Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THE WARS OF THE ROOSEVELTS by William J. Mann
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"Perhaps best known for his popular film biographies and histories, and thus no stranger to tales of scandal and coverup, feuds and intrigue, Mann writes sympathetically about all the Roosevelts but particularly the black sheep, the nonconformists whose births into this powerful family imposed special burdens."
A compulsively readable account of the decadeslong rivalries, grudges, and battles between and within the Roosevelt families of Oyster Bay and Hyde Park. Read full book review >
THE MAN WITH THE POISON GUN by Serhii Plokhy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"A thrilling, well-researched tale of espionage that has all the spycraft hallmarks of a blockbuster movie."
The story of Ukrainian Bogdan Stashinsky's rise from an agricultural student to a KGB assassin who defected to the West in 1961. Read full book review >

GEORGE LUCAS by Brian Jay Jones
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"Masterful and engaging: just what Lucas' fans and buffs, who love the nitty-gritty of filmmaking, have been waiting for."
A sweeping, perceptive biography of the influential director. Read full book review >
BEING ELVIS by Ray Connolly
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"Connolly carefully and sympathetically paints the many faces of Presley, faces eventually shrouded in despair."
A veteran London-based journalist rehearses the rise and fall of Elvis Presley (1935-1977). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"A welcome and engaging work that does honor to Sobel's subjects."
Popular science writer Sobel (And the Sun Stood Still, 2016, etc.) continues her project of heralding the many contributions of women to science. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"Essential reading for comics fans and history buffs, Krazy is a roaring success, providing an indispensable new perspective on turn-of-the-century America."
A revelatory biography of the influential "Krazy Kat" creator George Herriman (1880-1944). Read full book review >
MINCEMEAT by Leonardo Lucarelli
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"A wickedly candid memoir."
An Italian chef's no-holds-barred memoir of his love-hate relationship with cooking and the cutthroat world of restaurant cuisine. Read full book review >
A GUIDED TOUR OF HELL by Sam Bercholz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"Darkly fascinating and artfully spirited, the author's cautionary reawakening is a potent rumination on death and what lies beyond."
A longtime Buddhist philosopher's near-death experience proves life-altering, enlightening, and horrifying. Read full book review >
HOMER by Barbara Graziosi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"A highly accessible book infused with sharp considerations of the 'first teacher' of Greece and of the epics' enduring power, provenance, and influence not only on antiquity and the Middle Ages, but on the modern world."
Graziosi (Classics/Durham Univ.; The Gods of Olympus: A History, 2014, etc.) delivers an excellent guide, rendered with both academic rigor and clarity, to understanding the Iliad and the Odyssey as well as their putative author. Read full book review >
THE MAYOR OF MOGADISHU by Andrew Harding
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A beautifully rendered narrative and characterization portrays the soul of a country few Westerners truly understand."
A fluid, sympathetic journalistic foray into the tumultuous history of Somalia as lived by an intriguing impresario and activist. Read full book review >
HANK by Mark Ribowsky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"It's not every 29-year-old who can pack enough into a life to warrant a 500-page biography—and a good one at that."
"Everything he did was bad for his health": a sturdy biography of the unsteady icon of outlaw country avant la lettre. Read full book review >
MOSES by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"A meaty, worthwhile biography by a great interpreter of Jewish texts."
A unique examination of Moses. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >