In a useful but dutiful collection, Stux offers brief biographies of eight women who made recognized contributions to the arts during the 20th century. All of the women—dancer Maria Tallchief, photographer Margaret Bourke-White, singers Marian Anderson and Beverly Sills, pianist Nadia Boulanger, painter Mary Cassatt, architect Julia Morgan, and sculptor Louise Nevelson—are fairly well known; highlights of their achievements are noted, as well as rewards and honors received. Some of the biographies are quite interesting, but the coverage is uneven and the choice of subject is not always apparent: Stux does not make Sills’s contributions to opera seem as pioneering as those of Cassatt or Morgan, the latter of whom left a legacy of more than 700 buildings she had designed in an era when women in the field of architecture were scarce. (b&w photos, index) (Biography. 10-14)
Howell, who goes by "danisnotonfire," and "AmazingPhil" Lester are the latest YouTube stars hoping to cross over to the world of books. Instead of crafting a memoir or adapting their videos into a fictional series, the duo have filled these 225 pages with bold graphics, scatological humor, and quirky how tos that may entice their fan base but will leave everyone else out in the cold. It contains a wide variety of nonsense, ranging from Phil's chat logs to information on breeding hamsters. There's an emoji-only interview and some Dan/Phil fanfiction (by Howell rather than a fan) and even a full double-page spread of the pair's unsuccessful selfies. All this miscellany is shoveled in without much rhyme or reason following introductory pages that clearly introduce the pair as children, leaving readers who aren't in on the joke completely out of the loop. The authors make no attempt to bring in those on the outside, but in all honesty, why should they? The only people buying this book are kids who already love everything Dan and Phil do or clueless relatives in desperate search of a gift for the awkward teens in their lives. The book's biggest fault is its apparent laziness. It feels like something slapped together over a weekend, with no heart or soul.
A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing.
``I always had to listen to that same old sentence: `If you were only white, so you could play in the majors.''' Another look at pro baseball's most durable pitcher, a walking and (especially) talking refutation of the idea that skin color (or, for that matter, age) is a measure of ability. Paige finally did break into the majors at age 42, by far its oldest rookie; the six years he spent there are little more than a footnote to his illustrious career. He's been the subject of many biographies; this one isn't a significant improvement over Macht's, issued by the same publisher in 1991. The two share many photos and quotes, aim at roughly the same audience, and append (differently) abbreviated stats, but Macht offers a more animated style and a clearer sense of Paige's personality. Bibliography; index. (Biography. 10-13)