Essays & Anthologies Book Reviews

PLAY ALL by Clive James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"A gentler companion to Harlan Ellison's The Glass Teat (1970), the only flaw of which is that it's too short, leaving readers wanting more."
Eminent literary and cultural critic James (Latest Readings, 2015, etc.) comes back to an old beat: reviewing the offerings on the small screen. Read full book review >

WHY WRITE? by Mark Edmundson
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"This has been done better by others, but it's never a bad thing to encourage reading and writing."
Do we really need another book on writing? Maybe. Read full book review >
TAKE TO THE HIGHWAY by Bryce Milligan
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"Sure-handed verse work in multiple registers."
In a new collection "for travelers," Milligan sometimes races and sometimes tools along; no matter the speed, it's a pleasing ride. Read full book review >
BREAKING THROUGH POWER by Ralph Nader
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"In an era of political gridlock, Nader argues, mostly convincingly, that a 'left/right alliance' can get the country back on track."
Another populist manifesto from the veteran political activist and anti-corporate consumer advocate. Read full book review >

SENIOR MOMENTS by Willard Spiegelman
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Spiegelman's preference for masters of 'cool clarity, sharpened perception, and a transparent style' is revealed in his own writing, which is lucid and propulsive, opening portals to heightened enjoyment of the time we have."
A wide-ranging collection of essays reflecting the septuagenarian author's rejection of the more hysterical predictions of cultural doom. Read full book review >
UTOPIA IS CREEPY by Nicholas Carr
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A collection that reminds us that critical thinking is the best way to view the mixed blessings of rampant technology. A treat for Carr fans."
Popular technology guru Carr (The Glass Cage: Automation and Us, 2014, etc.) offers a skeptical chronicle of the wonders of the digital revolution. Read full book review >
THE SHIPWRECKED MIND by Mark Lilla
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Lilla provides a welcome corrective in restoring analytical balance but is less convincing when he veers toward polemics."
A short book drawn from a series of essays analyzes the contemporary relevance of the oft-maligned "reactionary," who isn't retreating into the past so much as reclaiming it. Read full book review >
BLACK POWER 50 by Sylviane A. Diouf
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"The text and visuals combine for an educational, eye-opening experience."
An illuminating text accompanies visuals from an exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Black Power movement. Read full book review >
TV (THE BOOK) by Alan Sepinwall
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A well-reasoned and engaging—if ultimately unchallenging—summary of the best television has to offer."
What should we watch? Read full book review >
LOVE FROM BOY by Donald Sturrock
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A fun collection for lovers of literature and travel."
A collection of letters from an endlessly fascinating writer and world traveler. Read full book review >
WORDS ON THE MOVE by John McWhorter
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"As in most of his books, McWhorter proves to be a well-informed and cheerful guide to linguistics."
A brisk look at how and why words change. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >