Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

CHURCHILL AND ORWELL by Thomas E. Ricks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 2017

"A superb account of two men who set standards for defending liberal democracy that remain disturbingly out of reach."
A joint biography of two men who "led the way, politically and intellectually, in responding to the twin totalitarian threats of fascism and communism" in the mid-20th century. Read full book review >
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN by Thomas S. Kidd
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 2017

"A highly accessible study of an enigmatic yet influential faith life."
What did Benjamin Franklin really think of God? Read full book review >

OTIS REDDING by Jonathan Gould
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 16, 2017

"Better late than never, the soul master receives his considerable due in this superbly researched and written biography."
A music biography with the depth to do its subject justice. Read full book review >
GOETHE by Rüdiger Safranski
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 16, 2017

"A penetrating, engrossing biography of a literary giant."
A masterful life of the prolific playwright, novelist, statesman, and poet who defined German romanticism. Read full book review >
THERE'S A MYSTERY THERE by Jonathan Cott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 16, 2017

"With minimal redundancy, the voices culminate to illuminate an extraordinarily rich picture book, provide fresh insight into human needs, and inspire appreciation for the rewards of looking closely."
Conversations with the legendary children's book creator, along with "companion guides" exploring the artist's psyche and works. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 16, 2017

"A grieving family ultimately finds closure in this meticulously researched and compelling history."
The plight of three brothers and their mother during one of the most shameful episodes of World War II. Read full book review >
LOVE AND TROUBLE by Claire Dederer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2017

"Insightful, provocative, and fearlessly frank, Dederer seduces readers with her warmth, wit, and wisdom."
A fierce new memoir from the essayist and longtime New York Times contributor. Read full book review >
THE ROAD TO CAMELOT by Thomas Oliphant
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 9, 2017

"An excellent chronicle of JFK's innovations, his true personality, and how close he came to losing."
Accepting the challenge that Theodore White laid out in The Making of the President 1960: to "tell the story of the quest for power in 1960 in more precise terms with a greater wealth of established fact." Read full book review >
THE OUTER BEACH by Robert Finch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 9, 2017

"Vivid and graceful reflections on water and wind, shifting sands, and the inevitability of change."
Lyrical reflections, natural history, and nuggets of wisdom inspired by walks at the shore. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 9, 2017

"Reads like a fine spy novel whose ending we know but whose story transports us nonetheless."
The intense and intimate story of espionage involving Soviet and American agents; one of the latter was the author's father. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 2, 2017

"A stirring book that explores numerous aspects of racism in Alabama and the nation as a whole."
An examination of an infamous 1957 conviction of a young, black Army veteran for the murder of a white police officer that more broadly delineates the struggle for civil rights. Read full book review >
BETWEEN THEM by Richard Ford
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 2, 2017

"A subtle, careful testament to devotion and a son's love for his parents."
The Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer tells what he knows of the marriage of his loving parents—and what he can never know, as the only child who came between them. 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 >