PositiveThe A.V. ClubArmstrong uses her impressive analytic and research skills to unearth some much less-explored ground ... The shifts between the four different biographies can be jarring, though helpful at times. Armstrong never comes right out and analyzes the differences in the rises and falls of these women, but it’s quite clear that White had an easier path to success than Scott or Berg did. Those disparities become even more plain in the book’s most gripping section, as both Berg and Scott become ensnared in the Hollywood blacklist during the era of McCarthyism ... One might assume that a book about female pioneers in television would have Lucille Ball front and center. She does appear, but her more familiar tale takes a back seat here to these lesser-known stories, which are bolstered by Armstrong’s interviews with Scott’s son and Berg’s grandchildren, and White’s memoirs and other archives. Armstrong also makes strong statements about the fact that women were marking these accomplishments during a time when they were expected to stay home and care for their families ... Armstrong’s volume is a definite step in the right direction toward giving just some of these forgotten women their due.
PositiveThe A.V. ClubNot much happens in Just Like You, as the warmth in Lucy and Joseph’s relationship helps them navigate potential but mostly drama-free romantic pitfalls ... Outside of the Brexit vote, most of the events in Just Like You are rather low-key, but the charm of Hornby’s main characters carry the book through the potential flatness of its middle pages. Unfortunately, Hornby occasionally falls into clichés in his dialogue ... a hopeful, compassionate read.
PositiveThe AV ClubRebello makes no excuses for the tawdriness of either the book or the film, but revels in it. Through detailed behind-the-scenes interviews and research, he brings the property to life in a book that is as compulsively readable as the original dishy source material ... For fans eager to explore the most minute details of their favorite bad movie, the book is a gift of a summer read, the kind to be indulgently plowed through, preferably with a champagne cocktail. And it’s not hard to imagine yet another depiction beyond this book—according to Dolls!, a movie about the making of Valley Of The Dolls would be a marked improvement on the original release.
PositiveThe A.V ClubAlexandra Jacobs incorporates an astonishing amount of research, including countless personal interviews and physical documents like letters and telegrams. As a result, her portrayal of Stritch is wholly fleshed out, from the actor’s earliest days as a socialite in Detroit to her time as the reigning grand dame of Broadway ... Still Here takes an unflinching look at Stritch’s long love/hate relationship with alcohol ... Still Here also makes considerable effort to round out the portrait of the star, with thorns and all ... Still Here ends with the star saying that under the footlights \'was where I lived.\' This biography expertly sketches out the vast other hours of her life, painting a thorough picture of a woman who lived life on her own terms—in an age when it was exceedingly difficult to do so.
PositiveThe AV ClubAs charming as she is onscreen ... [Kemper] is always poking fun at herself, but bravely open enough to let us all in on the joke ... at times her corn-fed innocence is a tad unrealistic ... winning, delightfully described commentary with adorable gaffes any of us could imagine making ... The non-linear chapters make for a handy read to glide you through train commutes and waiting rooms—as long as you’re comfortable shedding tears of laughter in public.