Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THE HOUSE OF TWENTY THOUSAND BOOKS by Sasha Abramsky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"If you finish this brilliant, realized book thinking you need to own more books, you're to be forgiven. A wonderful celebration of the mind, history, and love."
Memoir of Jewish intellectual life and universal history alike, told through a houseful of books, their eccentric collectors, and the rooms in which they dwelled. Read full book review >
POPE FRANCIS by Paul Vallely
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Discovering a pope with a controversial past and a revolutionary style of leadership in the present, Vallely provides a highly worthwhile resource for Catholics and non-Catholics alike."
An exhaustive look at the newest pope. Read full book review >

WRITING ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 7, 2015

"The artistic intensity of life suffuses this epic memoir spanning the 'interior monologues' of a gifted American artist."
Six glorious decades in the life of an iconic artist, poet, and self-described philosophical anarchist. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"An eloquent testimony to the war's enduring, violent impact."
The daughter of a Lithuanian Catholic mother and Russian Jewish father, Gabis (The Wild Field, 1994) brings her sensibility as a poet and indefatigable energy as a historian to this engrossing memoir. Read full book review >
PAID FOR by Rachel Moran
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Moran's thoughtful, highly readable, and provocative treatise shines a necessary light on a dark and underdiscussed topic."
Leaving her Dublin home and dysfunctional family at 14, Moran became homeless before she turned to prostitution to survive. Her stirring memoir chronicles her seven-year journey on the streets and in the brothels and examines the costs to society and her soul. Read full book review >

THE INVENTION OF NATURE by Andrea Wulf
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Humboldt was the Einstein of the 19th century but far more widely read, and Wulf successfully combines a biography with an intoxicating history of his times."
Engrossing biography of "a visionary, a thinker far ahead of his time," who "revolutionized the way we see the natural world." Read full book review >
ROAD TRIP by Mark Rozema
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A brief but impressive debut collection."
A series of essays delicately evoking nature's power and mystery. Read full book review >
SHOWDOWN by Wil Haygood
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 16, 2015

"An intensely readable, fully explored account of what the New York Times called an 'ordeal by committee,' an important hinge in American history."
Longtime journalist and biographer Haygood (The Butler: A Witness to History, 2013, etc.), whose previous subjects have included Sammy Davis Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson, and Adam Clayton Powell Jr., examines the confirmation battle over the first African-American nominated to the Supreme Court.Read full book review >
MARY MCGRORY by John Norris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Norris is plainly in love with his fascinating subject, which is not only McGrory, but newspaper journalism in general."
Mary McGrory's life (1918-2004) as a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington columnist is so interesting that it's hard to understand why there hasn't been a book about her until now. Enter Norris (The Disaster Gypsies: Humanitarian Workers in the World's Deadliest Conflicts, 2007, etc.) with this balanced, page-turning biography. Read full book review >
THE POINT OF VANISHING by Howard Axelrod
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A vibrant, honest, and poetic account of how two years of solitude surrounded by nature changed a man forever."
How losing eyesight in one eye made a man see more clearly. Read full book review >
1944 by Jay Winik
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A complex history rendered with great color and sympathy."
An accomplished popular historian unpacks the last full year of World War II and the excruciatingly difficult decisions facing Franklin Roosevelt. Read full book review >
THE NIXON TAPES by Douglas Brinkley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Essential for students of late-20th-century American history and the Nixon presidency."
Brinkley and Nichter (The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972, 2014, etc.) conclude their project of publishing highlights from Richard Nixon's infamous tapes with this volume from the last year of recording.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Libba Bray
author of LAIR OF DREAMS
August 25, 2015

In Lair of Dreams, the second installment of Libba Bray’s bestselling young adult Diviners series, after a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities....Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer? “Weaving together a chilling mystery with a truly elusive solution, several poignant love stories, agonizing injustice, terrifyingly monstrous dreams, and even a cameo by legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung, this installment wraps enough up to satisfy but clearly sets the stage for more,” our reviewer writes in a rare starred review. “How will readers stand the wait?” View video >