Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A fresh, captivating history of the enduringly colorful Churchill."
A history of the danger-seeking young Winston Churchill during the Boer War, which "had turned out to be far more difficult and more devastating than the amusing colonial war the British had expected." Read full book review >
EYES ON THE STREET by Robert Kanigel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An outstanding chronicle of a provocative, influential, iconoclastic theorist of the American cityscape."
A significant, comprehensive biography of an irrepressible urbanist, author, and pioneering community activist. Read full book review >

MOSCOW NIGHTS by Nigel Cliff
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Sweeping history combines with a sensitive rendering of Cliburn's extraordinary passion."
The glorious career of the Texan pianist who captured Russian hearts during the Cold War era. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"An elaborately detailed, darkly surprising, definitive history of the LA gangsta rap era."
A provocative, multifaceted portrait of essential rap pioneers who ushered the hip-hop music scene to greatness. Read full book review >
GIRL by Alona Frankel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 12, 2016

"A truly moving and bravely rendered memoir."
An impressionistic memoir of a Polish Jewish girl's survival hiding as a Gentile in Nazi-occupied Poland. Read full book review >

Such Mad Fun by Robin R. Cutler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2016

"A valuable, absorbing contribution to the history of women, golden-age Hollywood, and America's magazine culture of the 1930s and '40s."
A biography of Jane Hall, a writer for magazines and movies, traces the complicated, warring pressures of talent and the feminine mystique. Read full book review >
THE ART OF WAITING by Belle Boggs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"In her reporting, researching, and sharing, Boggs has performed a public service for those in a similar position—and for anyone interested in the implications of parenthood or in a story well-told and deeply felt."
So much more than a memoir about trying to conceive. Read full book review >
FAMILY OF EARTH by Wilma Dykeman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A captivating, poetic, difficult-to-categorize book that abundantly showcases the author's talent for making words dance. Anyone who has lived in the countryside, or wished they had, will enjoy Dykeman's celebration of nature."
The first publication of a long-lost work by revered Appalachian writer Dykeman (1920-2006). Read full book review >
THE WORLD IN FLAMES by Jerald Walker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"The key to the memoir's cumulative power is Walker's narrative command; the rite of passage is rockier than most, making the redemption well-earned."
A memoir in which a young boy comes to terms with the religious cult that had given his family hope. Read full book review >
JOHN AUBREY, MY OWN LIFE by Ruth Scurr
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A creative, engaging, and profoundly moving account of a man's fierce desire to discover, understand, and preserve."
A historian and literary critic offers a unique and revealing look at the life of English philosopher John Aubrey (1626-1697), told in Aubrey's voice in the form of a diary. Read full book review >
THE SIX by Laura Thompson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Thompson has fallen under the spell of the breathtakingly beautiful (as she repeatedly insists), seductive Diana, but otherwise, her cleareyed view of the sisters' strengths and foibles makes this gossipy story a delight."
A fresh look at six outrageous sisters. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A marvelous portrait of a professional woman ahead of her time whose relationship with FDR sheds new light on his personality and decisions."
Franklin Roosevelt's longtime loyal personal secretary earns a much-needed, balanced portrait. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >