Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

HOMER by Barbara Graziosi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"A highly accessible book infused with sharp considerations of the 'first teacher' of Greece and of the epics' enduring power, provenance, and influence not only on antiquity and the Middle Ages, but on the modern world."
Graziosi (Classics/Durham Univ.; The Gods of Olympus: A History, 2014, etc.) delivers an excellent guide, rendered with both academic rigor and clarity, to understanding the Iliad and the Odyssey as well as their putative author. Read full book review >
THE MAYOR OF MOGADISHU by Andrew Harding
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A beautifully rendered narrative and characterization portrays the soul of a country few Westerners truly understand."
A fluid, sympathetic journalistic foray into the tumultuous history of Somalia as lived by an intriguing impresario and activist. Read full book review >

HANK by Mark Ribowsky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"It's not every 29-year-old who can pack enough into a life to warrant a 500-page biography—and a good one at that."
"Everything he did was bad for his health": a sturdy biography of the unsteady icon of outlaw country avant la lettre. Read full book review >
MOSES by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"A meaty, worthwhile biography by a great interpreter of Jewish texts."
A unique examination of Moses. Read full book review >
THE MARCHES by Rory Stewart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"Another winner from a consistently engaging author."
The author's journey along Hadrian's Wall, which allowed him "to explore and answer questions about Scottish nationalism, Rome, Frontiers, and Empires." Read full book review >

TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE by Philippe Girard
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"A groundbreaking biography that underscores the difficulties of leading slaves to freedom and avoiding violent extremes."
A biography of the man who challenged the power of the leading empires of his day and led the only successful slave revolt in human history. Read full book review >
THE ETHICAL CARNIVORE by Louise Gray
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"A courageous and important narrative offering an enlightened perspective on making informed choices about eating meat."
Knowing where your food comes from is an important aspect of food culture for a growing segment of the American population. British environmental journalist Gray moves the idea into deeper territory. Read full book review >
RAY & JOAN by Lisa Napoli
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A book characterized by deep research and a seamless weaving together of the details of different lives."
A dual biography of the man who made McDonald's ubiquitous and his third wife, who, after his death, spent the last two decades of her life becoming one of most generous philanthropists in American history. Read full book review >
LOST PROFILES by Philippe Soupault
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"Sharp, stylish, and anecdotal, the books offers a fresh glimpse into a fertile artistic world."
Personal perspectives on the creation of modernism. Read full book review >
EAT LIVE LOVE DIE by Betty Fussell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A dazzling showcase for Fussell's delicious ability to 'taste...words with the kind of pleasure that turns cooking fires into the fires of love.'"
The idiosyncratic food writer harvests some of her best work in a savory collection that doubles as a memoir and declaration of faith. Read full book review >
TESTIMONY by Robbie Robertson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"Essential for any devotee of the Band, Dylan, or rock music in the last half of the 20th century."
Nothing forges the bonds of brotherhood like life in a band, especially when it's the Band. Read full book review >
VICTORIA by Julia Baird
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A well-researched biography sensitive to Queen Victoria as a woman."
Australian journalist and historian Baird (Media Tarts: Female Politicians and the Press, 2004) draws on previously unpublished sources to fashion a lively, perceptive portrait of the long-reigning queen. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >