PositiveLibrary Journal... a combination of investigative journalism and personality profiles that often take the author on a globetrotting adventure—complicated stories that have room to breathe in the long-form format. Whether Keefe is exploring the wine fraud that plagues the world of the one percent or digging into a university shooter’s past, he shows remarkable skill in explaining complicated schemes and a dogged determination to track down leads. He emphasizes the importance of fact-checking, and he documents his attempts to get as close as possible to his subjects ... A strong collection of essays of most interest to true crime readers, but also on display is a model of journalistic credibility.
PositiveLibrary JournalFischer presents Thomas Edison as a sinister figure singularly interested in Le Prince’s disappearance—a bit of misdirection, as Fischer has a more likely suspect in mind—but the sensational end of Le Prince’s life remains unsolved. Fischer’s book also successfully chronicles the history of photography and explores how moving pictures were the next logical step—and how several inventors were in competition to get there first ... Fischer combines firsthand accounts with dynamic writing to bring the Victorian era to life. A remarkable cast of characters (including Le Prince’s equally fascinating wife, Lizzie) makes for compelling reading.
RaveLibrary JournalIn this thoughtful, engaging, and moving work, Slate writer Stevens posits that Buster Keaton’s life is an entry point to understanding the 20th century—and vice versa ... Stevens’s acumen and analysis further elevate this book, offering insights and entertaining extrapolations on the myriad films and entertainment figures discussed within ... More than a biography of Buster Keaton, this is a stunning, extensively researched, and eminently readable cultural history.
PositiveLibrary JournalIt\'s hard to deny his comedy credentials ... But Steinberg continually centers himself in this narrative, even when writing about fellow comedians. Anecdotes about smoking cigars with Groucho Marx and being flashed by Milton Berle are nestled among paragraphs of name-dropping; they\'re balanced by his warm remembrances of Robin Williams, Johnny Carson, among others—plus a wild Redd Foxx story. The last third of the book is drawn from interviews Steinberg conducted on his TV show ... This section is effective, yet Steinberg still dominates the spotlight ... Steinberg hits the history harder than the comedy and presents himself as a pivotal figure. Comedy fans who remember his onscreen work will likely agree with his self-assessment and enjoy his book.
PositiveLibrary JournalScharpling...proves himself an able storyteller with his debut memoir ... He also offers a poignant account of his struggle with mental illness ... A radio deejay should be loud and opinionated, and Scharpling doesn’t disappoint. Though the book will appeal mostly to his fanbase (who will learn that Scharpling isn’t his real name), his stories are accessible to a wider audience. Be warned, though: He has little use for conservatives, Billy Joel, or the pizza in Toronto.
PositiveLibrary JournalA skilled film critic, Koresky guides readers through salient plot points instead of rehashing entire films, but his real talent is using cinema as a starting point for conversation. This intimate, probing work will appeal to hard-core cinephiles, lovers of memoirs, and many other readers.
Travis M. Andrews
MixedLibrary JournalAndrews’s...enthusiasm...can be distracting. In addition to overemphasizing the word Goldblumy and reveling in his own puns, he breaks to ask readers to send him haiku about Goldblum ... Goldblum fans will appreciate this glowing portrait that also analyzes the actor’s appeal.
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
PositiveLibrary JournalIn this compelling, well-researched work, Armstrong...uncovers the role women played in developing television, fighting for airtime as they launched sitcoms, soap operas, variety shows, and more ... Armstrong preserves an important part of television\'s—and women\'s—history in this engaging book.
PositiveLibrary JournalTelfer can coherently summarize an intentionally convoluted scheme, such as a real estate swindle targeting China’s elite, while acknowledging the human cost. She also embraces the morbid humor of situations ... Readers who appreciate a well-executed sting will enjoy this thoroughly researched yet breezy guide to notorious women.
PositiveLibrary JournalDespite the self-deprecating title, Seinfeld has assembled his greatest hits. Readers will delight in seeing how he mined a shifting landscape of inane commercial products, societal norms, and myriad pet peeves for laughs.
PositiveLibrary JournalWith Trebek’s public battle with pancreatic cancer, it’s hard not to ascribe a eulogistic tone to this work. Nevertheless, Rogak’s work is a well-crafted biography that will especially appeal to Jeopardy! fans.
Carlos Busqued, Trans. by Samuel Rutter
PositiveLibrary Journal... a fascinating profile ... Not as lurid as the title suggests, this is a chilling look at a prison system unable to meet the needs of mentally ill inmates.
PositiveLibrary JournalResearchers and nostalgic Sesame Street fans alike will appreciate this thorough, compelling overview of a pivotal period of TV history.
PositiveLibrary JournalThe stories here are humorous, with some heartbreaks, including drug- and alcohol-fueled shenanigans. The bulk of the book is set at Z100, with Duran explaining the show’s evolution (September 11 changed his perspective on the program’s purpose). He takes readers backstage, illustrating the less glamorous side of show business and presenting celebrities as ordinary people with extraordinary jobs ... Duran’s success stems from his ability to connect personally with celebrities and listeners. Here he connects with readers through heartfelt remembrances and hilariously filthy tirades that are sure to please his national fan base.
RaveLibrary JournalMiller...offers a loving, insightful, and entertaining tour ... Highlights include the cast\'s determination to work as an ensemble and the importance of filming before a studio audience—with writers retooling jokes on the spot to elicit greater laughs ... the author doesn\'t shy away from more modern criticisms of the series\' homophobia, lack of inclusivity, and jokes that rely on body- or slut-shaming ... Miller successfully revisits a classic television show, demonstrating its larger place in pop culture. A must-read for fans of Must See TV.