Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THE ANGEL by Uri Bar-Joseph
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Well-researched and candidly told, this book deserves shelf space next to volumes on Vladimir Vetrov and Kim Philby."
A detailed biography of Ashraf Marwan (1944-2007), an Egyptian national and Israel's most vital informant. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 28, 2016

"A cogent, detailed policy review, effectively studded with first-person recollections, that probably won't sway Obama's conservative critics."
A measured insider's account of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, arguing that the very aspects that bring conservative derision represent subtle, long-term strengths. Read full book review >

THE FERMENTED MAN by Derek Dellinger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 19, 2016

"The author hopes his intriguing experiments will open eyes and palates to the culinary and health benefits of fermented foods."
A quest to live for a year on "100 percent…fermented meals and fermented drinks." Read full book review >
BITTERROOT by Steven Faulkner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 7, 2016

"A fine travelogue worthy of shelving next to Jonathan Raban and William Least Heat-Moon."
A well-recounted father-and-son journey in the Missouri River country. Read full book review >
AMIABLE SCOUNDREL by Paul Kahan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2016

"A fine political biography that does not entirely rehabilitate its subject."
Biography of a politician whose name "has become synonymous with corruption and graft during the Civil War." Read full book review >

LANDMARKS by Robert Macfarlane
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Lucent, lyrical prose evokes Macfarlane's aesthetic, ethical, and powerfully tactile response to nature's enchantments."
A prizewinning naturalist explores the connection between what we say and how we see. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Race, patriotism, and personal heroism come together in this eye-opening early episode in Civil War history."
A Civil War tale starring a free black sailor. Read full book review >
ANGELA MERKEL by Matthew Qvortrup
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2016

"This eye-opening biography, drawing from rich behind-the-scenes knowledge, is necessary reading for anyone who wants to broaden his or her perspective on the world today."
A biography of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (b. 1954) that provides insight and clarity into Germany's often underreported role in shaping the European political landscape. Read full book review >
INVISIBLE MAN, GOT THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHING by Mychal Denzel Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"Realizing that he has more questions than answers, Smith cautiously sketches a useful blueprint for radical and intersectional politics in a country where a black child can grow up to be president but where living while black is still dangerous."
As black men are cut down by the police and self-appointed vigilantes, an activist wrestles with competing claims—from his family and community, his historically black university, the media, and white America—on his blackness and how it is to be lived. Read full book review >
BOBBY KENNEDY by Larry Tye
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 5, 2016

"Richly researched prose that sometimes soars too close to the sun of admiration."
A former journalist at the Boston Globe returns with a comprehensive, thesis-driven account of the political career of Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-1968). Read full book review >
BEING JAZZ by Jazz Jennings
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 7, 2016

"Jazz's positivity, honesty, frank explanations, and conversational writing style make this an ideal book for trans kids to hand to worried loved ones after they've finished reading it. (Nonfiction. 12 & up)"
Before she was in preschool, Jazz knew she wasn't a boy, and she didn't understand why no one else did. Her parents took her to meet with a well-versed therapist, who told them Jazz is transgender, and they started on a journey with no map. Read full book review >
THE MAN WHO MADE THINGS OUT OF TREES by Robert Penn
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 26, 2016

"An appreciative, environmentally sound reminder of how trees benefit and cultivate life on Earth."
A lifelong nature lover explores the versatility of the ash tree. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 6, 2016

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. “The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that,” our reviewer writes about Stroh’s debut memoir, Beer Money. “A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.” View video >