Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

LENIN ON THE TRAIN by Catherine Merridale
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"A superbly written narrative history that draws together and makes sense of scattered data, anecdotes, and minor episodes, affording us a bigger picture of events that we now understand to be transformative."
British historian Merridale (Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin, 2013, etc.) fills a lacuna in the canonical record of Soviet communism. Read full book review >
RICHARD NIXON by John A. Farrell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"Full of fresh, endlessly revealing insights into Nixon's political career, less on the matter of his character, refreshingly, than on the events that accompanied and resulted from it."
A sturdy study of the man ranked at the bottom of many historians' lists of presidents. Read full book review >

CASEY STENGEL by Marty Appel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"One of the more skilled biographies baseball fans could hope to find."
Sports journalist Appel (Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss, 2012, etc.) delves deeply into the baseball career and personal life of Casey Stengel (1890-1975), a solid player and legendary manager. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"Readers will certainly come away from the book knowing more about wine and likely eager to explore it further, but even those less inclined to imbibe will be intrigued by Bosker's insights into the nature of smell and taste and the ways training and attention can increase one's pleasure in them."
An 18-month immersion in the study of wine, teaching us not just about what to look for in the glass, but how to experience the world in a new way. Read full book review >
A REALLY BIG LUNCH by Jim Harrison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2017

"If this is the last we get from Harrison, it serves as a fitting memorial."
A celebration of eating well and drinking even better as a recipe for the good life. Read full book review >

IKE AND MCCARTHY by David A. Nichols
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 21, 2017

"A thorough, well-written, and surprising picture of a man who was much more than a 'do-nothing' president."
New insight into Dwight Eisenhower's silent methods of facing down enemies, particularly Joseph McCarthy. Read full book review >
IN-BETWEEN DAYS by Teva Harrison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 14, 2017

"What Harrison has learned through her ordeal is that whatever she is feeling, it is natural to feel—and that, ultimately, all of us are living with the same finite mortality. An impressive graphic memoir."
A devastating and inspiring cancer memoir mixing drawings and essays, hope and dread. Read full book review >
YOU SAY TO BRICK by Wendy Lesser
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 14, 2017

"A splendid biography that penetrates the inner lives of Kahn's buildings as well as the inner life of their creator."
A new, in-depth biography of the noted American architect. Read full book review >
THIS LONG PURSUIT by Richard Holmes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"Unparalleled research, transparent prose, and wide eyes can serve as a model for other biographers—indeed, for all other writers."
The third in the author's series of riveting titles about the histories, activities, duties, and effects of biographers. Read full book review >
BLITZED by Norman Ohler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"Written with dramatic flair (Ohler has published several novels in Germany), this book adds significantly to our understanding of the Third Reich."
An intense chronicle of "systematic drug abuse" in Nazi Germany. Read full book review >
THE NOVEL OF THE CENTURY by David Bellos
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"Anyone who loves Hugo, France, and the French language will revel in this delightful book that explains all the intimacies of 19th-century French life."
A renowned French translator explores the life and legacy of Les Misérables. Read full book review >
THE INHERITANCE by Niki Kapsambelis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"An educational and emotional chronicle that should resonate with a wide variety of readers."
In her debut, journalist Kapsambelis builds a compelling narrative about Alzheimer's disease around one North Dakota extended family. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Laini Taylor
March 27, 2017

In bestselling YA writer Laini Taylor’s new fantasy novel, Strange the Dreamer, the dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? “Lovers of intricate worldbuilding and feverish romance will find this enthralling,” our critic writes. View video >