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Biography & autobiography

The Accidental Life: An Editor's Notes on Writing and Writers

Editing success is all in the mix, McDonell writes, and the mix he achieves in “The Accidental Life” is just so.

His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt

It is a tale well-told.

I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir

The lives she describes are fascinating, she’s a smart writer, and the linkage between generations is palpable. I look forward to a sequel, for it may unwind more of the mystery and may reveal more about the author herself.

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life

This volume is filled with wonderfully drawn portraits of writers, spies, politicians, war reporters and actors who possess a palpable physicality and verve.

I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir

“I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This” is a compelling first effort by a 29-year-old who refuses to protect herself, or her readers, from the complexities and cruelties of motherhood.

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon

Brooks provides a masterful analysis of how global connectedness has created vast new responsibilities (and vulnerabilities) for the armed forces of the United States.

Where the Jews Aren't: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region

Her sad and absurd tale is less about a failed social experiment and more about the contradictions of writing without roots while longing for home.

Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

In these pages, Mr. Tye conscientiously strips away the accretions of myth that have come to surround Robert F. Kennedy, while at the same time creating a sympathetic portrait of this complex, searching man — a genuine pilgrim and a hard-nosed politician, a fierce romantic dedicated to “the art of the possible.”

An Abbreviated Life

It is about understanding and recovery, and about looking back in order to take the first step forward.

The Latter Days: A Memoir

“The Latter Days” is clean, strong and deep, a raging river of a story that its author carried until she couldn’t hold it back. It is an arrow straight from Mormon country, from the Mountain West and from the heart.

Wear and Tear: The Threads of My Life

What’s remarkable about WEAR AND TEAR is its compassion.... Forget that I know and adore Tracy Tynan. I can’t praise this book enough.

The Voyeur's Motel

Mostly, however, one feels flattened by a sadness at the cynicism and distrust that years of catching folks with their pants down has engendered, as well as the utter tedium of life as the Voyeur, adrift in “a dry-docked boat whose guests endlessly watched television, exchanged banalities, had sex mainly under the covers if they had sex at all.”

Wear and Tear: The Threads of My Life

Ms. Tynan gives a harrowing account of a daughter born three months premature. And she speaks of her continuing struggle to survive her own childhood; silent meditation retreats are involved.

The Accidental Life: An Editor's Notes on Writing and Writers

“The Accidental Life” is intelligent, entertaining and chivalrous. It’s a savvy fax from a dean of the old school.

The Voyeur's Motel

The Voyeur’s Motel is a work of great moral queasiness, and intellectual inertia.

The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End

This book is Roiphe’s haunting but muddled attempt to come to terms with the mystery of extinction. Her father died, and she will never know what he was going through. Salter, who died last year, knew best: “Don’t dwell on it.”

The Age of Bowie

In Morley’s vision, Bowie sits in the dark, thinking about the life he has had, wondering if it can possibly get any darker in there, when “a voice says I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for everything.”

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

Maybe life after hope will be the subject of his next novel, if he is able to leave behind the loss of and longing for his father that have provided his inspiration until now.