Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

RIVERINE by Angela Palm
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"An intelligent, evocative, and richly textured memoir."
The haunting account of how the author tried to escape her rural Indiana past. Read full book review >
PATIENT H.M. by Luke Dittrich
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"A mesmerizing, maddening story and a model of journalistic investigation."
Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King in a piercing study of one of psychiatric medicine's darker hours. Read full book review >

HOW EVERYTHING BECAME WAR AND THE MILITARY BECAME EVERYTHING by Rosa Brooks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Legal theorists and policymakers will approve the scholarship and close analysis; general readers will appreciate the sensitive storytelling, the wit, and the uncommon good sense."
A former senior Defense Department adviser explores the military's expanded role in a time when the lines between war and peace are dangerously blurred. Read full book review >
ADNAN'S STORY by Rabia Chaudry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"For Serial and true-crime fans, this book is a page-turner perfect for a quiet weekend."
"If there is one takeaway from this story, it should be this—the criminal justice system is not just deeply flawed, it is broken." That is how attorney and U.S. Institute of Peace senior fellow Chaudry summarizes the murder conviction and appeals of Adnan Syed, the subject of the Serial podcast. Read full book review >
THE HERO'S BODY by William Giraldi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"A hearty, bittersweet familial chronicle of masculinity drawing on the underappreciated bond between fathers and sons."
A loving son reflects on life with a brawny father whose premature death permanently transformed him. Read full book review >

THE GLAMOUR OF STRANGENESS by Jamie James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Abundant primary sources inform James' sharply drawn, sympathetic portraits."
Six artists in quest of the exotic. Read full book review >
Ruined by Ruth Everhart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Forthright, compassionate, and expertly crafted—everything readers should want from a memoir."
A memoir offers extensive reportage of a sexual assault and a reflection on the author's future course and evolving faith. Read full book review >
LANDMARKS by Robert Macfarlane
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Lucent, lyrical prose evokes Macfarlane's aesthetic, ethical, and powerfully tactile response to nature's enchantments."
A prizewinning naturalist explores the connection between what we say and how we see. Read full book review >
PLEASE ENJOY YOUR HAPPINESS by Paul Brinkley-Rogers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"As startling and memorable as fiction and ripe for film adaptation."
A rare and beautiful love story between a British-American "sailor boy" and a cultured, older Japanese woman who had lived through the World War II years. Read full book review >
THE FALL OF HEAVEN by Andrew Scott Cooper
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"A thorough new appraisal of an enigmatic ruler who died believing his people still loved him."
A sympathetic account of the imperial couple of the Peacock Throne portrayed as so blindly benevolent that they did not see the Iranian Revolution coming. Read full book review >
SIXTY DEGREES NORTH by Malachy Tallack
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 15, 2016

"An enthralling meditation on place."
A longing for home sends the author around the world. Read full book review >
YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT by Jessi Klein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"A gifted comedian turns the anxieties, obsessions, insecurities, and impossible-to-meet expectations that make up human nature into laughter."
From childhood to motherhood, comedian Klein's fresh takes on the perplexities of womanhood in America. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >