Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews

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 >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"Needless to say, effective humor is extremely personal. For those who have found Barry funny in a good way, these latest essays will cause outright, prolonged laughter."
Humorist Barry (You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About, 2014, etc.) departs from the collections of his now-defunct syndicated newspaper column and his goofy full-length novels to write a dozen original essays gathered loosely around a theme: happiness and its discontents.Read full book review >

THE MONOPOLISTS by Mary Pilon
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 17, 2015

"A fascinating, appealingly written history of an iconic American amusement."
In her debut, New York Times sports reporter Pilon deftly explores the origin of the Monopoly board game.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 >
SCHUBERT'S WINTER JOURNEY by Ian Bostridge
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 27, 2015

"A graceful confirmation that reading can be an integrative education that offers a surprise with every turn of the page."
A singer, author and professor expertly escorts us through Winterreise, Franz Schubert's 24-song cycle.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 >
THE PARTNERSHIP by Pamela Katz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 6, 2015

"With a novelist's eye for telling details, Katz offers a colorful, perceptive and riveting portrait of a remarkable artistic partnership."
The explosive collaboration of two brilliant artists. Read full book review >
BECOMING RICHARD PRYOR by Scott Saul
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 9, 2014

"Better written and more thoughtful than David and Joe Henry's Furious Cool (2013). The latter remains worth reading, but this book is the place to start."
Smart blend of social history and biography centering on one of the funniest—and most tragic—people of our time. 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 >
ONCE UPON A TIME by Marina Warner
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Dec. 1, 2014

"Both a beguiling appreciation of and a fascinating tour through faery, this offers riches aplenty for lovers of fantasy fiction, children's literature and the tales themselves."
This literary and cultural history of our engagement with, mostly, European fairy tales may be short, but it is far from slight. Read full book review >
CLOTHES, CLOTHES, CLOTHES. MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC. BOYS, BOYS, BOYS. by Viv Albertine
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 25, 2014

"Just the thing for fans of punk—and of its heroines, too."
Guitar hero and world-weary survivor Albertine turns in a thoughtful, delightfully written memoir of the days of punky yore. Read full book review >
DAVID HOCKNEY by Christopher Simon Sykes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"Drawing on interviews with Hockney, his siblings, and colleagues; Hockey's autobiography; and diaries of famous friends, such as Christopher Isherwood and Stephen Spender, Sykes matches his subject's ebullience in this admiring, well-researched life."
Hockney from age 38 to 75, bubbling with enthusiasm. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >