Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

JOAN OF ARC by Helen Castor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"An unorthodox yet erudite and elegant biography of this 'massive star.'"
A fresh attempt to put young, willful Joan the Maid squarely back at the center of the French-English drama of early- to mid-15th-century France. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"A highly readable, entertaining story offering a solid education for anyone lacking scruples and wanting to make money. Surely Bernie Madoff studied Koretz's methods."
The granddaddy of all con men, Leo Koretz (1881-1925), gives Jobb (Journalism/Univ. of King's Coll., Halifax; The Cajuns: A People's Story of Exile and Triumph, 2005) the opportunity to exhibit his impressive research and storytelling skills.Read full book review >

HEAD CASE by Cole Cohen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"A beautifully wrenching memoir as piercing as smelling salts."
The story of a woman with a hole in her brain the size of a lemon. Read full book review >
GOEBBELS by Peter Longerich
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"Longerich's book is overly long and even plodding, but it is essential: it paints a definitive portrait of a man whose name has become a byword for complicit evil, and deservedly so."
Thoroughly researched, massive biography of one of the chief powers behind Hitler's throne. Read full book review >
VIRGINIA WOOLF by Viviane Forrester
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"An engrossing, intimate, and deeply empathetic portrayal of a brilliant and enigmatic woman. The book won the 2009 Prix Goncourt in France."
Exploring the palimpsest of a literary life. Read full book review >

LEAVING ORBIT by Margaret Lazarus Dean
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"One of those books you can't put down, don't want to finish, and won't soon forget."
Beguiled at an early age by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Dean (English/Univ. of Tennessee; The Time It Takes to Fall, 2007) deftly chronicles the history of American spaceflight and what the end of the space program means for American culture.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"Well-researched, -organized, and -presented, this is a sober, balanced examination of the origins of one of the more regrettable chapters in American history."
NPR's Morning Edition co-host Inskeep (Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi, 2011) returns with a review of the forces and events leading to the expulsion of the Cherokees from their ancestral homelands. Read full book review >
YOUR BAND SUCKS by Jon Fine
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"'I don't regret a thing,' writes Fine, and neither will readers who live vicariously through the author's eyes and memory."
The short shelf of great books on indie rock adds another—an unlikely memoir about an obscure band that somehow found demand for its reunion in the Internet age. Read full book review >
BAD KID by David Crabb
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"A vivid and dramatic slice of adolescence."
Reflections on growing up goth and gay in Texas at the dawn of the 1990s—based on the author's one-man show. Read full book review >
STALIN by Oleg V. Khlevniuk
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"An ambitious yet manageable biography of Stalin, this book sheds new light on its subject for amateur historians and experts alike."
Khlevniuk (Master of the House: Stalin and His Inner Circle, 2008, etc.) delves into the existing body of work surrounding Stalin's life and career to separate fact from fiction, and he crafts a complete picture of a complex man.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"Sehat ably shows how the exploitation of the founders debases political debate and neglects policy evaluation—required reading for those desperate for sane, intelligent political arguments."
Sehat (History/Georgia State Univ.; The Myth of American Religious Freedom, 2011) indicts the political ploy of invoking the Constitution to support projects from the sublime to the absurd.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 2015

"A wise and humane memoir."
A collaborative memoir in two voices that celebrates the life, creativity, and accomplishments of a little-discussed but no less important female civil rights activist. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nelson DeMille
author of RADIANT ANGEL
May 26, 2015

After a showdown with the notorious Yemeni terrorist known as The Panther, in Nelson DeMille’s latest suspense novel Radiant Angel, NYPD detective John Corey has left the Anti-Terrorist Task Force and returned home to New York City, taking a job with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group. Although Corey's new assignment with the DSG-surveilling Russian diplomats working at the U.N. Mission-is thought to be "a quiet end," he is more than happy to be out from under the thumb of the FBI and free from the bureaucracy of office life. But Corey realizes something the U.S. government doesn't: The all-too-real threat of a newly resurgent Russia. “Perfect summer beach reading, with or without margaritas, full of Glock-and-boat action,” our reviewer writes. View video >