Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 10)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"An intelligent, if at times self-aggrandizing, celebration of lying and love."
An admitted liar muses about deception. Read full book review >
HOW TO BE A HEROINE by Samantha Ellis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"As Ellis shows in this charming, gracefully written memoir, literary heroines revealed to her new life stories, new selves and her own power to invent her life."
A literary journey to self-discovery. Read full book review >

GEORGE W. BUSH by James Mann
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"Presidential reputations often improve with time and rarely decline. Aware of this, Mann delivers a remarkably evenhanded account, eschewing the painful emotions many readers will feel until historians sort matters out."
The latest in the admirable American Presidents series is premature because too little time has passed to evaluate our 43rd president, but Mann (Fellow in Residence/Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Advanced International Studies; The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House, 2012, etc.) writes an insightful biography without much partisanship.Read full book review >
ELIZABETH GURLEY FLYNN by Lara Vapnek
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A brief encapsulation of the fury and disillusionment that characterized the career of this significant American activist."
Biography of an important early-20th-century labor and human rights activist known as the East Side Joan of Arc, now sadly neglected. This is the latest in the Lives of American Women series. Read full book review >
TALES FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BRAIN by Michael S. Gazzaniga
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A lively appreciation of both the complexity of the human mind and the scientific enterprise."
"How on earth does the brain enable mind?" That is the still-to-be-answered question posed by Gazzaniga (Who's in Charge: Free Will and the Science of the Brain, 2011, etc.), the director of the SAGE Center for the Study of Mind at the University of California, Santa Barbara.Read full book review >

HALF-LIFE by Frank Close
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A fine account, heavy on science and politics, of a long, productive, peripatetic and ultimately inexplicable life."
Months after the 1950 arrest of British nuclear physicist Klaus Fuchs, Bruno Pontecorvo (1913-1993) vanished behind the Iron Curtain. Everyone assumed that he was also a Soviet spy, but extensive investigation found no evidence that he provided secrets to the Soviets. Read full book review >
WANTED by Chris Hoke
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A liberating, transformative chronicle of how spirituality can foster inspiration and hope while emboldening the downtrodden through their darkest days."
A jail chaplain's memoir of a life spent ministering to the prison populations of northwestern Washington. Read full book review >
BON APPÉTEMPT by Amelia Morris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"Whether Morris is deconstructing her failed attempts at finding satisfying work, struggling with rocky family relationships or experiencing a culinary failure, she adroitly blends the ingredients of humor and self-reflection."
A refreshing take on growing up and coming to terms with the joys and travails of family, career and navigating the kitchen. Read full book review >
MADISON'S MUSIC by Burt Neuborne
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"An urgent message that deserves a wide readership."
Constitutional expert Neuborne (Civil Liberties/New York Univ. Law School; Building a Better Democracy: Reflections on Money, Politics and Free Speech, 1999, etc.) offers a cogent critique of America's "highly dysfunctional political system," abetted by Supreme Court interpretations of the Bill of Rights, especially the First Amendment.Read full book review >
THE UPSTAIRS WIFE by Rafia Zakaria
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A dense, carefully rendered work of minute, memorable detail."
One woman's personal agony reflects the enormous chasm of inequality between the sexes in Pakistan. Read full book review >
THE AUTUMN BALLOON by Kenny Porpora
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"As one teacher exulted after his acceptance to the Columbia Journalism School, '[p]eople with stories like yours don't end up in the Ivy League.' And yet Porpora did, and now his stories have become the material for his piercing first book."
A memoir of the author's incredibly dysfunctional nuclear family. Read full book review >
WASHINGTON'S REVOLUTION by Robert Middlekauff
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A capable Revolutionary War history that breaks no new ground."
Bancroft Prize winner Middlekauff (Emeritus, American History/Univ. of California; Benjamin Franklin and His Enemies, 1996, etc.) sets out to chart the evolution of George Washington's viewpoint during the crucible of the Revolutionary War.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >