Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

CHURCHILL AND ORWELL by Thomas E. Ricks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 2017

"A superb account of two men who set standards for defending liberal democracy that remain disturbingly out of reach."
A joint biography of two men who "led the way, politically and intellectually, in responding to the twin totalitarian threats of fascism and communism" in the mid-20th century. Read full book review >
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN by Thomas S. Kidd
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 2017

"A highly accessible study of an enigmatic yet influential faith life."
What did Benjamin Franklin really think of God? Read full book review >

THE HUE AND CRY AT OUR HOUSE by Benjamin Taylor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 2017

"An occasionally problematic but mostly sage memoir from an elegant writer."
Taylor (Proust: The Search, 2015, etc.) leans on gay and Jewish perspectives to craft a memoir of 1963-1964, with the touchstones of his youth still resonating today. Read full book review >
BERLIN CALLING by Paul Hockenos
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 2017

"The author's loyalty and love for Berlin are evident and may well be contagious, but he is short on analysis and insight."
An introduction to the countercultures of Berlin. Read full book review >
THE KING OF CHICAGO by Dan Friedman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 2017

"A mostly well-written book for the author's family and friends; others may take a pass."
An admiring portrait of the author's father, who "rose from the lowest rungs of society, mastered the city, and became its King." Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 2017

"The book begins as a rollicking, magical tale but eventually bogs down in too much conjecture."
Stapinski (English/Fordham Univ.; Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair, with Music, 2004, etc.) continues her investigation into her family's checkered past. Read full book review >
THE LONG RUN by Catriona Menzies-Pike
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 2017

"An authentic account of surviving devastating loss through the art of running."
A memoir of running, endurance, and overcoming grief. Read full book review >
LIFE WOULD SUCK WITHOUT YOU by Jennifer Preuss
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 2017

"A pleasant remembrance and an easygoing beach read."
A memoir about friendship, womanhood, and the idea that girls just want to have fun. Read full book review >
PARADISE LOST by David S. Brown
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 22, 2017

"A well-organized and sensitive portrait of a writer living to the fullest in his own time but always desirous of a 'paradise lost.'"
A fresh biography of the great American writer. Read full book review >
THERE'S A MYSTERY THERE by Jonathan Cott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 16, 2017

"With minimal redundancy, the voices culminate to illuminate an extraordinarily rich picture book, provide fresh insight into human needs, and inspire appreciation for the rewards of looking closely."
Conversations with the legendary children's book creator, along with "companion guides" exploring the artist's psyche and works. Read full book review >
THE MIGHTY FRANKS by Michael Frank
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 16, 2017

"A lengthy exploration of one family's uniquely claustrophobic dysfunctions; Frank only finds mixed success in delivering a compelling narrative to bolster the provocative premise."
A writer reflects on his celebrated aunt's overbearing influence on his life. Read full book review >
AND THE SPIRIT MOVED THEM by Helen LaKelly Hunt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 16, 2017

"The faith-based argument is not always convincing, but the author's call for renewed feminist action, based on 'the spirit and ethic of love,' makes for timely reading."
The story of the abolitionists of the early to mid-19th century who set the stage for women's campaign for equality and the vote. 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 >