Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 3)

FRANCIS BACON IN YOUR BLOOD by Michael Peppiatt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Initially, one fears this may be a crass exposé of the 'queer' life of the artist, but Peppiatt shows a deft hand in crafting an enthralling, delightful story of two very different men."
Peppiatt (Art Plural: Voices of Contemporary Art, 2014, etc.) delivers "the subjective story of two lives, focusing on the complex, volatile relationship that bound [Francis] Bacon and me together over…three decades."Read full book review >
BOYS IN THE TREES by Carly Simon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"Memoirs by rock icons of the 1960s and '70s are flying fast and furious these days. This is one of the best, lively and memorable. Check the new album that accompanies the book, too."
Understated but revealing memoir by the long-absent but still much-played pop star. Read full book review >

OVER THE TOP AND BACK by Tom Jones
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"A remarkable memoir by a remarkable artist."
The memoir of the resilient career of a singer who knows how closely he succumbed to self-parody. Read full book review >
DARE TO DISAPPOINT by Özge Samanci
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"A bright, perceptive bildungsroman with a distinctive setting. (Graphic memoir. 14 & up)"
Humor and youthful angst lighten this graphic memoir of life in a country pulled strongly in different directions by conflicts between Western and conservative Muslim values. Read full book review >
ELIZABETH by Lisa Hilton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Mildly revisionist, well-argued, and thoroughly satisfying."
There is no shortage of biographies of Britain's Elizabeth I (1533-1603), but readers should pay attention to this thoughtful, often ingenious account. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A wonderful story that brings us deep into that moment when America made race music its own and gave rise to the rock sound now heard around the world."
A monumental biography of the larger-than-life loner who fought for the acceptance of black music and discovered an extraordinary group of poor, country-boy singers whose records would transform American popular culture. Read full book review >
TRACE by Lauret Savoy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Springing from the literal Earth to metaphor, Savoy demonstrates the power of narrative to erase as easily as it reveals, yielding a provocative, eclectic exposé of the palimpsest historically defining the U.S. as much as any natural or man-made boundary."
An earth scientist explores the broad historical branches extending from her own roots. Read full book review >
PETTY by Warren Zanes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Though it attests to the artist's singularity, this incisive, illuminating biography also serves as an elegy to one of the golden eras of the classic rock band—of the days when 'a band was everything, a shield and a shelter.'"
A biography of a reticent musician that will allow even his biggest fans to see him with fresh eyes and hear him with fresh ears. Read full book review >
ABBA EBAN by Asaf Siniver
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Based on interviews with dozens of people and research in more than 20 archival collections, Siniver's sympathetic, cleareyed biography deserves to be called definitive."
The biography of a defender of Israel who advocated diplomacy over war. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"One of the most absorbing and empowering science histories to hit the shelves in recent years."
One of the world's most renowned and forward-thinking oncologists recounts 35 years of cancer research and tells us why we should be optimistic about the future. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"A lively, raucous, and immensely entertaining love letter to the funny business."
A comprehensive history of American stand-up comedy, from vaudeville to Twitter. Read full book review >
THE WHITE ROAD by Edmund de Waal
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"De Waal's poetically recounted journey is a revelation, as well: of the power of obsession and the lust for purity."
A lyrical melding of art history, memoir, and philosophical meditation. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >