Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

A WILDER TIME by William E.  Glassley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 13, 2018

"A superb tool for a better understanding of the natural world and why real science matters."
A veteran geologist recounts time spent studying Greenland's remarkable landscape during a series of six expeditions. Read full book review >
THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER by Francisco Cantú
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A devastating narrative of the very real human effects of depersonalized policy."
A Mexican-American student of international relations becomes a United States Border Patrol agent to learn what he can't in the classroom. Read full book review >

THE EARTH GAZERS by Christopher Potter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Despite covering familiar ground, Potter delivers an enthralling account of the golden age of manned space travel that emphasizes the transcendent experiences of everyone involved, and he makes a convincing case that America lost something vital when it ended."
A history of the space program told through the lens of the handful of astronauts who have seen the Earth from space. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Not merely a book about Guyana, but an impressively rendered story about imperialism in general and cultural imperialism in particular."
An illumination of the interplay of art, culture, politics, race, and history in Guyana, a Caribbean country mostly ignored by the rest of the world but which serves here as a fascinating microcosm for the power of art to inspire change. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2018

"Johnson engagingly captures the lives, struggles, and triumphs of five men whose greatness transcended American sports."
How five black men helped to transform UCLA, college and professional sports, and American life. Read full book review >

THE NEW NEGRO by Jeffrey C.  Stewart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2018

"A sweeping biography that gets deep into not just the man, but the movements he supported, resisted, and inspired."
A magisterial biography of the 20th-century philosopher, curator, and prime mover of the Harlem Renaissance. Read full book review >
LILLIAN WALD by Paul Kaplan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2018

"A fascinating introduction to the 'angel of Henry Street' for a new generation. (preface, acknowledgements, notes, references, suggested reading, index) (Biography. 12-adult)"
Lillian Wald, revered in her lifetime, is little known today. But she was responsible for many of the social and health related programs we take for granted. Read full book review >
THE MONK OF MOKHA by Dave Eggers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 30, 2018

"Eggers gives his hero a lot of thematic baggage to carry, but it is hard to resist the derring-do of the Horatio Alger of Yemenite coffee."
For a son of Yemeni immigrants, the American dream takes the form of reawakening his ancestral homeland to its coffee legacy, the foundation for the industry he hopes to build. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 23, 2018

"An insightful, highly significant account that makes no predictions but lays out the critical environmental problems already upon us."
A dual biography of two significant figures who "had little regard" for each other's work but "were largely responsible for the creation of the basic intellectual blueprints that institutions around the world use today for understanding our environmental dilemmas." Read full book review >
HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE YOU MAKE by John Leland
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 23, 2018

"In this edifying and often quite moving book, Leland presents the 'lessons' taught by his subjects even as they themselves are learning them, and he does so with an empathy and thoroughness that deserve our gratitude."
New York Times reporter Leland (Why Kerouac Matters, 2007, etc.) chronicles the year he spent communing with the "oldest old," gleaning as much of value about his own life as about those he followed. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"A well-written, matter-of-fact, inspirational account of how a man prevailed against a criminal justice system that is deeply flawed."
A travesty of the Texas judicial system leads to death-row vindication. 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 >
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 >