentler companion to Harlan Ellison's The Glass Teat (1970), the only flaw of which is that it's too short, leaving readers wanting more."
Eminent literary and cultural critic James (Latest Readings, 2015, etc.) comes back to an old beat: reviewing the offerings on the small screen. Read full book review >

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT by Jessica Luther
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Highly relevant, hard-hitting, much-needed information that reveals the widespread existence of rape by sports players on college campuses."
Investigative reporting that uncovers the rape culture surrounding college sports, particularly football. Read full book review >
Such Mad Fun by Robin Cutler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2016

"A valuable, absorbing contribution to the history of women, golden-age Hollywood, and America's magazine culture of the 1930s and '40s."
A biography of Jane Hall, a writer for magazines and movies, traces the complicated, warring pressures of talent and the feminine mystique. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"An elaborately detailed, darkly surprising, definitive history of the LA gangsta rap era."
A provocative, multifaceted portrait of essential rap pioneers who ushered the hip-hop music scene to greatness. Read full book review >

TRAINWRECK by Sady Doyle
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A well-rounded, thoughtful analysis of what can make and break a woman when she's placed in the spotlight."
How and why women are alternately idolized and then given hell for being the way they are. Read full book review >
THE TAO OF BILL MURRAY by Gavin Edwards
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A fun and revealing look behind the charm and mythos of Bill Murray that will only strengthen his legend."
A personal philosophy based on Bill Murray's well-publicized high jinks, pranks, and exploits. Read full book review >
DIE YOUNG WITH ME by Rob Rufus
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"By refusing to abandon hope, easy though it would have been to do so, Rufus' memoir makes a valuable contribution to the literature of healing and recovery. It's a good piece of rock writing, too, with 'one hell of a soundtrack.'"
Buy a drum kit. Buy a guitar. Get cancer. It's not the usual rock 'n' roll trajectory. Read full book review >
THE PERFECT PASS by S.C. Gwynne
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A superb treat for all gridiron fans."
Think baseball is slow? Then imagine football without a passing offense, which, as historian/journalist Gwynne (Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson, 2014, etc.) ably shows, is no mere thought experiment. Read full book review >
FIELDS OF BATTLE by Brian Curtis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A fine sports book with a stirring extra dimension."
A veteran sports journalist revisits "the most unusual yet meaningful Rose Bowl Game" ever. Read full book review >
JEAN COCTEAU by Claude Arnaud
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Arnaud's biography provides a useful corrective and will inspire renewed interest in Cocteau's work."
The first substantial life of the French surrealist writer and artist to appear in English since 1970. Read full book review >
ON STORY by Barbara Morgan
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"An invaluable resource for film buffs and future storytellers interested in the creation of great Hollywood films over the last 40 years."
Iconic Hollywood filmmakers speak candidly about narrative, their process, and juicy experiences from the industry. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >