This season’s notable memoirs and biographies include a wrongly convicted man’s indictment of the judicial system, an NFL player turned mathematician’s life story, and an account of an LGBTQ activist’s coming-of-age.
All That You Leave Behind: A Memoir
Erin Lee Carr. Ballantine, June 4 (hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-399-17971-6)
Carr, a documentary filmmaker, reflects on life with her father, the late New York Times journalist and former addict David Carr.
Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination
Brian Jay Jones. Dutton, May 7 (hardcover, $32, ISBN 978-1-5247-4278-2)
Jones, bestselling biographer of Jim Henson and George Lucas, explores the life of Theodor Geisel and his Dr. Seuss books.
Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World
Jeff Gordinier. Crown/Duggan, July 9 (hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-5247-5964-3)
Esquire food editor Gordinier travels three continents with influential chef René Redzepi on a quest to taste some of the world’s greatest flavors. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football
John Urschel, with Louisa Thomas. Penguin Press, May 14 (hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-7352-2486-5)
Urschel, who was once a linesman for the Baltimore Ravens, writes of his career-changing decision to enroll in the PhD mathematics program at MIT.
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World
Melinda Gates. Flatiron, Apr. 23 (hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-31357-7)
The cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation argues that successful societies are those that empower women and make sure that they have the same opportunities as men.
Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations
William H. McRaven. Grand Central, May 21 (hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-5387-2974-8)
Admiral McRaven follows up his bestselling Make Your Bed with stories of his Navy SEAL accomplishments, such as orchestrating the killing of Osama bin Laden and the capture of Saddam Hussein. 300,000-copy announced first printing.
Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story
Jacob Tobia. Putnam, Mar. 5 (hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-7352-1882-6)
MSNBC’s Queer 2.0 producer Tobia tells of growing up in a conservative Methodist North Carolina family and having questions about gender. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Smokin’ Joe: The Life of Joe Frazier
Mark Kram. Ecco, June 18 (hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-265446-5)
Sportswriter Kram follows the career of boxer Joe Frazier, from his early training at age 15 in Philadelphia to his legendary fights with Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
Albert Woodfox. Grove, Mar. 5 (hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2908-6)
Woodfox looks back on his four decades inside Louisiana prisons beginning in 1972, in what PW’s starred review calls a “breathtaking, brutal, and intelligent book.”
The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s Ten-Year Road Trip
Jeff Guinn. Simon & Schuster, July 9 (hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-5011-5930-5)
Guinn underscores the importance of the friendship between Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, who bonded and educated each other during their summer road trips between 1914 and 1925.
Memoirs & Biographies Listings
A Life in Movies: Stories from 50 Years in Hollywood by Irwin Winkler (May 7, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4197-3452-6). The Hollywood producer takes readers behind the scenes of the making of Goodfellas, Rocky, and Raging Bull, as well as his upcoming film, The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese.
At Home with Muhammad Ali by Hana Ali (May 7, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-06-291739-3). Using
private tapes and journals of her father Muhammad Ali, Hana Ali gives readers an intimate look at the heavyweight champion boxer as a family man.
Long Shot by Azad (Feb. 12, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2907-9). Iran-born Kurdish journalist Azad tells his story of fighting against ISIS in Rojava after he joined the Kurdish army as a sniper in 2014.
CSNY: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young by Peter Doggett (May 7, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-5011-8302-7) highlights the five-year span from 1969 to 1974 when Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young was at its pinnacle. Doggett then follows the various work and collaborations of the individual men in the following four decades.
Don’t Let Me Down: A Memoir by Erin Hosier (Feb. 5, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-4516-4495-1). “Literary agent Hosier shares an unsettling yet witty coming-of-age story, focusing on her relationship with her father, a man she describes as both villain and hero,” PW says in our review.
A Voice of the Warm: The Life of Rod McKuen by Barry Alfonso (Apr. 30, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-61713-709-9) is a biography of the gay rights activist and singer-songwriter who had a string of hits in the 1960s and 1970s, including “If You Go Away” and “Jean.”
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A Memoir by T Kira Madden (Mar. 5, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-63557-185-1). Essayist Madden writes about coming-of-age as a queer, biracial teenager growing up in wealthy, racially segregated Boca Raton, Fla. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
Riding the Elephant: A Memoir of Altercations, Humiliations, Hallucinations, and Observations by Craig Ferguson (May 7, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-53391-7). Ferguson, a comedian, actor, and former host of The Late Late Show, writes of his fondness for his native Scotland, discusses fatherhood, and ruminates on the ups and downs of his professional life.
Baghdaddy by Bill Riley (May 7, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-61254-292-8). In this memoir, Riley recounts surviving abuse as a child to become an accomplished member of the Air Force, serving in intelligence analysis and special operations in Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race by Lara Prior-Palmer (May 7, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-948226-19-6) recounts the author’s experience competing in a wild pony race across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland at age 19.
