Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THE ORIGINAL BLACK ELITE by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 21, 2017

"Important research on an overlooked but significant figure."
A lively work chronicling the growth of the educated African-American movers and shakers in Washington, D.C., on the brink of renewed Jim Crow laws. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A heartwarmingly inspirational tale."
A former magazine editor tells the story of how, at the height of the Great Depression, her great-uncle trained a group of young women from rural Oklahoma to become college basketball stars. Read full book review >

RISE by Cara Brookins
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"Not without its flaws but an inspiring memoir of absolute determination."
A memoir of a mother and her children building a house—and security—from the ground up. Read full book review >
DISASTER FALLS by Stéphane Gerson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"An unflinchingly honest, moving memoir of loss and recovery."
How the author and his family overcame the loss of a child. Read full book review >
THE TRUE FLAG by Stephen Kinzer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A tremendously elucidating book that should be required reading for civics courses."
A timely work on the vociferous sides taken over the Spanish-American War of 1898—and how that history relates to the ongoing debate regarding American imperialism. Read full book review >

LARA by Anna Pasternak
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A sympathetic portrait of a woman who saw her lover in the same 'heroic light' as he saw himself."
A British journalist investigates her great-uncle's love affair. Read full book review >
UNBOUND by Steph Jagger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A middling memoir of self-discovery."
On a skiing trip around the world, the author loses herself in order to find herself and unexpectedly finds love in the process. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"Thirty days on LSD therapy makes for a fascinating trip, indeed, and a learning opportunity for readers interested in the past and present therapeutic uses for psychedelic drugs."
How self-administering tiny doses of LSD abated the disintegration of the author's mental health and family life. Read full book review >
THE MISTRESS OF PARIS by Catherine Hewitt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A thoroughly researched and clearly written account of a determined and talented woman and of an era."
A biographer debuts with the astonishing story of Comtesse Valtesse de la Bigne (1848-1910), who rose from poverty and prostitution to enormous wealth, influence, and controversy. Read full book review >
BILL CLINTON by Michael Tomasky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"Tomasky's slim, journalistic account contains few surprises for older readers familiar with that era, but they should wait a generation until the dust settles and scholars determine if Clinton deserves his current respectable rating in the pantheon of presidents."
The latest in the excellent American Presidents series explores the life and career of Bill Clinton (b. 1946). Read full book review >
THE BOOK THAT CHANGED AMERICA by Randall Fuller
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A fresh, invigorating history of philosophical and political struggles."
A vibrant history of the reception of Charles Darwin's ideas by American minds and spirits. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"Thorp's in-the-trenches account of gaming the system(s) is a pleasure—and instructive, too."
You can't time the market, and you can't beat the house. Right? Wrong. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Clinton Kelly
January 9, 2017

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly’s memoir I Hate Everyone Except You is a candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult. Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker. Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). “A thoroughly light and entertaining memoir,” our critic writes. View video >