Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

A MIND AT PLAY by Jimmy Soni
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 18, 2017

"A welcome and inspiring account of a largely unsung hero—unsung because, the authors suggest, he accomplished something so fundamental that it's difficult to imagine a world without it."
The life of the man called "the father of information theory." Read full book review >
HITLER'S MONSTERS by Eric  Kurlander
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 18, 2017

"A fascinating look at a little-understood aspect of fascism, with a nod to how 'shadowy conspiracy theories' and supernatural thinking continue to play out in politics today."
Of Nazis as satanists, werewolves as saviors, and other supernatural curiosities of the Third Reich. Read full book review >

JANE AUSTEN AT HOME by Lucy Worsley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"A charming, well-researched journey to 'Austen-land.'"
A fresh, spirited look at the beloved author by a self-proclaimed "Janeite." Read full book review >
HANNIBAL by Patrick N. Hunt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"A thrilling page-turner about one of history's most brilliant strategists and tacticians."
An archaeologist and historian shares his vast knowledge of the life of the leader of the second Punic War (213-202 B.C.E.). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"A highly polished memoir of enormous heart."
The Latvian world of her grandmother draws the writer, an American, back to the old country to re-create a vanished life between farm and war. Read full book review >

FALL DOWN 7 TIMES GET UP 8 by Naoki Higashida
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"Autism is a mysterious neurological condition. While the science is incomplete, Higashida gives us a thoughtful view of the art of living well in its shadow."
A young Japanese man's searching account of autism, following The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism (2013). Read full book review >
READING WITH PATRICK by Michelle  Kuo
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"Thoughtfully provocative reading."
The story of a mutually transformative friendship between the author and a black student she met as a Teach for America volunteer in Arkansas. Read full book review >
SO MUCH THINGS TO SAY by Roger  Steffens
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"The author's approach allows him to tell more of the story, and even without presenting Marley's voice directly, this is an illuminating portrait of an extraordinary life."
An oral history that presents a well-rounded portrait of the music legend, allowing for multiple, sometimes-conflicting, points of view. Read full book review >
THE GREAT NADAR by Adam Begley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"Begley capably brings to life the lost Parisian world where Nadar held court. His outsized personality dominates this enjoyable and amply illustrated volume."
A lively portrait of a photography pioneer who altered the cultural landscape of 19th-century France. Read full book review >
ALL THE AGENTS AND SAINTS by Stephanie Elizondo Griest
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 10, 2017

"In this well-conceived book, the author demonstrates unforgettably that national borders constitute much more than lines on a map."
An exploration of the borderlands that deftly mixes memoir, groundbreaking sociology, deep reporting, and compelling writing. Read full book review >
HENRY DAVID THOREAU by Laura Dassow Walls
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 6, 2017

"Thoreau has inspired so many esteemed biographies that it's difficult to claim any new one as definitive. However, Walls delivers a sympathetic and honest portrait that fully captures the private and public life of this singular American figure."
A superbly researched and written literary portrait that broadens our understanding of the great American writer and pre-eminent naturalist who has too long been regarded as a self-righteous scold. Read full book review >
TO THE NEW OWNERS by Madeleine Blais
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 4, 2017

"If not quite as funny as billed, there remains much gentle humor and a certain elegiac sweetness that more than compensates—that, and a touching coda."
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author gives a familial face to the mystique of Martha's Vineyard in this unfailingly charming reminiscence of summers spent on the island. 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 >