Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THE SCHOLAR DENIED by Aldon D. Morris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 27, 2015

"Inside baseball for sociologists."
A bid to restore a brilliant black scholar to his rightful place in the history of sociology. Read full book review >
KILL THE SILENCE by Monika Kørra
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"An intimate and honest memoir of survival after trauma."
A former Southern Methodist University track star's account of how she survived a brutal rape that changed her life. Read full book review >

HIGH HOLIDAY PORN by Eytan Bayme
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Fails to add anything transcendent to the canon of sexual-coming-of-age memoirs."
A real-life Alex Portnoy tells of a childhood penchant for masturbating in public. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"A vastly intelligent, comprehensively procured treat for film buffs, gay or otherwise."
Articulate career analyses of five multitalented, openly gay male film directors. Read full book review >
THE LAST LOVE SONG by Tracy Daugherty
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"A dogged biographer elicits from Didion's life much more than tidy observations of 'morality and culture.'"
An eloquent work on the life of Joan Didion (b. 1934), fashioning her story as no less than the rupture of the American narrative. Read full book review >

KISSINGER'S SHADOW by Greg Grandin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"A trenchant and succinct depiction of the ongoing artful dodging of the nonagenarian statesman."
A focused examination of Henry Kissinger's foreign policy as the normalization of "secrecy and spectacle," from Southeast Asia to Chile to Iran to Iraq. Read full book review >
LATEST READINGS by Clive James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"'If I ever had a plaque,' James confesses, 'I would like it to say: He loved the written word, and told the young.' Until the plaque is cast, this slim book will suffice."
A book lover's musings. Read full book review >
NO HOUSE TO CALL MY HOME by Ryan Berg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Particularly important for caseworkers and social service specialists, who, by Berg's account, are likely to encounter more young people in the LGBTQ population in the near future."
Just as there is a school-to-prison pipeline in this country, so too, this grim report reveals, is there a home-to-homeless paradigm for many young people. Read full book review >
THE FACE THAT CHANGED IT ALL by Beverly Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Johnson remains a fashion pioneer, but her storytelling lacks the wit or polish necessary to make the book a success."
A memoir from the model whom fashion designer Halston once called "the new beauty ‘It Girl.' " Read full book review >
THE SENATOR NEXT DOOR by Amy Klobuchar
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"A flawed but deeply personal recounting of one woman's rise through the political ranks."
A comprehensive autobiography by the first female U.S. senator from Minnesota. Read full book review >
HAYDÉE SANTAMARÍA, CUBAN REVOLUTIONARY by Margaret Randall
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 21, 2015

"Pure praise for Santamaría and Cuba. Those seeking a history of Cuba should look elsewhere, since Randall provides a glimpse of the Cuban point of view under which the only difficulties were caused by those nasty bullies in the United States."
Prolific writer and translator Randall (About Little Charlie Lindbergh and Other Poems, 2014, etc.) touches on history only as background for her brief but admiring portrait of a woman involved in Cuba's revolution from the very beginning. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"An illuminating voyage into the heart of Frost's poem and the American spirit."
Unraveling the mystery of a famous poem. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >