Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 7)

GORGE by Kara Richardson Whitely
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Disappointing despite its honesty and flair."
A physical journey up Mount Kilimanjaro and an emotional journey through a lifetime of baggage. Read full book review >
THE UNRAVELING by Emma Sky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"One might call the events Sky describes as a comedy of errors, except that there's nothing comedic about it. A tragedy of errors, then, crisply recounted by one who was there."
A grimly clinical assessment by a former high-ranking adviser of the "modern-day Crusade of ideologues and idealists" who drove the United States invasion of Iraq—to say nothing of their "ignorance, arrogance, and naivety." Read full book review >

WILD BILL WELLMAN by William Wellman, Jr.
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"A rich, exuberant life, well-captured in this exuberant biography."
A star-studded homage to a prolific director. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Kudos to the author for mostly avoiding her family's 'curse,' but the book, occasionally revelatory, is weighed down by self-discovery platitudes."
Actress-turned-author Hemingway (Mariel's Kitchen, 2009) ponders her life and career in light of her famous family's self-destructive history.Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >