Paul Simon: The Life by Robert HilburnWhat it is: an energetic and thoroughly researched portrait of the singer-songwriter's life and prolific seven-decade career.
Why it's significant: Music journalist Robert Hilburn was granted rare access to Simon, becoming the first biographer to interview him -- which he did for more than 100 hours over the course of a year.
Don't miss: gossipy tidbits about Simon's partnership and eventual rift with Art Garfunkel, from which the two never fully recovered.
Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris NashawatyWhat it's about: the chaotic, drug-fueled production of the 1980 sports comedy Caddyshack and its enduring status as a cult classic.
Is it for you? Fans of the film will appreciate this humorous and unexpectedly moving behind-the-scenes account.
Try this next: Violet Ramis Stiel's heartfelt memoir Ghostbuster's Daughter chronicles her relationship with her father, Caddyshack director (and comedy legend) Harold Ramis, including anecdotes about his career.
Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist by Franchesca RamseyWhat it is: a sharp and timely essay collection chronicling the author's complicated journey toward activism after her YouTube video "Sh*t White Girls Say...to Black Girls" went viral in 2012, sparking conversations about race and gender -- and attracting the ire of vicious internet trolls.
Chapters include: "Eulogies for Cringeworthy Comments;" "Activism Is Like Long Division -- You Have to Show Your Work;" and "Franchesca's Simple Explanations of Not-So-Simple Concepts."
So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know by RettaWhat it's about: In this engaging essay collection, comedian and Parks and Recreation actress Retta humorously ruminates on everything from her Liberian immigrant parents and abandoned med school aspirations to her addictive personality and eclectic hobbies.
Want a taste? "I know that meeting a black woman with a love for hockey is a bit like stumbling upon a unicorn in the woods."
Media buzz: Retta's NBC television series Good Girls premiered earlier this year and was recently renewed for a second season.
The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown Between LeBron, Kobe, Doc, and Dirk... by Ian ThomsenWhat it's about: The 2010-2011 NBA season marked a turning point for the sport, beginning with LeBron James's controversial decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat and bolstered by the league's rising popularity and financial success.
About the author: Ian Thomsen is a writer at Sports Illustrated and an NBA.com contributor.
Reviewers say: "A fine work of sports journalism and a must for every bookish roundball fan" (Kirkus Reviews).
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