Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

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 >

Back To Vietnam by Elaine Head
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2013

"Gracefully transports readers on an odyssey that transcends the exotic locale and legacies of war to focus on the power of human connection."
An intimate travel memoir tracing one veteran's journey from war to reconciliation. Read full book review >
ELIZABETH by Lisa Hilton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Mildly revisionist, well-argued, and thoroughly satisfying."
There is no shortage of biographies of Britain's Elizabeth I (1533-1603), but readers should pay attention to this thoughtful, often ingenious account. Read full book review >
THE NIXON TAPES by Douglas Brinkley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Essential for students of late-20th-century American history and the Nixon presidency."
Brinkley and Nichter (The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972, 2014, etc.) conclude their project of publishing highlights from Richard Nixon's infamous tapes with this volume from the last year of recording.Read full book review >
HOW THE WORLD MOVES by Peter Nabokov
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 3015

"The lure of the Land of Enchantment is irresistible, as Nabokov draws us into the simple, cooperative life of the Pueblo Indians and their magnificent territory. A great choice for lovers of the Southwest."
In the story of Edward Proctor Hunt's family, Nabokov (World Arts and Cultures, American Indian Studies/Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Where the Lightning Strikes: The Lives of American Indian Sacred Places, 2006, etc.) reveals the history of the Pueblo Indians.Read full book review >
CLEMENTINE by Sonia Purnell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A riveting, illuminating life of a remarkable woman."
The biography of Winston Churchill's unfailing champion. Read full book review >
THE WHITE ROAD by Edmund de Waal
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"De Waal's poetically recounted journey is a revelation, as well: of the power of obsession and the lust for purity."
A lyrical melding of art history, memoir, and philosophical meditation. Read full book review >
1944 by Jay Winik
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A complex history rendered with great color and sympathy."
An accomplished popular historian unpacks the last full year of World War II and the excruciatingly difficult decisions facing Franklin Roosevelt. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >