Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"A deeply informed investigation of a poet's suffering and creative triumph."
A renowned psychologist connects bipolar disorder to creativity. Read full book review >
THE HOME THAT WAS OUR COUNTRY by Alia Malek
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"Provocative, richly detailed reading."
A Syrian-American journalist/civil rights lawyer interweaves narratives about her family with the history of modern Syria. Read full book review >

WHY I AM NOT A FEMINIST by Jessa Crispin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Forget busting glass ceilings. Crispin has taken a wrecking ball to the whole structure."
A taut and spirited attack on contemporary mainstream feminism. Read full book review >
DEAR FRIEND, FROM MY LIFE I WRITE TO YOU IN YOUR LIFE by Yiyun Li
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A potent journey of depression that effectively testifies to unbearable pain and the consolation of literature."
A Chinese-American fiction writer offers an intimate memoir of "darkest despair." Read full book review >
TRAVELING WITH GHOSTS by Shannon Leone Fowler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A courageous and finely crafted account soaked in tears of love and loss."
A marine biologist who suffered a grievous loss when she was in her 20s debuts with a wrenching account of that loss, her ensuing suffering, and her attempts to regain a sense of purpose. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A fine biography of a man who played an essential role in post-World War II American science and deserves to be better known."
The life and work of "an expert in technology" who is largely forgotten outside the world of physics. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 20, 2017

"For food history and presidential history buffs alike, both entertaining and illuminating."
"The White House kitchen is a workplace, just like any other professional kitchen"—except, of course, that it's much more than that, a subject that food historian Miller (Soul Food, 2013) explores with gusto. Read full book review >
INSOMNIAC CITY by Bill Hayes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A unique and exuberant celebration of life and love."
A photographer and distinguished nonfiction writer's account about starting over at midlife in New York City and falling in love with famed neurologist Oliver Sacks. Read full book review >
BLUE ON BLUE by Charles Campisi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"This superb memoir can be read for its sheer entertainment or as a primer on police work—or both."
A recently retired high-ranking New York City police supervisor recounts his career, with an emphasis on his unpleasant but necessary assignment flushing out corrupt cops. Read full book review >
THE PERPETUAL NOW by Michael D. Lemonick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"An absolutely memorable book."
A veteran science journalist uses the story of Lonni Sue Johnson, a young woman who suffered a severe infection that destroyed her hippocampus, to illuminate his journey into the murky subject of memory itself. Read full book review >
ELIZABETH BISHOP by Megan Marshall
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"Bishop shared with Marianne Moore a 'near obsession with accuracy of detail and precision of language.' This fine biography demonstrates the magnitude of Bishop's achievements without ignoring her flaws."
A new biography of one of the most celebrated American poets of the 20th century. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"An exciting, suspenseful tale of international intrigue."
An elegant presentation of Winston Churchill's special guerrilla operations force, which consistently met the dirty exigencies of war. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
February 27, 2017

In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s debut novel Everything Belongs to Us, the setting is Seoul in 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind. For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn’t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin’s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father’s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty. But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever. “Engrossing,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.” View video >