Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Many readers will agree that we are currently living in 'demented times,' and Sigmund adeptly lays out a history that has great relevance for today."
The course of Western philosophy was profoundly altered by the work of a small band of Vienna intellectuals a century ago. Sigmund (Emeritus, Mathematics/Univ. of Vienna; Games of Life: Explorations in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, 2017, etc.) tells their story. Read full book review >
THE SABOTEUR by Paul  Kix
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"A winner: the stories are fascinating, the pages nearly turn themselves, and La Rochefoucauld is a true hero."
The page-turning tale of a World War II hero who would fit comfortably into any good spy thriller. Read full book review >

DAVID BOWIE MADE ME GAY by Darryl W.  Bullock
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Well-researched and brimming with intrigue, Bullock's comprehensive study not only makes the work of scores of musicians sing anew; it also demonstrates how the pendulum of acceptance can swing from era to era."
An encyclopedic look at the lives of formative Western LGBT musicians and performers. Read full book review >
CARTOON COUNTY by Cullen Murphy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Fun to flip through; engrossing to read."
Part memoir, part cultural history, part treasure trove of drawings and photographs, many previously unpublished—and all thoroughly delightful as a celebration of the golden age of newspaper comics. Read full book review >
THE ART OF MISDIAGNOSIS by Gayle Brandeis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A uniquely graceful, gorgeously written and composed collage of grief, misunderstanding, love, and an attempt at familial closure through art and prose."
A novelist, poet, and writing teacher mourns the tragic loss of her tormented mother. Read full book review >

IT'S ALL RELATIVE by A.J. Jacobs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"A delightful, easy-to-read, informative book."
The bestselling immersion journalist embarks on a world-spanning journey of family and genealogy. Read full book review >
LENIN by Victor Sebestyen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"A compelling, cleareyed portrait of a dictator whose politics have unfortunate relevance for today."
An illuminating new biography of the cold, calculating ruler on whom the subsequent Soviet state modeled itself. Read full book review >
FIRST TIME EVER by Peggy  Seeger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 2017

"A quirky, unique, and fabulously memorable memoir."
A British-American musician reflects on her long life and colorful career as a folk singer. Read full book review >
MONOGRAPH BY CHRIS WARE by Chris Ware
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 2017

"This collection has a last-word feel to it, offering a delightful summation of a fruitful and very busy last few decades. Fans, of course, will want much more, but this makes a great start."
The noted artist, collector, and visionary offers a personal anthology/memoir, complete with junior high photos and memories of the cul-de-sacs of Omaha. Read full book review >
STALIN by Stephen Kotkin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 31, 2017

"A well-written, finely detailed installment in a definitive biography—sure to receive many prize nominations this year."
The massive second volume of the author's biography of the Russian dictator who went from "learning to be a dictator to becoming impatient with dictatorship and forging a despotism in mass bloodshed." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 31, 2017

"Thoughtful and thoroughly well-told—just the right treatment for a subject about which many books have been written before, few so successfully."
Blood is thicker than water, but friendship is perhaps thickest of all, particularly when it acts as a poultice for seemingly unhealable wounds. Read full book review >
CALDER by Jed Perl
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 31, 2017

"Not only an essential record of the first 40 years of Calder's life, but an exceptional chronicle of the genesis of modernism."
A meticulously researched biography of one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >