Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 6)

MY JOURNEY WITH MAYA by Tavis Smiley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Readers might feel regret for not having the privilege of meeting Angelou personally, but Smiley has faithfully re-created both her voice's 'haunting beauty and lilting musicality' and the experience of receiving her transformative wisdom, humor, and compassion."
Veteran talk show host Smiley (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year, 2014, etc.) chronicles his relationship with Maya Angelou (1928-2014), his intellectual and spiritual guide.Read full book review >
BASEBALL MAVERICK by Steve Kettmann
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Kettmann has written a worthy biography of a compelling figure, but the author's desire to produce his own version of Moneyball has caused him to overstate his case."
A biography of one of baseball's leading front-office figures. Read full book review >

BILLY MARTIN by Bill Pennington
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Baseball (and Yankees) fans will devour this like ballpark popcorn, and all will muse about the many what-ifs of Martin's motley life."
A sympathetic examination of the fiery player and manager Billy Martin (1928-1989), who could dazzle between the lines but whose life outside the stadium was often boozy, libidinous, and rudderless. Read full book review >
THE BROTHERS by Masha Gessen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"There are no pat answers, but Gessen makes it eerily plain to see how simply an atrocity can manifest."
The bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon resulted in a deluge of media coverage, none of which offered a satisfying explanation of why it happened. This book attempts to find an answer. Read full book review >
THE STORY by Judith Miller
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Miller might possess just cause, but one-sided, bitter accounts of her disputes feel unworthy of a talented journalist."
Miller (God Has Ninety-Nine Names: Reporting From a Militant Middle East, 1997, etc.) offers her account of her ignominious departure from the New York Times in 2005 due to her allegedly inaccurate coverage about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Read full book review >

BETWEEN YOU & ME by Mary Norris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 6, 2015

"A funny book for any serious reader."
A New Yorker editor since 1978, Norris provides an educational, entertaining narrative about grammar, spelling and punctuation.Read full book review >
WORDS WITHOUT MUSIC by Philip Glass
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 6, 2015

"Writing with warmth and candor, Glass portrays himself as driven, self-confident and tenaciously determined to invent his own, radically new musical language."
An engaging memoir of an adventuresome, iconoclastic career. Read full book review >
FORTUNE'S FOOL by Terry Alford
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 2, 2015

"Alford paints some intriguing shades of gray in this elucidating portrait."
The "first full-length biography" of Abraham Lincoln's assassin offers much nuance and complexity to the killer, bordering on the downright sympathetic. Read full book review >
ORDINARY LIGHT by Tracy K. Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 2, 2015

"Guilt and regret pervade Smith's recollection of her mother's illness and death, darkening the edges of this light-filled memoir."
A daughter's journey to claim her identity. Read full book review >
ON ELIZABETH BISHOP by Colm Tóibín
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"An inspiring appreciation from one writer to another."
An admiring critical portrait of a great American poet and a master of subtlety. Read full book review >
YOUNG ELIOT by Robert Crawford
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"Although Crawford modestly claims that his biography is neither 'official' nor definitive, it is unlikely to be surpassed."
A masterful biography of the canonical modernist. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"A curious portrait of a celebrity nonentity caught up in the throes of history."
Martelle (The Admiral and the Ambassador: One Man's Obsessive Search for the Body of John Paul Jones, 2014, etc.) explores the troubled life of a key yet little-known character in the Abraham Lincoln assassination drama.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >