Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

KIDNAP IN CRETE by Rick Stroud
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A stirring adventure with an exotic setting and a thrilling cast."
In 1944, undercover British operatives kidnapped German Gen. Heinrich Kreipe on Nazi-occupied Crete. This is the tale of that exploit. Read full book review >
THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A book that will challenge readers as much as the author has challenged herself."
A fiercely provocative and intellectually audacious memoir that focuses on motherhood, love and gender fluidity. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"What the two women had in common was their writing talent, strength, and dedication to the fight for women's education and rights. While Gordon tells their stories well, moving back and forth between the Marys can be perplexing."
Gordon (English/Endicott Coll.; The Woman Who Named God: Abraham's Dilemma and the Birth of Three Faiths, 2007) delivers a drama-filled dual biography of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) and her daughter, Mary Shelley (1797-1851).
Read full book review >
PIECES OF MY MOTHER by Melissa Cistaro
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"An honest and affecting story of the many complexities involved with family relationships."
A debut memoir about a woman's emotionally charged relationship with the mother who walked away from her marriage and family. Read full book review >
LUTHER’S FORTRESS by James Reston Jr.
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"An intensive journey inside Luther's thinking as it was forming in opposition to the church."
An engaging study of a short but explosive period in the life of the great reformer and translator of the Bible. Read full book review >

MADAM AMBASSADOR by Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A flat-footed and mostly self-serving account."
A memoir of Kounalakis' three-and-a-half years as ambassador to Hungary under President Barack Obama. Read full book review >
KEEP IT FAKE by Eric G. Wilson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"An elliptical, provocative meditation that reads as much like a catharsis as a manifesto."
The counterargument to the cliché of "keep it real." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"Other than spies, this book has little in common with spy thrillers, but it's just as captivating."
The uncommon family business of selling information to Russia proves exciting, lucrative and remarkably misguided. Read full book review >
BENCHWARMER by Josh Wilker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"This almanac of fatherhood (and other failures) is honest, relatable and humorous—an indispensable read for fathers (and sons) whose joy in life comes not from winning the big game but being alive to witness the beauty of its happening."
A sports-obsessed memoir of fatherhood. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A noble personification of the civil rights movement and an inspirational manual on instilling empowerment and possibility in today's youth."
A potent hybrid of prideful memoir and galvanizing guidebook derived from lectures on race and education. Read full book review >
THE LIFE OF SAUL BELLOW by Zachary Leader
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"Will now stand as the definitive Bellow biography."
The author of The Life of Kingsley Amis (2007) returns with the first installment of a two-volume biography of Saul Bellow (1915-2005), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"Waggish and occasionally wise, the strong-minded author delivers a potent dose of motherly advice and experience."
How one woman returned to more old-fashioned parenting skills to raise her children. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >