Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

EISENHOWER'S ARMIES by Niall Barr
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"A detailed, entertaining history of a successful, if bumpy, military alliance."
Anglo-American cooperation during World War II worked, more or less. Read full book review >
SAM PHILLIPS by Peter Guralnick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A wonderful story that brings us deep into that moment when America made race music its own and gave rise to the rock sound now heard around the world."
A monumental biography of the larger-than-life loner who fought for the acceptance of black music and discovered an extraordinary group of poor, country-boy singers whose records would transform American popular culture. Read full book review >

FRANCIS BACON IN YOUR BLOOD by Michael Peppiatt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Initially, one fears this may be a crass exposé of the 'queer' life of the artist, but Peppiatt shows a deft hand in crafting an enthralling, delightful story of two very different men."
Peppiatt (Art Plural: Voices of Contemporary Art, 2014, etc.) delivers "the subjective story of two lives, focusing on the complex, volatile relationship that bound [Francis] Bacon and me together over…three decades."Read full book review >
ABBA EBAN by Asaf Siniver
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Based on interviews with dozens of people and research in more than 20 archival collections, Siniver's sympathetic, cleareyed biography deserves to be called definitive."
The biography of a defender of Israel who advocated diplomacy over war. Read full book review >
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN, VOLUME 3 by Mark Twain
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 15, 2015

"Of considerable interest to all readers of Twain but especially to working writers following Twain's habit of tracking his astonishing writing income—even though, as he writes, 'if I should run out of all other nourishment I believe I could live on compliments.'"
In which the greatest of American writers goes into the night—and not such a good night at that, and not at all gently. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"One of the most absorbing and empowering science histories to hit the shelves in recent years."
One of the world's most renowned and forward-thinking oncologists recounts 35 years of cancer research and tells us why we should be optimistic about the future. Read full book review >
PETTY by Warren Zanes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Though it attests to the artist's singularity, this incisive, illuminating biography also serves as an elegy to one of the golden eras of the classic rock band—of the days when 'a band was everything, a shield and a shelter.'"
A biography of a reticent musician that will allow even his biggest fans to see him with fresh eyes and hear him with fresh ears. Read full book review >
ETERNITY'S SUNRISE by Leo Damrosch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"General readers looking for a challenge will love this book and will dive into Blake's work. Many will find him just too far off the beam, but they, too, will enjoy the many color illustrations included in the text."
Acclaimed scholar and biographer Damrosch (Literature/Harvard Univ.; Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World, 2013, etc.) brings decades of study to this analysis of William Blake's art, poetry, religion, and philosophy.Read full book review >
BOUNDLESS by Kathleen Winter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"With the eye of a poet and the stamina of an Amundsen, Winter proves a delightful guide into unexplored realms. Worthy of shelving alongside Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams (1986)."
Literate, luminous travels in the far north. Read full book review >
HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL by Carrie Brownstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Unlike many rock star memoirs, there's no sense that this book is a chore or a marketing effort. It's revealing and riveting. On the page as in her songs, Brownstein finds the right words to give shape to experience."
First-class account of the life and times of an essential riot grrrl and the band she helped create. Read full book review >
A HOUSE IN ST JOHN'S WOOD by Matthew Spender
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A pointed family memoir from a writer keenly attuned to and reverent of genius."
A frank memoir of Spender's problematic poet father and his emotionally remote pianist mother. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Washington, D.C., regulars may know some of this information, and foreign nations certainly do, but all engaged American citizens should read this book and have their eyes opened."
Former Salon founding editor-in-chief Talbot (Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love, 2012, etc.) shares his extensive knowledge and intense investigations of American politics with a frightening biography of power, manipulation, and outright treason.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >