Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

ARBITRARY STUPID GOAL by Tamara Shopsin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 18, 2017

"A warm evocation of a quirky life and exuberant times."
Candid recollections of growing up in Greenwich Village in the 1980s. Read full book review >
PUTIN by Richard Lourie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 18, 2017

"Solid overall, as crystal-ball geopolitical treatises go, though with enough hedging to allow for a broad range of outcomes."
It's only a matter of time, writes longtime Russia hand Lourie (A Hatred for Tulips, 2007, etc.), before Vladimir Putin oversteps his bounds and his imperial project comes tumbling down. Or is it? Read full book review >

A MIND AT PLAY by Jimmy Soni
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 18, 2017

"A welcome and inspiring account of a largely unsung hero—unsung because, the authors suggest, he accomplished something so fundamental that it's difficult to imagine a world without it."
The life of the man called "the father of information theory." Read full book review >
ANTS AMONG ELEPHANTS by Sujatha Gidla
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 18, 2017

"Students of civil rights activism and South Asian societies will find much of value in Gidla's far-ranging narrative, dense with detail and anecdote."
Firsthand account of the lives of people categorized as the lowest of the low in India's caste system. Read full book review >
FETCH by Nicole J. Georges
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 18, 2017

"Will appeal to readers who love both graphic narratives and dogs, but it's not as memorable as the author's previous memoir."
A graphic memoir about a pet dog is more about the artist who lived with her for 15 years or so. Read full book review >

HITLER'S MONSTERS by Eric  Kurlander
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 18, 2017

"A fascinating look at a little-understood aspect of fascism, with a nod to how 'shadowy conspiracy theories' and supernatural thinking continue to play out in politics today."
Of Nazis as satanists, werewolves as saviors, and other supernatural curiosities of the Third Reich. Read full book review >
EQUIPMENT FOR LIVING by Michael Robbins
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 18, 2017

"Robbins prefers his equipment for living abstract, but he can definitely take it straight, a point the book's concluding Basho-to-Beyoncé and Beyond playlist makes abundantly clear."
Are Wallace Stevens and Bob Dylan permanently at odds, or do they have something in common? Read full book review >
DEVIL'S BARGAIN by Joshua Green
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 18, 2017

"Behind the scenes and ripped from the headlines, Green's saga exuberantly traces Trump's wild ride to the presidency."
How a radical conservative with "cult-leader magnetism" became a powerful political force. Read full book review >
JANE AUSTEN AT HOME by Lucy Worsley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"A charming, well-researched journey to 'Austen-land.'"
A fresh, spirited look at the beloved author by a self-proclaimed "Janeite." Read full book review >
SO HAPPINESS TO MEET YOU by Karin Esterhammer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"A brisk chronicle of a family's (mis)adventures in Vietnam."
A lighthearted memoir of new friends, delicious food, and culture shock. Read full book review >
SAVING CHARLOTTE by Pia de Jong
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"A tender evocation of fear, hope, and love."
A mother recounts a year in her family's life as they confront their newborn's devastating diagnosis. Read full book review >
WE ARE SYRIANS by Adam Braver
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"Compelling narratives that reveal a grave disillusionment with the world's responses to the Syrian crisis."
Three Syrians who have faced down their country's police state tell their respective first-person stories. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >