Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THE LAST UNICORN by William deBuys
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A riveting and disturbing account of the clash between the beauty of the wilderness and civilization's unrelenting demands on the natural world."
Dedicated conservationist deBuys (A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest, 2011 etc.) undertakes an arduous trek through the wilds of central Laos in a quest to help save one of the most elusive animals on the planet, the large grazing mammal known as a saola.Read full book review >
EVERY DAY I FIGHT by Stuart Scott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A class act and a courageous voice to the end."
The posthumous memoir by the sportscaster who brought hip-hop to ESPN and subsequently showed his strength of character through his fight with cancer. Read full book review >

THE GREAT DIVIDE by Thomas Fleming
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 2015

"Among historians, Jefferson's star has been falling for 50 years. Fleming's frank hostility puts him at the far end of the scale, but he makes a fascinating case that Jefferson's charisma—which peaked early with the Declaration of Independence—was accompanied by fanciful political beliefs that continue to exert a malign influence on the office of the presidency."
The camaraderie among America's Founding Fathers did not survive independence in 1783. Disagreement over the role of government grew into virulent antagonism, and that acrimony persists today. Prolific historian Fleming (A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War, 2013, etc.) delivers a vivid, opinionated history of this conflict.Read full book review >
FRANK by Barney Frank
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 2015

"Much more entertaining than most political memoirs, Frank's story isn't just revealing; it may be the most fun you can have reading about the United States Congress."
Now that the fiery, occasionally dyspeptic congressman has left office, he lets the air out in a memoir that feels like it's just the thing the long-serving politician has wanted to publish. Read full book review >
BOSWELL'S ENLIGHTENMENT by Robert Zaretsky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 23, 2015

"This wonderful rendering of Boswell digs deep into his probing, enquiring life and the fast friends he made at every turn."
James Boswell (1740-1795) comes to life in Zaretsky's (French History/Univ. of Houston; A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning, 2013) recounting of his European grand tour in the mid-18th-century.Read full book review >

YOUNG ELIOT by Robert Crawford
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"Although Crawford modestly claims that his biography is neither 'official' nor definitive, it is unlikely to be surpassed."
A masterful biography of the canonical modernist. Read full book review >
BETWEEN YOU & ME by Mary Norris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 6, 2015

"A funny book for any serious reader."
A New Yorker editor since 1978, Norris provides an educational, entertaining narrative about grammar, spelling and punctuation.Read full book review >
THE FOLDED CLOCK by Heidi Julavits
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"An inventive, beautifully crafted memoir, wise and insightful."
Reflections on being and becoming. Read full book review >
BILLY MARTIN by Bill Pennington
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Baseball (and Yankees) fans will devour this like ballpark popcorn, and all will muse about the many what-ifs of Martin's motley life."
A sympathetic examination of the fiery player and manager Billy Martin (1928-1989), who could dazzle between the lines but whose life outside the stadium was often boozy, libidinous, and rudderless. Read full book review >
AMERICAN WARLORD by Johnny Dwyer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 10, 2015

"A dark triumph—a meticulous geopolitical narrative and gripping tale of an American son lost to evil."
Shocking page-turner about Liberian dictator Charles Taylor's American-born son, Chucky, the first U.S citizen to be federally prosecuted for torture. Read full book review >
TARGET TOKYO by James M. Scott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 13, 2015

"A spirited, comprehensive and highly readable account of the tremendous wherewithal required for this extraordinary effort."
A new treatment of the daring Doolittle raids over Tokyo that fills in many of the gaps in the true story. Read full book review >
BONAPARTE by Patrice Gueniffey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 13, 2015

"A masterful portrait, staggeringly complete and contradictory and fluently translated—a delight to read."
Wonderfully lyrical, historically nuanced exploration of the irruption of this Romantic hero. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >