Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

TRACES OF VERMEER by Jane  Jelley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2017

"Featuring wonderful illustrations, engaging prose, and a deep knowledge of the craft, this is a study in art history and methodology to delight an audience beyond just visual artists."
A painter of still life and landscape shares her theories and re-creations of Johannes Vermeer's artistic methods, primarily whether or not he used a camera obscura. Read full book review >
SAIGON CALLING by Marcelino Truong
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2017

"An excellent combination of personal insight and historical sweep."
The second volume of the author's critically acclaimed graphic memoir of the Vietnam War era. Read full book review >

GOING INTO TOWN by Roz Chast
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"Chast's voice and vision make this a singular love letter to a singular city."
The highly regarded New Yorker cartoonist lets readers see the city she loves through her eyes. Read full book review >
A MOONLESS, STARLESS SKY by Alexis  Okeowo
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"Cleareyed, lyrical, observant, and compassionate—reportage at its finest."
Examining conflicts in four African countries through the eyes of those experiencing and trying to fight them. Read full book review >
MARTIN LUTHER by Eric Metaxas
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"Perfect for lay readers who want something more than a mere introduction to Luther."
A meaty autobiography of the Reformation leader. Read full book review >

ADMISSIONS by Henry Marsh
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"Another thoughtful, painful, utterly fascinating mixture of nut-and-bolts brain surgery with a compassionate, workaholic surgeon's view of medicine around the world and his own limitations. Readers will hope that a third volume is in the works."
A retired British neurosurgeon delivers the follow-up to his well-received debut memoir, Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery (2015). Read full book review >
THE COLLECTOR OF LIVES by Ingrid D. Rowland
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"Rowland and Charney do more than deliver a richly detailed life of this singular Renaissance figure. They raise intriguing questions about how tastes and standards develop."
The life and times of a true Renaissance man who knew everyone—and immortalized them forever. Read full book review >
ALI by Jonathan Eig
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"An exemplary life of an exemplary man who, despite a few missteps, deserves to be remembered long into the future."
Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), the recently departed, self-styled greatest, gets an appropriately outsized—and first-rate—biography. Read full book review >
HOOVER by Kenneth Whyte
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 10, 2017

"A thoughtful resurrection of a brilliant man who, aside from the Founding Fathers, did more good before taking office than any other president in American history."
A biography of Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) meant "to spring [him] from the Depression and present him in another context, that of his full life." Read full book review >
CODE GIRLS by Liza Mundy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 10, 2017

"A well-researched, compellingly written, crucial addition to the literature of American involvement in World War II."
A previously untold history of the American women who served as codebreakers during World War II. Read full book review >
LIONESS by Francine Klagsbrun
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 10, 2017

"A terrific chronicle of a unique world leader."
An evenhanded new biography of one the larger-than-life Israeli leader. Read full book review >
LOU REED by Anthony DeCurtis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 10, 2017

"Essential reading for Reed fans and strongly recommended for anyone interested in rock as art."
A full-length portrait of legendary musician Lou Reed (1942-2013). 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 >