Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

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 >
BILLIE HOLIDAY by John Szwed
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"As with the best of Holiday's music, this elegant and perceptive study is restrained, nuanced, and masterfully carried out."
Esteemed music scholar Szwed (Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World, 2010, etc.) offers a portrait of Lady Day as artist and mythmaker rather than tragic victim.Read full book review >

ORDINARY LIGHT by Tracy K. Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 2, 2015

"Guilt and regret pervade Smith's recollection of her mother's illness and death, darkening the edges of this light-filled memoir."
A daughter's journey to claim her identity. 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 >
WORDS WITHOUT MUSIC by Philip Glass
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 6, 2015

"Writing with warmth and candor, Glass portrays himself as driven, self-confident and tenaciously determined to invent his own, radically new musical language."
An engaging memoir of an adventuresome, iconoclastic career. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"A rewarding book with much to offer, including the likely spark of new interest in how singular choices made by both men and nations can reverberate for generations."
The carnage of war, the rise of a dictator and one North Korean defector's life story all come together in this combination of biography, military history and exposé. Read full book review >
THE SKELETON CUPBOARD by Tanya Byron
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"A lucid and compassionate memoir."
A British mental health practitioner and media personality's absorbing account of the years she spent as a clinical psychologist-in-training. Read full book review >
IF THE OCEANS WERE INK by Carla Power
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Intelligent and exceptionally informative."
An award-winning journalist's account of the year she spent probing the meaning of the Quran with a conservative Muslim religious scholar. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"A scrumptious pairing of nourishment and familial devotion."
A mother and her two adult daughters explore their unified histories through themes of food, hard work and love. Read full book review >
MOTHERLAND by Rita Goldberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Goldberg writes eloquently of the 'volcanic pressures' that shaped her family's story and continue to haunt her own."
A daughter revisits her mother's harrowing past. 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 >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >