Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

CONCRETE CARNIVAL by Danner Darcleight
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 30, 2016

"A provocative work focused on empathy and redemption rather than the setting's natural grime and melodrama."
Candid account of life in a maximum security prison. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"Though written as if in a first-thought, best-thought reverie, there's useful wheat among the chaff."
This ain't your grandpa's reefer madness but instead a swirling, energetic, decidedly offbeat history of a man and a time history has largely forgotten, and not for any lack of effort of his own. Read full book review >

INSIDE THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE by Russell L. Riley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"Every chapter crackles with anecdotes and serious discussions for political junkies, including Clinton partisans and Clinton detractors."
A presidential scholar selects portions from 400 hours of conversations with insiders about the Bill Clinton White House campaign, tenure, and aftermath to present a densely informative oral history. Read full book review >
STORIES FROM AFIELD by Bruce L. Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"Reflective thoughts and vibrant specifics bring a nature biologist's love of the outdoors to readers."
A wildlife biologist shares some of his adventures in the field. Read full book review >
ALGREN by Mary Wisniewski
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"'In backpacks across America, Algren still lives.'"
Since it's been 25 years since the only comprehensive biography of Nelson Algren (1909-1981), this discerning book is welcome. Read full book review >

AND THE MONKEY LEARNED NOTHING by Tom Lutz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"A travel memoir with short, provocative, occasionally inscrutable entries that will eventually tire even armchair travelers."
Postcards from around the globe, far from the beaten path of tourism. Read full book review >
GIRL TROUBLE by Kerry Cohen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"A brief, canny book that will make any girl who feels alone feel less alone."
To all the girls she's liked before, a memoirist offers a series of interconnected essays. Read full book review >
CONVERSATIONS WITH MCCARTNEY by Paul Du Noyer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"A welcome contribution to a growing body of serious but not solemn work about The Fabs before and after, the cute bassist in particular."
"The world's most famous living Liverpudlian" speaks. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"Heavy-handed enough at times to make readers wish someone out there might step up to Buchanan's defense; nonetheless, Strauss makes a firm argument for the essential doofusness of the 15th president."
An oddly entertaining study of "the first plodding-to-the-top president," a man mercifully forgotten by history. Read full book review >
GUILTY THING by Frances Wilson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A new, but not revisionist, portrait of a troubled artist."
The trials and passions of the romantic essayist and memoirist. Read full book review >
MARY ASTOR'S PURPLE DIARY by Edward Sorel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"What was then labeled 'the worst case of dynamite in Hollywood history' seems pretty tame today, but Sorel's command of tone and pen sustains readers' interest."
A charming slice of retro Hollywood tabloid scandal. Read full book review >
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF WILDE by Emer O'Sullivan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A familiar portrait of Oscar with a fresh look at his eccentric relatives."
A lively biography chronicles Oscar Wilde's unconventional Victorian family. 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 >