Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell, Gabrielle Union, & More | Performing Arts Previews, Oct. 2017

Cummings, Whitney. I’m Fine…And Other Lies. Putnam. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780735212602. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780735212626. CD/Downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR/HUMOR
Probably best known for her NBC series Whitney, this multithreat performer (comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director) offers a memoir edged with her famously sharp humor, ranging from her premature botox treatment to the equine therapy she underwent for an eating disorder and more. Cummings herself says it reads like the Internet if the Internet were honest and didn’t hate loureedwomen. Look for a national tour.

DeCurtis, Anthony. Lou Reed: A Life. Little, Brown. Oct. 2017. 528p. ISBN 9780316376556. $32; ebk. ISBN 9780316376549; lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316376525. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. BIOGRAPHY/MUSIC
If you read Rolling Stone, you know DeCurtis; he’s a contributing editor whose work has appeared in the magazine for 35 years. During that time, he interviewed Lou Reed extensively and uses his ready access to Reed’s friends, family, and collaborators to tell the story of the Velvet Underground lead singer, also a famed solo artist.

Dickinson, Bruce. Untitled Bruce Dickinson: Iron Maiden and Other Extraordinary Rides of My Life. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Oct. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9780062468130. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062468154. MEMOIR/MUSIC
Lead singer of Iron Maiden for more than 30 years, Dickinson settles down to write a memoir covering his crazy childhood, university days, early band experiences, solo career, family, and recent battle with cancer. Since he has a combined social media following of 16 million and will promote his book while on tour, you can bet there will be readers.

Eyman, Scott. Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart. S. & S. Oct. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9781501102172. $29; ebk. ISBN 9781501102196. BIOGRAPHY/FILM
To write this dual biography of close friends Henry Fonda and James Stewart, New York Times eymanbest-selling biographer and film historian Eyman complemented his archival research by chatting with Fonda’s widow and children, three of Stewart’s children, and the actors and directors who had worked with them both.

Faris, Anna & Chris Pratt. Unqualified. Dutton. Oct. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781101986424. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101986448. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR/HUMOR
Star of the CBS hit comedy Mom and a veteran of numerous films, notably the Scary Movie franchise, Faris is probably best known for Anna Faris Is Unqualified, a podcast launched in 2015 that averages two million downloads a month. Here’s another funny celebrity memoir with advice, focusing on the grand game of finding and keeping love. With a five-city tour.

Friedwald, Will. The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums. Pantheon. Oct. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9780307379078. $40; ebk. ISBN 9781101871751. MUSIC
Having written eight book on music (e.g., A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers) and the liner notes for nearly 500 CDs, for which he received eight Grammy nominations, Friedwald is well placed to offer this assessment of the great jazz and pop albums. The 57 albums here range from Marilyn Maye’s Meet Marvelous Marilyn Maye to Fred Astaire’s The Astaire Story to Ella Fitzgerald’s Lullabies of Birdland, and of course Frank Sinatra enters the mix. Go sing!

Hepworth, David. Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of The Rock Stars. Holt. Oct. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781250124128. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781250124135. BIOGRAPHY/MUSIC
Although fans may chafe at the idea that the age of the rock star has passed, they will be delighted that award-winning British journalist Hepworth covers key, sizzling moments in the lives of 40 stars flourishing from 1955 to 1995. Some myth busting, yes, but also a look at how these musicians have shaped our lives.

Hoskyns, Barney, ed. Joni: The Anthology. Picador. Oct. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781250148629. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781250148643. BIOGRAPHY/MUSIC
The great songwriter Joni Mitchell, who has recorded masterpiece albums over the years that still jonidraw gasps, is here profiled in nearly 60 articles that open with a review of her first performance at L.A.’s famed Troubadour in 1968. Veteran music journalist/author Hoskyns (Hotel California) does the compilation honors.

Jones, Dylan. David Bowie: A Life. Crown Archetype. Oct. 2017. 544p. ISBN 9780451497833. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780451497857. BIOGRAPHY/MUSIC
In what is billed as an oral biography, British GQ editor Jones makes use of the nearly 200 new interviews he conducted with David Bowie’s friends and lovers, bandmates and managers, to offer an intimate portrait of this music giant. A big task, given Bowie’s shifting identities.

Lax, Eric. Start to Finish: Woody Allen and the Art of Moviemaking. Knopf. Oct. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780385352499. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385352505. Downloadable: Random Audio. FILM
An expert in all things Woody Allen, Lax has already given us On Being Funny (1975), about Allen’s move from stand-up comedy to filmmaking; the international best seller Woody Allen: A Biography (1991); and Conversations with Woody Allen, interviews dating from 1971 to 2008. Here he clarifies Allen’s filmmaking by taking us to the set of 2015’s Irrational Man.

Posey, Parker. You’re on an Airplane. Blue Rider. Oct. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9780735218192. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780735218215. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR/FILM
Famously called Queen of the Indies and known for cult favorites like Dazed and Confused and her starring roles in Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, Posey here lets loose about acting, fame, and her relationships with key directors. This being a celebrity memoir, there’s also told-with-humor advice, in this case taken from Posey’s legendary Greenwich Village therapist Mildred Newman.

Schoenberger, Nancy. Wayne and Ford: The Films, the Friendship, and the Forging of an American Hero. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Oct. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9780385534857. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385534864. Downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/FILM
In 1939, director John Ford took bit player John Wayne and put him in Stage Coach, and the rest, as they say, is history: the two were a formidable team, producing the iconic Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. The author of Dangerous Muse: The Life of Lady Caroline Blackwood and coauthor of several books on movie legends, Schoenberger explores how these two men created the image of the tough, independent-minded American hero.

Shahidi, Afshin. Prince: A Private View. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781250134431. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781250134448. PHOTOGRAPHY
An Iranian-born American cinematographer, director, and photographer, Shahidi met Prince in 1989 and quickly became his videographer, then his photographer, then a friend and working partner. That closeness shows in this photo essay offering 250 glowing images, whether staged unionor candid, art-directed and in concert. More than a third of the images claim never-before-seen status.

Union, Gabrielle. We’re Going To Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Oct. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780062693983. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062694003. MEMOIR/FILM
A longtime star of film and TV who currently plays the title role in BET’s Being Mary Jane, for which she won an NAACP Image Award, Union is also notably an activist supporting women’s reproductive health and victims of sexual assault. Herself an assault victim, Union here offers forthright essays on power, color, gender, feminism, and fame, ranging from a childhood caught between white California and black Nebraska to her experiences in Hollywood today. With a 200,000-copy first printing.

 

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Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.

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