Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 6)

THE NEWS by Alain de Botton
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"How does news shape our thoughts and lives? That's a significant question, but de Botton's musings fall short of a serious response."
Philosophical gadfly de Botton (How to Think More About Sex, 2012, etc.) has ruminated, delightfully and often incisively, on the meaning of status, architecture, travel, Proust, sex, work, religion and love. Now he turns his attention to the news industry. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 4, 2014

"Sparkling history of an artistically spirited age."
Fun, fascinating examination of the moment when American and British culture seemed to lose all inhibitions. Read full book review >

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 4, 2014

"A bonbon for fans but a legacy better served by more substantive journalism."
Journalist and critic Rowlands (Paris Was Ours, 2011, etc.) delivers a collection of light-as-a-feather remembrances of the Beatles' British invasion. Read full book review >
AMERICAN FUN by John Beckman
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 4, 2014

"With a novelist's care for detail and storytelling, Beckman offers a remarkably expansive, if flawed, cultural history."
A lively, entertaining history of American fun. Read full book review >
BROOKLYN BOUNCE by Jake Appleman
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 4, 2014

"Hard-core Nets fans—if they exist—might appreciate the behind-the-scenes scoop on their team, but other readers may find the disorganized narrative frustrating."
In his full-length debut, veteran NBA reporter Appleman chronicles the Nets' first season following the franchise's move from New Jersey to Brooklyn. Read full book review >

LOUIS ARMSTRONG, MASTER OF MODERNISM by Thomas Brothers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2014

"A masterful performance that displays the author's vast archival research, musical knowledge, familiarity with cultural history and profound sensitivity to America's vile racial history."
The author of Louis Armstrong's New Orleans (2006) continues his stellar account of the great trumpeter's life (1901–1971), focusing on the 1920s and '30s. Read full book review >
The Book of Extremely Common Prayer by Nathaniel Whitten
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Jan. 31, 2014

"These jokey prayers are likely to resonate beyond the smiles they produce."
A humorist with an ear for social commentary uses the language of prayer to highlight the absurdity of the modern world. Read full book review >
I'LL TAKE YOU THERE by Greg Kot
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 21, 2014

"Through it all, the ebullience of Mavis Staples and her music shine through."
A biography that will send readers back to the music of Mavis and the Staple Singers with deepened appreciation and a renewed spirit of discovery. Read full book review >
THE AGENT by Leigh Steinberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 21, 2014

"NFL crazies will eat this like snack food; more serious readers will shun the empty calories."
A one-time superagent—whose exploits informed the film Jerry Maguire— rehearses his rise, fall and struggles to recover. Read full book review >
THE STORY OF MUSIC by Howard Goodall
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Jan. 15, 2014

"Cultural history with some attitude and considerable rhythm and melody."
A celebrated British composer and broadcaster surveys the evolution and cultural significance of music, from prehistoric caves to Coldplay. Read full book review >
TOMORROW-LAND by Joseph Tirella
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Jan. 7, 2014

"Top-notch popular history."
The story of New York's second World's Fair in the context of its tumultuous times. Read full book review >
PING PONG DIPLOMACY by Nicholas Griffin
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Jan. 7, 2014

"Griffin bites off a huge story but manages to maintain lively interest in the array of personalities involved."
A quirky, thoroughly enjoyable trek through the implausible beginnings of international table tennis and the colorful characters-cum-diplomats behind it. Read full book review >