The Lost Prince: A Search for Pat Conroy by Michael Mewshaw (Feb. 26, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-64009-149-8) examines the life of Mewshaw’s longtime friend Pat Conroy and his classic novels, The Prince of Tidesand The Great Santini.
Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood by Andrew Rannells (Mar. 12, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-525-57485-9). The star of Broadway’s The Book of Mormon tells of his coming-of-age in Omaha, Neb., and following his dreams to New York City, where he made his Broadway debut at age 26. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography by Chris Salewicz (Apr. 2, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-0-306-84538-3) is an in-depth biography of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page by rock journalist Salewicz, based on his interviews with Page over the years.
Magic Is Dead: My Journey into the World’s Most Secretive Society of Magicians by Ian Frisch (Feb. 26, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-283928-2) takes readers inside the mysterious world of magicians—such as David Blaine, Penn Jillette, and the U.K.’s Dynamo—and into the secret magician society called #the52.
Son of Havana: A Baseball Journey from Cuba to the Big Leagues and Back by Luis Tiant, with Saul Wisnia (Feb. 26, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-63576-543-4). Cuban-born Tiant shares stories of his fleeing Cuba in the 1970s to play for the Boston Red Sox, and his return home decades later.
Pounding the Rock: Basketball Dreams and Real Life in a Bronx High School by Marc Skelton (Mar. 12, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54265-4). The head coach of the Bronx’s Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School basketball team relates the underdog team’s championship run in the 2016–2017 season.
Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap by Judy Goldman (Feb. 12, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-385-54394-1). “Goldman (Losing My Sister) offers a tender view of her marriage and a suspenseful account of her husband’s frustrating struggle to regain mobility after a routine hospital procedure left him unable to walk,” says PW’s review.
Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain by Danny Goldberg (Apr. 2, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-286150-4). Goldberg, Nirvana’s music manager from 1990 to 1994, takes readers inside the life of Kurt Cobain and discusses their work together.
Faber & Faber
Chamber Music: Wu-Tang and America (in 36 Pieces) by Will Ashon (Feb. 19, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-571-35000-1) is a study in 36 essays of hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan and the influence it’s had on American culture.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The Light Years: A Memoir by Chris Rush (Apr. 2, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-29441-0). Artist Rush narrates his coming-of-age in a strict Catholic family in New Jersey in the 1960s and ’70s. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
The Weil Conjectures by Karen Olsson (July 16, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-28761-0). In this combination memoir and biography, Olsson contemplates the idea of creative breakthroughs by looking at the work of mid-20th-century siblings Simone Weil, a French philosopher, and her mathematician brother, André.
Mother Is a Verb: An Unconven-tional History by Sarah Knott (Apr. 2, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-21358-9). Historian Knott asks what it means to be a mother as she contemplates whether or not to have a child.
We Were Rich and We Didn’t Know It: A Memoir of My Irish Boyhood by Tom Phelan (Mar. 5, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-1-5011-9709-3). Novelist Phelan writes of growing up in 1940s rural Ireland, a time before electricity or indoor plumbing, and when the Catholic Church influenced daily life.
Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher by David Cone with Jack Curry (May 14, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-5387-4884-8). Cone, all-star pitcher for the Mets and Yankees in the 1980s and ’90s, recalls his mistakes and successes, and gives readers an inside look at what makes a successful pitcher. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Let’s Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, the Life of Ernie Banks by Ron Rapoport (Apr. 2, hardcover, $28,
ISBN 978-0-316-31863-1). Journalist Rapoport takes a close look at a complicated baseball great, Ernie Banks, who grew up in segregated Dallas and played for the Chicago Cubs in the 1950s and ’60s.
The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando by William J. Mann (June 11, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-06-242764-9). Biographer Mann explores themes of masculinity and sexuality in this biography of one of greatest and most controversial actors of the 20th century.
Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food World’s Riskiest Business by Matt Lee and Ted Lee (Apr. 9, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-62779-261-5). “The Lee brothers (The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook) pull back the curtain on the catering world, an often-dismissed arm of the culinary industry denounced for its ‘rubber chicken and dry salmon,’ in this captivating tell-all,” says PW’s review.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Dalai Lama: An Extraordinary Life by Alexander Norman (June 4, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-544-41658-1). Tibetan scholar Norman, who had full access to his subject, follows the Dalai Lama from his childhood in a remote Tibetan village to his emergence as a world leader with influence on a global stage. 35,000-copy announced first printing.
Furious Hours: Harper Lee and an Unfinished Story of Race, Religion, and Murder in the Deep South by Casey Cep (June 4, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-101-94786-9). Rev. Willie Maxwell was a Baptist preacher in rural Alabama accused of murdering five family members in the 1970s. Novelist Harper Lee attended his trials and became obsessed with trying to write a book in the vein of In Cold Blood. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoir by Jayson Greene (May 14, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-5247-3353-7) reflects on Greene and his wife’s life in the years following the death of their two-year-old daughter in New York City, after a brick from a crumbling windowsill fell on her while sitting on a bench. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption by Vanessa McGrady (Feb. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-5039-0369-2). “McGrady’s slim and moving memoir follows her decade-long journey to becoming a parent, during which she suffered three miscarriages before adopting her daughter,” says PW’s review.
The Queen: A Villain, Her Victims, and the Power of a Lie by Josh Levin (May 21, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-51330-2) takes a close look at Linda Taylor, a Chicago criminal and “welfare queen” who gained notoriety when Ronald Reagan cited her behavior during his 1976 presidential campaign.
Vibrate Higher by Talib Kweli (Apr. 9, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-28340-7). Hip-hop artist Kweli shares the events of his life, from growing up in Brooklyn to his collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Mos Def, Kanye West, and Pharrell Williams and his involvement in the Movement for Black Lives. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
American Spirit: Profiles in Resilience, Courage, and Faith by Taya Kyle and Jim DeFelice (Apr. 2, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-268371-7). Kyle, widow of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, shares the stories of those who she sees embodying the American spirit, such as a 9/11 survivor who became a senator and a reality TV star who helps the homeless. 250,000-copy announced first printing.
Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen by Mary Norris (Apr. 2, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-324-00127-0). Norris, New Yorker magazine copy editor and the author of Between You & Me, takes her obsession with words to Greece, where she studies the language.
Pursuing Justice by Eric Holder, with Douglas A. Blackmon (June 11, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-399-18063-7). Holder, who served as attorney general under President Obama, shares his life story.
Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir by Victoria Riskin (Feb. 26, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-5247-4728-2). Robert Riskin was an Academy Award–winning screenwriter of It Happened One Night, and Fay Wray gained notoriety for her lead role in King Kong. Their daughter reveals their work and lives together.
If: The Untold Story of Kipling’s American Years by Christopher Benfey (July 9, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-7352-2143-7) focuses on the years that Indian-born English writer Rudyard Kipling lived in Vermont, writing The Jungle Book and Captains Courageous.
Wise Guy: A Memoir by Guy Kawasaki (Feb. 26, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-53861-5). The entrepreneur shares stories of his life, including his childhood in Hawaii, and working with Steve Jobs during the launch of the Macintosh computer.
First: Sandra Day O’Connor by Evan Thomas (Mar. 19, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-399-58928-7). Thomas digs into the life of America’s first female Supreme Court justice, who no one would hire when she graduated from Stanford Law in 1952 because she was a woman and was appointed to the Court by Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Random/Spiegel & Grau
To Stop a Warlord: My Story of Justice, Grace, and the Fight for Peace by Shannon Sedgwick Davis (Apr. 2, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-8129-9592-3). A lawyer and human rights advocate, Davis charts her fight in 2011 to stop warlord Joseph Kony, who had been terrorizing communities throughout Central Africa for 25 years.
Rowman & Littlefield
Mantle: The Best There Ever Was by Tony Castro (Apr. 12, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-5381-2221-1). Sportswriter Castro revisits the life of New York Yankee legend Mickey Mantle, with the help of access to Mantle’s widow, Merlyn.
The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World’s Greatest Library by Edward Wilson-Lee (Mar. 12, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-982111-39-7) chronicles the quest of Christopher Columbus’s illegitimate son Hernando Colón to create the greatest library in 16th-century Europe.
Lost Without the River: A Memoir by Barbara Hoffebeck Scoblic (Apr. 16, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-63152-531-5). Hoffebeck Scoblic recalls growing up in the small farming community of Big Stone City, S.Dak., just after the Depression and her move to New York City to pursue a career in publishing.
The Kennedy Heirs: John, Caroline, and the New Generation—A Legacy of Triumph and Tragedy by J. Randy Taraborrelli (June 11, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-250-17406-2). Kennedy historian Taraborrelli turns his attention to the children of JFK and Jackie; Bobby and Ethel; and Ted and Joan.
Univ. of Florida
Dancing with Merce Cunningham by Marianne Preger-Simon (Mar. 20, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-0-8130-6485-7). Once a member of Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Preger-Simon recalls her 60-year relationship with Cunningham and the history of dance in the U.S.
Monsieur Mediocre: One Man’s Journey to Becoming Real French by John Von Sothen (May 7, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-7352-2483-4). Vanity Fair writer Von Sothen chronicles meeting and marrying a French waitress in New York, their move to Paris, and the realities of being an American expat living in France.
This article has been updated with new bibliographic information.