The Best Books of the Month: Biographies & Memoirs

Editor on March 20, 2017

Here are a few of our favorite biographies and memoirs for March. See more of our picks, and all of the Best Books of the Month.

Rules-Do-Not-Apply225The preface of Ariel Levy’s memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply, is a knock-out. Though it’s the Cliffs Notes to her book/life, it’s written with such clarity that it transcends the searing pain and devastating loss that she’s about to chronicle: “I am thunderstruck by feeling at odd times, and then I find myself gripping the kitchen counter, a subway pole, a friend’s body, so I won’t fall over. I don’t mean that figuratively. My sorrow is so intense it often feels like it will flatten me.” With brawny and disarming candor, Levy weaves together the story of her life exactly as she was determined to live it – becoming a staff writer for the New Yorker, falling in love with her partner (“feeling molten and golden and saved”), writing their own vows (“gay marriage wasn’t even legal—we were making it up!”), becoming pregnant at 37 – and how it all came crashing down. Teeming with vitality and wit, The Rules Do Not Apply is a memoir sparkling with insight on grief and grit. --Al Woodworth


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Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway's Secret Adventures, 1935-1961 by Nicholas Reynolds
American intelligence officer Reynolds explores Papa's travels through the underworld of spies and spooks, from his recruitment by the KGB-forerunner NKVD to associations with myriad American agencies.

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The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown, edited by Catherine Burns
Marking the 20th anniversary of the organization "dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling," this collection draws from the best true tales told from the Moth's stages, including selections from Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, and John Turturro.

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Dueling with Kings: High Stakes, Killer Sharks, and the Get-Rich Promise of Daily Fantasy Sports by Daniel Barbarisi
Barbarisi drops into the intensely bizarre (and bizarrely intense) world of fantasy sports and its collection of "wide-eyed newly minted millionaires, to sun-starved math geeks, to bros living an endless frat party of keggers and Playboy Bunnies."

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