Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

Braver and Bolder by Julia Torres

"An intimate memoir about finding closure, coupled with copious true-crime flourishes."
A veteran chronicles her postwar life in which she became an undercover law enforcement agent, started a family, and confronted hard truths of domestic violence. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 6, 2015

"An affecting portrayal of caring for a terminally ill spouse."
A husband's account of his wife's courageous battle with Lou Gehrig's disease—and his joys and sorrows as her primary caregiver. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 28, 2012

"Measured yet passionate, a compelling look at one man's struggle against the worst of corporate blaming and the hard-earned wisdom that resulted from his fight."
Many people will experience being fired, but, as Yap details in this cleareyed, often gripping memoir, his being fired was just the beginning of decadelong torment. Read full book review >
VERTREK by Keith Paulusse
Released: March 6, 2015

"A perceptive, descriptive portrait of Australia in the 1960s and of the immigrant experience in general."
In this memoir of vertrek, the Dutch word for leaving, first-time author Paulusse recounts his family's immigration to Australia from the Netherlands in the early 1960s. Read full book review >
PAID FOR by Rachel Moran
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Moran's thoughtful, highly readable, and provocative treatise shines a necessary light on a dark and underdiscussed topic."
Leaving her Dublin home and dysfunctional family at 14, Moran became homeless before she turned to prostitution to survive. Her stirring memoir chronicles her seven-year journey on the streets and in the brothels and examines the costs to society and her soul. Read full book review >

GAMELIFE by Michael W. Clune
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Ultimately, Clune remains unconvinced and unrepentant, offering his rebuttal in this provocative book."
A memoir about coming of age with video games, in which the author finds a reality more real than the outside world. Read full book review >
BOSS LIFE by Paul Downs
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Refreshingly absent of bulleted lists and sidebars, this is a welcome addition to the literature of business ownership. Read it—and then get help."
Want to be your own boss? You might think twice after reading this large-hearted memoir from a frequently exasperated business owner. Read full book review >
MAN OF DESTINY by Alonzo L. Hamby
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Not exactly revelatory but an accessible biography that adds to the large body of existing FDR scholarship."
A straightforward, "flesh-and-blood" study of the president that underscores the depth and ambiguity behind the charming facade. Read full book review >
Snapshots from my Uneventful Life by David I. Aboulafia
Released: Aug. 7, 2015

"The funny bits in this Everyman's true-life stories will remind readers to look on the bright side of life."
Debut author Aboulafia highlights absurd and memorable events from his life in humorous autobiographical essays. Read full book review >
Released: July 7, 2015

"Remarkable bravery fluently recounted."
The ably reconstructed story of the author's convoluted escape from North Korea, detailing the hardships of life there and the serendipity of flight. Read full book review >
BORN ON THE BAYOU by Blaine Lourd
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"There's not a lot of art here, but there's plenty of heart and intelligence."
A memoir of life in the "lowest part of Louisiana…arguably the wettest, wildest, and freest part of the country." Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF LEAR by James Shapiro
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Shapiro's discoveries of long-lost sources and missed connections make this a fascinating tale. His well-written, scholarly exploration will stand as an influential work that is a joy to read."
Shakespearean scholar Shapiro (English/Columbia Univ.; Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, 2010, etc.) links the tumultuous events of 1605 and 1606 to three of the Bard's greatest works.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
authors of OFF THE PAGE
May 19, 2015

Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. In bestseller Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer’s new young adult novel, Off the Page, it’s a miracle that seems perfect at first—but there are complications. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver’s role in the pages of Delilah’s favorite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down. We talk to the mother-daughter team on Kirkus TV. View video >