Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 974)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 1998

"Not a seminal work of scholarship, but like the Strobers' other works, a valuable contribution to the study of the modern presidency."
From the Strobers (Nixon, 1994; Let Us Begin Anew, 1993), the third in a series of oral histories of modern American presidencies, consisting of a savory stew of narratives and musings on Ronald Reagan's momentous administration, by insiders, foreign leaders, and other observers. Read full book review >
THE PRESIDENCY OF CALVIN COOLIDGE by Robert H. Ferrell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 29, 1998

"A well-researched account of American policy and society during the 1920s, which should become a standard reference, to the extent one is necessary, on this anything-but-visionary president."
From presidential biographer and historian Ferrell (Indiana Univ.; The Dying President?, p. 168; Harry S. Truman, 1994; Ill-Advised, 1992), a thoughtful, suitably prosaic treatment of the life, career, and legacy, such as it is, of Silent Cal. Read full book review >

LIGHT MY FIRE by Ray Manzarek
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 29, 1998

"Even these screeds make this pop-culture memoir more engaging. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
If anyone were to write a Jim Morrison tell-all, band- and soulmate Manzarek would be the man. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 25, 1998

"Still, Canby's field exploits make for enjoyable reading, and his detailing of the society's inner workings and turmoils will keep readers turning the pages. (photos and maps, not seen)"
The life of a National Geographic staff writer—"the choicest job in the known universe"—and a disarming and especially frank look at intramural politics from one who considers himself "totally a Geographic man." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 22, 1998

"A graceful and personal telling of a young woman's search for connections."
An absorbing memoir of three generations of African-American women. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 18, 1998

"The first third of the book, recounting the process of consolidation that led to the creation of the modern Mob, is a bit overly familiar, but the rest is a fast-moving tale, told with gusto. (b&w photos, not seen)"
Former Newsday correspondent Volkman (Spies, 1994) returns to his home turf, the peccadilloes of America's organized crime families. Read full book review >
HAVANA DREAMS by Wendy Gimbel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 17, 1998

"Describing life in a Havana plagued with shortages of electricity, meat, and gasoline, Gimbel rejects dogma to tell an intensely personal story about how the revolution changed everything. (6 photos) (First printing of 50,000; author tour)"
THE RIVER HOME by Jerry Dennis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 16, 1998

"Not quite up to his earlier efforts, but Dennis's descriptive writing and his sense of fishing as serious fun keeps this one afloat. (illustrations)"
Convinced —nobody knows beans— about why fish bite, Dennis (A Place on the Water, 1993) eschews the usual nuts and bolts of fishing in favor of entertaining personal essays laced with good humor and middle-age nostalgia. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 15, 1998

"More of a —greatest hits— of madmen than a measured look at madness and genius."
A haphazardly assembled collection of profiles of inventors, philosophers, writers, artists, and just plain brilliant madmen. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 15, 1998

"Lord Edward materializes here as not just an Irish martyr, but as a remarkable figure far in advance of his turbulent times. (8 pages b&w photos, 4 pages color photos, not seen)"
In this bicentennial of the failed United Irishmen rising against Britain, a charismatic Protestant aristocrat, soldier, and radical politician receives the extended treatment usually given to the rebellion's legendary Wolfe Tone. Read full book review >
SHAME by Annie Ernaux
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 15, 1998

"Only the French can write, read, and buy such a book in great numbers."
Acclaimed French minimalist Ernaux (Exteriors, 1996, etc.), who has previously created docufictional versions of her past, now takes a violent incident from her childhood and turns it into a work of memory and meditation. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 15, 1998

"Rather less than a social history and far from comprehensive, but full of entertaining if trivial facts presented with good humor."
A lighthearted look at a fading American institution and the products found on its shelves. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Brad Parks
author of SAY NOTHING
March 7, 2017

In Brad Parks’ new thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. View video >