Essays & Anthologies Book Reviews (page 117)

THE SPARKLING-EYED BOY by Amy Benson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 7, 2004

"Ambitious, but the self-absorption wears thin."
Painfully self-conscious, often pretentious meditations on first love. Read full book review >
THE ENDS OF THE EARTH by W.S. Merwin
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 1, 2004

"Erudite, stylish, and lively, steeped in first-hand experience and a pleasure to read."
Diverse collection of essays on topics ranging from 18th-century explorers to monasteries and butterflies, all of which Merwin makes fascinating. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2004

"Powerful stuff, grievously well rendered: Bartlett seems to be a remarkable survivor."
Compulsively readable account of a life wasted by the war against drugs but later reclaimed. Read full book review >
THE AFTERLIFE by Penelope Fitzgerald
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Nov. 15, 2003

"Her sidelong journeys through the stalls and stacks, pointing out treasures and private passions, will delight those Virginia Woolf honored with the designation 'the common reader,' who are, of course, none-too-common these days."
Though Fitzgerald, who died in 2000, was surely a writer for her time, the English novelist and essayist (The Means of Escape, 2000, etc.) seemed most at home wandering through libraries devoted to late Victorian and Edwardian writers, many now forgotten. Read full book review >
GETTING PERSONAL by Phillip Lopate
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Nov. 1, 2003

"Displays in abundance the author's astonishing ability to listen to—and record in prose that approaches perfect—the music of his own thoughts as he sometimes stumbles, sometimes glides through life."
In a motley collection of previously published pieces, novelist and essayist Lopate examines with unique intelligence and an unforgiving eye everything from the smell of his navel to a film by Godard. Read full book review >

THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2003 by Anne Fadiman
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 10, 2003

"Maybe Dave Eggers is skimming off all the out-there material for Best American Nonrequired Reading (p. 1033); at any rate, this year's model could use a little more variety and excitement."
The venerable series becomes, essentially, a bound edition of the New Yorker. Read full book review >
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 29, 2003

"And evidence, brilliantly presented and celebrated, is what readers will find here."
Collection of mostly previously published pieces that's no déjà vu trip, but a pleasure-inducing voyage into scientific principles. Read full book review >
MR. APOLOGY by Alec Wilkinson
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 23, 2003

"A deft and memorable collection with both focus and elbow room from a class act in the world of magazine journalism."
Twenty-one stylish, purposeful, wide-ranging, and carefully wrought essays, most previously published in the New Yorker. Read full book review >
LITERARY OCCASIONS by V.S. Naipaul
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 7, 2003

"Naipaul is still Naipaul. But he isn't especially well served by a very uneven volume that really seems to have been hastily assembled rather than carefully edited."
This miscellany of essays and reviews is a pendant to the 2001 Nobel laureate's recent Between Father and Son: Family Letters (2000) and The Writer and the World (2002). Read full book review >
PIECES OF MY MIND by Frank Kermode
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Any critic who interprets a publisher's claim that a 'lean' book means 'very short, especially considering the price' is worth reading. Another feather in Kermode's wide-brimmed cap."
A chronologically arranged series of literary essays by the eminent scholar and critic, "offered indifferently to defense and prosecution, of the way in which a now quite long professional life has been spent." Read full book review >
THE LANGUAGE OF PASSION by Mario Vargas Llosa
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: June 1, 2003

"Vargas Llosa's many admirers will share that pleasure with this fine collection."
Reviews, travel journalism, and assorted feuilletons from the noted Peruvian novelist (The Feast of the Goat, 2001, etc.). Read full book review >
AS OF THIS WRITING by Clive James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2003

"Criticism is not indispensable to art,' James writes. 'It is indispensable to civilization—a more inclusive thing.' His stimulating and thrilling work forcefully makes a case for that bold declaration."
Superb collection of criticism at once deeply serious and deliberately accessible, more than justifying its author's claim that "readability is intelligence." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >