Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews

BETTER LIVING THROUGH CRITICISM by A.O. Scott
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A zealous and well-considered work of advocacy for an art too often unappreciated and misunderstood."
An exploration of criticism, which "is not an enemy from which art must be defended, but rather another name—the proper name—for the defense of art itself." Read full book review >
INDENTURED by Joe Nocera
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Championship-level reporting on the boundaries of sport and business."
A vigorous indictment of collegiate athletics, a system that enriches everyone except the athletes. Read full book review >

MASTER OF CEREMONIES by Joel Grey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"An honest, eloquent, memorable autobiography."
The diminutive, unforgettable creator of the emcee in Cabaret both on stage and on screen writes frankly of his diverse career, exacting mother, and public embrace of his homosexuality.Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"The jump shot created offense, and Fury elevates it to yet higher ground."
Journalist Fury (Keeping the Faith: In the Trenches with College Football's Worst Team, 2005) celebrates basketball's jump shot: its origins, its fundamentals, and its greatest practitioners.Read full book review >
MOVIE FREAK by Owen Gleiberman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"A story of societal change, rich in cultural as well as personal history."
A veteran movie critic for Entertainment Weekly debuts with a chronicle of his love affair with films, his long career at EW (before they laid him off in 2014), and his gnarly love life (until his marriage).Read full book review >

TROUBLE BOYS by Bob Mehr
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2016

"The dynamic that made the band great also tore them apart, as this biography superbly documents."
An in-depth biography of a beloved, exasperating band that never quite made it. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2016

"A text that will delight college basketball fans but also raises tacit questions about the effects of big-time athletics on a university's academic mission."
A veteran sportswriter returns with an account of the basketball wars—on- and off-court—among three iconic coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Read full book review >
MY BRAIN ON FIRE by Leonard Pitt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 8, 2016

"From start to finish, Pitt's memoir is a lively autodidactic romp through a life well-lived in both mind and body."
A theater actor's memoir of a life and way of thinking permanently altered by the seven years he spent as a young man living in 1960s Paris. Read full book review >
CRUSH by Cathy Alter
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 5, 2016

"The seemingly lightweight premise of an anthology built around celebrity crushes yields an outstanding selection of poignant and thought-provoking stories."
A few dozen writers recall their childhood infatuations with celebrated media stars or iconic characters (literary or animated) and how these crushes influenced their future lives. Read full book review >
HARVEY PENICK by Kevin Robbins
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"This thorough, absorbing biography is also a history of golf in America and how one man taught so many how to hit a golf ball so well."
A biography of the humble Texas golfer who taught greats of the game and whose little instructional guide became the best-selling golf book of all time. Read full book review >
ORSON WELLES, VOLUME 3 by Simon Callow
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"Welles rightly imagined that people would never stop writing about him after he died. Callow continues to set the standard in this increasingly crowded field."
Juicy, provocative latest installment in the comprehensive life of a self-destructive genius. Read full book review >
DELTA LADY by Rita Coolidge
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"Where memoirs from bigger stars often fail to deliver, this illuminating autobiography exceeds expectations."
A surprisingly rich memoir from a two-time Grammy winner and acclaimed backup singer. 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 >