Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

CONCRETE CARNIVAL by Danner Darcleight
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 30, 2016

"A provocative work focused on empathy and redemption rather than the setting's natural grime and melodrama."
Candid account of life in a maximum security prison. Read full book review >
SHIRLEY JACKSON by Ruth Franklin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A consistently interesting biography that deftly captures the many selves and multiple struggles of a true American original."
An engaging, sympathetic portrait of the writer who found the witchery in huswifery. Read full book review >

SING FOR YOUR LIFE by Daniel Bergner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A disjointed structure occasionally hobbles this swiftly written life story of music, forgiveness, and resilience."
The biography of an emerging African-American opera singer who overcame a tough Southern childhood. Read full book review >
A LIFE EVERLASTING by Sarah Gray
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"An informative account of the various aspects of organ donation and an inspiring affirmation of the potential value of every life, however brief."
How the author gave meaning to the short life of her son, who was diagnosed with anencephaly, a fatal neural defect. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Mazzeo chronicles a ray of hope in desperate times in this compelling biography of a brave woman who refused to give up."
The remarkable history of the "female Schindler." Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A laudable effort that meets with mixed success."
The stage and screen actress delivers a memoir focused on her wildlife conservation work. Read full book review >
THE NAMES OF THE STARS by Pete Fromm
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Fromm's finely tuned reflections on this small but fully inhabited piece of the backwoods make this an adventure worth savoring."
A middle-aged novelist and creative-writing teacher spends a month in the wilderness keeping an eye on baby fish for the National Forest Service and reliving his earlier experiences in the wild. Read full book review >
ASYLUM by Moriz Scheyer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A well-written book full of desperate hope, intense fear, and a demand for vigilance against the mentality of hate."
Scheyer (1886-1949), arts editor of Vienna's Neues Wiener Tagblatt until his expulsion in 1938, describes his desperate struggle to remain free after the Anschluss. Read full book review >
JEAN COCTEAU by Claude Arnaud
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Arnaud's biography provides a useful corrective and will inspire renewed interest in Cocteau's work."
The first substantial life of the French surrealist writer and artist to appear in English since 1970. Read full book review >
FIELDS OF BATTLE by Brian Curtis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A fine sports book with a stirring extra dimension."
A veteran sports journalist revisits "the most unusual yet meaningful Rose Bowl Game" ever. Read full book review >
POUR ME, A LIFE by A.A. Gill
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"An intensive, uneven, relentlessly blunt take on addiction and recovery."
Nonlinear reflections on a life blighted by alcoholism. Read full book review >
TREEHAB by Bob Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A truth-telling tour conducted by an agile guide."
The first openly gay comedian to perform on the Tonight Show delivers a collection of witty essays exploring his remarkable career and life. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >