Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 3)

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 >
AMERICAN GHOST by Hannah Nordhaus
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A thoughtful and intriguing chronicle of familial investigation."
A journalist's account of how she went in search of the true story behind her great-great-grandmother's life and ghostly reappearances almost a century after her mysterious death. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"An emotion- and action-packed story of the author's tenacious, dogged pursuit of his goals."
The story of one man's ability to rise above his physical disability to achieve his dreams. Read full book review >
MEET ME IN ATLANTIS by Mark Adams
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"Fact or fiction, Atlantis, as the author ably demonstrates, still has the power to enthrall inquiring minds."
Fun, enthusiastic exploration of the fabled lost city of Atlantis and the fascinating group of diverse personalities who have dedicated their lives to proving its existence. Read full book review >
THE LAST UNICORN by William deBuys
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A riveting and disturbing account of the clash between the beauty of the wilderness and civilization's unrelenting demands on the natural world."
Dedicated conservationist deBuys (A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest, 2011 etc.) undertakes an arduous trek through the wilds of central Laos in a quest to help save one of the most elusive animals on the planet, the large grazing mammal known as a saola.Read full book review >
NO SIMPLE HIGHWAY by Peter Richardson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"Not quite as smartly conceived and written as Greil Marcus' Invisible Republic (1997), but a kindred book that helps locate an influential musical group in time and place."
Far-ranging look at the ultimate jam band in the acid-drenched context of their formative years. 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 >