Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

NO WAY BUT GENTLENESSE by Richard Hines
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"A delightful story of a boy, his birds, and his pursuit of knowledge in spite of society's dictates."
How catching and training a kestrel changed the life of a young British boy. Read full book review >
DRIVE! by Lawrence Goldstone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"'Horse Is Doomed,' read one headline in 1895. This highly readable popular history tells why."
The creation of the American automobile. Read full book review >

EAST WEST STREET by Philippe Sands
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"For the future of humanity, forgetting, Sands insists in this vastly important book, is not an option."
An engrossing tale of family secrets and groundbreaking legal precedents. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"An inspiring, well-rendered, deeply reported, and often infuriating account."
Salon contributing writer Dayen illuminates how, during the past 10 years, home buyers ended up illegally evicted from their residences as the result of dishonesty, greed, and heartlessness involving mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers, investment bankers, and unscrupulous lawyers. Read full book review >
THE BOYS IN THE BUNKHOUSE by Dan Barry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"Gently, empathetically, and indelibly, Barry conveys a tale of unthinkable brutality."
A gripping indictment of society's treatment of "losers." Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 2016

"Great fun for anyone with even a slight knowledge of Roman and English history and geography—or those curious about them."
A delightful trip from Rome to Hadrian's Wall—in C.E. 130. Read full book review >
THE ROMANOVS by Simon Sebag Montefiore
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 10, 2016

"A magisterial portrayal of these 'megalomaniacs, monsters and saints' as eminently human and fallible."
A lively work illustrating the personalities, sensuality, and steely wills of the long line of Russian rulers. Read full book review >
MACARTHUR AT WAR by Walter R. Borneman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 10, 2016

"A no-holds-barred portrait of a controversial figure and a feast for World War II aficionados."
An examination of the reputation of Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964), at one point the most admired of all the generals on the Allied side of World War II. Read full book review >
EVERYTHING IS TEETH by Evie Wyld
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 10, 2016

"A rite-of-passage memoir that has powerful poetry in its ellipses."
A graphic memoir that proceeds like a young girl's powerfully disturbing dream, which continues to resonate through her waking hours. Read full book review >
AMERICAN RHAPSODY by Claudia Roth Pierpont
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 10, 2016

"As vital and entertaining as the creators and work it celebrates, American Rhapsody is an uncommonly satisfying celebration of the cultural kaleidoscope known as the United States."
The New Yorker staff writer delivers a selective history of the difficult, chaotic, transcendent genius of arts in America.Read full book review >
MEMORIES by Teffi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 6, 2016

"Fluently translated by several hands and introduced by Teffi's biographer, Edythe Haber, these are priceless anecdotes and beautiful portraits of friends and acquaintances lost forever."
Poignant reflections of a beloved Russian humorist as she fled her homeland on the eve of Bolshevik victory. Read full book review >
PUMPKINFLOWERS by Matti Friedman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"A haunting yet wry tale of young people at war, cursed by political forces beyond their control, that can stand alongside the best narrative nonfiction coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq."
Powerful account of youthful Israelis maturing, fighting, and dying at a forgotten Lebanon outpost. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >