Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

YEAR OF THE COW by Jared Stone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"Though Stone engages in a few meandering asides and perhaps tries to extract too much meaning from rather prosaic subjects, he nonetheless offers provocative thoughts on our carnivorous history and contemporary options, adding some tantalizing snout-to-tail recipes."
Debut author Stone, Emmy-winning TV producer, wrangles a lively, informative, sometimes-intimate tale from his family's adventure eating a freezer full of beef over two years of culinary and lifestyle change. Read full book review >
DANGEROUS WHEN WET by Jamie Brickhouse
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"Unabashedly campy but always candid."
A former New York publishing executive's darkly humorous memoir about the difficult relationship he had with his mother and the alcoholism that came to define his life. Read full book review >

FIND THE GOOD by Heather Lende
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"Optimistic, slightly humorous reflections on living a fully engaged, meaningful life."
An unlikely source delivers tidbits on living well. Read full book review >
ANGER IS AN ENERGY by John Lydon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"A lucid, literate pleasure."
Alternately musical bomb-thrower and contemplator Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, looks back on a long life of pot-stirring and piss-taking. Read full book review >
THE HAND ON THE MIRROR by Janis Heaphy Durham
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"A haunting and ultimately exasperating memoir leaving more unanswered questions than resolutions."
A widow contemplates the supernatural world after an unexplained series of occurrences. Read full book review >

A PASSION FOR PARIS by David Downie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"Anyone who loves Paris will adore this joyful book. Readers visiting the city are advised to take it with them to discover countless new experiences."
Join Downie (Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St. James, 2013, etc.) for a top-notch walking tour of Paris.Read full book review >
EINSTEIN by Steven Gimbel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"A fine, informative life of the renowned scientist."
How science, religion and politics shaped Einstein's life and work. Read full book review >
THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER by Martin Edwards
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"Fans of Father Brown, Hercule Poirot, or Lord Peter Wimsey will find much of value in this book—which, though long and sometimes too slow, leaves readers wanting more."
Engrossing if occasionally glacial study of the Detection Club, a gathering of British mystery writers who defined the genre. Read full book review >
COMMUNION by Curtis Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 30, 2015

"Other good humans may find inspiration in these humanist homilies."
An essayist muses on faith and fatherhood. Read full book review >
THE BILL OF RIGHTS by Carol Berkin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"A highly readable American history lesson that provides a deeper understanding of the Bill of Rights, the fears that generated it and the miracle of the amendments."
Though we often take the Bill of Rights for granted, it took a monumental fight to get it approved. Berkin (History/Baruch Coll.; Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, 2014, etc.) deftly examines its passage.Read full book review >
A BUZZ IN THE MEADOW by Dave Goulson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"A charming but serious warning of the need to protect our natural ecosystems from heedless, irreversible destruction."
When we speak of endangered species, our focus is usually on the plight of mammals. However, writes Goulson (Biological and Environmental Sciences/Univ. of Sterling; A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees, 2014, etc.), they are only a small section of the "perhaps ten-million different species," many yet to be named, that inhabit our planet and play a critical role in maintaining its ecosystems.Read full book review >
NOTE BOOK by Jeff Nunokawa
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"An engaging multimedia project offering even more food for thought when translated to the linearity of the printed page."
Literary-based reflections on and of the virtual age. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >