Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 94)

STILL ALIVE by Ruth Kluger
Released: Dec. 1, 2001

"A work of such nuance, intelligence, and force that it leaps the bounds of genre."
Stunning contemplation of human relationships, power, and the creation of history through the prism of one woman's Holocaust survival. Read full book review >
LETTERS TO FATHER by Maria Celeste Galilei
Released: Nov. 16, 2001

"Lively and lovely. Making these available to the English-speaking world is a great public service."
The gentle, intelligent voice of Galileo's daughter speaks across the centuries in 124 remarkable epistles—published for the first time in English—written to her father in the early 17th century. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 13, 2001

"Richardson (The Sorcerer's Apprentice, a memoir, 1999), once head of Christie's US operations and now a contributor to Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, etc., proves again that he's one of our foremost biographers."
Engaging essays about an odd mix of artists, writers, tycoons, trendsetters, and con guys from the worlds of literature and art. Read full book review >
RED DUST by Ma Jian
Released: Nov. 13, 2001

"How he managed eventually to wander back into Beijing and resume a more or less ordinary life is a matter, presumably, for another book—one that readers will eagerly await."
An extraordinary—and offbeat—insider's account of life in post-Mao, pre-Tiananmen China. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 12, 2001

"Admirably detailed, stunningly successful, and likely to become the definitive biography of the Kennedy marriage, with all the intimacy and international scope implied."
The famously private Mrs. Kennedy has met her match and is herein revealed—along with her husband and his administration—respectfully but thoroughly, by an author possessed. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"Dispatches from the dark side made funny. (photos)"
How to turn an obituary into an ironic comic masterpiece. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"Vintage Carter, with his always-welcome emphasis on family, place, and the way it really was. Perfect for gift-giving."
From the former president, seasonal reminiscences recalling Christmases past, with tempered nostalgia and beguiling frankness. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"A candid and revealing snapshot of mid-20th-century cultural life, seen through eccentric but shrewdly perceptive eyes."
The British critic's personal jottings from the 1970s chronicle a glamorous life with characteristic wit, underpinned by melancholy. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"Engaging, intelligent, and likely to be of much interest to general readers, as well as of value in courses in American history, women's studies, and African American studies."
A finely rendered portrait of two Southern abolitionists and civil-rights activists, and of the time in which they lived. Read full book review >
NORMAN ROCKWELL by Laura Claridge
Released: Oct. 23, 2001

"Claridge's biography is timely, accompanying a widespread critical reappraisal of Rockwell's work. Though there will still be those who sneer at him as a propagandist on canvas, her life makes a convincing case for Rockwell as genius and original."
A brilliant biography that affords considerable insight into the complicated, worried mind of the masterly illustrator. Read full book review >
UNCLE TUNGSTEN by Oliver Sacks
Released: Oct. 22, 2001

"The realm of science is alchemy in Sacks's hands as he spins pure gold from base metals. (24 drawings, 4 pages of photos)"
Artful, impassioned memoir of a youth spent lost in the blinding light of chemistry from neurologist/essayist Sacks (The Island of the Colorblind, 1998, etc.). Read full book review >
PRINCE OF PRINCES by S. Sebag Montefiore
Released: Oct. 15, 2001

"A landmark biography. Montefiore goes a long way toward rescuing Potemkin from his promiscuous action-figure reputation by justifiably rubbing a fair share of Catherine's greatness off onto, in Jeremy Bentham's words, the Prince of Princes."
A life of Prince Potemkin that starts out as an artful pot-boiler, then turns into a possessing diplomatic history of Potemkin's role in Russia's last great push for empire. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jason Gay
November 17, 2015

In the 1990s, copies of Richard Carlson’s Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and its many sequels) were seemingly everywhere, giving readers either the confidence to prioritize their stresses or despondence over the slender volume’s not addressing their particular set of problems. While not the first book of its kind, it kicked open the door for an industry of self-help, worry-reduction advice guides. In his first book, Little Victories, Wall Street Journal sports columnist Gay takes less of a guru approach, though he has drawn an audience of readers appreciative of reportage that balances insights with a droll, self-deprecating outlook. He occasionally focuses his columns on “the Rules” (of Thanksgiving family touch football, the gym, the office holiday party, etc.), which started as a genial poke in the eye at the proliferation of self-help books and, over time, came to explore actual advice “both practical and ridiculous” and “neither perfect nor universal.” The author admirably combines those elements in every piece in the book. View video >