Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Superb scholarship and a sprightly style recover an unaccountably overlooked life in our history."
A specialist in African-American history pieces together the remarkable career of an antebellum Wall Street broker who was married to a white woman, ambitious, ruthless, successful, and black: in short, "a racist's nightmare come to life." Read full book review >
EMPIRE OF SELF by Jay Parini
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A superbly personal biography that pulsates with intelligence, scholarship, and heart."
An intimate but unblinking look at Gore Vidal (1925-2012), the gifted essayist, playwright, novelist, and public personality, who, for a time, seemed ubiquitous in the popular culture. Read full book review >

POPE FRANCIS by Paul Vallely
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Discovering a pope with a controversial past and a revolutionary style of leadership in the present, Vallely provides a highly worthwhile resource for Catholics and non-Catholics alike."
An exhaustive look at the newest pope. Read full book review >
ALLY by Michael B. Oren
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 23, 2015

"Even before its publication, Oren's book has been attacked, based on culls of provocative pieces. Readers would do well to attend to the entire text of this fluent, important political memoir."
The former Israeli ambassador to the United States balances his personal story with his ambassadorial history. Read full book review >
THE NEW TSAR by Steven Lee Myers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"A highly effective portrait of a frighteningly powerful autocrat."
The reptilian, poker-faced former KGB agent, now Russian president seemingly for life, earns a fair, engaging treatment in the hands of New York Times journalist Myers.Read full book review >

THE COMEDIANS by Kliph Nesteroff
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"A lively, raucous, and immensely entertaining love letter to the funny business."
A comprehensive history of American stand-up comedy, from vaudeville to Twitter. Read full book review >
THE INVENTION OF NATURE by Andrea Wulf
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Humboldt was the Einstein of the 19th century but far more widely read, and Wulf successfully combines a biography with an intoxicating history of his times."
Engrossing biography of "a visionary, a thinker far ahead of his time," who "revolutionized the way we see the natural world." Read full book review >
THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE by Riad Sattouf
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Sattouf has also worked as a columnist for the satirical Charlie Hebdo, but the social commentary here is more wistful and melancholy than sharp-edged. This first volume of a memoir 'to be continued' is subtly written and deftly illustrated, with psychological incisiveness and humor."
A child's-eye view of upheaval in the Arab world and its relations with the West. Read full book review >
ROAD TRIP by Mark Rozema
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A brief but impressive debut collection."
A series of essays delicately evoking nature's power and mystery. Read full book review >
MARY MCGRORY by John Norris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Norris is plainly in love with his fascinating subject, which is not only McGrory, but newspaper journalism in general."
Mary McGrory's life (1918-2004) as a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington columnist is so interesting that it's hard to understand why there hasn't been a book about her until now. Enter Norris (The Disaster Gypsies: Humanitarian Workers in the World's Deadliest Conflicts, 2007, etc.) with this balanced, page-turning biography. Read full book review >
SHOWDOWN by Wil Haygood
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 16, 2015

"An intensely readable, fully explored account of what the New York Times called an 'ordeal by committee,' an important hinge in American history."
Longtime journalist and biographer Haygood (The Butler: A Witness to History, 2013, etc.), whose previous subjects have included Sammy Davis Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson, and Adam Clayton Powell Jr., examines the confirmation battle over the first African-American nominated to the Supreme Court.Read full book review >
THE POINT OF VANISHING by Howard Axelrod
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A vibrant, honest, and poetic account of how two years of solitude surrounded by nature changed a man forever."
How losing eyesight in one eye made a man see more clearly. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jenny Han
July 6, 2015

In Jenny Han’s P.S. I Still Love You, Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever. When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once? In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of makes it so amazing. View video >