PositiveUSA TodayA sweet, slender and simple exploration of positivity ... blissfully absent of pontification and full of self-deprecating humor.
RaveUSA TodayA rich sense of place and relentless feeling of dread permeate Attica Locke’s heartbreakingly resonant new novel about race and justice in America ... an emotionally dense and intricately detailed thriller, roiling with conflicting emotions steeped in this nation’s troubled past and present ... Bluebird, Bluebird is no simple morality tale. Far from it. It rises above 'left and right' and 'black and white' and follows the threads that inevitably bind us together, even as we rip them apart.
RaveUSA Today...Zinoman opens the door to a more thorough examination of Letterman’s collaborative (and often painfully remote) creative process with his staff and writers, particularly Merrill Markoe, the co-creator of Late Night with David Letterman, who also had a decade-long romantic relationship with the host. What emerges in fresh detail and with considerable access is a man in full pursuit of his dreams yet deeply troubled by some of the success that came with it.
RaveUSA Today...[a] dark, tender and oh-so-timely novel ... When the story approaches what seems to be a cataclysmic conclusion, K takes the measure of TV news and the current state of affairs: 'It may be true that there was a time in America when journalists sought clarity of circumstance and certainty of fact,; he says, 'but now, as I listened to speculation after speculation, each one more baseless than the last, I realized that the bread and butter of the modern newsman was opacity. When one has an endless succession of 24-hour news cycles to fill, the fewer known facts, the better.' Something most Americans can agree on.
RaveUSA Today...that’s the beauty of All Our Wrong Todays. It’s a timeless, if mind-bending, story about the journeys we take, populated by friends, family, lovers and others, that show us who we might be, could be — and maybe never should be — that eventually leads us to who we are. Only in Tom’s world, he has an opportunity nobody in our world is ever offered. He gets to choose. He gets to decide which version of himself, his family, his friends, his time and reality he prefers — a decision that not only impacts his life but the lives of billions of others born and unborn.
Chris Smith & Jon Stewart
PositiveUSA TodaySmith weaves an often artful, if occasionally unwieldy, combination of interviews, asides and segues with classic scripted moments from Stewart’s tenure ... It’s an insider's look, for sure, with all the protections and discomfort that affords. Friction and strife between Stewart, staffers, the network and guests are all mined and discussed in detail but with a polite patina that suggests even the most candid moments are a bit muted or get a friendly edit ... deftly recount[s] the way Stewart’s sensibilities, political realities (and unrealities), defining events like 9/11, advances in technology and changes in the television news landscape moved the show from spectator to player.
PositiveUSA TodayIt’s the author’s reaction to what he finds that gives the book its deeper resonance ... There’s a palpable sadness that runs through The Most Famous Writer Who Ever Lived. Some of it is the natural consequence of painful discovery, of finding out more about those closest to you than you might want to know, or should know — affairs, transgressions, betrayals and tragedies of every suit. And it’s in that part of the telling that you start to feel a shift, a greater empathy, a deeper appreciation for his grandfather by Shroder and a more enlightened view of himself.
MixedUSA TodayAnd McInerney certainly hasn’t lost his impressive ability to tell a story, though the novel does get a little doughy around the middle. But despite his talent, the nagging feeling persists throughout that, save Russell, deep down most of these characters are narcissistic, empty vessels. And, cultural sightseeing aside, that means we have no real reason to care.
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
MixedUSA TodayThere’s nothing breathtakingly new here about Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld), Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), George (Jason Alexander) or Kramer (Michael Richards), the quartet of Seinfeld characters whose particularly pronounced, often obsessive-compulsive and sometimes borderline personalities defied the odds, altered the TV landscape and permeated pop culture as few others have. Having said that…Armstrong, a TV columnist who spent a decade at Entertainment Weekly, does an often charming job of deconstructing the groundbreaking creation of comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. When the book succeeds, it’s in the retelling, with its greatest contribution found in the behind-the-scenes conversations in the writers’ room. But Armstrong’s apparent need to justify the book’s title proves to be its weakest link.
MixedUSA TodayKinsley, Vanity Fair columnist and founder of Slate, doesn’t offer boomers much in the way of self-help in his new book, Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide. No, this is an exercise in generational self-assessment that falls tonally somewhere between What’s It All About, Alfie? and Is That All There Is?
PositiveUSA TodayThe subtle brilliance of this 'meditation on mortality,' which borrows its title from Eliot's The Waste Land, is its overarching conceit...Through research, interviews and a healthy dose of her own interpretative reading, Roiphe paints a series of revealing and intimate portraits of her subjects while pursuing her own very personal search for answers.