Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

Batting Rocks Over the Barn by Lawn  Griffiths
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 29, 2015

"An affectionate but facile look at family farm life."
A debut collection of vignettes about the author's childhood on an Iowa farm. Read full book review >
The Sky Detective by Azadeh  Tabazadeh
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

"An authentic firsthand account of troubled times in a tumultuous country."
A compelling debut memoir by an accomplished geophysical scientist that offers a vivid look at life in Tehran between 1973 and 1982, before and after the Iranian Revolution. Read full book review >

Hell Toupee by Mitch Friedman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 23, 2014

"Takes a light, self-deprecating approach, injecting some comic relief into a calamitous experience with hair loss."
A self-conscious funnyman recalls the series of stressful misfortunes that caused his unflattering hair loss. Read full book review >
Superheroes by David Faulkner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

"Somewhat one-dimensional but an addition to the literature on religious abuse."
In this debut memoir, the author recounts his childhood and the horrific results of his mother's remarriage to an abuser. Read full book review >
Who Broke The Girl? by Cristina Costantino
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2015

"An odd but often satisfying story, told in an unusual voice."
A lifetime of wandering gradually leads a woman to greater happiness, as revealed in this debut memoir. Read full book review >

THE TRUTH by Neil Strauss
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Some readers may have no sympathy for the author, but he delivers an emotionally charged, provocative memoir of a man learning to confront his sexual demons."
Rolling Stonescribe and infamous Lothario Strauss (Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness, 2011, etc.) chronicles a lascivious seesaw battle between monogamy and debauchery. Read full book review >
DEAR MR. YOU by Mary-Louise Parker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A unique, poised, and polished first book from a respected actress."
An award-winning actress's collection of never-sent literary missives to the men who have most influenced her personal development. Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >