Let Me Entertain You: Books About Sports and Entertainment

Posted by Aaron on

I don’t know about you, but I *love* reading books about the performing arts and sports. If you feel the same way, you’re in luck; we have a bunch of new books that you should grab for holiday travel or for putting on your wish list.

Music and Dance

During the summer, my husband I and I enjoy going to concerts at a winery near our home; the bands are often tribute bands dedicated to a certain artist/group/genre. When the (awesome) 80s tribute band belted out, “YOU GOTTA FIGHT! FOR YOUR RIGHT! TO PAAAAAAATAAAY!” I’m not going to lie–I felt a little like Marcel Proust biting into a madeleine (the rest of the audience must have felt the same way, because the reaction was intense!). My sister and I *loved* the Beastie Boys and our parents *hated* them. Although the angst and rebellion in their music was different (and more playful) from the angst and rebellion in the 90s alternative music that was coming down the pike, their songs were definitely distinct from the other pop music of their era (of course, some songs are definitely cringeworthy!). Beastie Boys Book is a monster of a book and defies categorization–part cookbook, part graphic memoir, but definitely one for anyone who is or was a fan.

Cover of Don't Stop Believin' with author Jonathan CainGlee (and the rise of 80s music nostalgia) reintroduced Journey to a new generation. Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song That Inspired Generations is a new memoir by the band’s songwriter/keyboardist, Jonathan Cain. As this is published by Zondervan (a leading Christian publisher), this has a Christian perspective and details Cain’s faith journey.

By the time ‘NSYNC came along, I was over the whole boy band deal (Backstreet Boys was really the last boy band that I loved). However, if you memorized the dance moves to “Pop” and “No Strings” and if Justin and Britney were the power couple of your youth, you’ll be thrilled to know that Justin Timberlake has created a new memoir of sorts (Hindsight). If not, then this is probably not the book for you.

Oh, where has Josephine Baker’s Last Dance been all my life? Her life story is begging for a rich historical novel (and movie!). I am waiting impatiently for this, even though I have a stack of books to get through.

Turn, Turn, Turn: Popular Songs Inspired by the Bible examines 100 songs from the 1930s to present that were inspired by Bible verses or events. I’m familiar with The Byrds’s song of the same name, and that Bob Dylan used Biblical influences from time to time, but not much more beyond that. Putting this on my list.

I’ve been watching for an updated look at women rock/pop musicians, so I was super excited to find Women Who Rock. This includes a broad range of women, including Mahalia Jackson, Carole King, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, The Go-Gos, k.d. lang, Selena, Dixie Chicks, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and much more.

TV and Movies

Baby boomers, get ready: not only is 2019 the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, but it’s also the 50th anniversary of Woodstock and the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. I’ll admit that I never really got into Monty Python (my sister was and still is a huge fan), but plenty of Fauquier patrons are, as this has been a popular choice since we received it. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life sounds hugely entertaining and has already appeared on several “Best of 2018” book lists, so this is on my list.

Reality TV fans will want to pick up Captive Audience: On Love and Reality TV or Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure. Both examine the fascination people have with reality TV, its popularity, and more.

If your taste are a little more wholesome, Christmas in the Movies might be of interest. Production history, synopsis, and legacy for 30 movies will get you in the spirit for holiday viewing.The Good Neigbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King book cover

Fred Rogers died thirteen years ago, but his legacy continues to burn bright. The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers is the first full-length biography of the Presbyterian minister turned children’s television host and advocate. We also have Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the recent documentary about Mr. Rogers. (Audiobook fans: the audiobook narrator for The Good Neighbor is Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton!)

If “Must See TV” means anything to you, then you are the audience for I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends. I’m trying to get through somewhat more weightier history/biography books before I grab this one, but I am super stoked to read it. Not only is it a historical look at the show, but it also reexamines dated story lines/jokes that might make you cringe if you watch reruns. (Ardent fans will get the subtitle reference. If you’re not: each episode was titled “The One About –” in reference to that episode’s story line.)

Sally Field’s new memoir, In Pieces, is a besteller and has appeared on numerous “Best of 2018” book lists. She writes candidly about her movie career, her triumphs and her personal struggles.

It’s Saturday Morning! Celebrating the Golden Age of Cartoons is for the adults who grew up slurping down a bowl of cereal while watching Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, or Animaniacs (depending on your era). If that’s not enough to jump start your nostalgia, would retrospectives of the commercials that ran between the shows entice you?

Whoa, mama! Springfield Confidential has been consistently checked out since we received it. This isn’t a history of the show; rather, it’s an insight into how the writers create episodes, how the songs are written, and much more.


Arthur Ashe is high on my to-be-read list (sooo much to get through before I can check out any more!). This biography of the Richmond native, tennis pioneer, and civil rights advocate for African-Americans and people with HIV/AIDS is one I’ve had my eye on for months.

Published in connection with the ESPN documentary series of the same name, Basketball: A Love Story highlights the sport’s history and legacy as a barrier-breaking sport through interviews with the sport’s greatest players, coaches and other officials.

Babe Ruth was one of the first modern sports superstars, and his 60th home run and cross-country tour helped to create his stardom and legacy. The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created has received outstanding reviews and inclusion on several “Best of 2018” lists.

The idea of professional football in the 1920s was a joke; college football, baseball, and wrestling were the main draws at the time. The League: How Five Rivals Created the NFL and Launched a Sports Empire details the improbable and difficult days of the NFL’s infancy, long before it became the multi-billion dollar business it is today.

Racing to the Finish is #88’s memoir of his last year of professional racing, which forced him into early retirement due to concussion-related injuries. Jr. (as he’s called by racing fans) kept detailed notes on his worsening condition while he keeping up a demanding competitive career. With the increasing knowledge of the effects of concussions, Dale Earnhart Jr.  wanted to write this to raise awareness and so that others wouldn’t suffer in silence.

Jennifer Schultz Angoli, Collection Services Development Librarian

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