Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

HOMER by Barbara Graziosi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"A highly accessible book infused with sharp considerations of the 'first teacher' of Greece and of the epics' enduring power, provenance, and influence not only on antiquity and the Middle Ages, but on the modern world."
Graziosi (Classics/Durham Univ.; The Gods of Olympus: A History, 2014, etc.) delivers an excellent guide, rendered with both academic rigor and clarity, to understanding the Iliad and the Odyssey as well as their putative author. Read full book review >
OCTAVIA E. BUTLER by Gerry Canavan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"Scholarship for science-fiction scholars."
A deep reading of the work of the late science-fiction master. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"A schmaltzy but affecting memoir of a mostly vanished world."
The debut author, who has a long history in publishing as an editor, shares her stories about coming-of-age on the Lower East Side. Read full book review >
JO MALONE by Jo Malone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A moving and revealing account of the author's passion for business and personal success."
Turning yourself into an upscale brand is extremely difficult. Fragrance guru and entrepreneur Malone chronicles how she did just that. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A quirkily intelligent memoir of finding oneself in movies."
A Brooklyn-based writer and editor's memoir about how watching John Hughes films as an adolescent gave meaning to his troubled life. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A solid demonstration of how an insistence on secrecy proved to be a fatal breakdown as the Japanese attack loomed. A good complement to Steve Twomey's Countdown to Pearl Harbor (2016)."
This evenhanded exposé of the scapegoating of the commander in chief of the Pacific fleet at the time of Pearl Harbor challenges official memory. Read full book review >
PILGRIMAGE by Mark K. Shriver
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"Excerpts from Bergoglio's writings give an even more intimate look at our current pope, although it's unfortunate Shriver was unable to interview him."
The author's personal journey to find out whether the new pope is "the real deal" and thereby get in closer touch with his own Catholicism. Read full book review >
THE MAYOR OF MOGADISHU by Andrew Harding
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A beautifully rendered narrative and characterization portrays the soul of a country few Westerners truly understand."
A fluid, sympathetic journalistic foray into the tumultuous history of Somalia as lived by an intriguing impresario and activist. Read full book review >
WHEN WE RISE by Cleve Jones
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"The frank and sometimes-graphic timeline of one gay man's life, his involvement in promoting gay rights, and the AIDS epidemic."
A key member of the San Francisco gay movement traces his life story. Read full book review >
HANK by Mark Ribowsky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"It's not every 29-year-old who can pack enough into a life to warrant a 500-page biography—and a good one at that."
"Everything he did was bad for his health": a sturdy biography of the unsteady icon of outlaw country avant la lettre. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"A useful biographical portrait of an intriguing writer."
A literature scholar investigates the Jewish identity of novelist Irène Némirovsky (1903-1942). Read full book review >
MOSES by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"A meaty, worthwhile biography by a great interpreter of Jewish texts."
A unique examination of Moses. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >