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Biography & autobiography

Hillbilly Elegy

It started out strong but I think he simplifies the ease with which one can overcome the hardships faced by that milieu.

Hillbilly Elegy

Readers looking to understand the class fault lines within white America will be enlightened by Vance’s narrative of class mobility, but as a guide to the new political terrain Hillbilly Elegy is uneven, and frustratingly silent about the writer’s real commitments.

Testimony: A Memoir

Even seen through Robertson’s eyes, and even taking into account the glorious work they did together half a century ago, the tale is a kind of tragedy, in terms of lives damaged and music lost.

George Lucas: A Life

George Lucas reads like Jones doesn’t want to offend George Lucas. His research should have told him: There’s power in embracing the dark side.

Relentless Spirit: The Unconventional Raising of a Champion

A consistently sunny, family-oriented story of persistence and achievement.

George Lucas: A Life
Kirkus Reviews : George Lucas (December 06, 2016)

Masterful and engaging: just what Lucas’ fans and buffs, who love the nitty-gritty of filmmaking, have been waiting for.

The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill

Mitchell, a former editor of Editor & Publisher and the author of several other works, has taken a footnote to history and turned it into a book. He provides background on the tunnels and tunnelers, a necessary foundation, but it takes too long to get to the network competition, the central dramatic element.

When in French: Love in a Second Language

This charming book is not just about the language gulf, but the gulf between all human beings, and how we all try to learn to walk in another person’s shoes; “se mettre dans la peau de quelqu’un”.

Turner: The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J.M.W. Turner

Moyle’s well-researched book, written with panache, charts the mechanics with which her ambitious subject ascended in the Academy and the way he acquired wealth selling his paintings.

Testimony: A Memoir

“Testimony” is high-spirited, hugely enjoyable and generous from start to finish.


Readers shouldn’t have to decide between the Moran who recounts in excruciating (and humblebragging) detail embarrassing things done in front of celebrities and the one who earnestly believes that “it is the solemn duty of every citizen to dream of mad futures.” Both of them speak to a need for idealism at a time when lines between pop and politics have dissolved like smoke.

Set the Boy Free

Marr’s prose is sharpest and most engaging when writing about music, everything that he’s fallen in love with, but especially his own.

Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis

Excerpts from Bergoglio’s writings give an even more intimate look at our current pope, although it’s unfortunate Shriver was unable to interview him.

By Women Possessed: A Life of Eugene O'Neill

Even in its repurposed sections, this book pulses with life, yet that particular defense of O’Neill feels of another time: a genuflection before the great artist.

The Princess Diarist

Like her 19-year-old self, Carrie Fisher doesn’t hold back on how she feels about life inside the “Star Wars” industrial complex — and that’s ultimately more interesting than another story about filming the Death Star trash-compactor scene.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Mr. Noah offers a series of sharp-edged snapshots of life in the township of Soweto, where his maternal grandmother lived, and where, he recalls, “99.9 percent” of the residents were black, and his light skin made him a neighborhood curiosity.

Set the Boy Free

Less uneven than Morrissey’s often delicious Autobiography, Marr’s defiantly unghostwritten book is pleasant and direct.

Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and Civilisation

Mr. Stourton is the former chairman of Sotheby’s in Britain and the author of several books. He tells Clark’s story with dispassionate grace and wit. His prose is unobtrusive but well tailored.

Scrappy Little Nobody

Scrappy Little Nobody makes light of things both flighty and serious; it’s committed to fun above all else, and demonstrates why Kendrick, in her own voice, is a somebody worth reading.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Kirkus Reviews : Born A Crime (November 15, 2016)

A somewhat disjointed narrative with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations on South African culture.