The New Analog: Listening and
Reconnecting in a Digital World.
By Damon Krukowski.
Apr. 2017. 240p. New Press, $24.95 (9781620971970).
Musician and poet Krukowski, a founding member of indie rock band Galaxie 500
and now part of folk-rock duo Damon &
Naomi, is a frequent contributor to
Artfo-rum, frieze, Pitchfork, and The Wire. Here, he
writes about technological transitions from
analog to digital devices and what is lost for
creators and consumers in this process. Krukowski explores the analog/digital divide and
emphasizes the important role that analog can
play in this turbulent digital era. From telephones to Napster to the iPod to Pandora,
Krukowski covers the history of the devices
that have generated audio, music, and noise
and how these products have changed cultural
communications and receptions of sound in
society. Readers who are interested in the history of technology, acoustics, and sound, and
how digitization affects audio and music will
be engaged by Krukowski’s nostalgic, quick-reading, persuasive work, as he touches on the
changing process of our consumption of music in the digital age. —Raymond Pun
Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life.
By Jonathan Gould.
May 2017. 544p. illus. Crown Archetype, $28
There have been several biographies of the
great soul singer and composer Redding, including Mark Ribowsky’s notable Dreams to
Remember (2015), but this one makes its own
contribution. As he did with the Beatles in his
acclaimed Can’t Buy Me Love (2007), Gould
puts Redding’s life into its social and political
context, seeing the intersection of the man,
the times, the church, race, and gospel music as paramount and offering a nuanced and
well-researched examination of all these factors
as they played out in the midcentury South.
Throw in a capable survey of influences—
Louis Jordan, Little Richard (like Redding, a native
of Macon, Georgia), and, somewhat later,
Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and James Brown.
The more mature Redding, Gould points out,
took advantage of these precursors’ traits and
supplemented them with his own style and
enormous talent. Redding’s own story gets a
bit lost in Gould’s emphasis on the history and
the music (Ribowsky is better on the personal
side), but this account still belongs in the hands
of anyone who cares about soul music in the
sixties. —Mark Levine
There Is No F*cking Secret: Letters from
a Badass Bitch.
By Kelly Osbourne.
Apr. 2017. 256p. Putnam, $27 (9780399176562). 791.4.
Former wild child Osbourne, who grew up
in the public eye after her family’s MTV real-
ity show, The Osbournes, became a huge hit
in 2002, chronicles the ups and downs of her
youth in a series of letters addressed to family
and friends as well as to such entities as fash-
ion, dating, and bullying. The Osbournes made
her a star in her teens, but after it ended, she
battled drug addition and weight issues before
finding success as an E! Fashion Police cohost
and a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
Osbourne observes that her transformation
from a teen struggling with drugs and body
image issues to a confident and successful
young woman took years, but that the trans-
formation seemed swift to outsiders because
“people only pick up on your journey when
you arrive at your destination.” With frank
discussions about drug use, image, sex, and
bullying, Osbourne’s candid and engaging
memoir will have special appeal to teens and
young women facing similar struggles, and ev-
ery reader will find her hard-won confidence
and sobriety inspiring. —Kristine Huntley
YA: Osbourne’s no-holds-barred honesty
might resonate with teens, particularly
those who have seen her on TV. KH.
Sports & Recreation
A Fly Rod of Your Own.
By John Gierach.
Apr. 2017. illus. Simon & Schuster, $25
(9781451618431); e-book, $12.99 (9781451518365).
In his fifteenth essay collection, Gierach
continues to explore how and why people fly
fish. But he also shows how climate change,
drought, floods, forest fires, and other environmental disasters loom over the delights
of angling. The book’s 21 essays are set in
an inverted triangle, starting at Gierach’s
home in the Colorado Rockies, then running
northwest to Alaska, east to Labrador and
Maine, and back to Colorado—with many
miles in between spent in trucks, jeeps, and
floatplanes. The writing informs, inspires,
and entertains, supplemented nicely with
Glenn Wolf’s evocative sketches and the occasional quote from Immanuel Kant, Marilyn
Monroe, Michael Pollan, Salvador Dali, and
Henry David Thoreau. There are also interjections of angling humor, as when Gierach,
commenting on how much tackle an angler
needs, says, “Nature abhors an empty pocket.
So does the tackle industry.” Gierach brings a
skeptical, wry voice to the peril and promise
of twenty-first-century fishing. —John Rowen
Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph
By Marcus Thompson.
Apr. 2017. 272p. Touchstone, $26 (9781501147838).
For the NBA-challenged, Steph Curry is the
two-time league MVP who led the Golden
State Warriors to the 2015 championship and
to the finals in 2016. His boyish good looks
and soft-spoken demeanor have led many to
refer to him as the Baby-Faced Assassin. It’s an
apt moniker. Curry is a deadly shooter from
anywhere, but especially three-point distance.
Thompson, who was a beat reporter covering
the Warriors for 10 years, knows the NBA
well and provides context for Curry’s role in
the resurrection of a long-moribund franchise.
Thompson also delves into Curry’s youth growing up as the son of an NBA player, Dell Curry,
who was also a renowned three-point shooter.
Thompson recounts Steph’s early career, including his amazing college years at Davidson
and his early seasons with the Warriors, which
were hampered by a disheartening series of injuries. Needless to say, he recovered, and the
rest is history. Curry is very popular among
NBA fans, especially younger ones who mimic
Curry’s every move and mannerism. Expect
significant demand. — Wes Lukowsky
YA: A must for teen NBA fans. WL.
Making My Pitch: A Woman’s
By Ila Jane Borders and Jean Hastings
Apr. 2017. 264p. Univ. of Nebraska, $24.95
Beginning in middle school, Ila Borders
played on all-male teams and was the first
woman to receive a baseball scholarship to college,
where she continued shattering gender barriers as a
left-handed pitcher. In 1988,
she became the first female
pitcher to win a professional
men’s baseball game. Her
résumé included playing for
the St. Paul Saints, Duluth-Superior Dukes,
Madison Black Wolf, and Zion Pioneerzz. Besides being a fascinating sports story, this is also
a moving biography of a closeted gay athlete
pursuing her dreams while struggling with her
own identity. Her faith as a Christian helped
her navigate the insurmountable challenges.
Borders endures taunts from the stands (“Go
home, you don’t belong here”) that switched
to requests for autographed baseballs when
her prowess became obvious. Cowritten with
noted baseball writer Ardell (Breaking into
Baseball, 2005), this is a welcome contribution to women’s sports biographies. Baseball
fans will enjoy the behind-the-scenes details of
life in the minors and numerous game highlights; gay athletes will connect to her struggles.
A worthy companion to Jennifer Ring’s A
Game of Their Own (2015) and an important
addition to baseball-history and LGBTQ collections. —Brenda Barrera
YA: This will have appeal for both young
sports enthusiasts and those interested in
gender issues. BB.
Smart Baseball: The Story behind the
Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game,
the New Ones That Are Running It, and
the Right Way to Think about Baseball.
By Keith Law.
Apr. 2017. 304p. Morrow, $27.99 (9780062490223);
e-book, $12.99 (9780062490254). 796.357.
After abysmal failure as a young fantasy-baseball enthusiast in the nineties, Law
concluded that the statistics he was using to
make key decisions were failing him. Turn-