April 15, 2016 Booklist 9 www.booklistonline.com
the heartbreaking final hours. A haunting and
thoroughly researched account of the untimely death of an immeasurably influential artist.
The Artist’s Compass: The Complete
Guide to Building a Life and a Living in
the Performing Arts.
By Rachel S. Moore.
May 2016. 224p. Touchstone, $24.99 (9781501105951).
Moore, a former dancer with the American
Ballet Theatre and current CEO of the Los
Angeles Music Center, offers professional advice for artists across a spectrum of disciplines
and career levels. She cautions young artists, as
early as pre–high school, who may be considering conservatory training to think carefully
about narrowing focus too early, in the event
of an eventual career change—something of
personal significance to Moore, whose career
as a performer ended after a dance injury,
though she transitioned into arts administration thanks to her liberal-arts education.
Moore also offers a wealth of practical advice
for working: how to develop a professional
support system, create a website, use social
media, and network effectively. Throughout
the book, Moore includes quotes from renowned artists, including Renée Fleming and
Sigourney Weaver, which help make becoming a successful artist seem attainable. At the
same time, the text emphasizes that would-be
artists of all kinds must develop realistic expectations. This is not only a sound guide for
young artists and the parents of young artists,
but it also works well as a refresher for more-veteran performers. —Sarah Grant
YA: Moore’s advice will help teen artists
develop realistic career aspirations
and contemplate their best options for
Garth Williams: American Illustrator.
By Elizabeth K. Wallace and James D.
May 2016. 320p. illus. Beaufort, $24.95
Though arguably best known for his illustrations for Charlotte’s Web and the Little
House books, artist Garth Williams illustrated nearly 80 others during his long career.
Born in the U.S., Williams was educated in
England at the Royal College of Art and won
a prestigious Prix de Rome. Returning to the
U.S. in 1941, Williams struggled at first to
survive in New York. Happily, he came to
the attention of Harper’s Ursula Nordstrom
in 1945, and a contract for illustrations for
E. B. White’s Stuart Little followed. Though
Williams’ illustrative work was highly praised,
the Wallaces note that he seemed to regard it
as a stopgap means to support himself while
intending to return to producing “real” art.
Happily, his focus remained on illustration,
insuring his lofty stature in the field of books
for young readers. The Wallaces do an excellent job throughout of analyzing Williams’
work in the context of the texts he illustrated,
most notably in their long chapter on the
Little House books. They also admirably succeed in bringing to life this most interesting
man. Here is a book for Williams aficionados,
yes, but also for all those with an interest—
personal or professional—in children’s-book
illustration. —Michael Cart
Crafts & Hobbies
Dream Home: The Property Brothers’
Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your
By Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott.
Apr. 2016. 304p. illus. Houghton, $30 (9780544715677).
Jonathan and Drew Scott of the hit HGTV
show, Property Brothers, bring their knowledge and designs to the forefront in their
first book. Potential buyers, rehabbers, and
renovators receive valuable information on
buying, choosing designs and upgrades, and
selecting renovation options. The brothers
address exactly what’s needed for just about
everyone. Each chapter details what home-owners should have and what they may not
need, what they desire and what they can do
without. Approaches on selling your current
home, remodeling, buying, and rehabbing are
offered. Readers are given types of fixes needed
to stage and sell a home, securing a professional if needed, or doing the work themselves.
General costs of contractors, home designers,
electricians, and plumbers are discussed, and
ideas for upgrading a home, laying out concepts and notions for every room so you don’t
have to think too much, are provided. Dream
Home is full of ideas and is a good source for
anyone looking to buy, sell, or renovate a
property. —Gerri Gibson
Sports & Recreation
Fair Play: How LGBT Athletes Are
Claiming Their Rightful Place in Sports.
By Cyd Zeigler.
June 2016. 288p. Akashic/Edge of Sports, paper, $15.95
(9781617754470); e-book (9781617754654). 796.08.
Zeigler is the cofounder of the online maga-
zine Outsports, and he is a vocal and respected
advocate for the LGBT sports community.
Here he pens a series of essays about athletes
who have come out, noting the misguided
homophobia in the locker-room culture of
sports, and the important role that straight
athletes can play in the gay movement. He
harshly criticizes former NFL coach and
TV commentator Tony Dungy not only for
his homophobic statements during Michael
Sam’s coming out in the NFL but also for
his adamant stance against gay marriage. He
lauds NFL players such as Michael Irvin and
Ahman Green for their enlightened view of
gay athletes and their argument for inclu-
siveness rather than banishment. Zeigler also
recounts inspiring stories of high-school ath-
letes coming out and finding acceptance from
their local communities. Well researched,
timely, and provocative, Zeigler’s book pro-
vides readers with candid personal accounts of
the struggles and triumphs of LGBT athletes
across a wide spectrum of the sports world.
YA: Gay teen athletes will learn much
from this revealing volume. CC.
American Rhapsody: Writers,
Musicians, Movie Stars, and One
By Claudia Roth Pierpont.
May 2016. 320p. illus. Farrar, $26 (9780374104405);
e-book (9780374708771). 810.9.
A longtime New Yorker staff writer on the
arts beat and a virtuoso of the profile form,
Pierpont (Roth Unbound,
2013) has substantially reworked a dozen magazine
pieces to create this scintillating portrait gallery under
a title borrowed from one of
her subjects, George Gershwin. Rhapsody in Blue was
originally American Rhapsody, a phrase expressing Gershwin’s vision of
the promise of American equality, freedom,
and success; Pierpont uses this idea as a polestar in her keenly distilled considerations of
embattled but profoundly influential artists.
On the literary front, she discerns the creative
repercussions of Edith Wharton’s struggle
with loneliness and sexism, takes an exceptionally crisp and penetrating look at Dashiell
Hammett’s ups and downs, and offers a deeply moving response to James Baldwin’s genius
and courage. Exquisitely precise in perception
and language, Pierpont captures Katharine
Hepburn’s “mixture of comedy and pathos”
and, in one of her most extensive inquiries,
explores the cruel paradoxes faced by the
groundbreaking black actor Bert Williams.
Incisive portraits of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Peggy
Guggenheim, Orson Welles, Marlon Brando,
and Nina Simone also surround the intriguing story behind New York’s boldly designed
and incandescent Chrysler Building, an obelisk marking the glittering terrain Pierpont so
insightfully maps as she reinvigorates our appreciation for artists instrumental in shaping
our culture and propelling our ongoing struggle to realize our ideals. —Donna Seaman
Beer Money: A Memoir of Privilege and
By Frances Stroh.
May 2016. 336p. Harper, $25.99 (9780062393159). 818.
What distinguishes this family memoir
from a host of others is the name Stroh, as
in Stroh Brewing Company. As author Stroh
tells it, beer money provided a privileged life,
but miseries lay behind the facade of country club, boarding schools, and big house in
the upscale Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe.
Her parents were mismatched, and her father