From Michael J. Fox & John Densmore to Books by or About Harold Bloom, Graham Greene, & Adrienne Rich: Arts Previews, Nov. 2020, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

Some key players in film, TV, theater, and music tell their stories and/or the stories of others, and big literary titles loom.


Bloom, Rachel. I Wanna Be Where the Normal People Are. Grand Central. Nov. 2020. cover of Holladay's The Power of Adrienne Rich256p. ISBN 9781538745359. $28. CD. ESSAYS

Fox, Michael J. No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality. Flatiron: Macmillan. Nov. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781250265616. $27.99. CD. MEMOIR

Gregory, André & Todd London. This Is Not My Memoir. Farrar. Nov. 2020. 224p. ISBN 9780374298548. $26. ENTERTAINMENT

McNear, Claire. Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy! Twelve: Hachette. Nov. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781538702321. $28. Downloadable. TV

Maerz, Melissa. Alright, Alright, Alright: An Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused. Harper. Nov. 2020. 432p. ISBN 9780062908506. $26.99. FILM

Riedel, Michael. Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway. Avid: S. & S. Nov. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781501166631. $28. THEATER

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator Bloom offers burst-out-loud-laughing personal essays that explore feeling uncomfortably different from others and finally realizing that she’s not. Back to the Future Fox focuses less on his award-garnished acting career than issues of hope, fear, toughness, and being realistic as he explains his struggles with Parkinson’s and spinal-cord surgery that led to his learning to walk again in No Time Like the Future (350,00-copy first printing). In This Is Not My Memoir, originally scheduled for May, celebrated director/actor/writer Gregory (remember My Dinner with André?) combines forces with award-winning drama critic and novelist London to capture a life lived for art. What long-running show, now moving from strictly syndication to streaming, is the subject of McNear’s Answers in the Form of Questions (60,000-copy first printing)? From Maerz, founding editor of New York magazine’s Vulture website, and written with the cooperation of Academy Award–nominated director Richard Linklater, Alright, Alright, Alright shows how one film proved to be an unexpected success and the making of stars like Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, and Ben Affleck (75,000-copy first printing). And New York Post theater columnist Riedel ranges from Jonathan Larsen’s Rent to Disney’s The Lion King as he portrays recent Midas-touched Broadway theater in Singular Sensation (100,000-copy first printing).


Densmore, John. The Seekers: Meetings with Remarkable Musicians (and Other Artists). Hachette. Nov. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780306846236. $28. Downloadable. MUSIC

Kenner, Rob. The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle. Atria. Nov. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781982140298. $27. CD. MUSIC

Doors drummer Densmore, Grammy-draped for lifetime achievement and a New York Times best-selling author (Riders on the Storm), presents The Seekers to explore the creative process in by touching on folks he has known, from Ravi Shankar, Patti Smith, and Jim Morrison to Janis Joplin, Bob Marley, and Gustavo Dudamel (30,000-copy first printing). In The Marathon Don’t Stop, Vibe found editor Kenner offers an in-depth study of hip-hop mogul, artist, and activist Nipsey Hussle (75,000-copy first printing).


Bloom, Harold. The Bright Book of Life: Novels To Read and Reread. Knopf. Nov. 2020. 560p. ISBN 9780525657262. $35. Downloadable. LITERARY CRITICISM

Greene, Richard. The Unquiet Englishman: A Life of Graham Greene. Norton. Nov. 2020. 512p. ISBN 9780393084320. $40. LITERARY BIOGRAPHY

Holladay, Hilary. The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Nov. 2020. 496p. ISBN 9780385541503. $30. Downloadable. LITERARY BIOGRAPHY

Lopate, Phillip, ed.  The Glorious American Essay: One Hundred Essays from Colonial Times to the Present. Pantheon. Nov. 2020. 944p. ISBN 9781524747268. $40. ESSAYS

Though The Bright Book of Life is iconic, often controversial literary critic Bloom’s final work, it’s still a first for him in its strict focus on narrative fiction, swooping through 52 masterpieces from Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. In The Unquiet Englishman, University of Toronto English professor Greene follows up the Guardian best-booked Graham Greene: The Life in Letters, an edited anthology, with a deeply researched life of the perennial Nobel runner-up. In The Power of Adrienne Rich, novelist/poet/biographer Holladay draws on interviews as well as often-unplumbed correspondence, genealogical records, family histories, yearbooks, and newspapers to explain how Rich moved from traditional lyric poet, married with children, to vanguard lesbian-feminist author. The multi-threat Lopate, a novelist, poet, and critic also known as an editor and anthologist of the personal essay, here collects three centuries worth of The Glorious American Essay, with authors ranging from Cotton Mather to Rachel Carson to Zadie Smith.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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