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P.J. O’Rourke

None of My Business

Atlantic Monthly Press

Humorist P.J. O’Rourke wrote two of the funniest nonfiction books I’ve ever read, Holidays in Hell and Parliament of Whores. Though his latest, None of My Business, isn’t quite up to the laugh-out-loud level of those two, it has its moments.

 

In this collection of connected and independent essays, O’Rourke explains modern domestic and global business, mutant capitalism, bitcoins, et al. This takes him onto the Internet (“a sewer dive into the minds of others”) and social media, which offers the richest field for satiric humor since the rise of recreational drugs; therein are some of his wittiest observations.

– Bruce Collier

Burt Reynolds and Jon Winokur

But Enough About Me: A Memoir

G.P. Putnam’s Sons

The iconic movie and television star Burt Reynolds passed away on September 6 at the age of 82. His New York Times bestselling memoir about the people who influenced him throughout his life was published in 2015. The book points out those who helped him along the way and those he feels “did him wrong.” Reynolds himself even tries to atone for the times when he acted “badly.”

 

The memoir starts off with Reynolds growing up in South Florida, the son of a policeman and a nurse. His father, “Big Burt,” was a WWII vet and very strict with Reynolds. Elsewhere, Reynolds discusses the figures in the sports world that had a positive influence on his life, including former Florida State head football coaches Bobby Bowden and Tom Nugent, former Kansas City Royals coach Dick Howser, and ESPN Announcer Lee Corso.

 

On the acting side, Reynolds praises Watson Duncan II, an English literature professor and theater director at Palm Beach Junior College; actors Rip Torn, Charles During, Ossie Davis, and Jon Voight; and cowboy star Roy Rogers.

 

The women who had a positive influence in Reynolds’ life include actresses Dinah Shore and Sally Field, both of whom he discusses at length. Little attention is focused on ex-wives Judy Carne and Loni Anderson.

 

Reynolds was not a fan of Marlon Brando, director John Avildsen, and Deliverance author James Dickey, but he does speak with great love and affection about his son Quinton, whom he adopted with Anderson.

 

If you were (and are) a fan of Burt Reynolds, you’ll enjoy this honest, refreshing look at his life as an athlete and actor and those who played a role in it.

– Samantha Lambert

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Linwood Barclay

A Noise Downstairs

HarperCollins

A college professor happens upon a colleague disposing of some bodies one night and barely escapes his own demise. From there, things just keep getting twistier and turnier. Another first-rate thriller from one of the few authors around that can pull this kind of story off without sinking into absurdity.

– Chris Manson

 

 

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