Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

HONOR YOUR JOURNEY by Shirley J. Gilbert
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 22, 2017

"An impassioned, if at times unfocused, plea for making the world a better place by identifying and addressing the impediments to good mental health."
Part workbook, part memoir, this self-help guide offers a plan for getting beyond trauma-induced pain to enjoy a better quality of life. Read full book review >
WHY I AM NOT A FEMINIST by Jessa Crispin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Forget busting glass ceilings. Crispin has taken a wrecking ball to the whole structure."
A taut and spirited attack on contemporary mainstream feminism. Read full book review >

DEAR FRIEND, FROM MY LIFE I WRITE TO YOU IN YOUR LIFE by Yiyun Li
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A potent journey of depression that effectively testifies to unbearable pain and the consolation of literature."
A Chinese-American fiction writer offers an intimate memoir of "darkest despair." Read full book review >
FLÂNEUSE by Lauren Elkin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Enlightening walks through cities, cultural history, and a writer's heart and soul."
An American freelance essayist and translator living in Paris debuts with an appealing blend of memoir, scholarship, and cultural criticism. Read full book review >
THE INKBLOTS by Damion Searls
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Searls shows persuasively how the creation and reinvention of inkblots has reflected psychologists' scientific and cultural perspectives."
A history of 20th-century psychology focused on the life, work, and legacy of the inventor of the inkblot test. Read full book review >

THE SKIN ABOVE MY KNEE by Marcia Butler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"The light and the dark fight it out in this fierce, fiery memoir."
Can music save a person's life? Read full book review >
SONGS OF THE BAKA AND OTHER DISCOVERIES by Dennis James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Travel dispatches that offer a rare perspective on a world few see so intimately."
Intrepid travelers offer a colorful report on far-flung destinations. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Relentlessly positive in tone, Grande's narrative never dives deeply enough to reward readers' time."
Ronald Reagan's former personal assistant reminisces. Read full book review >
THE EDUCATION OF WILL by Patricia McConnell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"An uplifting story of hope about how both dogs and humans need 'a sense that they are not helpless victims.'"
How training an incorrigible puppy helped an internationally renowned animal behaviorist recover from "multiple traumas." Read full book review >
TRAVELING WITH GHOSTS by Shannon Leone Fowler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A courageous and finely crafted account soaked in tears of love and loss."
A marine biologist who suffered a grievous loss when she was in her 20s debuts with a wrenching account of that loss, her ensuing suffering, and her attempts to regain a sense of purpose. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A fine biography of a man who played an essential role in post-World War II American science and deserves to be better known."
The life and work of "an expert in technology" who is largely forgotten outside the world of physics. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A sympathetic telling of the life and death of an infamous convict and the ill-fated intervention of a famed writer."
In 1979, Norman Mailer published The Executioner's Song, a novel that narrated the life and death of Gary Gilmore, a notorious killer executed in 1977. Loving (English/Texas A&M Univ.; Confederate Bushwhacker: Mark Twain in the Shadow of the Civil War, 2013, etc.) offers the back story of Mailer's fraught relationship with the murderer whose story was eerily similar to that of Gilmore. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
February 27, 2017

In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s debut novel Everything Belongs to Us, the setting is Seoul in 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind. For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn’t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin’s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father’s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty. But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever. “Engrossing,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.” View video >