Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 15, 2017

"An engaging, lightly worn literary study, of a piece with Hugh Kenner's The Pound Era (1971) in divining the origins of the modern."
A group biography of four writers who are held as standard-bearers for a new movement in 20th-century literature. Read full book review >
GHOST OF THE INNOCENT MAN by Benjamin  Rachlin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 15, 2017

"A sprawling, powerful, unsettling longitudinal account of an overdue legal movement."
A chilling story of wrongful conviction, focused on one man's ordeal, and the growth of the movement to support actual innocence. Read full book review >

THE EDUCATION OF A CORONER by John  Bateson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 15, 2017

"A fascinating and wildly informative dive into the mysterious world of death and decay."
Grisly true-life cases from the longtime career of a veteran coroner. Read full book review >
THE KELLOGGS by Howard Markel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"A superb warts-and-all account of two men whose lives help illuminate the rise of health promotion and the modern food industry."
A dual biography of the highly successful Kellogg brothers, who "fought, litigated, and plotted against one another with a passion more akin to grand opera than the kinship of brothers." Read full book review >
BEYOND THE HIGH BLUE AIR by Lu  Spinney
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"An engrossing and wrenching memoir."
A family's tragedy is revealed in agonizing detail. Read full book review >

THE BETTENCOURT AFFAIR by Tom Sancton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"A well-researched, crisply written, and entertaining story of family, greed, wealth, and the complex relations among them."
A juicy chronicle of France's richest scandal. Read full book review >
STANTON by Walter Stahr
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"A lively, lucid, and opinionated history, and his research supports his skepticism on some historical claims. The book should be Stanton's definitive biography for some time to come."
An exhaustive biography of the most controversial figure in Abraham Lincoln's cabinet. Read full book review >
BONES by Joe Tone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"A suspenseful story as well as a fascinating depiction of the mechanics of money laundering, the largely unfamiliar world of quarter horse racing, and the dynamics of an extended family, the book draws readers into the complexities of life at the border."
A deep dive into the world of the Mexican drug cartels and their unexpected relationship with quarter horse breeding and racing in the southwestern United States. Read full book review >
LIFE IN CODE by Ellen Ullman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"What Anthony Bourdain did for chefs, Ullman does for computer geeks. A fine rejoinder and update to Doug Coupland's Microserfs and of great interest to any computer user."
A sharply written, politically charged memoir of life in the data trenches by computer pioneer Ullman (By Blood, 2012, etc.). Read full book review >
APHRA BEHN by Janet Todd
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"A brisk, entertaining, and richly detailed portrait of a unique woman and her era."
The life of a prodigious playwright is set in the context of roiling political dramas. Read full book review >
CONFESSIONS OF A RECOVERING ENVIRONMENTALIST AND OTHER ESSAYS by Paul Kingsnorth
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"On the whole, a hard-hitting collection that shows why we need new stories to revise our perceptions of civilization, progress, and nature."
A fervent plea to respond creatively and personally to environmental destruction. Read full book review >
WHAT MADE MADDY RUN by Kate  Fagan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"A compassionate and frank look at depression and the social pressure faced by many college students as seen through the eyes of one young woman."
What led to one teen athlete's suicide. 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 >