Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

EDUCATED by Tara Westover
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 20, 2018

"An astonishing account of deprivation, confusion, survival, and success."
A recent Cambridge University doctorate debuts with a wrenching account of her childhood and youth in a strict Mormon family in a remote region of Idaho. Read full book review >
SECRETS WE KEPT by Krystal A. Sital
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 20, 2018

"A powerful, disturbing narrative in which pain flows out from the page, drenching readers."
A freelance journalist (New York Times Magazine, Salon, etc.) debuts with a wrenching, deeply personal memoir about the lives of three generations of women in Trinidad and Tobago. Read full book review >

WITHOUT PRECEDENT by Joel Richard Paul
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 20, 2018

"A well-informed, perceptive, and absorbing biography of a titan of American history."
A biography of the fourth and greatest chief justice of the United States. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 20, 2018

"Taut and well-crafted—of great interest to students of spydom and the early Cold War."
"Both died without making any confessions": a finely detailed study of crime and punishment in the days of the Manhattan project. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 20, 2018

"An erudite and entertaining historical biography of a food pioneer with particular interest for gastronomes and agriculture enthusiasts."
The story of an intrepid botanist who exposed America to myriad exotic plants and food crops. Read full book review >

LEFT BANK by Agnès Poirier
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 13, 2018

"An animated, abundantly populated history of dramatic times."
A detailed chronicle of a decade alive with intellectual and political ferment. Read full book review >
A WILDER TIME by William E.  Glassley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 13, 2018

"A superb tool for a better understanding of the natural world and why real science matters."
A veteran geologist recounts time spent studying Greenland's remarkable landscape during a series of six expeditions. Read full book review >
THE AUDACITY OF INEZ BURNS by Stephen G. Bloom
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Bloom rescues an important figure from the dustbin of history. Burns receives the storyteller she deserves and can now occupy her proper place in the intersectional histories of feminism, law, and the San Francisco underworld."
In his latest book, Bloom (Journalism/Univ. of Iowa; Tears of Mermaids: The Secret Story of Pearls, 2009, etc.) chronicles the life and exploits of Inez Burns (1886-1976), a flamboyant, unapologetic libertine who rose to prominence as the most notorious abortionist in California in the first half of the 20th century. Read full book review >
THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER by Francisco Cantú
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A devastating narrative of the very real human effects of depersonalized policy."
A Mexican-American student of international relations becomes a United States Border Patrol agent to learn what he can't in the classroom. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Not merely a book about Guyana, but an impressively rendered story about imperialism in general and cultural imperialism in particular."
An illumination of the interplay of art, culture, politics, race, and history in Guyana, a Caribbean country mostly ignored by the rest of the world but which serves here as a fascinating microcosm for the power of art to inspire change. Read full book review >
THE LAND BETWEEN TWO RIVERS by Tom Sleigh
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Provocative and eye-opening work from a dedicated artist."
A distinguished poet details his experiences reporting from war zones and refugee camps and grappling with the limits of language. Read full book review >
THE EARTH GAZERS by Christopher Potter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Despite covering familiar ground, Potter delivers an enthralling account of the golden age of manned space travel that emphasizes the transcendent experiences of everyone involved, and he makes a convincing case that America lost something vital when it ended."
A history of the space program told through the lens of the handful of astronauts who have seen the Earth from space. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >