Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THE BEST COOK IN THE WORLD by Rick Bragg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 24, 2018

"Affectionate, funny, and beautifully written: a book for every fan of real food."
Heartfelt, often hilarious stories from an Alabama kitchen, a place from which issue wondrous remembrances and wondrous foods alike. Read full book review >
CREATIVE QUEST by Questlove
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 24, 2018

"More dross than expected but plenty of genuine gems of insight as well."
The drummer and co-founder of the Roots unpacks the creative process. Read full book review >

THE LAMBS by Carole George
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 24, 2018

"A heartwarmingly compassionate memoir of self-discovery among cherished animals in 'a scrap of Virginia countryside.'"
A former international lawyer tells the story of how she took over a "ratty little farm" in Virginia and became an improbable shepherdess. Read full book review >
THE POPE WHO WOULD BE KING by David I. Kertzer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 24, 2018

"A touch too long but a pleasingly encompassing view of the hapless papal reign that inspired Kertzer's early book The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortaro (1997)."
A bulky but readable history of the last leader of the Papal States. Read full book review >
THE MORALIST by Patricia O’Toole
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 24, 2018

"A balanced, welcome new addition to the Wilson shelf."
O'Toole (When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt After the White House, 2005, etc.) adds to a long list of Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) biographies with a skillfully crafted account of the president's life and legacy. Read full book review >

GREAT AMERICAN OUTPOST by Maya Rao
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 24, 2018

"A superbly reported book marred only by an occasionally wandering narrative."
Newspaper journalist Rao travels to remote western North Dakota to immerse herself in the boom-and-bust cycle of shale oil extraction. Read full book review >
PRESIDENT CARTER by Stuart E. Eizenstat
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 24, 2018

"An astute, often shocking, behind-the-scenes chronicle."
Jimmy Carter's chief domestic policy adviser tells all. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 24, 2018

"A potent and compassionate, if meandering, chronicle of a family in crisis."
A tragic suicide cripples a close-knit family in this memoir. Read full book review >
RENAISSANCE WOMAN by Ramie Targoff
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 17, 2018

"Targoff captures the Renaissance's 'simultaneous magic and strangeness' in a single woman."
"The Renaissance comes to life anew" in this insightful biography of a remarkable Italian woman. Read full book review >
THE ART OF THE WASTED DAY by Patricia Hampl
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 17, 2018

"'Loneliness eats away at you,' writes the author. 'Solitude fills and fills you.' A captivating and revelatory memoir."
A writer's life is conveyed through "a lens of penetrating inquiry." Read full book review >
HARA HOTEL by Teresa Thornhill
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 17, 2018

"A brave, affecting book about a continuing humanitarian crisis."
Thornhill (The Curtain Maker of Beirut: Conversations with the Lebanese, 2011, etc.) offers a personal account of her time volunteering in Greece as refugees arrived from Syria and other nations beset by strife. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 17, 2018

"The authors offer some beguiling insights on what math is about and how it has evolved but no royal road to easy understanding."
A science writer and astronomer and his student, a teen math prodigy, join forces to elucidate fields of math they find weird. 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 >