Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 983)

NOTORIOUS by Donald Spoto
Released: June 18, 1997

"Spoto's ardor for his subject, although not unwarranted, crosses the line that separates chronicling the life from prostrating oneself before the dead. (32 pages photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
Prolific celebrity biographer Spoto (Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean, 1996, etc.) offers an uncritical portrait of the three-time Oscar winner, who epitomized both Hollywood stardom at its most luminous and, for a time, career-hobbling scandal. Read full book review >
POINT LAST SEEN by Hannah Nyala
Released: June 16, 1997

"The gripping chronicle of a tracker finding herself as she looks for others. (Book-of-the-Month/Quality Paperback Book Club selection)"
In this beautifully rendered narrative, a woman reveals the art of tracking both in the wilderness and in autobiography. Read full book review >

Released: June 15, 1997

"Randolph's career is a historical footnote, but the author's close examination of his father's complex relationship with Winston Churchill, augmented with excerpts from their voluminous correspondence, make this a valuable contribution to Churchill scholarship."
A "filial and objective" biography of Winston S. Churchill's only son, Randolph, by Randolph's son. Read full book review >
Released: June 12, 1997

"Coles would do better to stick to Living Single and leave the role of Miss Lonelyhearts to others."
The sexy sistah from the TV show Living Single offers nothing new in this not-ready-for-prime-time guide for the single woman. Read full book review >
HAZEL by Sinéad McCoole
Released: June 11, 1997

"Ireland's fight for freedom and a tantalizing portrait of a woman who was at once determined and vulnerable, talented and yet unsure. (24 color and b&w photos)"
A Dubin-based historical researcher rights a historical wrong by revealing Lady Hazel Lavery as more than just a pretty face commemorated on Irish banknotes and in more than 400 paintings by her famous husband, John Lavery. Read full book review >

TERENCE RATTIGAN by Geoffrey Wansell
Released: June 9, 1997

"Not bad, but not good enough to gain renewed attention for a pleasing second-rank playwright. (8 pages illustrations, not seen)"
A gossipy yet earnest portrait of the once-popular British dramatist, unlikely to attract many American readers. Read full book review >
UNCROWNED KING by Stanley Weintraub
Released: June 9, 1997

"While providing a window into the private lives of 19th- century royalty, Weintraub also makes a critical historical point about the adaptation of the monarchy to the demands of a more democratic age."
A distinguished biographer of Queen Victoria demonstrates the political importance of her beloved husband. Read full book review >
THE ROAD HOME by Eliza Thomas
Released: June 6, 1997

"Though often endearing, Thomas is inexplicably vague about the time frame, the cabin's location, when she adopted Amelia, and other areas that might have drawn the reader closer. (Author tour)"
Knowing that she ``badly needed a change'' after years of odd jobs and lousy apartments, Thomas purchased an old Boy Scout cabin on four acres in rural Vermont. Read full book review >
Released: June 6, 1997

"Garfield is best when writing about himself, and the book is partly redeemed by the section on his own pursuits, which contains essays on tourism, house and car shopping, and hunting, all in a Dave Barryish vein."
According to NPR commentator Garfield, the American Dream is less about white picket fences and two cars in the garage and far more about ``the pursuit of happiness.'' As the humorist proves, the pursuit, while often noble, is just as often fruitless. Read full book review >
F.R. LEAVIS by Ian MacKillop
Released: June 2, 1997

"A thorough and candid examination from the academic trenches of the most combative of the Cambridge Critics. (b&w photos, not seen)"
A life of the eminent critic, a controversial figure whose ideas were influential wherever English was taught—except at Cambridge University, the institution that grudgingly employed him. Read full book review >
THE SEEING GLASS by Jacquelin Gorman
Released: June 2, 1997

"Two memorable stories in one. (First serial to Good Housekeeping and Reader's Digest; Book-of-the-Month Club selection)"
A terrifying bout of blindness stirs up recollections of a dark family story in this moving memoir. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1997

"Tobin's account is a balanced tribute to the quintessential war correspondent: In his ability to make war come alive and at the same time show its human side, Pyle was never to be bettered by any of the generation of war correspondents that followed."
From Detroit News reporter Tobin, the definitive biography of this country's great WW II war correspondent. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >