Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

RIVERINE by Angela Palm
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"An intelligent, evocative, and richly textured memoir."
The haunting account of how the author tried to escape her rural Indiana past. Read full book review >
SHIRLEY JACKSON by Ruth Franklin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A consistently interesting biography that deftly captures the many selves and multiple struggles of a true American original."
An engaging, sympathetic portrait of the writer who found the witchery in huswifery. Read full book review >

HOW EVERYTHING BECAME WAR AND THE MILITARY BECAME EVERYTHING by Rosa Brooks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Legal theorists and policymakers will approve the scholarship and close analysis; general readers will appreciate the sensitive storytelling, the wit, and the uncommon good sense."
A former senior Defense Department adviser explores the military's expanded role in a time when the lines between war and peace are dangerously blurred. Read full book review >
AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY by John Kaag
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"Kaag's lively prose, acute self-examination, unfolding romance, and instructive history of philosophy as a discipline make for a surprisingly absorbing book."
A compelling hybrid combining memoir, a dramatic narrative about saving an endangered rare book collection, and the intellectual history of philosophy. Read full book review >
YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT by Jessi Klein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"A gifted comedian turns the anxieties, obsessions, insecurities, and impossible-to-meet expectations that make up human nature into laughter."
From childhood to motherhood, comedian Klein's fresh takes on the perplexities of womanhood in America. Read full book review >

THE HERO'S BODY by William Giraldi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"A hearty, bittersweet familial chronicle of masculinity drawing on the underappreciated bond between fathers and sons."
A loving son reflects on life with a brawny father whose premature death permanently transformed him. Read full book review >
THE FALL OF HEAVEN by Andrew Scott Cooper
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"A thorough new appraisal of an enigmatic ruler who died believing his people still loved him."
A sympathetic account of the imperial couple of the Peacock Throne portrayed as so blindly benevolent that they did not see the Iranian Revolution coming. 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 >
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 >
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 >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 5, 2016

"Indelible characters, adventurous spirit, and acute psychological insight combine in this multilayered debut."
A memoir of arctic adventure that goes deeper into self-discovery and finding a home. Read full book review >
THE GLAMOUR OF STRANGENESS by Jamie James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Abundant primary sources inform James' sharply drawn, sympathetic portraits."
Six artists in quest of the exotic. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >