11/08/2010 12:11 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Beatles, The Stones, The Raiders: Book Review Roundup

"The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Rivalry" by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot
Seattle Pi

Three subjects are not conducive for polite dinner conversation: politics, religion, and who is the better band: The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. Virtually no music fan holds a neutral opinion on this issue -- in fact, it has been dubbed the ultimate rock smackdown. Chicago-based music critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, cohosts of NPR's Sound Opinions, enter the debate with The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones, a coffee table book filled with photos, lists, and conversations discussing various aspects of the bands.

"Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death and John Madden's Oakland Raiders" by Peter Richmond
The Los Angeles Times

Did quarterback Kenny Stabler really tack panties to his wall as trophies of his numerous sexual conquests? Stabler talks at great length with the author about various games and the personality of the team, but he's mum about the trophy wall. (In fact, his only comments about his wild behavior as a player are lifted from "Snake," a 24-year-old autobiography, when his tongue was looser.)

"Leadership and Crisis" by Bobby Jindal
Washington Post

The book was originally set for a July release with the title "Real Hope, Real Change." But the release date was pushed back due to this summer's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now it will be released next week with the title "Leadership and Crisis," with Jindal spending a significant portion of the book disparaging the federal government's response to the spill. While Jindal isn't always taking shots -- he writes about growing up in Louisiana the son of immigrant parents, his Christian faith, his marriage and children -- the book aims a good deal of criticism at Washington institutions. Here's are five of his targets:

"I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections" by Nora Ephron
The New York Times

Nora Ephron worries about a failing memory in the title piece of "I Remember Nothing," her inviting new collection of essays. But even her most amnesiac readers still remember "I Feel Bad About My Neck," the 2006 collection that this new book closely resembles. That resemblance is helpful in some ways and alarming in others.

"Zora and Me" by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon
The New York Times

The novel depicts Hurston as a bright, imaginative fourth grader, living with her family and friends in an all-black Florida town, around 1900. Zora, Carrie (the first-person narrator) and their friend Teddy try to figure out what happened when a man's headless body is discovered by the railroad tracks.

"In Motion: The Experience of Travel" by Tony Hiss
The New York Times

A similar notion lies at the heart of Tony Hiss's interesting and ambitious but flawed meditation, "In Motion: The Experience of Travel." For Hiss, travel and especially walking can bring a sense of heightened awareness of the world, a kind of sensory exhilaration he calls Deep Travel. As he makes clear, such travel need not involve an epic journey; a simple visit to the bagel store at the end of the street can bring it on. What it awakens is a latent, childlike sense of wonder at the world around us.