Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

ON ELIZABETH BISHOP by Colm Tóibín
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"An inspiring appreciation from one writer to another."
An admiring critical portrait of a great American poet and a master of subtlety. Read full book review >
YOUNG ELIOT by Robert Crawford
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"Although Crawford modestly claims that his biography is neither 'official' nor definitive, it is unlikely to be surpassed."
A masterful biography of the canonical modernist. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"A curious portrait of a celebrity nonentity caught up in the throes of history."
Martelle (The Admiral and the Ambassador: One Man's Obsessive Search for the Body of John Paul Jones, 2014, etc.) explores the troubled life of a key yet little-known character in the Abraham Lincoln assassination drama.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"This lightweight book is all about the dog, and, though more entertaining than the allegorical ALDD might be, it remains Lincoln-lite."
Yet another trickle in the constant flood of Lincolniana, this book reports on the qualities of the quadruped that filled the job of Lincoln family dog. Read full book review >
GET ME THROUGH TOMORROW by Mojie Crigler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"A heartfelt memoir of devotion and determination."
The story of a family's triumph after a medical catastrophe. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"Tiber squeezes life for all it is worth, ringing out the last quarter of the 20th century with the offbeat, at-times twisted humor of a survivor."
Tiber picks up where he left off in Taking Woodstock (2007) with this memoir of the years thereafter, pivotal ones both for him and the gay community.Read full book review >
LINCOLN'S LAST SPEECH by Louis P. Masur
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"A concise, useful analysis of Lincoln's generous hope for postwar America, seen against the failures of the actual Reconstruction that followed."
Historian Masur (American Studies/Rutgers Univ.; The Civil War: A Concise History, 2011, etc.) explores Abraham Lincoln's views on national reconciliation.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"McMichael ably leads readers to the conclusion that, in this case, no one's hands were clean."
Journalist McMichael reveals far-reaching deceptions in his examination of coverups in the case of James Earl Ray (1928-1998), accused of killing Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis in 1968. Read full book review >
QUEEN OF THE FALL by Sonja Livingston
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"Livingston overcomes the collection's inconsistencies with her dexterity in addressing an impressive range of questions regarding humanity, femininity, and growing up in America."
Livingston (MFA Program/Univ. of Memphis; Ghostbread, 2009) weaves her own memories throughout ruminations on famous mythical goddesses and pop-culture icons to explore what becoming a woman means both for her—as a Roman Catholic girl coming of age in the late 1980s—and, more broadly, within the context of the real and fictitious women who surround her.Read full book review >
OF WALKING IN ICE by Werner Herzog
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"A brief but poetic rendering of a fraught and wild pilgrimage."
Diary of a passionate quest. Read full book review >
BILLIE HOLIDAY by John Szwed
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"As with the best of Holiday's music, this elegant and perceptive study is restrained, nuanced, and masterfully carried out."
Esteemed music scholar Szwed (Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World, 2010, etc.) offers a portrait of Lady Day as artist and mythmaker rather than tragic victim.Read full book review >
HAS ANYONE SEEN MY PANTS? by Sarah Colonna
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 31, 2015

"A bitingly candid memoir with a happy ending."
A stand-up comedian with a successful career grapples with the problem of finding balance in her private life. 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 >