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Biography & autobiography

God'll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, aMurder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi

Weaving a tale that is simultaneously about race, failed systems, money, sex, family and simple rage, Safran truly did lose a year in Mississippi, and getting lost with him is a joy.

Different Every Time: The Authorised Biography of Robert Wyatt

If you reach the end of the book with the tiniest feeling that maybe things were sometimes darker and more difficult than O’Dair paints them, it seems a fair enough trade for this meticulous and vivid account.

A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir

A wonderful writer, witty and economical, he generally applies a light touch to emotionally heavy material.

Watch Me: A Memoir

Watch Me is full of glitz and glamour. But beneath the sequins and the kelly-green silk jersey beats a real and honest heart.

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.

Ms. Albertine’s book is wiry and cogent and fearless.

41: A Portrait of My Father

George W. Bush has nothing more to prove. His argument at this point is not with his father but with history.

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life

This book complicates Fitzgerald, messes her up in all the right ways. Best of all, Ms. Lee makes a strong and complex case for her fiction.

A Royal Experiment

Unconvincing as revisionist history but enjoyable for its vivid depiction of several varieties of royal lifestyles—and plenty of royal gossip.

There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me

Shields writes with considerable reflection; she’s done the hard work of making sense of the contradictions in her mother, and now we get the benefit of her sharing what she’s learned.

Not My Father's Son
The Observer : Damian Barr (November 16, 2014)

Cumming recalls all the drama of a childhood spent in fear of paternal rages and beatings but he’s no drama queen and this is not a pity party.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life

There are times when this book comes across as a little stiff and formal. However, one is left with the impression of Loren as a caring, complex, grounded character, a woman who decided to be a real person, almost in defiance of her great beauty.

Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind

Paper Love paints itself as a love story, a tragedy, and a singular experience of a terrifying period. It is all of those things, but what is most important to remember...is that it is the vestiges of a life, edited by a stranger.

The Sphinx: Franklin Roosevelt, the Isolationists, and the Road to World War II
Kirkus Reviews : The Sphinx (November 10, 2014)

Though presented with a pro-Roosevelt tilt, this is history solidly researched and engagingly written. However, it is well-surveyed territory, and the author brings little genuinely new to the discussion.

Watch Me: A Memoir
Kirkus Reviews : Watch Me (November 17, 2014)

Amid the fluff and the flutter are some true passion and pain.

The Wild Truth

The Wild Truth is an important book on two fronts: It sets the record straight about a story that has touched thousands of readers, and it opens up a conversation about hideous domestic violence hidden behind a mask of prosperity and propriety.

Unstill Life: A Daughter's Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction

In today’s era of soaring prices and celebrity artists, Gabrielle Selz reminds us that the makers of transcendent art may not be role models.

Napoleon: A Life

Roberts brilliantly conveys the sheer energy and presence of Napoleon the organizational and military whirlwind who, through crisp and incessant questioning, sized up people and problems and got things done.