Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"An inspiring, well-rendered, deeply reported, and often infuriating account."
Salon contributing writer Dayen illuminates how, during the past 10 years, home buyers ended up illegally evicted from their residences as the result of dishonesty, greed, and heartlessness involving mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers, investment bankers, and unscrupulous lawyers. Read full book review >
WHITE SANDS by Geoff Dyer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"A mesmerizing compendium that reflects on time, place, and just what, exactly, we are doing here."
In a slender volume that contains multitudes, the award-winning critic and novelist details his travels in such far-flung places as Tahiti and the Arctic Circle. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 2016

"Great fun for anyone with even a slight knowledge of Roman and English history and geography—or those curious about them."
A delightful trip from Rome to Hadrian's Wall—in C.E. 130. Read full book review >
ORSON WELLES, VOLUME 3 by Simon Callow
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"Welles rightly imagined that people would never stop writing about him after he died. Callow continues to set the standard in this increasingly crowded field."
Juicy, provocative latest installment in the comprehensive life of a self-destructive genius. Read full book review >
LADIES NIGHT AT THE DREAMLAND by Sonja Livingston
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 2016

"Wise, fresh, captivating essays."
Radiant essays inspired by "slivers and bits" of real women's lives. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A sympathetic but also gimlet-eyed scholar's look at a towering physical and political presence who learned, to his sorrow, that good intentions were insufficient."
Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and the War on Poverty have had mixed but lingering results, mostly positive. Read full book review >
THE GIRLS IN MY TOWN by Angela Morales
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2016

"Essays that are as thematically ambitious as they are deeply personal."
Morales (English/Glendale Community Coll.) debuts with a compellingly rendered collection of essays, the winner of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 26, 2016

"Williams delivers a complex tale about a complex disease, and by sharing a narrative rich in detail, personalities, and New York scenes, she will ease the burdens of those immediately affected and inform others of progress in cancer research."
Who would have thought a book about being diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma could be exhilarating and entertaining? Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A captivating history of two men who dramatically changed their contemporaries' view of the past."
Daring adventurers unearth a buried civilization. Read full book review >
CONSEQUENCE by Eric Fair
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A startling debut from a haunted individual who wishes he had left Iraq earlier 'with my soul intact.'"
A candid and deeply unsettling account of the author's work as a government contractor in Iraq charged with interrogating detainees in Baghdad, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib. Read full book review >
CHARLOTTE BRONTË by Claire Harman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 2, 2016

"A delightfully engaging biography of a highly talented but deeply troubled prodigy of English literature."
Accomplished biographer Harman (Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World, 2010, etc.) returns with a lively account of the life of Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855).Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"A well-documented, brave, and useful overview."
A journey through the Middle East in the post-Arab Spring landscape. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >