Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

LINCOLN'S LIEUTENANTS by Stephen W. Sears
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 25, 2017

"A staggering work of research by a masterly historian."
From "Old Fuss and Feathers" Winfield Scott to Ulysses S. Grant, the succession of Northern generals during the Civil War receives a thorough scouring in this massive, elegant study. Read full book review >
LOVE AND TROUBLE by Claire Dederer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2017

"Insightful, provocative, and fearlessly frank, Dederer seduces readers with her warmth, wit, and wisdom."
A fierce new memoir from the essayist and longtime New York Times contributor. Read full book review >

GOETHE by Rüdiger Safranski
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 16, 2017

"A penetrating, engrossing biography of a literary giant."
A masterful life of the prolific playwright, novelist, statesman, and poet who defined German romanticism. Read full book review >
A $500 HOUSE IN DETROIT by Drew Philp
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 11, 2017

"A standout in the Detroit rehab genre."
A young man finds joy in a "place they said no one could love." Read full book review >
LETTERMAN by Jason Zinoman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 11, 2017

"This incisive, illuminating book shows the personal toll that success took on all responsible, the price paid for laughs."
The tale of a tormented TV star and his legacy. Read full book review >

WITNESS TREE by Lynda V. Mapes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 11, 2017

"A meticulously, beautifully layered portrayal of vulnerability and loss, renewal and hope, this extensively researched yet deeply personal book is a timely call to bear witness and to act in an age of climate-change denial."
A textured story of a rapidly changing natural world and our relationship to it, told through the lens of one tree over four seasons. Read full book review >
THERE'S A MYSTERY THERE by Jonathan Cott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 16, 2017

"With minimal redundancy, the voices culminate to illuminate an extraordinarily rich picture book, provide fresh insight into human needs, and inspire appreciation for the rewards of looking closely."
Conversations with the legendary children's book creator, along with "companion guides" exploring the artist's psyche and works. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 25, 2017

"A fascinating study not just of a historical crime and its consequences, but also its unintended effects."
Summer of Sam? Fuggedaboudit. If you want to scare a New Yorker of a certain age, evoke the Mad Bomber, the subject of this taut true-crime whodunit. Read full book review >
No Place to Hide by Bill Sly
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 19, 2016

"An impressive blend of drama and history, marvelously researched."
A historical account of a harrowing mountain battle during the Vietnam War. Read full book review >
THEFT BY FINDING by David Sedaris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 30, 2017

"A surprisingly poignant portrait of the artist as a young to middle-aged man."
Raw glimpses of the humorist's personal life as he clambered from starving artist to household name. Read full book review >
THE ROAD TO JONESTOWN by Jeff Guinn
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 11, 2017

"A vivid, fascinating revisitation of a time and series of episodes fast receding into history even as their forgotten survivors still walk among us."
"Kool-Aid rather than equality is what the rest of the world remembers"—a searing account of what has since become a byword for religious cultism. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 4, 2017

"A superb, densely detailed complement to William Vollmann's poetic/fictional treatment The Dying Grass (2015), of compelling interest to any student of 19th-century American history."
A chronicle of the white conquest of the inland Northwest at the expense of native peoples defeated in a war that even the newcomers recognized to be unjust. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kathleen Kent
author of THE DIME
February 20, 2017

Dallas, Texas is not for the faint of heart. Good thing for Betty Rhyzyk she's from a family of take-no-prisoners Brooklyn police detectives. But in Kathleen Kent’s new novel The Dime, her Big Apple wisdom will only get her so far when she relocates to The Big D, where Mexican drug cartels and cult leaders, deadbeat skells and society wives all battle for sunbaked turf. Betty is as tough as the best of them, but she's deeply shaken when her first investigation goes sideways. Battling a group of unruly subordinates, a persistent stalker, a formidable criminal organization, and an unsupportive girlfriend, the unbreakable Detective Betty Rhyzyk may be reaching her limit. “Violent, sexy, and completely absorbing,” our critic writes in a starred review. “Kent's detective is Sam Spade reincarnated—as a brilliant, modern woman.” View video >