Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

ALL THE WILD THAT REMAINS by David Gessner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 20, 2015

"Stegner and Abbey 'are two who have lighted my way,' nature writer Wendell Berry admitted. They have lighted the way for Gessner, as well, as he conveys in this graceful, insightful homage to their work and to the region they loved."
The lives and legacies of two influential environmentalists. Read full book review >
THE EDUCATION OF A TRAITOR by Svetlana Grobman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2015

"An intimate look at a young woman's struggle to find her own truth in a repressive society."
Grobman's debut memoir explores her childhood in the Soviet Union. Read full book review >

ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART by Richard Goldstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Indispensable for understanding the culture of the '60s and the music that was at its heart."
A memoir by one of the founders of rock criticism, on the era that gave him his vocation and ultimately broke his heart. Read full book review >
SMASH CUT by Brad Gooch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"This candid memoir lovingly evokes a life, and a world, lost."
Filmmaker Howard Brookner (1954-1989) is the focus of this engrossing, intimate memoir by novelist and biographer Gooch (English/William Paterson Univ.; Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, 2009, etc.).Read full book review >
MINISTERS AT WAR by Jonathan Schneer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Clear, thoroughly entertaining and full of lively detail."
During World War II, Britain was guided by a group of talented, ambitious rivals who put aside their differences to defeat their common enemy. Here's a look at how they worked together—and how it fell apart just as victory was in hand. Read full book review >

HOW I SHED MY SKIN by Jim Grimsley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Although proud that he and his classmates made history, the culture of hatred he recounts in this revelatory memoir still, he notes sadly, persists."
After a court decision, children struggled to enact integration. Read full book review >
FINDING SAMUEL LOWE by Paula Williams Madison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A well-structured memoir told in brief, punchy vignettes alternating between past and present."
A spirited pursuit of her mother's roots takes one African-American woman from Jamaica to Harlem to China. Read full book review >
9 1/2 NARROW by Patricia Morrisroe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A funny, warm and insightful trek through one woman's life and American popular culture—a successful blend of form and function."
Chronicling five decades of life by recounting the shoes worn during important societal and personal milestones is a quirky, possibly gimmicky, foundation for a narrative, but Morrisroe (Wide Awake: What I Learned About Sleep from Doctors, Drug Companies, Dream Experts, and a Reindeer Herder in the Arctic Circle, 2010, etc.) hits the mark.Read full book review >
CAPITAL DAMES by Cokie Roberts
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"An enlightening account detailing how the Civil War changed the nation's capital while expanding the role of women in politics, health care, education, and social services."
Political commentator and bestselling author Roberts (Ladies of Liberty: The Women who Shaped our Nation, 2008, etc.) shines a spotlight on the remarkable political, literary, and activist women of Washington, D.C., during the tumult of the Civil War. 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 >
TARGET TOKYO by James M. Scott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 13, 2015

"A spirited, comprehensive and highly readable account of the tremendous wherewithal required for this extraordinary effort."
A new treatment of the daring Doolittle raids over Tokyo that fills in many of the gaps in the true story. Read full book review >
BONAPARTE by Patrice Gueniffey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 13, 2015

"A masterful portrait, staggeringly complete and contradictory and fluently translated—a delight to read."
Wonderfully lyrical, historically nuanced exploration of the irruption of this Romantic hero. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >