Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 985)

MARK TWAIN'S LETTERS by Mark Twain
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

"A major scholarly resource, but slow-going and unrewarding, proof of how compartmentalized genius can sometimes be. (80 b&w illustrations, not seen)"
An astonishingly dull but comprehensively annotated collection of letters from an unexceptional period in Twain's life. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

"It's too easy to get corny and cute on this subject, and Rowan succumbs—only people with terminal canineophilia will want to read this all the way through."
George Washington had one. Read full book review >

SOME OF ME by Isabella Rossellini
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

"The relaxed, breezy, straightforward tone of these brief pieces is startlingly effective: It's rather like spending a long evening listening to a hectic, disarmingly honest (and charmingly ironic) stream-of- consciousness monologue. (photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
A collage of autobiographical recollections by the model and actress, featuring wry insights on her professions (for her first Vogue cover, in 1982, she was paid $150; there are some fascinating glimpses of her work with the director David Lynch, ``the Jimmy Stewart from Mars''), reflections on her famous parents (the director Roberto Rossellini, who conducted much of his life from his bed, even keeping a film-editing table next to it, and the actress Ingrid Bergman, who ``loved acting most and above all''), droll, chatty passages on everything from bras to the true meaning of glamour, and frank descriptions of such matters as the therapeutic uses of lying and her idiosyncratic habit of holding discussions with her ``ghosts'' (principally, her mother and father) at particularly stressful moments. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

"In an arena already crowded with juicy first-person exposÇs and academic diatribes, a detached, surface-level survey isn't going to generate much interest. (16 pages photos, not seen)"
A volume that will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in the Reagan presidency so overwhelming it has not yet been sated by the glut of books on this subject. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

"Their love, humor, and forgiveness resonate from every page. (16 b&w photos, not seen)"
An honest, searching memoir about the trials of an openly gay priest and his partner. Read full book review >

THE BRONSKI HOUSE by Philip Marsden
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

"A fascinating and dramatic tale of love and loss on both a personal and national scale."
A chronicle of one ÇmigrÇ Polish aristocrat's return to her family's abandoned estate is transformed by an award-winning British writer into an evocative narrative complete with two remarkable heroines and two world wars. Read full book review >
BUFFON by Jacques Roger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

A dry yet thorough life of the Enlightenment philosopher and naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon (170788). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

"Of interest for the Alcott material alone, but the light-handed, nontechnical accounts of the uncommon duo's experiences as women antiquarians also make pleasurable reading for anyone immersed in the world of books. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
This breezy dual autobiography of two writers and antiquarian- book dealers points up their extraordinary accomplishment in spheres of endeavor long dominated by men. Read full book review >
VIRGIL THOMSON by Anthony Tommasini
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

"Tommasini had access to the relevant documents and made reasonable use of them, but his book lacks the qualities Thomson's own writings always had: wit, verve, and a sense of history. (photos, not seen)"
A generally informative biography of the influential American composer that suffers, paradoxically, from its author's intimacy with his subject. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

"Watch for Volume II—Clare as congresswoman and US ambassador. (45 b&w photos, not seen) (First serial to Vanity Fair; Book-of-the-Month Club selection)"
Morris dishes the fascinating dirt on—and logs the remarkable accomplishments of—this controversial author, social climber, magazine editor, athlete, foreign correspondent, and trophy wife. Read full book review >
BAUHAUS by Elaine S. Hochman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 29, 1997

"While the author's socio-historical approach fills in a neglected dimension, she pauses too rarely to emphasize what the Bauhaus was producing amid the chaos; the narrative is thus more about the obstacles the Bauhaus faced than what it accomplished. (16 pages b&w illustrations, not seen)"
A concentrated study of the conditions in Weimar Germany that spawned the Bauhaus, its struggles to survive, and its eventual destruction. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 29, 1997

"An eye-opening review of the evidentiary discrepancies that are possible in a celebrated criminal case, even one with over 70 witnesses and an admission of guilt by the accused. (8 pages illustrations, not seen)"
Investigative journalist Klaber and political scientist Melanson, curator of the Kennedy Assassination Archives at the University of Massachusetts, reopen the RFK assassination in an exhaustive and intriguing study. 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 >