Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

A Ladder In The Dark by Alan Eisenberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 26, 2015

"An uneven but often powerful indictment of a youthful subculture of violence and intimidation that darkens many lives."
A man struggles to overcome psychological damage from schoolyard bullying in this sometimes-harrowing, sometimes-feckless memoir of trauma and recovery. Read full book review >
DYLAN GOES ELECTRIC! by Elijah Wald
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 25, 2015

"An enjoyable slice of 20th-century music journalism almost certain to provide something for most readers, no matter one's personal feelings about Dylan's music or persona."
Music journalist and musician Wald (Talking 'Bout Your Mama: The Dozens, Snaps, and the Deep Roots of Rap, 2014, etc.) focuses on one evening in music history to explain the evolution of contemporary music, especially folk, blues, and rock.Read full book review >

BEHIND THE CURTAIN by Jeffrey E. Sterling
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 24, 2015

"Accessible and often amusing medical anecdotes."
Drawing on over 20 years of experience in emergency medicine, debut author Sterling presents alternately humorous and sobering stories of the "controlled chaos" of a hospital emergency room. Read full book review >
NAPOLEON ON WAR by Bruno Colson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 22, 2015

"A thoroughly detailed scholarly work, somewhat repetitious and not for the merely curious or casual reader. For professional military historians and theorists, however, it should be highly useful."
Editor Colson (History/Universite de Namur, Belgium) closely examines the military concepts and strategies of "the greatest warrior of all time," whose "mastery of mass warfare and his ability to raise, organize, and equip numerous armies dramatically changed the art of war." Read full book review >
A THOUSAND MILES TO FREEDOM by Eunsun Kim
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"An urgent cry for compassion for the author's fellow North Koreans, trapped and strangled of liberty and life."
A sobering account of survival of the fittest in North Korea by a young woman on the run for nearly a decade. Read full book review >

BEING BERLUSCONI by Michael Day
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"As entertaining and shocking as one would hope for, but the book leaves readers with more questions than answers."
In the first comprehensive examination of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's life and career, Independent Italy correspondent Day paints a lively but noncomplex picture of an ambitious and deeply flawed man in a system that accommodated his numerous vices.Read full book review >
STEVE JOBS by Jessie Hartland
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"Nothing new or revelatory here, but the book can serve as a good introduction to Jobs and will impress with its concision those who already know a lot about him."
A free-wheeling graphic biography of Steve Jobs. Read full book review >
OUR MAN IN CHARLESTON by Christopher Dickey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"A great book explaining the workings of what Dickey calls an erratic, cobbled-together coalition of ferociously independent states. It should be in the library of any student of diplomacy, as well as Civil War buffs."
In this biography of Robert Bunch, the British consul in Charleston, South Carolina, at the beginning of the Civil War, Daily Beast foreign editor Dickey (Securing the City: Inside America's Best Counterterror Force—The NYPD, 2010, etc.) illustrates how an outside observer can understand more about a situation than the parties involved.Read full book review >
BARBARIAN DAYS by William Finnegan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"A lyrical and intense memoir."
An award-winning staff writer for the New Yorker offers a probing account of his lifetime passion for surfing.Read full book review >
'74 AND SUNNY by A.J. Benza
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"A warm and honest memoir."
A sometimes-abrasive radio and TV personality's unexpectedly touching memoir about "the best summer of [his] life." Read full book review >
GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA by Ernest Hemingway
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"Papa's best and worst on full display, sometimes in the same paragraph."
A Hemingway son and grandson present a reprinting of their ancestor's 1935 work (Hemingway Library Edition) along with some illuminating supplementary material. Read full book review >
ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD by Tim Weiner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"That project continues, of course, in different hands all these years after Nixon's coverup of a coverup. No one who reads this incisive book will be nostalgic for Nixon, no matter how disastrous his successors."
Sobering, eye-opening study of Richard Nixon's booze-soaked, paranoid White House years and the endless tragedies they wrought. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >