Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

FOUR YEARS IN THE MOUNTAINS OF KURDISTAN by Aram Haigaz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 26, 2015

"A richly detailed testimony to a young man's courage in the face of unspeakable horror."
An account of tragic years in Armenian history. Read full book review >
ALL WHO GO DO NOT RETURN by Shulem Deen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"In this moving book, Deen lays bare his difficult, muddled wrestling with his faith, the challenges it posed to everything he thought he knew about himself, and the hard-won redemption he eventually found."
A former member of an extremely insular Hasidic sect tells his story of becoming curious about the outside world—and the consequences of that curiosity. Read full book review >

AROUND THE WORLD IN 50 YEARS by Albert Podell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"The book features occasionally salacious details, but there is never a dull moment."
The globe-trotting adventures of former magazine editor Podell (co-author: Who Needs a Road?: The Story of the Longest and Last Motor Journey Around the World, 1967).Read full book review >
THE PORCELAIN THIEF by Huan Hsu
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"Some first-rate detective work sometimes obscured by excessively thick historical shrubbery."
A former journalist and current professor searches for the rare porcelain buried by his great-great-grandfather in 1938, when Japanese invaders approached his property in Xingang, China. Read full book review >
FIRE AND ICE by Jonathan Mingle
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"If you weren't worried about climate change before, this is just the book to kindle your angst. A promising debut."
A searching, sobering, sometimes-scary look at an overlooked carrier of climate change. Read full book review >

ALFRED HITCHCOCK by Michael Wood
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"The breadth of Hitchcock's career and personal life defies easy summation, but Wood's quickly paced, informative biography is a welcome primer for anyone interested in learning more about one of film's most important figures."
A brief portrait of cinema's most iconic silhouette, Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980). Read full book review >
OFF THE RADAR by Cyrus Copeland
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"Both a gripping personal story and an insightful historical-cultural study."
Copeland (editor: A Wonderful Life: 50 Eulogies to Lift the Spirit, 2006, etc.) explores the mystery surrounding his father's controversial persecution in revolutionary-era Iran.Read full book review >
ORCHARD HOUSE by Tara Austen Weaver
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"Honest and moving, one woman's initiation into intensive gardening with her mother, which changed a neglected space into something beautiful and bountiful and shifted their relationship as well."
How a novice gardener became a permaculturalist and found community in the process. Read full book review >
BOSWELL'S ENLIGHTENMENT by Robert Zaretsky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 23, 2015

"This wonderful rendering of Boswell digs deep into his probing, enquiring life and the fast friends he made at every turn."
James Boswell (1740-1795) comes to life in Zaretsky's (French History/Univ. of Houston; A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning, 2013) recounting of his European grand tour in the mid-18th-century.Read full book review >
GALILEO'S TELESCOPE by Massimo Bucciantini
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 23, 2015

"This erudite work will take some effort to follow and understand, but it's well-worth the effort for a glimpse into the world-shattering effect of the birth of the telescope."
Italian professors of the history of science Bucciantini (Univ. of Siena), Camerota (Univ. of Cagliari) and Giudice (Univ. of Bergamo) explore the geographical dispersion of the telescope and the radical change its "new sky" produced. Read full book review >
A Spacious Life by Narissa Doumani
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 18, 2015

"Intelligent, contemplative spiritual memoir by a fine writer with a rich interior world."
A youngwoman writes of her spiritual evolution in an insightful debut memoir. Read full book review >
THE WILD OATS PROJECT by Robin Rinaldi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 2015

"A sensitive, intimate and bold story."
A 40-something journalist's account of her yearlong open-marriage experiment and its consequences. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >