Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

H IS FOR HAWK by Helen Macdonald
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"Whether you call this a personal story or nature writing, it's poignant, thoughtful and moving—and likely to become a classic in either genre."
An inspired, beautiful and absorbing account of a woman battling grief—with a goshawk. Read full book review >
ONGOINGNESS by Sarah Manguso
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"Read as either a meditative essay or a revealing confessional poem, this is a thoughtful, reflective look at one talented writer's creative evolution."
A chronic diarist discovers that there's a lot to be said for putting your pen down. Read full book review >

FOLLIES OF GOD by James Grissom
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"There have been plenty of books written about Williams over the past three decades, but few weave so many voices into an original and compelling portrait. Grissom honors the life and achievement of his doomed correspondent."
One of America's greatest playwrights as seen by himself and his many muses. Read full book review >
LIFE FROM SCRATCH by Sasha Martin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"Poignant, heartwarming and generously filled with delicious recipes."
An award-winning blogger and MFK Fisher scholar's account of how food not only came to define a difficult childhood, but also became the way she was able to heal her past. Read full book review >
THE DEATH OF CAESAR by Barry Strauss
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"Once again, Strauss takes us deep into the psyche of ancient history in an exciting, twisted tale that is sure to please."
Master historian Strauss (History and Classics/Cornell Univ.; Masters of Command: Hannibal, Alexander, Caesar and the Genius of Leadership, 2012, etc.) zeroes in on the few years surrounding Julius Caesar's assassination and delves into the strengths of the characters involved.Read full book review >

BECOMING A MOUNTAIN by Stephen Alter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"There are many treasures to discover in this insightful memoir of hiking and healing in the Himalayas."
With a naturalist's eye and a poet's pen, a victim of violence looks to the Himalayas for healing. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"Needless to say, effective humor is extremely personal. For those who have found Barry funny in a good way, these latest essays will cause outright, prolonged laughter."
Humorist Barry (You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About, 2014, etc.) departs from the collections of his now-defunct syndicated newspaper column and his goofy full-length novels to write a dozen original essays gathered loosely around a theme: happiness and its discontents.Read full book review >
A BRIEF STOP ON THE ROAD FROM AUSCHWITZ by Göran Rosenberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A deeply felt story and a sobering reminder of the long shadows of the Holocaust."
A searing survivor's tale told by a son. Read full book review >
ELEANOR MARX by Rachel Holmes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A full-fleshed, thrilling portrait, troubling and full of family secrets."
The extraordinary life of Karl Marx's feisty feminist youngest daughter told with passionate sympathy and conviction. Read full book review >
MOURNING LINCOLN by Martha Hodes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A layered, nuanced work demonstrating the mingling of 'the cataclysmic with the routine.'"
Universal responses to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln—black and white, North and South, incredulous, gleeful or vengeful—make for grim yet engrossing reading. Read full book review >
EYE ON THE STRUGGLE by James McGrath Morris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 17, 2015

"A deeply researched, skillfully written biography about a previously underappreciated individual."
Biographer Morris (Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power, 2010, etc.) resurrects the career of Ethel Payne (1911-1991), journalist, labor union and civil rights advocate, traveler on the African continent, journalism professor and pioneer in the American race wars.Read full book review >
ALL THE WRONG PLACES by Philip Connors
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 16, 2015

"Unlike other, neater narratives of being lost and found, Connors' story—told with harrowing insight and fierce prose—is messy and incomplete and makes no apologies for being anything but."
Connors (Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout, 2012) reflects candidly on the years he spent unmoored after a family tragedy; he continuously found himself in places he felt apart from.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >