Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

Awakening to Aging by Myrtle Heery
Released: May 7, 2015

"A meditation on aging for those who see the final years as an opportunity for personal development and joy."
Death isn't the enemy in this carefully curated collection of essays, which paints the aging process as an opportunity for self-discovery, acceptance, and growth. Read full book review >
The Good Daughter by Connie L. Shoemaker
Released: April 15, 2015

"An honest, painful yet humorous account of seeking unconditional love."
In this intimate memoir, the only child of aging parents describes her struggles to balance caregiving, marriage, and career, and to reconcile daughterly devotion with childhood wounds. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Readers willing to accept this book as more than hagiography will find a penetrating exploration of how the legislative process works—or at least worked in the recent past."
Through the story of Ted Kennedy (1932-2009), the authors deliver a primer on how the governmental sausage was made not so long ago. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A jovial yet passionately delivered self-portrait inspiring awareness about LGBT history from one of the movement's true pioneers."
The life and times of an intrepid gay rights activist. Read full book review >
A HOUSE IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD by Matthew Spender
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 >

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 >
KILLING A KING by Dan Ephron
Released: Oct. 19, 2015

"In a book with broad appeal, Ephron cogently analyzes the origins and ramifications of a national tragedy he reported on as a young journalist."
"Israelis had grown tired of peace conferences. And it wasn't at all clear whether the extremists, Arabs or Israelis, were declining or ascending." Those words, describing the situation in the aftermath of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, are just as true 20 years later. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 2, 2015

"A pungent evocation of the conflict and compromise between tradition and innovation that define modern urbanism."
After taking a tart look at her adopted country in La Seduction (2011, etc.), Sciolino shows a softer side in this affectionate portrait of her Ninth Arrondissement neighborhood.Read full book review >
COMMON PEOPLE by Alison Light
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"An intelligent, thoughtfully researched memoir."
A British nonfiction writer and critic explores the story of her family's past and its place within the larger narrative of 19th- and 20th-century British history. Read full book review >
The Bullied Anthology: Stories of Success  by Bhavya  Kaushik
Released: July 15, 2015

"A worthwhile resource for counselors, teachers, and others who work with children."
A collection of personal experiences with bullies sends a positive message to kids going through the same ordeal. Read full book review >
Chameleon by Robert Brandt
Released: April 8, 2015

"A classically riveting crime tale, all the more fascinating for being true."
This historical crime debut details the life of a white-collar criminal who fled the United States for Venezuela in the early 20th century. Read full book review >
Split by Mary  Dispenza
Released: Nov. 5, 2014

"A raw, cathartic read that unflinchingly tackles issues of rape, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness."
Abused as a young girl by a Catholic priest, debut memoirist Dispenza sets out to reassemble her life's "invisible pieces of spirituality and sexuality." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >