Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"The touching, unforgettable story of two brave girls fighting a deadly disease, and the loving support of the women who gave them life."
Shared memoir of two mothers whose daughters are fighting cancer, by artist, writer, and self-help coach Lane (I Am the Wind, 2011) and Nersten, home-schooling mom. Read full book review >
THE FISH LADDER by Katharine Norbury
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A beautifully written book about a journey through wild places in the landscape and the heart."
British writer Norbury's debut memoir takes readers on vigorous walks through lochs, rivers, and soggy marshes in Scotland, England, and Wales. Read full book review >

PUTINISM by Walter Laqueur
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"An erudite and unsettling but convincing argument that the new Russia is a dictatorship 'approved by the majority as long as the going is good,' and if Putin were to vanish today, his successor would make few changes."
Relief at the end of the Cold War lasted barely a decade before observers began wondering if it was returning, this time under a pugnacious, quasi-Stalin: Vladimir Putin. Read full book review >
ENCHANTED AIR by Margarita Engle
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"As so many of our children are immigrants or children of immigrants, we need more of these stories, especially when they are as beautifully told as this one. (Cold War timeline, author's note) (Poetry/memoir. 10 & up)"
"It really is possible to feel / like two people / at the same time, / when your parents / grandparents / memories / words / come from two / different / worlds." Read full book review >
THE HOUSE OF TWENTY THOUSAND BOOKS by Sasha Abramsky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"If you finish this brilliant, realized book thinking you need to own more books, you're to be forgiven. A wonderful celebration of the mind, history, and love."
Memoir of Jewish intellectual life and universal history alike, told through a houseful of books, their eccentric collectors, and the rooms in which they dwelled. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 23, 2015

"Klein changed the way rock does business. In this balanced, fascinating, and well-written biography, Goodman gives him credit where it's due."
The story of a manager more often vilified than any other in the history of rock. Read full book review >
OUR MAN IN CHARLESTON by Christopher Dickey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"A great book explaining the workings of what Dickey calls an erratic, cobbled-together coalition of ferociously independent states. It should be in the library of any student of diplomacy, as well as Civil War buffs."
In this biography of Robert Bunch, the British consul in Charleston, South Carolina, at the beginning of the Civil War, Daily Beast foreign editor Dickey (Securing the City: Inside America's Best Counterterror Force—The NYPD, 2010, etc.) illustrates how an outside observer can understand more about a situation than the parties involved.Read full book review >
SKYFARING by Mark Vanhoenacker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 3, 2015

"The anatomy of an airliner and peripatetic aerial travel, as well as a sophisticated worldview, combine for first-class reading—sure to enhance your next flight."
Vanhoenacker's workplace is the cockpit of a 747. Leaving a contrail of information with lapidary prose, he shows why he loves his job. Read full book review >
THE TANK MAN'S SON by Mark Bouman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2015

"Never preachy or self-pitying, just an honest story well written and well told."
A touching memoir of a truly miserable childhood. Read full book review >
MEANWHILE THERE ARE LETTERS by Suzanne Marrs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 7, 2015

"An intimate, luminous portrait of a friendship."
Tender letters reveal interwoven literary lives. Read full book review >
MOLINA by Bengie Molina
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"A simply told, deeply moving story, quite unlike the usual baseball book."
An affecting memoir about a remarkable man who raised three sons to become baseball champions. Read full book review >
THE COST OF COURAGE by Charles Kaiser
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 16, 2015

"At once heroic and heartbreaking, this story leaves an indelible mark."
A former reporter and award-winning author rescues the almost unbelievable account of one family's experience in Nazi-occupied France. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >