Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

Released: May 1, 2016

"A lively history of one man's indelible imprint on American news."
The peripatetic life of a newspaper mogul. Read full book review >
BOY ERASED by Garrard Conley
Released: May 10, 2016

"An engaging memoir that will inevitably make readers long for a more equal future."
In a sharp and shocking debut memoir, Conley digs deep into the ex-gay therapy system. Read full book review >

Released: April 12, 2016

"Good advice backed by research coupled with personal reflections by a father on how to let children grow up to be individuals rather than miniature versions of their parents."
A man opens up about his shortcomings as a father. Read full book review >
THE MATHEWS MEN by William Geroux
Released: April 19, 2016

"A deep, compassionate group biography of these 'unsung heroes' of the Merchant Marines."
An intricate look at the outsized role of a group of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, families in the dangerous work of the Merchant Marines during World War II. Read full book review >
Released: May 3, 2016

"An engaging and cautiously optimistic memoir of making a new life."
A journalist's account of how and why she took a chance on a new life and home-rehabilitation project in the down-and-out city of Detroit. Read full book review >

THE CASTAWAY'S WAR by Stephen Harding
Released: May 1, 2016

"An amazing journey through adversity and desperation."
A suspenseful recounting of the torpedoing of the USS Strong in the South Pacific in July 1943 and one soldier's subsequent eluding of capture on the Japanese-held Solomon Islands.Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 2016

"Great fun for anyone with even a slight knowledge of Roman and English history and geography—or those curious about them."
A delightful trip from Rome to Hadrian's Wall—in C.E. 130. Read full book review >
Released: April 5, 2016

"The challenges are ongoing, and Senator is honest in acknowledging the limits of any insights one might glean from her son's story. That acknowledgement, however, serves the book in its shared solidarity, of reaching out to always ask questions. As an emotional resource, her book is excellent."
A wide-ranging memoir and guide to autism in adulthood. Read full book review >
Forbidden Fruit by Gail Pellett
Released: Nov. 12, 2015

"An often engaging story of a Chinese journey that's worth telling."
A Canadian-born radical leftist and freelance broadcast journalist offers a debut memoir of her year in Communist China, where she edited English-language propaganda for Radio Beijing. Read full book review >
INFAMY by Lydia Cacho
Released: April 12, 2016

"An important record of the incremental steps one journalist took against sexual violence in Mexico."
A Mexican journalist bravely sets precedent in the highest court in targeting corruption and influence pedaling. Read full book review >
HEART OF GLASS by Wendy Lawless
Released: March 15, 2016

"Harmless and heartfelt but inconsequential. It's no Candide, no Candy, and certainly no Bonfire of the Vanities."
Lawless continues the saga begun in Chanel Bonfire (2013), chronicling a lean young adulthood in the New York of the 1980s. Read full book review >
Released: May 3, 2016

"An enjoyable look at a man on the 'edge of politics' who had a strong influence on Lincoln's development."
An examination of one of Abraham Lincoln's male friendships that has been profoundly "misunderstood." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >