Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

LENIN by Victor Sebestyen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"A compelling, cleareyed portrait of a dictator whose politics have unfortunate relevance for today."
An illuminating new biography of the cold, calculating ruler on whom the subsequent Soviet state modeled itself. Read full book review >
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN by Max Boot
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 9, 2018

"Controversial in some of its conclusions, perhaps, as Lansdale's arguments were in their day, and essential reading for students of military policy and the Vietnam conflict."
A probing, timely study of wrong turns in the American conduct of the Vietnam War. Read full book review >

THE SABOTEUR by Paul  Kix
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"A winner: the stories are fascinating, the pages nearly turn themselves, and La Rochefoucauld is a true hero."
The page-turning tale of a World War II hero who would fit comfortably into any good spy thriller. Read full book review >
CARTOON COUNTY by Cullen Murphy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Fun to flip through; engrossing to read."
Part memoir, part cultural history, part treasure trove of drawings and photographs, many previously unpublished—and all thoroughly delightful as a celebration of the golden age of newspaper comics. Read full book review >
LEONARDO DA VINCI by Walter Isaacson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 17, 2017

"Totally enthralling, masterful, and passionate, this book should garner serious consideration for a variety of book prizes."
A majestic biography of "history's most creative genius." Read full book review >

STALIN by Stephen Kotkin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 31, 2017

"A well-written, finely detailed installment in a definitive biography—sure to receive many prize nominations this year."
The massive second volume of the author's biography of the Russian dictator who went from "learning to be a dictator to becoming impatient with dictatorship and forging a despotism in mass bloodshed." Read full book review >
ORDERS TO KILL by Amy Knight
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"A vivid, chilling portrait of a Russia grown 'scary and unpredictable.'"
A scathing indictment of Vladimir Putin's "police state" that offers compelling evidence of his absolute suppression of any opposition or exposure of the state's corruption. Read full book review >
SAIGON CALLING by Marcelino Truong
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2017

"An excellent combination of personal insight and historical sweep."
The second volume of the author's critically acclaimed graphic memoir of the Vietnam War era. Read full book review >
I CAN'T BREATHE by Matt Taibbi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 24, 2017

"Sure to be a fixture on any reading list or curriculum regarding the woeful state of the American criminal justice system."
Rolling Stone contributing editor Taibbi (Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus, 2017, etc.) goes behind the scenes of an infamous police killing of an unarmed black man to explore a tragic national phenomenon. Read full book review >
MARTIN LUTHER by Eric Metaxas
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"Perfect for lay readers who want something more than a mere introduction to Luther."
A meaty autobiography of the Reformation leader. Read full book review >
FIRST TIME EVER by Peggy  Seeger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 2017

"A quirky, unique, and fabulously memorable memoir."
A British-American musician reflects on her long life and colorful career as a folk singer. Read full book review >
THE LETTERS OF SYLVIA PLATH VOLUME 1 by Sylvia Plath
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 17, 2017

"A literary milestone: essential to any student of Plath's work and, by extension, of modern literature."
A monumental gathering, in the first of two volumes, of the scattered correspondence of the now iconic—and canonical—poet and novelist. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >