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Biography & autobiography

My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir

With “My Father, the Pornographer,” Mr. Offutt attempts to make sense of the narrowly rational man who terrorized his family and led a semi-secret professional life.

Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary

A well-researched and remarkable saga of our current system.... There is a tremendous amount of detail to sift through, but those who do ultimately will be rewarded by the process, if not the actual story of Roosevelt’s failure.

The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family

The Black Calhouns is an engaging and immersive look into American history through one of our most notable black elite families, but it is also an intimate and affecting family portrait.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

This is hard, funny, amazing stuff and I loved it, even when it made me uncomfortable.

The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

A poignant portrait of two women who were heroes of the civil rights movement and the struggle for women’s equal rights.

My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir

My Father, the Pornographer is contemporary memoir at its best. It achieves the rare miracle of re-creating the human heart on the page.

When Breath Becomes Air

He was clearly a deeply thoughtful and compassionate man, and his death is a great loss to medicine, but at least he has left this remarkable book behind.

Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nation's Leaders

It’s the way Brady combines the weird and the wonderful that makes Dead Presidents both entertaining and truly interesting.

Margaret Thatcher: At Her Zenith: In London, Washington and Moscow

His work will very likely stand alongside that of John Morley, official biographer of Gladstone, as one of the masterpieces of British political history.

A Splendid Savage: The Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham

Thrilling adventures presented with the flair they deserve.

NFL Confidential
Bookreporter : NFL Confidential (January 22, 2016)

Johnny Anonymous is smart and a decent writer.... NFL Confidential was a great book to read during the NFL playoffs, and I strongly recommend it to any football fan.

Russell Kirk: American Conservative

Kirk is too often the book’s hero rather than its subject.

Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary

“Let the people rule” remains more an aspiration than a reality in American politics today.

The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters

The durable electoral and policy outcomes produced by McKinley’s victory over a dramatically dissimilar vision remind us how much can be at stake in a presidential election at a time of political polarization.

The Narrow Door

“The Narrow Door” is Mr. Lisicky’s memoir of their friendship. It is very beautiful. Part of it is a love story.

Alive, Alive Oh!: And Other Things That Matter

Athill’s tales of her life — apparently free of the burdens of self-loathing and regret — are entertaining and inspiring.

The Narrow Door

Lisicky dispenses with linear expectations of memoir, and offers a book structured instead by feeling. This is, after all, how memory works. Chapters shift back and forth across decades, dispensing with a tidy timeline.

The Narrow Door

When I finished The Narrow Door, I felt not only like a fortunate witness to a beautiful elegy, but personally engaged in ways I’m sure the author never intended.

When Breath Becomes Air

Kalanithi’s achievement is to marry the art and science of medicine in a very personal story about how he learned to live until he died.

The Narrow Door

Lisicky’s friendship with Denise is glorious, but uneven, then flat and prickly, then warm and even and everything it ever could be just before it’s taken away.