Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 956)

THE LIFE AND MANY DEATHS OF HARRY HOUDINI by Ruth Brandon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Apart from occasional slips into a corny carny-huckster style and insertions of irrelevant anecdotes of her own experiences, Brandon has written an entertaining biography of a legendary figure. (24 pages of b&w photos, not seen)"
Houdini's fame is so great that he is more a metaphor for magical escape than a man, but Brandon's (The New Women and the Old Men, 1990) biography readably explores both his act's archetypal appeal and his obsessive personality. Read full book review >
SERVING IN SILENCE by Margarethe Cammermeyer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Despite coauthor Fisher's somewhat repetitive style, the book has a power that brings readers along on this courageous soldier's journey. (16 pages of b&w photos) (Author tour)"
Jacob Marley's injunction that we all bear the chains we forge in life could be the lesson of Cammermeyer's life story. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"A wise and animated account of raising children well in spite of a particularly large generation gap. (Author tour)"
An inspiring, humorous, and thoughtful account of unexpected single motherhood by former LBJ White House press secretary Carpenter (Ruffles and Flourishes, 1970). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"While apologetic and loyalist at times, Esposito doesn't let the King off too easy. (16 pages of b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
Esposito may not tell all, but he comes close in this brutally honest, yet loyal, memoir of his days with the King. Read full book review >
CATS OF ANY COLOR by Gene Lees
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Essential reading for any serious jazz fan or student of American culture."
Another sterling collection of essays by one of our best jazz critics, drawn from his superb newsletter, Jazzletter. Read full book review >

HOW TO BE HAP-HAP-HAPPY LIKE ME by Merrill Markoe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Chuckleworthy in small doses—and a strong argument for caution. (Author tour)"
A former head writer for ``Late Night with David Letterman'' satirizes popular ``happiness materials'' (books, calendars, etc.) with her own entertaining (self-) investigations. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"For students, scholars, and policy types."
A solid but dry academic analysis of how and why the US wrongheadedly tilted toward Iraq and leader Saddam Hussein until the Gulf War. Read full book review >
MY LIFE AS A RADICAL LAWYER by William M. Kunstler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"One would have hoped for more from a man who has stood up for justice in courtrooms often determined to undermine it."
In this bafflingly disappointing autobiography, Kunstler, radical lawyer extraordinaire, is once again arguing a difficult case—this time his own. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"This scrappy tale is a testament to what a powerful will can- -and can't—do in the face of severe MS."
This gritty story of a woman's desperate struggle to overcome severe chronic progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) is a sometimes grating reminder that the disabled are no better than the rest of us. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"But will the public, outside the media world, be interested in this mediocre effort? (16 pages of photos, not seen) (First printing of 60,000)"
Partly a biography of ``the most influential media baron of our time,'' more a critique of that baron's stewardship of the public interest, an ambitious assemblage that falls short of a strong narrative or full indictment. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"The honesty and humanity with which these controversial themes are treated make for attractive reading."
Twenty professional philosophers tell how they combine intellectual rigor with religious commitment. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"He barely mentions Walker Percy until well over 200 pages into the book, by which time most nonhistorians are likely to have set it aside."
Wyatt-Brown (History/Univ. of Florida; Southern Honor, not reviewed, etc.) buries a good idea under an avalanche of scholarly detail. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
authors of OFF THE PAGE
May 19, 2015

Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. In bestseller Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer’s new young adult novel, Off the Page, it’s a miracle that seems perfect at first—but there are complications. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver’s role in the pages of Delilah’s favorite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down. We talk to the mother-daughter team on Kirkus TV. View video >