Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 6)

LIVING WITH A DEAD LANGUAGE by Ann Patty
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A mostly lively portrait of a woman's language-inspired metamorphosis."
How Latin, "an undead language," has enlivened the author's life. Read full book review >
AN ABBREVIATED LIFE by Ariel Leve
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A candid rendering of pain and survival."
A daughter's raw memoir exposes her "spiteful, vindictive, uncontrollable mother." Read full book review >

SHANGHAI GRAND by Taras Grescoe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"Grescoe exuberantly captures the glamour and intrigue of a lost world."
An intrepid journalist in free-wheeling 1930s Shanghai. Read full book review >
I'M JUST A PERSON by Tig Notaro
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"Forthright and private moments are revealed as a stand-up comedian uses her gift of creating laughter to overcome personal and physical disasters."
A stand-up comic and writer's year from hell. Read full book review >
ALL STRANGERS ARE KIN by Zora O'Neill
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A valiant chronicle of the author's 'Year of Speaking Arabic Badly.'"
Returning to study Arabic less formally than as a college student led the author to travel through the Arab world. Read full book review >

FALLING by Elisha Cooper
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A profoundly moving memoir."
The children's book author shows masterful control in this memoir of a life careening beyond his control. Read full book review >
TEMPERANCE CREEK by Pamela Royes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A modern frontier adventure for nature lovers and armchair travelers alike."
Debut memoir by a woman who turned her back on her "rich and respectable Presbyterian upbringing" to live a simpler life in the Oregon wilderness. Read full book review >
THE STRANGE CAREER OF WILLIAM ELLIS by Karl Jacoby
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"An amazing tale that is indeed 'almost too strange to be true.'"
A remarkable historical detective story that unearths the life and times of a "trickster" African-American who was able to "pass," and strive spectacularly, as Latino. Read full book review >
FALSE CHOICES by Liza Featherstone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"One doesn't have to be as far left as most of these essayists to see the contradictions in the subject's credentials as a progressive feminist."
A collection of essays from radical activists and academics eviscerating Hillary Clinton's brand of feminism. Read full book review >
THE WONDER TRAIL by Steve Hely
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A disappointing book considering the ambitious journey that was undertaken and the potential for engaging a wide range of curious armchair travelers."
The author's travels from Los Angeles to Patagonia. Read full book review >
A HOUSE FULL OF DAUGHTERS by Juliet Nicolson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"Readers interested in 19th- and early-20th-century society, especially that of the upper classes, will enjoy this picture of the privileged life, 'where loyalty, respect and equality are all held in the highest regard.'"
Nicolson (Abdication, 2012, etc.) traces seven generations of women connected to the Sackville Wests. Read full book review >
VISTA DEL MAR by Neal Snidow
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A subtly poignant and lyrical memoir."
An English teacher's debut memoir about how a return to his childhood home in Southern California developed into an unexpected—and unexpectedly profound—excavation of his past. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >