Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 10)

CURIOSITY by Alberto Manguel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 2015

"For casual readers, the brief personal passages may provide welcome pauses in what is a highly literate and demanding text perhaps best appreciated by followers of Manguel's previous works."
An erudite analysis and exploration of curiosity through the author's own works and those of countless others. Read full book review >
FRANK by Barney Frank
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 2015

"Much more entertaining than most political memoirs, Frank's story isn't just revealing; it may be the most fun you can have reading about the United States Congress."
Now that the fiery, occasionally dyspeptic congressman has left office, he lets the air out in a memoir that feels like it's just the thing the long-serving politician has wanted to publish. Read full book review >

THE ART OF THE PIMP by Dennis Hof
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 2015

"Those seeking depictions of graphic sex and the ins and outs of prostitution will dig Hof's salacious memoir. Others should steer clear."
In this sex-drenched memoir, the proprietor of the Las Vegas brothel the Moonlite BunnyRanch spills his guts about the joys of running a stable of women. Read full book review >
HAMMER HEAD by Nina MacLaughlin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 16, 2015

"A surprisingly thoughtful book about taking chances and finding joy in change."
A former journalist tells the story of how a longing to "engage with the tangible, to do work that resulted in something I could touch" led to an unexpectedly fulfilling career as a carpenter. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 16, 2015

"Ingenious, lucid and revealing look at the lives of two brilliant men who changed our way of seeing the world."
A fine addition to the burgeoning genre of dual biography of great figures whose lives were related, if often distantly. Read full book review >

JOHN PRINE by Eddie Huffman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 2015

"It's difficult for Huffman to establish much stylistic continuity when he relies so heavily on quotes from other journalists, but the unlikely success of the reluctant performer makes for fascinating reading."
A guide to the troubadour's career lacks access to the artist himself but benefits from a subject who is as intriguing as his songs. Read full book review >
THE GREAT DIVIDE by Thomas Fleming
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 2015

"Among historians, Jefferson's star has been falling for 50 years. Fleming's frank hostility puts him at the far end of the scale, but he makes a fascinating case that Jefferson's charisma—which peaked early with the Declaration of Independence—was accompanied by fanciful political beliefs that continue to exert a malign influence on the office of the presidency."
The camaraderie among America's Founding Fathers did not survive independence in 1783. Disagreement over the role of government grew into virulent antagonism, and that acrimony persists today. Prolific historian Fleming (A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War, 2013, etc.) delivers a vivid, opinionated history of this conflict.Read full book review >
GOLDENEYE by Matthew Parker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2015

"A well-written look at Fleming's life, though the book is even better as an indictment of the anachronistic colonialism of the 1950s and the end of the British Empire."
Parker (The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire, and War in the West Indies, 2011, etc.) considers Ian Fleming's escape to Jamaica, where he created James Bond and did his best to avoid the high-society life that followed him there.Read full book review >
A GREAT AND TERRIBLE KING by Marc Morris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2015

"An elucidating though occasionally long-winded biography."
Richly contextual treatment of a pivotal Medieval English monarch who consolidated the British Isles, but at violent cost and future retribution. Read full book review >
B & ME by J.C. Hallman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"There are only occasional insights in this frenzied, unabashedly self-indulgent book."
Recounting a literary obsession. Read full book review >
BETTYVILLE by George Hodgman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"Movingly honest, at times droll, and ultimately poignant."
A gay magazine editor and writer's account of how he returned home to the Midwest from New York to care for his aging mother. Read full book review >
CHASING LOST TIME by Jean Findlay
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"Findlay employs a vast family archive to bring this little-known writer to the fame he justly deserves, making readers want to turn back to Proust."
C.K. Scott Moncrieff (1889-1930) was a poet, war hero, spy and, above all, one of the world's greatest translators. Journalist Findlay reveals his natural, effortless writing talent in this story of her great-great uncle. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >