Memoirs of recovering—from substance addiction and war—fill this season’s list, as well as books on controversial presidents (Trump and Wilson). Yet there’s always room for memoirs and biographies of famous entertainers.
Born Trump: Inside America’s First Family
Emily Jane Fox. Harper, Apr. 24
The Vanity Fair writer examines what shaped the Trump children into who they are and what it was like to grow up Trump.
Rose McGowan, HarperOne, Jan. 30
Actress McGowan recounts her career and also of her work as an activist determined to expose the truth about Hollywood.
Eat the Apple
Matt Young. Bloomsbury, Feb. 27
This bold memoir explores “how war transformed [Young] from a confused teenager into a dangerous and damaged man”; it received a starred PW review.
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership
James Comey. Flatiron, May 1
The former FBI director shares for the first time the details of his career in government during the past two decades.
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border
Francisco Cantú. Riverhead, Feb. 6
Cantú, who was an agent for the U.S. Border Patrol from 2008 to 2012, writes about his experiences and those he encountered. A starred PW review says his “rich prose and deep empathy make this an indispensable look at immigration, one of America’s most divisive issues.”
The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made
Patricia O’Toole. Simon & Schuster, Apr. 24
The author of biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Adams turns her attention to the high-minded and controversial President Woodrow Wilson.
The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery
Barbara K. Lipska, with Elaine McArdle. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr. 3
Neuroscientist Lipska battled brain cancer, and in this memoir she shares her ordeal and explains how mental illness or brain injury can affect personality and memory.
No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America
Darnell L. Moore. Nation, May 29
The journalist and activist writes of surviving childhood during the height of the AIDS and crack epidemics, and finding a calling in the Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ-rights movements.
Paul Simon: The Life
Robert Hilburn. Simon & Schuster, May 8
Hilburn takes a deep look into the life and career of singer-songwriter Paul Simon, examining his songs and exploring his professional and personal successes and failures.
The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath
Leslie Jamison. Little, Brown, Apr. 3
In this PW-starred memoir, Jamison explores her addiction alongside the stories of great writers and artists who also suffered; “her heartfelt insights... underscore her reputation as a writer of fearsome talent.”
Memoirs & Biographies
Nine Irish Lives: The Fighters, Thinkers, and Artists Who Helped Build America by Mark Bailey (Mar. 6, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-61620-517-1). This anthology of popular American history presents the stories of nine Irish immigrants as written by nine contemporary Irish-Americans, including actress Rosie O’Donnell, filmmaker Michael Moore, and actor Pierce Brosnan.
Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men by Harold Schechter (Apr. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4778-0895-5) tells of one of the most sensational killing sprees in America: the shocking series of murders committed between 1902 and 1908 by the woman who came to be known as Lady Bluebeard.
The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers by Marcia Gay Harden (May 1, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-5011-3570-5). Using the imagery of flowers and Japanese flower arrangement as her starting point, actress Harden takes readers through her mother’s life, while weaving in the story of her own journey from precocious young girl to Academy Award–winning actress.
Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison by John Kruth (Mar. 13, trade paper, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5400-0046-0) delves into Orbison’s collaborations, recording sessions, and personal life to present a long look at his legacy.
Like Brothers by Mark and Jay Duplass (May 1, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-101-96771-3). Writers, directors, producers, and actors (Transparent and The Mindy Project), the Duplass brothers share the inner workings of their lifelong creative partnership in this memoir.
A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith (Mar. 27, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-465-09442-4). Historians Roberts and Smith focus on the defining year of Mickey Mantle’s career: 1956, when he overcame a host of injuries and professional criticism to become the most celebrated athlete of his time.
Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last 31 Hours by Joseph Rosenbloom (Mar. 27, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-8070-8338-3). Drawing on interviews and recently released archival documents, Rosenblum focuses on the last 31 hours of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life as he tried to revive the nonviolent civil rights movement.
Eat the Apple by Matt Young (Feb. 27, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-63286-950-0) is a dark memoir of a man who joined the Marines at 18, and the effect the Iraq War had on him. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy: The Life of General James Mattis by Jim Proser (June 5, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-280391-7) is a biography of the current secretary of defense, and President Trump’s first cabinet nominee. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Ritz and Escoffier: The Hotelier, the Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class by Luke Barr (Apr. 3, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8041-8629-2). Barr (Provence, 1970) tells the story of turn-of-the-20th-century London and Paris and how celebrated hotelier Caesar Ritz and famed chef Auguste Escoffier banded together at the Savoy Hotel to start a modern luxury hotel and restaurant. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot (Feb. 6, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-61902-334-5). Mailhot, a First Nations woman, offers a coming-of-age memoir of growing up on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in British Columbia.
Ticker: A Brilliant Heart Surgeon’s Epic Quest to Create an Artificial Heart by Mimi Swartz (June 12, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-8041-3800-0). The Texas Monthly executive editor chronicles the lives of pioneering heart surgeon O.H. “Bud” Frazier and his partner, Billy Cohn.
Gator: My Life in Pinstripes by Ron Guidry (Mar. 20, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-451-49930-1). The Hall of Fame New York Yankees pitcher recounts his years playing for the New York Yankees during their heyday from 1976 to 1988. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
The Hard Stuff: A Memoir by Wayne Kramer (June 12, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-306-92154-4), the guitarist and cofounder of Detroit proto-punk legend the MC5, narrates his musical, drug-addled life in the 1960s and 1970s.
Failure Is an Option: An Attempted Memoir by H. Jon Benjamin (May 1, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5247-4216-4). Comedian Benjamin—the voice behind characters in Archer and Bob’s Burgers—shares his life and artistic failures, explaining that achieving success is not an easy task. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Neruda: The Poet’s Calling by Mark Eisner (Mar. 6, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-269420-1) presents a biography of the life of poet Pablo Neruda, a portrait of one of the most intriguing and influential literary figures in Latin American history.
Bay of Hope: Five Years in Newfoundland by David Ward (Apr. 17, trade paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-77041-382-5) tells of the five years ecologist Ward lived in an isolated Newfoundland community in a book that is part memoir, part nature writing.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Mr. Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense by Jenny Uglow (Apr. 17, hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-0-374-11333-9). Uglow (In These Times) explores the troubled childhood and artistic struggles of Edward Lear.
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey (May 1, hardcover, $32.99, ISBN 978-1-250-19245-5). The former FBI director shares the experiences from his career in government over the past two decades, prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart, and overseeing the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Marilyn: Lost and Forgotten: Images from Hollywood Photo Archive by Colin Slater and the Hollywood Photo Archive (Mar. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4930-3343-0) collects 100 rare images of Marilyn Monroe’s brief modeling career and early days on the 20th Century Fox lot.
Can’t Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist by Meredith Goldstein (Apr. 3, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4555-4377-9). The Boston Globe advice columnist writes about giving advice when she’s not sure what she’s doing herself. 80,000-copy announced first printing.
Outside the Jukebox: How I Turned My Passion into a Viral Sensation and Rewrote the Rules of the Music Business by Scott Bradlee (June 12, hardcover, $23, ISBN 978-0-316-41573-6). Musician Bradlee tells of his early struggles as a musician and how he came to form the band Postmodern Jukebox, which has upwards of three million subscribers on YouTube. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump by Dan Pfeiffer (June 5, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-5387-1171-2). Pfeiffer, Obama’s former communications director and current cohost of Pod Save America, offers a part-memoir, part blueprint for progressives as he relates how politics, the media, and the Internet changed during the Obama presidency.
Born Trump: Inside America’s First Family by Emily Jane Fox (Apr. 24, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-269077-7). Vanity Fair writer Fox researched and interviewed Ivanka Trump and her siblings, and here places them in the context of the American future. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Unmasked by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Mar. 6, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-242420-4). Coinciding with Webber’s 70th birthday, composer and producer Webber takes a look at five decades of his life, during which he produced The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and Evita. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Brave by Rose McGowan (Feb. 27, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-265598-1). Charmed star McGowan tells of growing up in a cult, and her escape from it and move to Hollywood. Now an activist, she exposes the truth about the entertainment industry.
True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness: A Feminist Coming of Age by Christine Lahti (Apr. 10, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-06-266367-2). Actress and director Lahti takes a feminist approach in the personal stories about her early journey as an actress and activist, and the realities of her life as a middle-aged woman in Hollywood today.
The Long Accomplishment: A Memoir of Struggle and Hope in Matrimony by Rick Moody (July 31, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-62779-844-0). The author of The Ice Storm writes of the first year of his second marriage and his life, as he puts it, as “a balding middle-aged recovering alcoholic and sexual compulsive with a history of depression who wrote a novel that people liked in the 90s.”
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety by Donald Hall (July 10, hardcover, $22, ISBN 978-1-328-82634-3). As the poet nears 90, he delivers a new collection of essays on aging and the pleasures of solitude, as well as remembrances of friendships with the likes of James Wright, Richard Wilbur, and Seamus Heaney.
The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery by Barbara K. Lipska, with Elaine McArdle (Apr. 3, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-328-78730-9). Neuroscientist Lipska battled brain cancer, which sent her into madness. Here, she describes how cancer and brain injuries change the way brains functions. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
On the Road and Off the Record with Leonard Bernstein: My Years with the Exasperating Genius by Charlie Harmon (May 8, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-62354-527-7). Bernstein’s former assistant takes a look at the life—both public and private—of the great composer. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table by Rick Bragg (Apr. 3, hardcover, $28.95, ISBN 978-1-4000-4041-4). Bragg (All Over but the Shoutin’) offers a tribute to a region, a vanishing history, a family, and, especially, to his mother, whose family recipes that pre-date the Civil War are included.
I’m Keith Hernandez by Keith Hernandez (May 15, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-39573-1). The legendary first baseman, who played with the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, tells of growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, his time in the Major Leagues, and, now, his life as a broadcaster.
The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison (Apr. 3, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-316-25961-3). Blending memoir, reporting, and cultural history, Jamison (The Empathy Exams) explores her addiction alongside the stories of the great writers and artists who also suffered, including John Berryman, Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, and Jean Rhys.
The Fox Hunt by Mohammed Al Samawi (Apr. 10, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-267819-5) tells of the author’s escape from religious fanaticism and civil war in Yemen with the help of social media and a group of interfaith activists in the West.
No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America by Darnell L. Moore (May 29, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-56858-948-0). The journalist and activist writes of surviving childhood in Newark, N.J., during the height of the AIDS and crack epidemics, searching for love as a young gay man, and finding his calling.
The Promise and the Dream: The Interrupted Lives of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. by David Margolick (Apr. 3, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-4262-1940-5) explores the complex relationship between the two remarkable men who were assassinated 62 days apart in 1968.
New York Review Books
Orphic Paris by Henri Cole (Apr. 17, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-68137-218-1). Poet Cole combines autobiography, diary, essay, and prose poetry with photographs in this portrait of Paris.
Berenice Abbott: A Life in Photography by Julia Van Haaften (Apr. 10, hardcover, $49.95, ISBN 978-0-393-29278-7) is a biography of the 20th-century American photographer, who was a pioneering documentarian, author, and inventor. 100 photographs.
Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 by Ryan H. Walsh (Mar. 6, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-7352-2134-5) takes a look at music and culture in 1968, focusing on Van Morrison’s classic album Astral Weeks, as well as cult leader Mel Lyman, Timothy Leary, and James Brown.
A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir by Ian Buruma (Mar. 6, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-101-98141-2). Writer, editor, and historian Buruma tells of falling in love and of the underground culture in Tokyo of 1975.
You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir by Parker Posey (June 19, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-7352-1819-2). The actress (who starred in Party Girland Dazed and Confused) offers a hybrid memoir of how-tos, recipes, illustrations, and stories of her childhood and of her work with such directors as Christopher Guest and Woody Allen. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey from Helplessness to Optimism by Martin E.P. Seligman (Apr. 3, hardcover, $29, ISBN 978-1-61039-873-2) explores the transformation of modern psychology through the lens of Seligman’s own career, during which he pioneered the Positive Psychology movement during the 1960s.
Room to Dream: A Life by David Lynch, with Kristine McKenna (Apr. 10, hardcover, $32, ISBN 978-0-399-58919-5). In this as-told-to memoir, Lynch, co-creator of Twin Peaks and director of Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive, opens up about a lifetime of creativity, the difficulties he has faced, and the story of his life behind the art.
Random/Spiegel & Grau
From the Corner of the Oval by Rebecca Dorey-Stein (May 8, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-50912-7) is a coming-of-age memoir by a woman who, by chance, became the White House stenographer during the Obama years.
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú (Feb. 6, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-7352-1771-3). The author, who served as an agent for the U.S. Border Patrol from 2008 to 2012, writes about the experience and the people he encountered—both police and the migrants who tried crossing. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Rowman & Littlefield
Jackie Robinson: An Integrated Life by J. Christopher Schutz (Feb. 15, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-5381-1020-1). Schutz examines Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson and the impact he had on the civil rights movement following WWII.
The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, the Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan (May 8, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-7624-9059-2) focuses on two of the biggest years in the life of Marilyn Monroe, beginning with the making of The Seven Year Itch, which transformed her life and career.
Halfway: A Memoir by Tom Macher (Feb. 6, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-1260-7). In this debut, Macher, who spent his teens in a series of halfway houses, writes about the young men he met on his way to recovery.
When the Needle Dropped: A DJ’s Journey by A-Trak (June 26, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-4767-4549-7). Deejay and record company executive A-Trak examines the cultural history of the deejay phenomenon and the rise of electronic dance music through his own experiences.
Under the Birch Tree: A Memoir of Discovering Connections and Finding Home by Nancy Chadwick-Burke (June 19, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-63152-357-1) reflects on the author’s family, relationships, and work while contemplating the birch tree that grew outside her childhood home.
Simon & Schuster
The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s by William I. Hitchcock (Mar. 20, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-4391-7566-8). Hitchock (The Bitter Road to Freedom) assesses the career of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the influence he had on America during the Cold War.
The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made by Patricia O’Toole (Apr. 24, hardcover, $32, ISBN 978-0-7432-9809-4). The author of biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Adams here focuses on Woodrow Wilson and the lasting effect he had on U.S. and world history.
Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn (May 8, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-5011-1212-6). The author of Johnny Cash takes a deep look into the life and career of prolific songwriter and musician Paul Simon.
Always by My Side: Life Lessons from Millie and All the Dogs I’ve Loved by Edward Grinnan (Feb. 27, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-5649-6). The editor-in-chief of Guideposts magazine explains how his golden retriever Millie taught him to be a more compassionate person, deepened his faith, and inspired him on his path of recovery from addiction.
Blindsided by the Taliban: A Journalist’s Story of War, Trauma, Love, and Loss by Carmen Gentile (Mar. 6, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-2968-1). Gentile tells of being embedded with an army unit in Afghanistan in 2010, and of the aftermath of being struck in the face by a rocket-propelled, unexploded grenade.
Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss by Stephanie Wittels Wachs (Mar. 6, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-6410-9) relates stories of addiction, grief, and family, and of Wachs’s younger brother, an actor who died of a heroin overdose. 65,000-copy announced first printing.
Finishing School: Madame Claude and Her Secret World of Pleasure, Privilege, and Power by William Stadiem (May 22, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-12238-4). Stadiem (Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra) explores the life of Madame Claude, who ran the most exclusive finishing school in the world and whose students came from famous families with names such as Agnelli, Kennedy, Onassis, Qaddafi, and Rothschild.
Univ. of Florida
Son of Real Florida: Stories from My Life by Jeff Klinkenberg (Apr. 3, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-8130-5673-9). Journalist Klinkenberg offers a series of essays on the places and people that make his home state so unusual.
Univ. of Nebraska
Sugar: Micheal Ray Richardson, Eighties Excess, and the NBA by Charley Rosen (Apr. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4962-0216-1). The NBA analyst for FOXSports.com looks at the NBA player who personified ’80s excess.
The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl (Apr. 17, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-525-42964-7). The author of The Florist’s Daughter contemplates the power of daydreaming and how it triggers the imagination.
Feel: My Story by Freddie Spencer (July 1, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-0-7535-4562-1). Motorcycle racer Spencer tells of his early life in Louisiana and winning the 500cc and 250cc GP Championship in 1985.
This article has been updated.