Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 985)

Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"Ecclesiastical reformers and liberal Catholics will find much of value in these pages, which are certain to earn Cornwell still more demerits from the Holy See."
A thoughtful account arguing that the Catholic Church has condemned itself to irrelevance and even extinction. Read full book review >
THE BEST OF TIMES by Haynes Johnson
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"A useful summary of recent events—and one that does Allen proud."
An absorbing survey of America's second Gilded Age. Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"No abusive childhood, no paying of old scores, no juicy gossip, and very little revelation of anyone but the deeply decent author, who's constantly interrupting his chatty stream of anecdotes to say one more nice thing about somebody else."
A warmly old-fashioned reminiscence from the dean of the American regional mystery. Read full book review >
PAGAN TIME by Micah Perks
Released: Sept. 30, 2001

"As in all memoirs of any depth, the answers here are bound to be both yes and no, but for some reason this ambivalence seems to go farther than usual in Perks's case—to the point that her story begins to seem as pointless to the reader as it does to the author herself."
A somewhat precious account of a run-of-the-mill bohemian childhood, by novelist Perks (We Are Gathered Here, 1996). Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 25, 2001

"Sadly, there's no moral to be learned in Rivlin's weak tale, a classic example of a magazine article fattened up to make a book—and, in this case, an e-book as well."
A thin profile—in every sense—of one of the few high-tech movers and shakers who has so far failed to become a household name. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 24, 2001

"One can only hope that Wills will expand his project and give us the Testimony whole."
An exacting—and exciting—new translation and discussion of the first book of Augustine's Confessiones by an accomplished and prolific stylist and classicist (Venice: Lion City, below, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 22, 2001

"With an occasional lapse into a breast-beating aside, Jackson ably depicts a culture bent on fencing in men as well as rangeland."
An exciting, fast-paced account of crime and punishment at the close of the American frontier. Read full book review >
MARIE ANTOINETTE by Antonia Fraser
Released: Sept. 18, 2001

"Antoinette's story isn't really a tragedy—but Fraser somehow makes it seem like one."
A biography of a queen who never said, as legend has it, "Let them eat cake." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 17, 2001

"No great writing here, but since this is likely to be the only biography of Dusty Springfield, it will serve as the standard. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
An entertaining but clumsily written biography of the '60s pop singer. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 14, 2001

"Penn has emerged as an important presence on the Native American literary front, and this collection does a generally good job of showing why that should be so."
A mixed bag of essays by the Nez Perce writer on Native American literature, academic life, and other intellectual topics. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 13, 2001

"Bedside fodder for general readers and a bonanza for fiction writers looking for core stories to launch a novel."
A collection of vignettes from the American stew pot, written for broadcast on National Public Radio by men and women from every racial, cultural, and economic stratum. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 13, 2001

"Perceptive, informative, and certainly timely, albeit a tad hagiographic."
Noted African-American scholar and Baptist minister Dyson (I May Not Get There With You, 2000, etc.), in keeping with the current reappraisal of hip-hop and rap, offers provocative insights into the life and milieu of the artist he calls a "ghetto saint." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >