Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep.
By Michael Schulman.
Apr. 2016. 336p. illus. Harper, $26.99 (9780062342843). 791.
With more than 19 Academy Award nominations to her credit (more than any other
actor in history) and three Oscar wins, Streep
is unmistakably the most celebrated actor of
her generation. Her screen performances are
legendary, from Margaret Thatcher in The Iron
Lady to Julia Child in Julie and Julia. Her range
of talents is enviable. They include a veritable
UN of pitch-perfect dialects and the capabilities for show-stopping Broadway tunes, campy
comedies, and period dramas. Is such talent
born or developed with care and precision?
Beginning with her suburban high-school
plays to her challenging graduate studies at the
Yale School of Drama and culminating in her
breakout performance as Joanna Kramer in
Kramer vs. Kramer, Schulman’s biography is
an elaborate if far from exhaustive look at an
aspiring artist and blossoming young woman
coming into her own through the roles she perfected, the risks she took, and the relationships
she fostered. Schulman’s balanced portrait of
Streep’s unwavering dedication and demanding work ethic makes this a must-read for fans
and aspiring actors. —Carol Haggas
Mar. 2016. 416p. Penguin, $27.95 (9781594206429). 781.
Moby gave up drinking to become a straightedge, vegan Christian. Poor but smug, he ran
bible-study sessions for wealthy, young Christians with the aim of making them feel guilty
about being rich. “I was a Christian, but I was
also a dick.” In 1989, while hoping to make
it as a DJ in New York, Moby squatted in an
abandoned factory in Connecticut. In 1991,
he had a surprise hit record, “Go,” in the U.K.
Moby lovingly recreates a dystopian Manhattan
dominated by AIDS, drugs, and gang violence
and vividly describes the rave scene with its
glow sticks, Vicks VapoRub, and smiley faces,
not to mention the Ecstasy, ketamine, and
heroin. Moby falls off the wagon and enters a
debauched era of excess. The nineties conclude
with Moby, a bald, has-been musician, dating
strippers, missing his mother’s funeral, and
having sex on a dance floor surrounded by drag
queens dressed as Stevie Nicks. This engrossing
memoir is an often unflattering, self-loathing
peek at the period before Moby’s breakthrough
album, Play, launched him into superstardom.
Crafts & Hobbies
The Complete Photo Guide to Cardmaking.
By Judi Watanabe.
Mar. 2016. 224p. illus. Creative Publishing, paper, $24.99
Both a detailed guide for the novice card
maker and a source of inspiration for those
with more experience, this book includes
hundreds of color photos illustrating the tech-
niques and projects described. For newbies,
Watanabe provides detailed instructions for
how to use the many tools available for paper
crafting as well as for each individual project.
Techniques—including matting, decoupage,
collage, quilling, origami and other paper fold-
ing, pop-ups and pockets, quilt-inspired paper
Bargello, embossing, stamping, watercolor,
and more—are illustrated with clear instruc-
tional photographs. Projects are described with
step-by-step instructions, and each step is ac-
companied by a photo, ensuring that even a
beginner can accomplish the pictured result.
Though some of the cards include a specific
occasion or purpose, most are wordless and
suitable for whatever the need may be. Wata-
nabe’s design style makes each card a small
work of art or craft (or both), and her instruc-
tions allow any card maker to be an artist and
to create a professional-looking result. Rec-
ommended for libraries where paper-crafting
books are in demand. —Anne Heidemann
Crochet Geometry: Geometric
Patterns to Fit and Flatter.
By Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby.
Mar. 2016. 114p. illus. Lark, paper, $17.95
Mullett-Bowlsby (Designer Crochet, 2015)
more than proves his chops in crochet design
in his latest book that
is sure to appeal to the
fibercraft audience. He’s
mastered a number of
key features that make
this book a standout. The
first is the ease of pattern
explanation; not only
does he include graphs
and detailed written instructions, he also beefs
up the back-of-the-book special techniques
(e.g., the locking mattress stitch) through step-by-step, close-up photographs. Next on the
list of accolade candidates come the many
elegant color photos of both regular and plus-size models, enabling readers to visualize the
final product—and themselves—as patterns
go from small to 5X. (The photographs and
illustrations are provided by Jason Mullett-Bowlsby; together, he and Shannon are known
as Shibaguyz Designz.) Last, the inventive and
playful designs here are all built on rectangles,
circles, and triangles as foundation; they’re simply having fun with geometry. The only issue?
That there are just 15 designs. More, please.
Sports & Recreation
The 100 Most Important Sporting Events
in American History.
Ed. by Lew Freedman.
2015. 385p. illus. Greenwood, $89 (9781440835742). 796.
Prolific sports author and veteran journalist
Freedman presents a concise reference detailing
a wide array of athletes and events that effected
changes in a sport—or even transcended sport
and seeped into mainstream social issues of the
time. Ranked by significance of influence, the
entries lead off with Jackie Robinson breaking
the color barrier and ends with the infamous
Kerrigan-Harding debacle preceding the 1994
Olympics. Almost every sport is included,
and there are many entries heralding women’s
achievements before and after Title IX. Entries
range from three to five pages and consist of a
concise biography or explanation of an event
and its importance to the evolution of the sport
or greater societal implications. A helpful list
for further reading concludes each article. The
numbered rankings in the table of contents
provide access for browsers, but several entries,
such as The Ice Bowl or A basketball sisterhood,
are vague and hinder access to the material. The
extensive index provides better entry to the ma-
terial. Illustrated throughout, this volume offers
a great starting point for sports enthusiasts and
students interested in exploring the many ways
sports influence and perhaps change the way
we think. —Craig Clark
YA: Middle- and high-school students
with an interest in sports will enjoy
browsing this reference work. RV.
The Arm: Inside the Billon-Dollar Mystery
of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports.
By Jeff Passan.
Apr. 2016. 368p. illus. Harper, $26.99 (9780062400369).
When surgeon Frank Jobe died in 2014, his
obituary highlighted the revolutionary operation he had first performed 40 years earlier on
Dodgers pitcher Tommy John. That innovative operation (now dubbed “Tommy John
surgery”) defines the narrative center of Passan’s multifaceted investigation of the bodily
limb—the arm—that it surgically repairs.
Delving into evolutionary biology, Passan illuminates the natural history that endowed
the early hominid arm with strength sufficient
to throw rocks at high speed. But as readers
explore the competitive dynamics governing
modern baseball, they realize why pitchers
push themselves past their natural limits, consequently suffering injuries requiring surgical
treatment. Wide-ranging inquiries clarify why
a growing number of pitchers—even among
teenage players—now end up under the scalpel, both here and in baseball-loving Japan.
As Passan interviews professionals dealing
with the problem—physicians, managers,
trainers, pitchers, and even epidemiologists—
he reports no magical breakthroughs. But he
does give readers an insider’s perspective on
the threat hanging over every player who takes
the mound. —Bryce Christensen
Chasing Perfection: A Behind-the-
Scenes Look at the High-Stakes Game of
Creating an NBA Champion.
By Andy Glockner.
Mar. 2016. 288p. Da Capo, $25.99 (9780306824029).
Compared to baseball’s widespread use of
statistical analysis to improve team performance, most famously documented in Michael
Lewis’ Moneyball (2003), the NBA has arrived
late to the stats game. Glockner, who’s written
extensively on hoops for SI.com and ESPN.
com, delivers a strong, if occasionally arid,