Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

ALL THE WILD THAT REMAINS by David Gessner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 20, 2015

"Stegner and Abbey 'are two who have lighted my way,' nature writer Wendell Berry admitted. They have lighted the way for Gessner, as well, as he conveys in this graceful, insightful homage to their work and to the region they loved."
The lives and legacies of two influential environmentalists. Read full book review >
JUST SAY YES by Catherine Hiller
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 20, 2015

"Likely to loosen up fellow smokers while adding a personal take to the public discussion of cannabis culture."
Filtering her experiences through the lens of her longtime use of cannabis, Hiller (The Adventures of Sid Sawyer, 2013) delves into her personal life for this "Marijuana Memoir." Read full book review >

DRAWN FROM WATER by Dina Elenbogen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2015

"Elenbogen occasionally illuminates important themes of identity, but there is much more to learn about these Ethiopian Jews. Perhaps one day one of them will tell the whole story; this is just an introduction."
Soul-searching memoir of the author's visits to Israel and how she discovered an Ethiopian Jewish community in the process. Read full book review >
THE EDUCATION OF A TRAITOR by Svetlana Grobman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2015

"An intimate look at a young woman's struggle to find her own truth in a repressive society."
Grobman's debut memoir explores her childhood in the Soviet Union. Read full book review >
ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART by Richard Goldstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Indispensable for understanding the culture of the '60s and the music that was at its heart."
A memoir by one of the founders of rock criticism, on the era that gave him his vocation and ultimately broke his heart. Read full book review >

SMASH CUT by Brad Gooch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"This candid memoir lovingly evokes a life, and a world, lost."
Filmmaker Howard Brookner (1954-1989) is the focus of this engrossing, intimate memoir by novelist and biographer Gooch (English/William Paterson Univ.; Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, 2009, etc.).Read full book review >
SHOCKING PARIS by Stanley Meisler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Meisler throws new light on Soutine and, more broadly, on the experiences of aspiring immigrant artists in the city that fostered their dreams."
The story of immigrant artists who were celebrated as the School of Paris. Read full book review >
THE PROFESSOR IN THE CAGE by Jonathan Gottschall
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A personal history of violence that makes Norman Mailer look nuanced by comparison."
An English professor becomes a mixed martial arts cage fighter and then examines the history of human violence to justify the act. Read full book review >
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD by Elizabeth Alexander
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A delicate, existentially elegiac memoir."
A distinguished poet meditates on the early death of her beloved artist husband. Read full book review >
I DON'T HAVE A HAPPY PLACE by Kim Korson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A whiny, snarky memoir of 'the muddy field of unhappiness and constant discomfort.'"
A Canadian writer tells the story of how she grew into a malcontented adult. Read full book review >
MINISTERS AT WAR by Jonathan Schneer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Clear, thoroughly entertaining and full of lively detail."
During World War II, Britain was guided by a group of talented, ambitious rivals who put aside their differences to defeat their common enemy. Here's a look at how they worked together—and how it fell apart just as victory was in hand. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Halpern ably explores the clashing personalities and worldviews that had physics in churning ferment during the early part of the 20th century."
The history of a grand theory—the theory of everything, aka the unified field theory—that never achieved flight and the two household names that kicked the fledgling theory from the nest before its time. 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 >