Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

DAMAGE CONTROL by Phil Slott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"Although ostensibly written for caretakers and TBI survivors, this compelling read will comfort anyone who needs inspiration for overcoming an incredibly daunting situation."
From husband and wife authors Slott (Never let 'em see you sweat, 2014, etc.) and Spears, a touching, frank, and unsparing depiction of the trauma, initial recovery, and ongoing challenges surrounding traumatic brain injury (TBI). Read full book review >
HERE THERE IS NO WHY by Rachel Roth
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 13, 2013

"A well-observed, heartbreaking memoir of the Holocaust."
In her debut memoir, Roth recounts her experiences as a Jewish teenager in Poland during the Holocaust. Read full book review >

WHO, ME? by Donald Spatafora
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 29, 2013

"An inspirational story that's both wise and winsome."
A Texas retiree recounts the tale of his late-in-life religious awakening in this charming debut memoir. 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 >
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 >

THE NURSES by Alexandra Robbins
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"An insightful perspective on the realities of crucial health care providers."
An intimate look at the lives of nurses. Read full book review >
DRIVING HUNGRY by Layne Mosler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"Mosler's lively and accessible writing style joyfully captures the satisfaction gained by trusting your instincts and seeking out new places, food, and people."
Building on the success of her blog, Taxi Gourmet, Mosler recounts the story of her transcontinental search for a vocation, which propelled the author into dancing in tango clubs in Buenos Aires, becoming a cab driver in New York City, and falling in love with the city of Berlin. 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 9, 2015

"Clynes makes a persuasive case for allowing gifted children the freedom and resources to pursue their interests."
Popular Science contributing editor Clynes (Music Festivals From Bach to Blues: A Travellers Guide, 1996, etc.) uses the story of Taylor Wilson—who, at age 14, became "one of only thirty-two individuals on the planet to build a working fusion reactor, a miniature sun on Earth"—to illustrate the potential for improving our educational system.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 >
MANAGING BUBBIE by Russel Lazega
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 5, 2015

"A successful twofer: a moving ode to a beloved family matriarch and a valuable reminder about the role of history in shaping even seemingly ordinary lives."
Lazega's (Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law and Practice, 2014, etc.) first foray into narrative nonfiction chronicles the life of his fearless Bubbie, a tough-as-nails Holocaust survivor. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"An illuminating voyage into the heart of Frost's poem and the American spirit."
Unraveling the mystery of a famous poem. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >