Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

LEAVING THE GAY PLACE by Tracy Daugherty
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 17, 2018

"An engrossing, well-documented biography of a largely forgotten writer and his place within a quickly changing period of the 20th century."
A political and pop-cultural view of midcentury America in relation to the enigmatic life of a Texas-bred political journalist and novelist. Read full book review >
MATTERS OF VITAL INTEREST by Eric Lerner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A sensitive portrait of a sly, charming, complicated man."
Singer, songwriter, and poet Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) wanted to be remembered above all as a good father. Read full book review >

THE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"Bibliophiles will love this fact-filled, bookish journey."
An engaging, casual history of librarians and libraries and a famous one that burned down. Read full book review >
A MIND UNRAVELED by Kurt Eichenwald
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"An enlightening and often moving memoir of one man's struggle to live with a chronic and debilitating condition."
A journalist recounts his decadeslong struggle with epilepsy. Read full book review >
HEAVY by Kiese Laymon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A dynamic memoir that is unsettling in all the best ways."
A challenging memoir about black-white relations, income inequality, mother-son dynamics, Mississippi byways, lack of personal self-control, education from kindergarten through graduate school, and so much more. Read full book review >

SLEEP OF MEMORY by Patrick Modiano
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A future biographer won't be able to build much of a timeline of the events Modiano so evocatively describes, relics of a world that no longer exists. An elegant work of suggestion and misdirection."
A languid, novelistic portrait of the artist—winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 2014—as a young man. Read full book review >
RETABLOS by Octavio Solis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"An intriguing work that transcends category, drawing from facts but reading like fiction."
In this coming-of-age memoir, a playwright illuminates the culture of the El Paso border as he perceived it when he was young. Read full book review >
A REBEL IN GAZA by Asmaa al-Ghoul
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"An eloquent, provocative, and timely memoir."
A noted Palestinian journalist links her story as a woman born to subvert social norms to the story of her rebellious birthplace, Gaza. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A somewhat useful historical reference driven by an idiosyncratic definition of 'titan.'"
An encyclopedia of "individuals who have each somehow changed the course of world events," in which murderers and criminals find prominent places. Read full book review >
THE BIG FELLA by Jane Leavy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"Sparkling, exemplary sports biography, shedding new light on a storied figure in baseball history."
Does the world need another biography of Babe Ruth (1895-1948)? If it's this one, then the answer is an emphatic yes. Read full book review >
RUTH BADER GINSBURG by Jane Sherron De Hart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A monumental biography of one of the most influential and revered Supreme Court justices of the last century."
The first comprehensive biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (b. 1933), Supreme Court justice and cultural icon. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A tense, richly detailed narrative of the American Revolution."
In 1781, discouraged after five years of war, George Washington finally saw the tide turn. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >