December 7, 2004

To review or not to review . . .


“May we offer our mea culpa,” asks Pittsburgh Post-Gazette book editor Bob Hoover in an unusual column in which he admits to “a few regrets” about books he “either ignored or otherwise shortchanged” over the last year. In an attempt “to get them off my chest before 2005 slinks in,” he mentions a few, such as that he “was moved but passed on these life stories: Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughter’s Eyes by Deana Martin with Wendy Holden,” and “Tallulah! The Life and Times of a Leading Lady by Joel Lobenthal.” But, in a commentary on the mea culpa, The Complete Review says that “Most disappointing” was Hoover’s admission that “The competition for attention was tough and the logical approach was to go with the big names.” Says the CR: “We would have thought quality-considerations would rank higher than name-recognition, but what do we know?”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives