PositiveDallas Morning News...[a] funny, sometimes rueful, occasionally bitter account of growing up in the rockets\' red glare ... What happened to the generation that came of age between Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan? At times Piper herself doesn\'t seem quite sure ... Suddenly she is part of the whole sex, drugs and rock \'n\' roll scene. Once a good Baptist, she seems as surprised at that moment as her parents might have been ... So is the reader, which is the major flaw in a memoir that is otherwise revelatory.
MixedThe Dallas Morning NewsAnd so his book is merely interesting whereas it might have been revelatory, or even useful. In these less-than-bookish times, perhaps, we get both the politics and the books we deserve.
Elaine M. Hayes
PositiveThe Dallas NewsThe author knows music and is good at explaining, inasmuch as such talent can be explained, the qualities that made Vaughan's 'the most talked-about voice in America' ...author is sure-footed around the cutthroat world of clubs, record producers, shady agents and manipulative, overbearing managers, three of whom Sarah married, to her almost immediate regret. The book tracks her roller-coaster career through the ups and downs... Readers will also have to negotiate a certain amount of heavy-handed explaining on the role of racism and sexism in the music business and in American life generally.
RaveThe Dallas Morning NewsIn this thoughtful and often eloquent account of that world-busting tour, Dromgoole reminds us that Hamlet is intensely political as well as deeply psychological, a study of power and a disturber of the status quo ... Dromgoole, an excellent dramaturge, draws the curtains aside to reveal the play's lore and history.
PositiveThe Dallas Morning News...funny, smart, literate — a journey, not into or away from religious belief like so many religious memoirs, but through that belief ... Hers is not a book full of coy skepticism. But neither does she rule out questioning, examining, re-examining and at times losing patience with what she has been brought up to believe ... All in all, it's a very contemporary spiritual journey: unfinished, unsure of its destination, looking back to a past that, if not lost, certainly seems to be fading. Halford makes little effort to tie up loose ends.
PositiveThe Dallas Morning NewsThe narrative closely follows the young pianist's discovery and conquest of Russia, and Russia's conquest of him. The crush of fans, the tension and trials of the competition, Cliburn's quirks are all recorded here in a narrative rich with anecdotes ... But Cliff also delivers the more serious news in chapters establishing the Cold War context, the death of Stalin and the rise of Khrushchev ... All this the author handles smoothly and informatively. A cultural historian of the kind only the British seem to produce, Cliff is at home in Texan, American, Russian, political and piano cultures ... a solid history of a most remarkable young man caught at a most remarkable time.
Lesley M. M. Blume
PositiveThe Dallas Morning NewsRather than tackle the whole man, Blume sets a manageable goal, an examination of the few critical years in which Hemingway transformed himself from a journalist and writer of promise into a public phenomenon, author of a novel, The Sun Also Rises, that set a new direction for American prose and defined a whole generation...Blume writes that the outline alone for her book ran to 1,400 pages. And every page of that labor is visible. Not that this is a long or ponderous book, though footnotes take up one-fourth of the 300-odd pages. But it is thick with juicy details.
PositiveThe Dallas Morning NewsThere are nail-biting moments when everything hangs in the balance, and the author makes the most of these. One can almost imagine the movie version. Some photographs of the elegant calligraphy and bejeweled splendor of the manuscripts would have enhanced the story; a map or two would help. A fine PBS documentary a few years ago by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, The Road to Timbuktu, introduced this cultural treasure to many in the Eurocentric West. Hammer’s book is an excellent place to catch up on the story.
PositiveThe Dallas Morning NewsThis is Bryson at his most curmudgeonly. He grouses about a new coarseness that seems to have crept into British life. Many a village that once had a hardware store, a post office, a greengrocer, a charming pub, a library and a bookstore is now mostly vacant, he laments.
Edmund de Waal
RaveThe Dallas Morning NewsIt comes as no surprise that a potter obsessed with the beauty and utility of his work would make something extraordinary of such a tale. In prose as shapely and well-turned as any cup or urn, de Waal follows the quest for the secrets of porcelain to the court of the Sun King at Versailles, to the kilns of Quaker entrepreneurs in England, to the hills of the Cherokee Nation, to the workshops of post-Mao China, and finally to the Dachau work camp where slave laborers fashion plates and cups for SS units.
RaveDallas Morning News[L]ittle escapes the fine mesh of Robinson’s mind or the sweep of her majestic, agile prose.