Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY by Judy Brown
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 28, 2015

"A tender story gently told."
A child's perspective on a family's ordeal. Read full book review >
DANCING WITH THE DEVIL IN THE CITY OF GOD by Juliana Barbassa
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 28, 2015

"Energetic, intrepid reporting by an insider."
Frank, fluid dispatches from her hometown by an Associated Press correspondent relocated to Rio de Janeiro just as the city was supposed to be poised for greatness—or was it? Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 28, 2015

"Occasionally uneven, but an impassioned and honest memoir from an author determined to prove himself worthy."
This story of the personal struggle of an undocumented alien underscores the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 2015

"A worthy sortie that explores a curtain-closing moment in history that might have gone very badly indeed."
The surrender that almost wasn't: an illuminating study of the last moments of World War II. Read full book review >
THE BORN FREES by Kimberly Burge
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 3, 2015

"An affecting portrait of post-apartheid South Africa, particularly useful for writing instructors serving at-risk constituencies."
Journalist Burge recounts a sojourn in a township outside Cape Town working with a writing group called Amazw'Entombi, or "Voices of the Girls."Read full book review >

STREET POISON by Justin Gifford
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"'This is not a story without tragedy….But it is a story of redemption and breathtaking creativity, too,' writes Gifford, who not only tells the story well, but shows why it's so significant."
The first biography of Robert Beck, aka Iceberg Slim, (1918-1992), builds a compelling case that the pimp-turned-popular author provided the foundation for gangsta rap, Blaxploitation movies, and so much of the underground culture that became mainstream. Read full book review >
A TOUR OF BONES by Denise Inge
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"An adventurous and macabre tribute to the eternal longevity of human bones."
A chronicle of the author's visits to a selection of Europe's bone chapels and her reflections on fear and mortality. Read full book review >
ALICE IN CHAINS by David de Sola
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Exhaustively researched but too discursive for its own good."
Biography of a drug-ridden Seattle grunge outfit whose fame peaked in the mid-1990s. Read full book review >
THE RICHEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED by Greg Steinmetz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"A straightforward, engaging look at this 'German Rockefeller.'"
An intriguing exploration of the life of an Augsburg moneylender as a prototypical capitalist in the modern mold. Read full book review >
BAREFOOT TO AVALON by David Payne
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"A powerful, above-average literary memoir."
Ruminations on family and success, in the context of a fraternal tragedy. Read full book review >
WALKING WITH ABEL by Anna Badkhen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Readers with hectic lives may find the pace a bit slow, but the poetry in Badkhen's prose demands that readers slow down and savor her gentle, elegant story."
A journalist records her impressions of living with a group of nomads as they travel with their herds of cows back and forth across Mali. Read full book review >
ENCHANTED AIR by Margarita Engle
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"As so many of our children are immigrants or children of immigrants, we need more of these stories, especially when they are as beautifully told as this one. (Cold War timeline, author's note) (Poetry/memoir. 10 & up)"
"It really is possible to feel / like two people / at the same time, / when your parents / grandparents / memories / words / come from two / different / worlds." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kate Beaton
July 21, 2015

Kate Beaton is the author/illustrator of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller Hark! A Vagrant! Now she is also a picture book author and illustrator with the recent release of The Princess and the Pony. Princess Pinecone knows exactly what she wants for her birthday this year. A big horse. A strong horse. A horse fit for a warrior princess! But when the day arrives, she doesn't quite get the horse of her dreams. “Where else can readers find hipster warriors, anime influences, perfectly placed fart jokes, a hidden ugly-sweater contest, and a skirmish packed with delightful nonsense (llamas! knights! hot dogs! turtle costumes!)—and have it all make such wonderful sense?” writes our reviewer in a starred review. “Instead of breaking bones, this warrior princess breaks the mold—and Beaton is in a class of her own.” View video >