Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

Ruined by Ruth Everhart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Forthright, compassionate, and expertly crafted—everything readers should want from a memoir."
A memoir offers extensive reportage of a sexual assault and a reflection on the author's future course and evolving faith. Read full book review >
THE FALL OF HEAVEN by Andrew Scott Cooper
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"A thorough new appraisal of an enigmatic ruler who died believing his people still loved him."
A sympathetic account of the imperial couple of the Peacock Throne portrayed as so blindly benevolent that they did not see the Iranian Revolution coming. Read full book review >

LANDMARKS by Robert Macfarlane
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Lucent, lyrical prose evokes Macfarlane's aesthetic, ethical, and powerfully tactile response to nature's enchantments."
A prizewinning naturalist explores the connection between what we say and how we see. Read full book review >
THE GLAMOUR OF STRANGENESS by Jamie James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Abundant primary sources inform James' sharply drawn, sympathetic portraits."
Six artists in quest of the exotic. Read full book review >
HOW EVERYTHING BECAME WAR AND THE MILITARY BECAME EVERYTHING by Rosa Brooks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Legal theorists and policymakers will approve the scholarship and close analysis; general readers will appreciate the sensitive storytelling, the wit, and the uncommon good sense."
A former senior Defense Department adviser explores the military's expanded role in a time when the lines between war and peace are dangerously blurred. Read full book review >

THE HERO'S BODY by William Giraldi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"A hearty, bittersweet familial chronicle of masculinity drawing on the underappreciated bond between fathers and sons."
A loving son reflects on life with a brawny father whose premature death permanently transformed him. Read full book review >
PATIENT H.M. by Luke Dittrich
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"A mesmerizing, maddening story and a model of journalistic investigation."
Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King in a piercing study of one of psychiatric medicine's darker hours. Read full book review >
ADNAN'S STORY by Rabia Chaudry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"For Serial and true-crime fans, this book is a page-turner perfect for a quiet weekend."
"If there is one takeaway from this story, it should be this—the criminal justice system is not just deeply flawed, it is broken." That is how attorney and U.S. Institute of Peace senior fellow Chaudry summarizes the murder conviction and appeals of Adnan Syed, the subject of the Serial podcast. Read full book review >
RIVERINE by Angela Palm
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"An intelligent, evocative, and richly textured memoir."
The haunting account of how the author tried to escape her rural Indiana past. Read full book review >
ELIZABETH AND MICHAEL by Donald Bogle
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"A grounded and consistently absorbing biography."
A dual biography of entertainment legends Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson that explores their individual careers and personal lives leading up to and including their 25-year friendship. Read full book review >
THE ART OF WAITING by Belle Boggs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"In her reporting, researching, and sharing, Boggs has performed a public service for those in a similar position—and for anyone interested in the implications of parenthood or in a story well-told and deeply felt."
So much more than a memoir about trying to conceive. Read full book review >
RANCHER, FARMER, FISHERMAN by Miriam Horn
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"An optimistic journal of promise for the future and a supremely motivational text for readers interested in Earth's compromised biodiversity."
Journalistic portraits of pioneering farmers, harvesters, and conservationists unafraid to fight for the protection of the American landscapes they cultivate. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >