Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

LOOKING FOR <i>THE STRANGER</i> by Alice Kaplan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2016

"A compelling companion to a novel that has stayed strange."
The fascinating story behind Albert Camus' coldblooded masterpiece. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A fresh, captivating history of the enduringly colorful Churchill."
A history of the danger-seeking young Winston Churchill during the Boer War, which "had turned out to be far more difficult and more devastating than the amusing colonial war the British had expected." Read full book review >

EYES ON THE STREET by Robert Kanigel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An outstanding chronicle of a provocative, influential, iconoclastic theorist of the American cityscape."
A significant, comprehensive biography of an irrepressible urbanist, author, and pioneering community activist. Read full book review >
MARROW by Elizabeth Lesser
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A searching, compassionate, and uplifting memoir."
Omega Institute co-founder Lesser (Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, 2005) tells the story of the profound emotional journey that ensued after she became her sister's bone marrow donor. Read full book review >
INCARNATIONS by Sunil Khilnani
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An immensely readable teaching tool."
A selection of brief biographies of some of the most brilliant minds and personalities over the long course of Indian history. Read full book review >

MOSCOW NIGHTS by Nigel Cliff
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Sweeping history combines with a sensitive rendering of Cliburn's extraordinary passion."
The glorious career of the Texan pianist who captured Russian hearts during the Cold War era. Read full book review >
THE SULTAN AND THE QUEEN by Jerry Brotton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An erudite work that presents a fresh facet to Elizabeth's reign."
An intriguing look at England's contact with the Ottoman Empire and its enormous influence on Elizabethan commerce and culture, especially the theater. Read full book review >
TREYF by Elissa Altman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A poignant and life-affirming family memoir."
A James Beard Award-winning food blogger's account of growing up in a family with conflicting attitudes toward Judaism. Read full book review >
A KINGDOM OF THEIR OWN by Joshua Partlow
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An excellent introduction to the Karzai family and to the disastrous consequences of the Americans' inadequate understanding of Afghan culture."
A summary and analysis of the United States' troubled relationship with former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and his sprawling, influential family. Read full book review >
THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE 2 by Riad Sattouf
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A solid continuation, but subsequent volumes are sure to provide even more provocative material."
The second volume of the author's graphic memoir presents a portrait of the Franco-Syrian artist as a young boy. Read full book review >
DIE YOUNG WITH ME by Rob Rufus
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"By refusing to abandon hope, easy though it would have been to do so, Rufus' memoir makes a valuable contribution to the literature of healing and recovery. It's a good piece of rock writing, too, with 'one hell of a soundtrack.'"
Buy a drum kit. Buy a guitar. Get cancer. It's not the usual rock 'n' roll trajectory. Read full book review >
A TRUCK FULL OF MONEY by Tracy Kidder
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"More engrossing work from a gifted practitioner of narrative nonfiction."
The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner tells the story of a maverick software engineer and entrepreneur's remarkable life. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >