RHAPSODY: Six Questions for Mitchell James Kaplan [INTERVIEW]

Pianist
Diamond Review Banner
Mitchell James Kaplan brings George Gershwin and the jazz age to dazzling life in Rhapsody. (Photo courtesy Canva)

Few musicians left as indelible a mark on the great American songbook as George Gershwin. But it was his epic masterpiece, Rhapsody in Blue, that made him an icon. From the first moment audiences heard the score’s opening wail, it was clear there were few musicians as adventurous or brilliant as Gershwin. Yet as with every artist, there is much more to his story than just his music. Now novelist Mitchell James Kaplan pulls back the curtain on the famed pianist’s fabled career in the forthcoming novel, Rhapsody, a book that is both vividly written and utterly compelling, and truly worthy of becoming our first Diamond Reviewed title for 2021. It shines a light not only on Gershwin’s discography, but also on his decade-long romance with another pianist, Kay Swift. We loved the book so much we couldn’t wait to sit down with Mitchell James Kaplan for this exclusive interview. Enjoy! —J&H

Read more of this post

Travel Back in Time with Tamara Dever’s ‘I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie’ [REVIEW]

Remember all your favorite classic hits with games, trivia and more in I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie. (Author photo courtesy Tamara Dever)

Great books. Danceable music. Brain-teasing trivia. What do these three items have to do with each other? Author Tamara Dever made the connection between them decades ago, before playlists replaced mixed tapes (remember cassettes?) and long before books were downloaded on tablets rather than checked out at the library. Get ready to go “Back in Time” Marty McFly style with Dever’s new music quiz book, I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie. It’s a fun retrospective of everything we loved most about growing up in the 80s!

Read more of this post

‘Start Without Me’ Illustrates Why Some of Us Avoid Going Home at All Costs [REVIEW]

North Amherst, Massachusetts

In Start Without Me, Joshua Max Feldman proves that sometimes going back to your childhood home isn’t as joyous as it could be. (Photo by Doug Kerr, Flickr)

Home for the holidays. The very thought of it conjures up idealized Hollywood scenarious where everything is perfect, blanketed in clean white snow, with the family gathered around the table sharing fond, sweet memories of yesteryear. But in Joshua Max Feldman’s new novel, Start Without Me, he depicts another type of homecoming altogether. In fact, this story is as far from a Frank Capra movie as you can get.  Read more of this post