Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"Although it takes some time to get to know him, the author eventually reveals himself to be even more intriguing than his fascinating career."
A riches-to-rags memoir that offers unique perspectives on business, punk rock, inequality, cycling, and family. Read full book review >
Letters from Galveston by Karen Paysse Rowe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Epistolary testimony to affection and the power of communication."
A charming collection of heartfelt love letters from the early 1940s. Read full book review >

The Quiet Tides of Bordeaux by J. L. F.  Lambert
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 25, 2015

"A hushed but resonant literary memoir."
Lambert (Termcraft, 2014) records the life a 20th-century schoolteacher in Bordeaux. Read full book review >
Jazz: America's Gift by Richie  Gerber
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 6, 2015

"A lively, if not thorough, overview of jazz's origins."
A debut book that examines American jazz's early history, focusing mainly on legendary composer George Gershwin. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 26, 2015

"A courageous tale of physical and mental endurance sure to bring to further light conditions in North Korea."
One woman's life in, and desperate escape from, North Korea. Read full book review >

NEVER BROKEN by Jewel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A moving musical essay that should strike all the right notes with a wide selection of readers."
A multiplatinum recording artist chronicles her life so far. Read full book review >
IN ORDER TO LIVE by Yeonmi Park
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"An eloquent, wrenchingly honest work that vividly represents the plight of many North Koreans."
The latest in an increasing number of narratives of escape from North Korea. Read full book review >
THE EDUCATION OF KEVIN POWELL by Kevin Powell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Raw-edged honesty at its most revealing and intense."
A noted African-American journalist's account of his hardscrabble youth and its consequences in later life. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Earnest and well-meaning but unlikely to sway climate deniers, Monsanto lobbyists, and others in need of convincing."
An environmental scolding by climate activist Stephenson. Read full book review >
PROUST by Benjamin Taylor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Though brief, a densely packed and rewarding book."
A sensitive study of literature's favorite neurasthenic. Read full book review >
BOUNDLESS by Kathleen Winter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"With the eye of a poet and the stamina of an Amundsen, Winter proves a delightful guide into unexplored realms. Worthy of shelving alongside Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams (1986)."
Literate, luminous travels in the far north. Read full book review >
MJ by Steve Knopper
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 20, 2015

"Michael Jackson was, indeed, a genius. But he was undoubtedly a troubled genius, as this sweeping biography reveals."
A critical biography of the King of Pop that tries to keep the art at the forefront. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >