Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

A DISAPPEARANCE IN DAMASCUS by Deborah Campbell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"In the stormwater's swirl, Campbell has found a bright and tender leaf to follow, and the effect on readers will be transformative."
A Canadian journalist covering the plight of Iraqis who fled to Syria a decade ago enlists the help of an Iraqi woman in Damascus—friendship and disaster ensue. Read full book review >
THE BETTENCOURT AFFAIR by Tom Sancton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"A well-researched, crisply written, and entertaining story of family, greed, wealth, and the complex relations among them."
A juicy chronicle of France's richest scandal. Read full book review >

THE PREP DIARIES by Evan J. Peterson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2017

"Readers curious about how HIV prevention drugs can influence a sexual revolution should find lots of vivid details in this ambitious and honest story."
A young gay man shares his anxieties and epiphanies about safe sex in this memoir. Read full book review >
LIGHTS ON, RATS OUT by Cree LeFavour
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"A searingly eloquent and intelligent memoir.
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A noted cookbook writer tells the story of her young-adulthood battles with mental illness and self-harming behaviors. Read full book review >
MOZART by John Suchet
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"Rich with wit and warmth, this compact biography is thoroughly enchanting.
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An ideal introduction to understanding the famous composer. Read full book review >

A GREAT HONOR by Alan S. Boyd
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 6, 2016

"An enjoyable book from start to finish, filled with historical events and personal reflections."
A debut memoir examines a life in motion: planes, trains, and automobiles. Read full book review >
AFTERGLOW by Eileen Myles
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A captivating look at a poet's repeated attempt 'to dig a hole in eternity' through language.
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A memoir that stretches the limits of its genre by making a dog the textual centerpiece. Read full book review >
SHARKBAIT by Guy Clark
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 11, 2017

"Heavy on the technical details but rich with vividly recalled episodes of aerial warfare."
A thorough memoir of a flight surgeon's adrenaline-filled experiences in the Vietnam War. Read full book review >
DRIVE ME WILD by Christina Nealson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 3, 2012

"A soulful account of Western vistas and New-Age mantras."
American travel writer Nealson (New Mexico's Sanctuaries, Retreats, and Sacred Places, 2014, etc.) shares her tales of life on the road in North America and Mexico. Read full book review >
NAKED MOUNTAIN by Marcia Mabee
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"An honest depiction of a courageous, difficult journey."
Mabee debuts with a touching memoir about a 21-year marriage that began with a most unusual purchase—a mountain in Albemarle County, Virginia. Read full book review >
THE GREAT NADAR by Adam Begley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 11, 2017

"Begley capably brings to life the lost Parisian world where Nadar held court. His outsized personality dominates this enjoyable and amply illustrated volume."
A lively portrait of a photography pioneer who altered the cultural landscape of 19th-century France. Read full book review >
HENRY DAVID THOREAU by Laura Dassow Walls
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 6, 2017

"Thoreau has inspired so many esteemed biographies that it's difficult to claim any new one as definitive. However, Walls delivers a sympathetic and honest portrait that fully captures the private and public life of this singular American figure."
A superbly researched and written literary portrait that broadens our understanding of the great American writer and pre-eminent naturalist who has too long been regarded as a self-righteous scold. 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 >