Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 3)

RECKLESS YEARS by Heather Chaplin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"A restless yet satisfying memoir that will appeal most to women who've found themselves fleeing hopeless relationships."
Diary entries from a woman who left her marriage and husband for a freer existence. Read full book review >
THE GREAT NADAR by Adam Begley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"Begley capably brings to life the lost Parisian world where Nadar held court. His outsized personality dominates this enjoyable and amply illustrated volume."
A lively portrait of a photography pioneer who altered the cultural landscape of 19th-century France. Read full book review >

COMING OF AGE by Deborah Beatriz  Blum
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"A minor effort for readers interested in learning more about Mead's early life."
Blum (Bad Karma: A True Story of Obsession and Murder, 1986) reconstructs the five-year period of Margaret Mead's life leading up to and including her transformative trip to Samoa in 1925. Read full book review >
ARS BOTANICA by Tim  Taranto
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"An uneven, often heart-wrenching attempt at resolving a personal struggle through art but also a sobering consideration of how things happen—or don't."
An unusual narrative of loss that becomes both a meditation on the Earth and a benediction for one who won't be around to enjoy it. Read full book review >
ALL THE AGENTS AND SAINTS by Stephanie Elizondo Griest
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 10, 2017

"In this well-conceived book, the author demonstrates unforgettably that national borders constitute much more than lines on a map."
An exploration of the borderlands that deftly mixes memoir, groundbreaking sociology, deep reporting, and compelling writing. Read full book review >

HENRY DAVID THOREAU by Laura Dassow Walls
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 6, 2017

"Thoreau has inspired so many esteemed biographies that it's difficult to claim any new one as definitive. However, Walls delivers a sympathetic and honest portrait that fully captures the private and public life of this singular American figure."
A superbly researched and written literary portrait that broadens our understanding of the great American writer and pre-eminent naturalist who has too long been regarded as a self-righteous scold. Read full book review >
TO THE NEW OWNERS by Madeleine Blais
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 4, 2017

"If not quite as funny as billed, there remains much gentle humor and a certain elegiac sweetness that more than compensates—that, and a touching coda."
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author gives a familial face to the mystique of Martha's Vineyard in this unfailingly charming reminiscence of summers spent on the island. Read full book review >
PATRICK HENRY by Jon Kukla
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 4, 2017

"A skilled historian, Kukla has done his homework and written a detailed, lively, probably definitive biography of a revolutionary figure who merits more recognition but perhaps not promotion beyond the second tier of Founding Fathers."
A new biography of the American statesman who Thomas Jefferson said "was our leader in the measures of the Revolution in Virginia." Read full book review >
QUEEN OF BEBOP by Elaine M.  Hayes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 4, 2017

"Informative and well-intentioned but sometimes pedestrian and lacking the elegant effervescence of Vaughan's singing."
A biography of the great jazz singer whose commercial success seldom equaled her enormous gifts. Read full book review >
ALL OUR WAVES ARE WATER by Jaimal Yogis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 4, 2017

"For fellow seekers, Buddha-nature on a surfboard."
Eastern mysticism and Western rites of passage inform this second volume of memoir from the San Francisco-based journalist. Read full book review >
LEAP IN by Alexandra Heminsley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 4, 2017

"A lighthearted book to appeal to fellow swimmers."
Having conquered land as a serial marathoner, the author turns her athletic attentions toward the sea. Read full book review >
A STONE OF HOPE by Jim St. Germain
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 4, 2017

"An affecting and earnest testimonial to the power of a humane criminal system built on rehabilitation more than punishment."
A young African-American man's memoir of a life of crime redirected. 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 >