Book List

Best Biographies of 2021

  • NONFICTION

    TWELVE CAESARS

    OCT. 12, 2021

NONFICTION

TWELVE CAESARS

by Mary Beard

A lively treatise on Roman art and power, deliciously opinionated and beautifully illustrated. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    THE RISE AND FALL OF OSAMA BIN LADEN

    AUG. 3, 2021

NONFICTION

THE RISE AND FALL OF OSAMA BIN LADEN

by Peter Bergen

Essential for anyone concerned with geopolitics, national security, and the containment of further terrorist actions. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    KING OF THE BLUES

    OCT. 5, 2021

NONFICTION

KING OF THE BLUES

by Daniel de Visé

The thrill is here, as B.B. King finally gets his due in this first meticulous account of his historic life. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    A BRAVE AND CUNNING PRINCE

    NOV. 2, 2021

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

A BRAVE AND CUNNING PRINCE

by James Horn

Swift-moving prose along a twisting storyline lends this brilliant book the feel of a mystery. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    WALK WITH ME

    SEPT. 1, 2021

HISTORY

WALK WITH ME

by Kate Clifford Larson

A social justice pioneer gets her due in this inspiring story of toil and spirit. A must-stock for libraries. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    TOM STOPPARD

    FEB. 23, 2021

NONFICTION

TOM STOPPARD

by Hermione Lee

Authoritative and exhaustive—another jewel in Lee’s literary crown. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    THE YOUNG H.G. WELLS

    NOV. 2, 2021

NONFICTION

THE YOUNG H.G. WELLS

by Claire Tomalin

A vivid portrait of the early years of an author of astounding vision, who predicted many of the horrors of the 20th century. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    PESSOA

    JULY 13, 2021

NONFICTION

PESSOA

by Richard Zenith

Impressive research and evident enthusiasm inform a definitive biography. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >

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The Magazine: Kirkus Reviews

We kick off the first of three issues of Kirkus Reviews that celebrate the best books of 2021 with the year's best fiction and nonfiction, selected from more than 3,300 books reviewed in both genres.

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