Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

MICHAEL AND ME by Shana Mangatal
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 29, 2016

"A vexing and tedious memoir that offers only brief glimpses of the extraordinary creativity of the King of Pop."
Seven years after his death, Michael Jackson's secret girlfriend reveals their peculiar 20-year relationship. Read full book review >
MY FIRST LIFE by Hugo Chávez
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Monster or savior? Norteamericano leaders accustomed to the view of Chávez as evil incarnate may value this alternate, assuredly self-serving presentation of facts and events."
The late Venezuelan leader—or strongman, or dictator, if you like—tells all. Read full book review >

NOW I SIT ME DOWN by Witold Rybczynski
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Rybczynski is totally engaging in this smoothly flowing, sharp, witty narrative—another winner from a top-notch writer on design."
The acclaimed popularizer and purveyor of all things architectural scrutinizes a "tool for sitting." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"An uneven biography that should still find an audience with budding journalists and those interested in a significant period in the history of print journalism."
An account of the adventurous life of Alicia Patterson (1906-1963), founder and editor of Newsday. Read full book review >
TRUFFLE BOY by Ian Purkayastha
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"An informative and charming food and travel memoir."
A 20-something's account of how he became a leading importer of truffles and other exotic specialty foods for some of America's most elite restaurants. Read full book review >

THE COMMANDER by Laila Parsons
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A remarkably evenhanded biography of an important player in Arab history that doubles as a crucial scholarly reinterpretation of the rise and fall of Arab nationalism."
Biography of the famous early-20th-century Arab nationalist and soldier Fawzi al-Qawuqji (1890-1977). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Brown's humor is pointed inward as often as outward, and he neither glosses over nor languishes on the fact that he has fewer years ahead of him than behind."
A journalist's diary of age 60. Read full book review >
DOUBLE ACE by Robert Coram
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Scott remains a footnote, but Coram's book is a pleasure for fans of military aviation history."
Military biographer Coram (Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine, 2010, etc.) continues his campaign of restoring heroes-turned-footnotes to historical memory. Read full book review >
TRUMP REVEALED by Michael Kranish
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A foregone conclusion: fans of Trump will want to turn to The Art of the Deal, while his detractors will find plenty of ammunition here for their cause."
The man who would be king—pardon, president—comes in for unsparing scrutiny and is found wanting. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Race, patriotism, and personal heroism come together in this eye-opening early episode in Civil War history."
A Civil War tale starring a free black sailor. Read full book review >
THE ART OF RIVALRY by Sebastian Smee
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Smee takes readers deep into the beginnings of modern art in a way that not only enlightens, but also builds a stronger appreciation of the influences that created the environment that fostered its development."
An exploration of the relationships among eight artists who were friends, mentors, and/or rivals and the particular incidents that changed their lives. Read full book review >
ALL AT SEA by Decca Aitkenhead
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"An unsentimental yet affecting memoir."
An award-winning journalist's account of how she came to terms with the accidental drowning death of her beloved companion and father of her two children. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Andrea Beaty
August 30, 2016

In Andrea Beaty and David Roberts’ new picture book Ada Twist, Scientist is like her classmates, builder Iggy and inventor Rosie: scientist Ada, a character of color, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. Not afraid of failure, she embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble! Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. “Cool and stylish,” our reviewer writes. View video >