Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 982)

THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM by Mordecai Richler
Released: Sept. 19, 1994

"A provocative and highly readable exploration of Israel in the mind of a Jew who has chosen not to live there, of interest primarily to other Jews aware that they have made the same decision."
In parts memoir, travelogue, political treatise, and extended essay on the tangled question of what it means to be a Jew living outside of Israel. Read full book review >
RAISING LAZARUS by Robert Pensack
Released: Sept. 15, 1994

"Packs a powerful punch."
The haunting story of a man's struggle to survive with a terribly damaged heart. Read full book review >

PROZAC NATION by Elizabeth Wurtzel
Released: Sept. 14, 1994

"This most certainly is not an examination of a generation's collective psyche. (First serial to Vogue, Esquire, and Mouth2Mouth)"
A memoir of a depressed, heavily medicated young woman who identifies with Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and other tragic figures—and fantasizes about being profiled as a tragic suicide in New York magazine. Read full book review >
AMAN by Aman
Released: Sept. 12, 1994

"Nonetheless, a unique and rich account of life in a fascinating and troubled land."
A lyrical first-hand account of a complex and charismatic modern-day African heroine. ``Aman'' (a pseudonym meaning ``trustworthy'' in Arabic) is a gifted narrator who recounted her tumultuous life first to anthropologist Barnes, who died in 1990 before the project was completed, and then to Barnes's designated successor, Boddy (Cultural Anthropology/Univ. of Toronto). Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 12, 1994

"An absorbing study of the linkages between personal and diplomatic perspectives— illuminating as historical background in this period of European integration and diminished American power."
Harper (European Studies/Johns Hopkins; America and the Reconstruction of Italy, 1986) creatively melds biography with cultural and diplomatic history in this triptych of portraits of important architects of US policy toward Europe during the ``American Century.'' America's ``historic ambivalence'' toward Europe, the author argues, is reflected in the lives of his three subjects, each of whom decisively influenced America's European policy during and after WW II. Read full book review >

SUMMING UP by Yitzhak Shamir
Released: Sept. 9, 1994

"A useful tool for opponents of the land-for-peace policies of the current Israeli government, but less useful to students of Israeli history or of Yitzhak Shamir."
With freelance writer Samuel, the former prime minister of Israel describes the context in which he developed his political views but reveals little new about himself. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 6, 1994

"Lawrence-Lightfoot presents successful people determined to remember where they—individually and as a people—came from, and she brings her formidable storytelling gifts to their lives. (Book- of-the-Month Club main selection; author tour)"
A refreshing and inspiring look into the lives of six successful African-Americans. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 2, 1994

"Jeffers inverts Teddy's most famous saying with a book that walks loudly (lots of swaggering by the protagonist and others) and carries a small stick (nary a whack of dissent)."
A fast-paced but toothless report on the crime-busting years of America's toothiest politician: scads of atmosphere and action, no critical bite. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Wolfe reduces an electrifying tale of power and disgrace into a lifeless narrative, and compelling figures into straw men. (Frist serial to Vanity Fair; Literary Guild selection)"
Both more and less than you wanted to know about the scandalous downfall of the chief judge of New York State's Court of Appeals. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Proof that not everyone who has a transformative experience should write a book."
A well-intentioned but uninspired memoir by the mother of folk singer Joan Baez. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Surely, the greatest voice in jazz deserves an equally compelling biography; for now, her own Lady Sings the Blues, although deeply flawed in its factual account, remains the best introduction to her life and work. (24 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A very much less than definitive biography of one of our greatest jazz performers. Read full book review >
LOVE IN AMERICA by Julian Green
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Self-portrait of the artist as a young man, rendered with an excoriating candor that makes Green such a master and exemplar of the confessional voice."
American expatriate Green records searing conflicts between heart and spirit as he finally comes to recognize his sexual identity in this third volume of autobiography (The Green Paradise, 1992; The War at Sixteen, 1993). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Libba Bray
author of LAIR OF DREAMS
August 25, 2015

In Lair of Dreams, the second installment of Libba Bray’s bestselling young adult Diviners series, after a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities....Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer? “Weaving together a chilling mystery with a truly elusive solution, several poignant love stories, agonizing injustice, terrifyingly monstrous dreams, and even a cameo by legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung, this installment wraps enough up to satisfy but clearly sets the stage for more,” our reviewer writes in a rare starred review. “How will readers stand the wait?” View video >