Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

ANGER IS AN ENERGY by John Lydon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"A lucid, literate pleasure."
Alternately musical bomb-thrower and contemplator Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, looks back on a long life of pot-stirring and piss-taking. Read full book review >
A PASSION FOR PARIS by David Downie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"Anyone who loves Paris will adore this joyful book. Readers visiting the city are advised to take it with them to discover countless new experiences."
Join Downie (Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St. James, 2013, etc.) for a top-notch walking tour of Paris.Read full book review >

NOTE BOOK by Jeff Nunokawa
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"An engaging multimedia project offering even more food for thought when translated to the linearity of the printed page."
Literary-based reflections on and of the virtual age. Read full book review >
DENG XIAOPING by Alexander V. Pantsov
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"A masterly work that advances by salient themes and vigorous strokes."
A barbed biography, relentless and occasionally sarcastic, reveals the many problematic facets of the long-lived revolutionary and reformer Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997). Read full book review >
THE COLONEL AND HUG by Steve Steinberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"A top-notch sports biography."
Many baseball fans think it was Babe Ruth who elevated the fledgling (and flagging) New York Yankees team. In this authoritative new work, Steinberg and Spatz (1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York, 2010) shine a light on the indispensable contributions of two behind-the-scenes magicians.Read full book review >

SO MANY ROADS by David Browne
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"One of the better books on the band and welcome reading in this 50th anniversary year."
Righteous testimonial to the anarchic goodness that was the Grateful Dead. Read full book review >
DAUGHTERS OF THE SAMURAI by Janice P. Nimura
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 4, 2015

"An extraordinary, elegantly told story of the beginning of Japan's education and emancipation of its women."
Through her fascinating tapestry of history and biography, New York scholar Nimura weaves the strange, vibrant tale of an insular nation coming to terms with currents of modernism it could no longer keep out. Read full book review >
THE WORLD BETWEEN TWO COVERS by Ann Morgan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 4, 2015

"Morgan's intrepid literary project underscores the crucial importance of stretching the boundaries of one's aesthetic and intellectual worlds."
Exploring the world, one book at a time. Read full book review >
THE INGENIOUS MR. PYKE by Henry Hemming
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"Fans of Graham Greene and Alan Furst will revel in this well-told true-life story."
An unlikely tale of true espionage by London-based journalist/historian Hemming (Abdulnasser Gharem: Art of Survival, 2012, etc.) in which a nerdy Jewish kid becomes a kind of James Bond.Read full book review >
KIDNAP IN CRETE by Rick Stroud
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A stirring adventure with an exotic setting and a thrilling cast."
In 1944, undercover British operatives kidnapped German Gen. Heinrich Kreipe on Nazi-occupied Crete. This is the tale of that exploit. Read full book review >
THE LIFE OF SAUL BELLOW by Zachary Leader
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"Will now stand as the definitive Bellow biography."
The author of The Life of Kingsley Amis (2007) returns with the first installment of a two-volume biography of Saul Bellow (1915-2005), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976.Read full book review >
THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A book that will challenge readers as much as the author has challenged herself."
A fiercely provocative and intellectually audacious memoir that focuses on motherhood, love and gender fluidity. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >