Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 9)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A slight, breezy memoir that delves into serious subjects."
A dying mother puts a middle-aged humorist more in touch with his own mortality. Read full book review >
KOOKOOLAND by Gloria Norris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"An intelligent and bracing memoir."
An independent film producer's story of how she grew up dominated by her charismatic, troubled father but managed to break free of his influence. Read full book review >

A THOUSAND NAKED STRANGERS by Kevin Hazzard
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A vivid, pummeling ride-along with an emergency paramedic."
A former EMT details his action-packed tenure in the field. Read full book review >
SHARON TATE by Ed Sanders
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Readers are likely to finish the book more confused than illuminated by all the possibilities, theories, and potential co-conspirators."
The author revisits the murder that spawned his best-known book, The Family (1971).Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A ghastly, dizzying descent into the coldblooded clannishness of the Southern racist mindset."
A dogged pursuit takes a journalist into uncomfortable corners of her Southern family's complicity in a small-town lynching. Read full book review >

WHITE WALLS by Judy Batalion
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A sinuous, overstuffed reflection on living with a hoarder."
One woman's struggle to find her identity after growing up in a hoarder family. Read full book review >
MARGARET THATCHER by Charles Moore
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Moore will probably not change minds about the Iron Lady, but readers inclined to be as fair-minded as he will find much of interest in his account of her years in power."
British historian/writer Moore delivers the second volume in his authorized biography of the pioneering—and divisive—prime minister. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Duffy's portrait of the South Pacific is an entertaining and well-researched war history that will satisfy intrigued novices and devoted students alike."
A history of the battle for the island of New Guinea during World War II. Read full book review >
SAILOR AND FIDDLER by Herman Wouk
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Readers of Wouk will delight in accompanying him through his triumphs and grief."
Gently meandering work about writing and remembrance by a beloved American sage and author. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A vivid, timely story of survival. If spies live in boredom punctuated by flashes of terrifying action, then refugees on the run live in constant high anxiety punctuated by flashes of horror and panic."
The story of a boy's flight from a rapidly unraveling, murderous Afghanistan. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 4, 2016

"A passionate, intensely engaging portrait of the group's initial mission, as well as the terrible personal lifelong toll the struggle took."
A new look at the injustice visited on a group of African-American high school students engaged in the battle for desegregation in the public schools. Read full book review >
JOHN BIRCH by Terry Lautz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 4, 2016

"A useful work that elucidates both the U.S. role in China and some elements of the contemporary conservative mindset."
A serious probe into the life of the Baptist missionary to China who posthumously (and thus unwittingly) served as the right wing's poster child. 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 >