RaveVogue\"Posey, the Ur-’90s indie darling, made her name in some of the decade’s best movies—Party Girl, Dazed and Confused, Waiting for Guffman, Kicking and Screaming, The House of Yes, Best in Show—with roles that were variations on a theme: the gum-cracking oddball, sometimes manic, sometimes brittle, sometimes smart aleck, sometimes airheaded. Her book—written in a voice just as wry and memorably demented as any of those characters—suggests she may have been playing some version of herself all along.\
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
RaveVogueArmstrong’s book is called Sex and the City and Us, though a more accurate title might be Sex and the City and Them. Aside from her intro, it’s shorter on personal anecdotes and cultural criticism, longer on oral history ... The author seems particularly interested in the effect working on Sex and the City had on these women’s lives, and how their writers’ room became a petri dish for the debates Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha would later have over brunch on-screen ... Armstrong’s book is in-depth and insightful, with a fangirl’s reverence for the nitty-gritty of the creative process. She treads delicately around thornier topics, like rumors that have long dogged the series of a rift between Cattrall and her costars, but takes seriously criticisms of Sex and the City’s shortcomings ... Racial diversity, for example, was woefully lacking; the representation of LGBT characters can be cringe-worthy...and the show’s vision of \'choice feminism\' reflected the significant privilege of its characters (who can forget the episode in which Charlotte quits her job ahead of trying to get pregnant, senses Miranda’s dismay, and shrieks, \'I choose my choice!\').
RaveVogue\"...the dirtiest, most bizarre, most original work of fiction I’ve read in recent memory ... Broder has a talent for distilling graphic sexual thoughts, humor, female neuroses, and the rawest kind of emotion into a sort of delightfully nihilistic, anxiety-driven amuse-bouche ... The Pisces is proof that she can sustain this 140- and 280-character knack over hundreds of pages and a narrative arch ... Broder finds something both resonant and amusing in our cultural attraction to these kinds of ultra-romantic death wishes.\
RaveVogue...she’s back with The Wine Lover’s Daughter, a lively, moving, beautifully written memoir of the author’s relationship with her father, told through the story of his unfettered passion for wine...and her own difficult-to-cop-to, lifelong apathy for it ... a book about how much our tastes — and our freedom to indulge or express them — define who we are. It’s also a book about self-doubt ...as the title suggests, as much about the child as it is about the parent ... At the risk of sounding trite, The Wine Lover’s Daughter functions, in part, as a decanter into which the author has poured a very fine vintage of (her father’s beloved) Premier Cru Bordeaux, a bottle laid down in the cellar for decades, forgotten even, then rediscovered, uncorked, savored.
PositiveVogueSharapova’s book is an illuminating account of, as the subtitle has it, her life so far. The memoir begins and ends with its author’s experience of the doping debacle, and though most of these chapters concern life before her suspension, the incident haunts her book ... The book may not make her more likeable—why, again, do we need her to be?—but it does make her a hell of a lot more knowable. Sharapova’s a careful observer, and Unstoppable is full of astute psychological insights ... Even when she writes about life off the court, every revelation feels calculated. There’s a matter-of-factness to her tone; this is less catharsis than analysis of the very clever ways that the author has turned her deficits into her advantages.
PositiveVogueThe mechanics and metaphysics of recollection are also an obsessive preoccupation for Ruth, the narrator of Khong’s wonderful first novel, Goodbye, Vitamin ...a novel about the struggle to keep track of oneself in the face of loss — in Didion-speak, about someone who is attempting to get back on nodding terms with the person she used to be ... Wry, warmhearted, and wise, Khong’s writing can turn mid-sentence from really funny to really sad, and often back again ... Khong’s novel will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
PositiveVogue...even if you couldn’t care less about Star Wars you may find Fisher’s story compelling ... if you can lose the Star Wars context, the Hollywood backdrop, Fisher’s book becomes something else: an exceptionally raw portrait of the very relatable experience of falling for an unavailable, reticent older man ... There’s something sloppy and awkward and untoward about The Princess Diarist, in concept, in the writing, in the insecurity, and in the unchecked emotion chronicled here. But there’s also something courageous, daring, and provocative about copping to this experience in all its messy, unflattering reality.
PositiveVogueSchumer has written a probing, confessional, unguarded, and, yes, majorly humanizing non-memoir, a book that trades less on sarcasm, and more on emotional resonance.
PositiveVogueThe biggest changes, right around the corner, are left unexplored: Play, the album that will make him into a global superstar; the terrorist attacks of September 11, only a couple years away; his eventual return to sobriety; a decision, still years down the line, to leave New York for Los Angeles. It’s better that way. Porcelain is an imperfectly written, perfectly evocative document of a long-lost era that ended not so long ago.
Aziz Ansari & Eric Klinenberg
MixedVogueModern Romance reads a little bit like what might happen if a sociologist wrote a scholarly but accessible book about 21st-century human mating rituals, posted it on the website Genius, and Aziz Ansari annotated it with some personal experiences and jokey stories: It’s occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, occasionally touching, and, for stretches in between, kind of dry.
PositiveVogue[F]or the most part, Her Again is a measured, insightful, and quietly fascinating portrait, not only of Streep, but of her entire milieu. Schulman occasionally regards his subject with a breathless reverence, painting her as a sort of magical, unknowable unicorn of a person...But it’s hard to fault Schulman when his telling is informed by wonderful, strange anecdotes like these...
PositiveVogueSimon is remarkably eager to dish about her sex life, and the many rock stars with whom she had entanglements. But it’s in the more self-searching passages that she gets truly intimate, and reveals herself to be an equally sharp whisperer of her own heart as she is a chronicler of the strange and often reprehensible behavior of men.
MixedVogueIn less thoughtful hands, this experiment might be boring or feel sanctimonious: After all, 256 pages of uninterrupted sociological discourse is not the easiest sell. But while some sections do lag, the friends of 25 years have a provocative way of digging into whatever they’re discussing that keeps things generally interesting.
PositiveVogueCheever uses these sociological and historical trends to create a loose architecture for her book, but she’s best when writing about the way alcohol—its abuse and its rejection—affected personal lives, and when she digs up fascinating historical nuggets.
PanVogueAs a portrait of an era, it’s fascinating; but as a window into the soul of its subject and author, it falls short.