Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews

BOYS IN THE TREES by Carly Simon
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"Memoirs by rock icons of the 1960s and '70s are flying fast and furious these days. This is one of the best, lively and memorable. Check the new album that accompanies the book, too."
Understated but revealing memoir by the long-absent but still much-played pop star. Read full book review >
ON MY OWN by Diane Rehm
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The prose reads like journal entries or letters to readers, punctuated by sometimes-trite remarks: 'Death is the ultimate finality,' she writes. 'There is no turning back.' Nevertheless, her perspectives on old age are brave and uplifting."
NPR host Rehm (Life with Maxie, 2010, etc.) reflects on loneliness, loss, and aging.Read full book review >

Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Though his relationship with his father was distant, melancholic, and precarious, Offutt quite movingly weaves his personal history into a fascinating tapestry of a compulsive writer with a knack for the naughty."
A fond memoir of life with a prolific writer of science fiction and pornography. Read full book review >
ONE BREATH by Adam Skolnick
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A worthy addition to the growing body of literature on adventures that test the limits of nature and mankind."
A fatality spurs an inquiry into an extreme sport, illuminating the risks—as well as the rewards—of free diving. Read full book review >
SO AS I WAS SAYING... by Frank Mankiewicz
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"A roughly chronological memoir of a life well-lived, full of specific portraits and vivid detail."
Off-the-cuff sketches from a rich, committed life. Read full book review >

JAZZ DIASPORAS by Rashida K. Braggs
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A fascinating look into an important chapter in cultural history. Braggs should return to the subject in more depth."
A study of a key epoch in the transition of jazz from a distinctively American music to an international art form. Read full book review >
MOVIE FREAK by Owen Gleiberman
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 >
YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes
Released: Nov. 11, 2015

"Rhimes said 'yes' to sharing her insights. Following her may not land you on the cover of a magazine, but you'll be glad you did."
The queen of Thursday night TV delivers a sincere and inspiring account of saying yes to life. Read full book review >
DISASTER DRAWN by Hillary L. Chute
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"Though this academic study has a stylistic density that a general readership might occasionally find difficult, the epiphanies are worth the effort."
An illuminating analysis of graphic narrative's documentary power. Read full book review >
EVERY SONG EVER by Ben Ratliff
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A collection of essays that makes unlikely connections that will encourage music fans to listen beyond categorical distinctions and comfort zones—though reading the book feels a little incomplete without the listening that should accompany the experience."
A veteran New York Times critic, Ratliff here goes beyond the focus on jazz in his previous books (The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music, 2008) to explore the consumption of music in its widest variety and availability. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A clear and troubling picture of a country forced to embrace madness."
Two Swedish artists (one visual, the other musical) record their impressions of a one-week sojourn in North Korea in 2008. Read full book review >
GROUCHO MARX by Lee Siegel
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A perceptive, though dark, portrait."
An unsparing look at the abrasive performer. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jason Gay
November 17, 2015

In the 1990s, copies of Richard Carlson’s Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and its many sequels) were seemingly everywhere, giving readers either the confidence to prioritize their stresses or despondence over the slender volume’s not addressing their particular set of problems. While not the first book of its kind, it kicked open the door for an industry of self-help, worry-reduction advice guides. In his first book, Little Victories, Wall Street Journal sports columnist Gay takes less of a guru approach, though he has drawn an audience of readers appreciative of reportage that balances insights with a droll, self-deprecating outlook. He occasionally focuses his columns on “the Rules” (of Thanksgiving family touch football, the gym, the office holiday party, etc.), which started as a genial poke in the eye at the proliferation of self-help books and, over time, came to explore actual advice “both practical and ridiculous” and “neither perfect nor universal.” The author admirably combines those elements in every piece in the book. View video >