Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

TOSCANINI by Harvey Sachs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 27, 2017

"Sweeping yet meticulous, appreciative without eschewing critical judgments—like Toscanini himself."
The epic life and art of the famed Italian conductor. Read full book review >
THE SECRET HISTORY OF <i>JANE EYRE</i> by John Pfordresher
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 27, 2017

"On the whole, a helpful guide to the book as a Rorschach blot of a singular Romantic temperament."
Everyone knows Jane Eyre is an autobiographical novel, but where does roman end and à clef begin? Read full book review >

SWEET SPOT by Amy  Ettinger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 27, 2017

"Best consumed in small portions, Ettinger's book will be a vicarious treat for fellow addicts."
Essayist Ettinger's affection for ice cream takes her across the country in a search for variations on her favorite food. Read full book review >
CHIEF ENGINEER by Erica Wagner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 27, 2017

"A sturdy, illuminating biography."
A biography of the man who helped design and build one of the most iconic bridges in America. Read full book review >
OPERATION YELLOW STAR / BLACK THURSDAY by Maurice  Rajsfus
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 27, 2017

"A heartfelt, timely plea to remember past atrocities."
An unsparing indictment of Paris police during the Nazi occupation. Read full book review >

MAX EASTMAN by Christoph Irmscher
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 27, 2017

"A well-documented examination of a once-prominent radical."
An intimate portrait of a noted public intellectual. Read full book review >
THE GENIUS OF JANE AUSTEN by Paula Byrne
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 27, 2017

"A thoroughly researched, somewhat scholarly investigation of Austen's oeuvre for devoted Austen fans with some background in literature."
Biographer Byrne (Kick: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth, 2016, etc.) explores Jane Austen's passion for the theatre and the influence of comedic plays on her writing. Read full book review >
THE RAQQA DIARIES by Samer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 28, 2017

"A moving, urgent work of political awareness."
A rare, terrifying glimpse inside the Islamic State group (referred to here as Daesh) by a young hounded Syrian student. Read full book review >
SHARK DRUNK by Morten Strøksnes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 29, 2017

"Whether the author is opining on mass extinctions, the importance of plankton, the history of lighthouses, or the epicurean treat of boiled cod tongues, readers will happily devour this smorgasbord of delights."
Accomplished Norwegian historian, journalist, and photographer Strøksnes invites readers into the fantastical ocean environment of his quest to capture a Greenland shark. Read full book review >
MARTIN LUTHER by Heinz  Schilling
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2017

"An academic achievement with limited appeal for the nonscholarly audience."
A comprehensive biography of the famed reformer. Read full book review >
AMERICAN ENGLISH, ITALIAN CHOCOLATE by Rick  Bailey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2017

"Easiest to digest in snack-size portions."
Memories of a Michigan upbringing proceed to anecdotes on retirement in Italy, as a writing professor writes what pleases him, which is often about what doesn't. Read full book review >
GO SLOW by Michael  Owen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2017

"An affectionate and complex portrait of London that will help rekindle an interest in her life and work."
A biography of the American actress and pop singer. 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 >