Share On Facebook ! Tweet This ! Share On Google Plus ! Share On Digg ! Share On Reddit ! Share On LinkedIn ! Post To Blogger !

The Best Books of April: Biographies & Memoirs



Amazon Book Review: Kill 'Em and LeaveNot only was April packed with great books, it was ridiculously heavy in Biographies & Memoirs--in fact, fully half of our top 10 fit the category, including our spotlight pick (Augusten Burroughs's Lust & Wonder), as well as our debut pick (Lab Girl, which you can read more about here). But for me, the book of the month is Kill 'Em and Leave, an illuminating and sometimes harrowing journey into the world of James Brown from National Book Award winner James McBride. McBride has written a book about an essentially unknowable man, one so twisted up in myth (self-made and otherwise) and tabloid-ready disasters that a traditional biography might well become worthlessly, untruthfully lurid. Instead, Kill 'Em and Leave is less concerned with the biographical minutiae of Brown's life than it is with Brown's context; he is the central figure of the book, but rarely is he at its center. Like an astronomer might infer the existence of an invisible planet through the movements of its celestial neighbors, McBride takes an oblique approach, traveling deep into Brown's past to interview bandmates, managers, family members, and friends, applying his unique, propulsive voice and insight as a musician to illuminate the forces stacked against "The Godfather of Soul," and the ways it changed in his wake.

See more of the Best Biographies and Memoirs of the Month below, and browse all of our picks for March across 15 categories. 

 

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
On this book about plants and science and other things--friendship and passion and love, for ideas, for work and for all living beings--Amazon Editorial Director Sara Nelson wrote, "And if Jahren can surprise you about all that messy human stuff, just think how she can change your feelings about dirt."
 

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book

Lust & Wonder by Augusten Burroughs
Augusten Burroughs's latest autobiographical offering is a tale many of us can relate to: In our search for true love, we have kissed a few (perhaps dozen) frogs, and dated utterly inappropriate people because they were simply too cute to resist, or really good in... social situations. Lust & Wonder delivers on what you'd expect from the lauded author of Running with Scissors--the kind of wit, profundity, and keen appreciation of the absurd that tempers what could otherwise be cynical subject matter. --Erin Kodicek
 

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book

Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt
Women's history buffs rejoice! Wonderfully told and intrinsically captivating, this is the story about the elite group of women in the 40s and 50s who broke gender and science boundaries to transform rocket design and lay the groundwork for U.S. space travel. Not only did I geek out on the incredible look into the early days of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but I also fell in love with these women who quite possibly invented the pant suit, and were vital to America's space travel. --Penny Mann
 

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book

The Mathews Men by William Geroux
William Geroux has produced a well-constructed and meticulously researched account of the heroics performed and sacrifices endured by the merchant marine, focusing on the Chesapeake Bay county of Mathews, Virginia. As Geroux writes, "For more than 250 years, the profession of choice in Mathews had been sailing merchant ships." These men, including the Hodges family, which sent seven sons to war, performed an essential but underreported service for the country. If the cover reminds you of Unbroken or The Boys in the Boat, it should. This one deserves to be a best seller. --Chris Schluep
 

You might also like:

 

Subscribe to Omnivoracious: The Amazon Book Review, featuring picks for the best books of the month, author interviews, reading recommendations, and more from the Amazon Books editors.



Read More

Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home

Popular Posts

Powered by Blogger.