Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

DENG XIAOPING by Alexander V. Pantsov
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"A masterly work that advances by salient themes and vigorous strokes."
A barbed biography, relentless and occasionally sarcastic, reveals the many problematic facets of the long-lived revolutionary and reformer Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997). Read full book review >
THE COLONEL AND HUG by Steve Steinberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"A top-notch sports biography."
Many baseball fans think it was Babe Ruth who elevated the fledgling (and flagging) New York Yankees team. In this authoritative new work, Steinberg and Spatz (1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York, 2010) shine a light on the indispensable contributions of two behind-the-scenes magicians.Read full book review >

ANGER IS AN ENERGY by John Lydon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"A lucid, literate pleasure."
Alternately musical bomb-thrower and contemplator Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, looks back on a long life of pot-stirring and piss-taking. Read full book review >
A PASSION FOR PARIS by David Downie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"Anyone who loves Paris will adore this joyful book. Readers visiting the city are advised to take it with them to discover countless new experiences."
Join Downie (Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St. James, 2013, etc.) for a top-notch walking tour of Paris.Read full book review >
MY ORGANIC LIFE by Nora Pouillon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"An inspiring account and great fun to read."
In a sparkling memoir, the founder of Restaurant Nora tells of making her own journey into the food world. Read full book review >

ORSON WELLES'S LAST MOVIE by Josh Karp
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"Luckily, there's nothing unfinished in Karp's retelling. He follows every story, dollar and last legal battle in full detail. Whether the film sees a 2015 release on the anniversary of Welles' birth, as was speculated as of late last year, we at least have Karp to thank for the next best thing."
What became of The Other Side of the Wind, that crazy movie that took up the last 15 years of the life of Orson Welles (1915-1985)?Read full book review >
SPINSTER by Kate Bolick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"A sexy, eloquent, well-written and -researched study/memoir."
An Atlantic contributing editor's refreshingly bold and incisive account of how she came to celebrate her status as a single woman.Read full book review >
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 >
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 >
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 >
TARGET TOKYO by James M. Scott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 13, 2015

"A spirited, comprehensive and highly readable account of the tremendous wherewithal required for this extraordinary effort."
A new treatment of the daring Doolittle raids over Tokyo that fills in many of the gaps in the true story. Read full book review >
BONAPARTE by Patrice Gueniffey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 13, 2015

"A masterful portrait, staggeringly complete and contradictory and fluently translated—a delight to read."
Wonderfully lyrical, historically nuanced exploration of the irruption of this Romantic hero. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Mona Eltahawy
April 28, 2015

In her debut book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, Egyptian-American journalist and commentator Mona Eltahawy mounts an angry indictment of the treatment of women throughout the Arab world. Born in Egypt, she spent her childhood in London, moving with her family to Saudi Arabia when she was 15. Her shock was immediate and visceral: “It felt as though we’d moved to another planet whose inhabitants fervently wished women did not exist,” she recalls. Women could not travel, work or even go to a doctor’s appointment without male approval. We talk to Eltahawy this week on Kirkus TV about her arresting new book. View video >