Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 9)

GUANTÁNAMO DIARY by Mohamedou Ould Slahi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"Slahi may or may not be a reliable narrator; readers are called on to suspend disbelief. By his account, of course, he is not guilty. His memoir is essential reading for anyone concerned with human rights and the rule of law."
A harrowing prison memoir, the first to date by an inmate who is behind bars at the Cuban penitentiary that has become a byword for an American gulag. Read full book review >
GOD, GUNS, GRITS, AND GRAVY by Mike Huckabee
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"More of the same from the outspoken Southerner."
More chuckly preaching from the former Arkansas governor and Fox News weekly show host. Read full book review >

WHERE THE DEAD PAUSE, AND THE JAPANESE SAY GOODBYE by Marie Mutsuki Mockett
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2015

"Mockett, who speaks Japanese (though not perfectly), is an observant and respectful guide to Japanese customs, open to new experiences and sensitive to changes in the culture. If she sometimes rambles on or wanders off, the trip is still worth it."
A journey through Japanese culture and religion by a Japanese-American woman grieving for her dead father and concerned that she will be unable to pass on her heritage to her young son. Read full book review >
THIEVES OF STATE by Sarah Chayes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2015

"Scattershot but often insightful, disquieting reading for policymakers."
Former NPR reporter and current Carnegie Foundation associate Chayes (The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban, 2006) offers an alarming account of the role played by acute government corruption in fostering violent extremism.Read full book review >
FATHERLAND by Nina Bunjevac
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2015

"The personal perspective humanizes historical currents that might otherwise seem abstract and inexplicable to American readers."
An ambitious graphic memoir that succeeds on a number of different levels. Read full book review >

F.B. EYES by William J. Maxwell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 18, 2015

"An occasionally intriguing work whose organization and diction consign it to reference status."
Maxwell (English and African-American Studies, Washington Univ.; New Negro, Old Left: African-American Writing and Communism between the Wars, 1999) reveals the obsession of the late FBI director with the lives and literature of leading black writers.Read full book review >
Chicago Law by Joseph A Garofalo
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2015

"Mild lessons and anecdotes from a Chicago man who lifted himself from the middle class."
Worker's compensation lawyer Garofalo recounts his life and law practice in Chicago. Read full book review >
SOPHIA by Anita Anand
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 15, 2015

"A sturdy narrative of one woman's awakening and strength in the early 20th century as she witnessed the vast societal changes in India and England."
The biography of an Indian royal princess, born in Britain, who found a higher purpose as she discovered her heritage. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 15, 2015

"A fresh look at the sources and a careful eye to leadership and character places this book high atop the list of recent Civil War histories."
"The cheering proved to be our folly." Thus said Robert E. Lee, chiding Southern vanity at the outbreak of the Civil War, the setting for this thoughtful study of command. Read full book review >
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL by Michael Mewshaw
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"Mewshaw's account is more devilish (and sometimes downright cruel) than sympathetic, but it's also well-written, funny and never boring. Literary lives don't get dishier."
Vidal unvarnished: the private life of an aging provocateur. Read full book review >
PUBLISHING by Gail Godwin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"No blindingly brilliant insights into the seismic changes that have transformed publishing but an agreeable memoir that captures its pleasures and pitfalls."
The evolving nature of the book business over the past half-century, as experienced in one up-and-down career. Read full book review >
REELING THROUGH LIFE by Tara Ison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"Though well-written and engaging, this is basically a book-length aphorism, something discharged by Paddy Chayefsky in a single passage from Network."
Novelist and nonfiction author Ison (Rockaway, 2013) unspools a montage of images that illustrate how her thoughts and feelings were channeled through lives on the big screen.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >