What Biographies or Memoirs are you reading now? Chapter 2

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SnakBiographies, Memoirs and Autobiographies

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What Biographies or Memoirs are you reading now? Chapter 2

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1MDGentleReader
jan 15, 2015, 12:27 am

I thought the old thread was getting a little long.

Tell us about what you are reading now, please.

2MDGentleReader
Redigeret: jan 15, 2015, 12:28 am

ETD: duplicate post.

Carry on.

3maggie1944
jan 15, 2015, 8:36 am

Thanks! Do "memoirs" fit here, too? I'm picking my way through Dancing Fish and Ammonites by Penelope Lively, as well as one of her novels. Interesting.

4MDGentleReader
jan 15, 2015, 9:29 am

Absolutely, it's in the title :-).

5varielle
jan 17, 2015, 7:35 pm

I just finished The Moon's a Balloon, the autobiography of the late actor David Niven. It was terrific, the man could really write. The most interesting parts of his life had nothing to do with his acting career.

6mstrust
Redigeret: jan 25, 2015, 2:12 pm

I've just finished Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As a Ramone by Marky Ramone. I went to his book signing last week.

7LynnB
jan 31, 2015, 1:06 pm

I finished a book titled Che: A memoir which wasn't really a memoir at all, but a collection of speeches about Che by Fidel Castro.

8varielle
feb 4, 2015, 10:39 am

I got dragged to the movie so now I'm reading American Sniper. I've known a few of those guys and Chris Kyle fits the type for a typical American soldier these days. It's very matter of fact and I know has come in for a lot of criticism for the lack of introspection. It's just my opinion, but philosophers don't make good soldiers. It's pretty informative if you don't understand how the military works and its culture. I'll be back with a full review soon.

9maggie1944
feb 8, 2015, 9:42 am

I saw a news item this morning where concern is expressed that the movie will prejudice the jury pool for the trial of the man accused of murdering Chris Kyle. Interesting issues are being raised by the practice of making fiction books and movies out of real life, and whether or not fictionalizing reality is risky business.

10rocketjk
Redigeret: feb 10, 2015, 6:30 pm

I'm now reading The Ciano Diaries 1939-1943. Count Galeazzo Ciano was Mussolini's son-in-law and his Foreign Minister, as well. Or he was until he turned on Mussolini, took part in the coup to oust him from power, and was subsequently arrested and then executed by the Gestapo. That's why the diary stops in 1943. At any rate, I'm still in the early days, pre-war, when everything is looking rosy for the Fascist government and the biggest headache is figuring out how to carve up Albania.

11LynnB
feb 20, 2015, 8:31 am

I'm reading Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes by Kamal Al-Solaylee for Canada Reads.

12rocketjk
feb 28, 2015, 10:10 pm

I finished up the very interesting The Ciano Diaries 1939-1943 and I've begun Carlos Santana's autobiography, The Universal Tone.

13LynnB
mar 16, 2015, 4:01 pm

Having just finished Middlemarch, I'm now reading My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead.

14mstrust
mar 16, 2015, 4:31 pm

I'm reading Life of Richard Savage by Samuel Johnson. Savage was a mediocre poet and playwright, convicted of murder, a deadbeat and extortionist, but also Johnson's friend.

15rocketjk
mar 17, 2015, 6:44 pm

I recently finished The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light Carlos Santana's recent autobiography. It was long, and could have used some editing, but overall I enjoyed it. Santana's had an interesting life, all right, and tells about it well. I could have used a little less information about his spiritual endeavors and philosophy, but, hey, the guy's telling his life story and that's all important to who his is, so I mostly gave him a pass on it. You can find my more in-depth review on the book's work page and on my 50-Book Challenge thread.

16dddale
mar 23, 2015, 8:30 pm

I just finished "Along The Way" by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez.

17realSandy
mar 29, 2015, 10:17 am

I'm reading Königin Charlotte von Württemberg by Hans Haug.

Charlotte (nee Princess of Schaumburg-Lippe) war the second wife of King Wilhelm II. of Württemberg, the last ruler of that Kingdom.

18LynnB
apr 5, 2015, 2:22 pm

I'm re-reading Final Verdict by Adela Rogers St. Johns because even though I read it as a young teenager, parts of it have stayed with me.

19maggie1944
apr 6, 2015, 6:41 am

I don't know if strictly this book is a "biography" however it reads like one - The Secret History of Wonder Woman. Very interesting, mostly about the man who created the Wonder Woman comics and it shows how much of the comic strips conflicts and victories reflected experiences in his life. It also comments on the controversy comic books started about whether or not they were appropriate reading material for young people.

20LynnB
apr 24, 2015, 8:37 pm

I've just finished Michelangelo: Biography of a Genius by Bruno Nardini which did a good job of showing what the life of an artist in the 1500s was like.

21LynnB
maj 6, 2015, 9:09 am

Finally getting to Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.

22rocketjk
maj 16, 2015, 1:45 pm

Speaking of Tehran, I've started In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs: a Memoir of Iran by Christopher de Bellaigue.

24LynnB
jun 10, 2015, 7:56 am

25LynnB
jun 16, 2015, 1:17 pm

I'm reading another Canadian memoir, Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through the Turbulent Waters of Native History by Edmund Metatawabin. I used to work with the author, so I know he's had a difficult journey.

26LynnB
jun 24, 2015, 4:32 pm

I'm reading a memoir A Crazy Public Servant Eh by Paul Poutine

27Katrinkadink
jun 25, 2015, 12:22 am

That title sounds very interesting -- runaway mother. I just read Lit, by Mary Karr, as well as The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls. I like memoir about people who overcame atrocious family situations. My main criteria though, is that the writing has to be absolutely delicious. Does "Projection" fit the bill?

28LynnB
jun 25, 2015, 8:17 am

it is well written, and not a made-for-TV movie type where everyone just loves everyone else.

29Katrinkadink
jun 25, 2015, 2:10 pm

ok, well that's a good sign. I hate that. I want real life.
I'm new to Library Thing. There should be a way to click on something and get reviews. Member reviews are good, but I like to read a good NY times review if there has been one. I'm gradually figuring all this out.

30maggie1944
jun 26, 2015, 8:30 am

I think if you see a book title in blue you can click on it and read the member reviews, and then scroll down farther there are some "professional" reviews also. Or you can search for a title and when you look at the book's page look on the far left and there several versions of the page, and I believe those also include other reviews.

Long articles are not likely included. You would probably have to go on the magazine's site, and search for the book to see if there were longer reviews.

31LynnB
jul 21, 2015, 8:48 am

32LynnB
sep 7, 2015, 6:22 pm

I'm reading Madame Curie by her daughter, Eve Curie

33LynnB
sep 10, 2015, 12:07 pm

I'm also reading Stephen Harper by John Ibbitson.

34rocketjk
sep 25, 2015, 6:39 pm

I finished Why You Crying?: My Long, Hard Look at Life, Love, and Laughter by George Lopez. This is the memoir of comedian/actor/TV star George Lopez. I picked it up from my store's Memoir section more or less on a whim, and ended up finding it more interesting than I expected.

35LynnB
nov 14, 2015, 8:44 am

36mstrust
nov 14, 2015, 1:20 pm

I finished Poisoned Heart: I Married Dee Dee Ramone a few days ago. The author spent about 15 years with the man who is credited with inventing punk rock.

38LynnB
nov 27, 2015, 7:39 am

My local library is holding a group discussion of I Am Malala, so I'm reading it and will check out this group.

39maggie1944
nov 28, 2015, 8:38 am

I am listening to I am Malala and I think it is an excellent book for introducing Westerners to the complexity of the current conflicts in the Moslem world, and in our Western world, also.

40LynnB
dec 6, 2015, 9:08 am

I'm reading The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

41LynnB
dec 12, 2015, 3:52 pm

42rocketjk
dec 21, 2015, 2:01 am

I've begun T.E. Lawrence's classic memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. 60 pages in, it's fascinating, with information about Arab culture that resonates strongly today.

43rocketjk
jan 25, 2016, 7:23 pm

took a long time, but it was worth it, I thought. Having read a couple of novels in between, I have now begun Still Talking, a memoir by Joan Rivers. It begins with some very rough stuff about her husband's suicide. Seems quite well written.

44wjburton
feb 14, 2016, 10:50 am

I'm reading Vidocq by Philip John Stead. It's about a Napoleon-era French criminal turned police spy, who later formed his own police agency staffed only by ex-convicts with a phenomenal conviction rate. A master of disguise, Vidocq went on to become one of the first private detectives. Fascinating!

45LynnB
maj 10, 2016, 11:37 am

I've added Vidocq to my wish list.

I'm reading It Happened to Nancy.

46MDGentleReader
maj 10, 2016, 6:08 pm

Dear Cary. It was cheap on Kindle. I enjoyed getting to know Dyan Cannon a bit. Cary Grant, not so much. I don't quite regret the time spent reading it.

47MDGentleReader
maj 10, 2016, 6:09 pm

Between a Heart and Rock Place - Enjoyed, Pat Benatar is just as good and straightforward a person on the page as she is on stage. Saw her 36th anniversary tour last year - she and Neil still rock.

48LynnB
jun 3, 2016, 7:51 am

49JulieLill
Redigeret: jun 12, 2016, 5:57 pm

The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression- Shirley Temple and 1930's America by John F. Kasson
4/5 stars
This is a fascinating story of the rise of Shirley Temple told against the backdrop of the Great Depression. Kasson discusses what is going on during that historical time period and the rise of Temple's career along with what was going on in the movie business and the treatment of child actors. Highly recommended for film buffs and anyone interested in that time period.

50LynnB
jun 17, 2016, 7:43 am

I'm reading The Mistress's Daughter by A.M. Homes.

51JulieLill
jun 17, 2016, 10:08 pm

>50 LynnB: I read this when it came out. I liked it.

52JulieLill
jun 17, 2016, 10:10 pm

Not My Father's Son: A Memoir
by Alan Cumming
5/5 stars

This is the unbelievable story of the relationship between Alan Cumming and his father. Not a complete biography but Cumming writes about life growing up in Scotland, his family and about secrets that are revealed when he agrees to be on the show Who Do Think You Are? Could not put this down.

53.Monkey.
jun 18, 2016, 2:46 am

I'm reading Alan Napier's autobio, Not Just Batman's Butler. Not super far in yet, but I'm really liking it. I had no idea he had such an illustrious lineage!

54JulieLill
jun 18, 2016, 5:45 pm

>53 .Monkey.: I would definitely read this - would love to hear your review when done with the book.

55.Monkey.
jun 19, 2016, 2:25 am

It's an ER book, I was super excited I won it! :D Been taking a few days off to play some of my new games, but I will hopefully finish before the month is up! :)

56LynnB
jul 1, 2016, 9:15 am

I'm reading Against Medical Advice by James Patterson.

57JulieLill
jul 2, 2016, 6:38 pm

Onions in the Stew by Betty MacDonald 1954

Betty is one of my favorite authors and she wrote so few books that I re-read this one about her life with her daughters and second husband on Vashon Island in Washington state at the end of WWII. She is funny and smart and has the same problems we have with our children even in different time periods. My favorite book of hers was The Plague and I and talked about her time with TB. She is best known for her book The Egg and I which was made into a film and covered her first marriage while living on a farm. And how can I forget her children's series about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle which I loved as a child.

58.Monkey.
jul 4, 2016, 4:37 am

>54 JulieLill: My review is posted (here)! Forgot to come mention it sooner, sorry. :) But basically, it was great, and his life is worth reading about if for no other reason than he seemed such a wonderful man with such passion! I only wish I could have known him.

59maggie1944
jul 4, 2016, 7:16 am

>57 JulieLill: When I lived on Vashon Island some friends had purchased a property which was said to have belonged to her family. It was a wonderful hidden cove which unfortunately was very damp, and a bit dark. The sun would only reach it occasionally which is a big disadvantage in the sun-starved northwest. But the property was beautiful and we enjoyed dinners in their home many times.

I also spent 10 years loving living on Vashon and have missed it terribly ever since. Once I was able to spend 6 weeks dog sitting on a piece of property which had an apple orchard of ancient days (old trees) which I also loved desperately. I do not have the physical strength that the pioneers had to live on and work the land; but I do appreciate the rural life! Betty's books illustrate the ups and downs of all that, don't they?

60Sandydog1
jul 4, 2016, 10:18 am

I just finished Lee and Grant: A Dual Biography . It was excellent and I'd like to read more, especially about Grant and perhaps I'll read his famous autobiography.

61JulieLill
jul 4, 2016, 1:21 pm

>59 maggie1944: Betty did a nice job writing about the rural life. It made me exhausted reading about all that they had to do to keep up the house and property. I just love Betty- what a character.
My brother and sister in-law live on Whidbey Island in Washington and we have visited them there. Those areas in Washington are just beautiful.

62JulieLill
jul 4, 2016, 1:22 pm

>58 .Monkey.: Definitely going to read that book. .Monkey- thanks for the link.

63MDGentleReader
jul 5, 2016, 11:58 am

Keep Moving Short, fun read. Part memoir, part how to live (I think his advice is good for all ages). As you would expect, upbeat, classy guy. Recommended.

64LynnB
jul 7, 2016, 1:05 pm

I've finished Levels of Life by Julian Barnes which is defined as a memoir, but I wouldn't call it one. Well worth reading, though.

65JulieLill
Redigeret: jul 9, 2016, 12:41 pm

Are You My Mother?
by Alison Bechdel
3/5 stars

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel who chronicled her relationship with her father, takes on her relationship with her mother in this graphic novel. Bechdel has a tumultuous relationship with both parents but her father had died before she wrote Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. However, as we find in this book her mother is still alive and her dread in showing this book to her mother is a big part of this book along with her relationships with her lovers and therapists. As Bechdel deals with her psychological issues with her mother, she also writes about the history of the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott who she is studying to get a grip on her issues. Not an easy read. Uncomfortable subject matter but interesting. I liked Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic better because the story line flowed better for me. This has a lot of psychological discussion and the story line breaks when she discusses Winnicott which is somewhat distracting but this is an amazing and brave book and kudos to her for writing it.

67LynnB
jul 20, 2016, 6:30 pm

68JulieLill
Redigeret: jul 21, 2016, 5:37 pm

The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower by Robert Graysmith
3.5/5 stars

Robert Graysmith writes an intriguing true life story that centers around the movie Psycho, especially Marli Renfro, the body double for Janet Leigh in Psycho; Sonny Busch, the killer of elderly women in California in the 1960's and the changing morality of the country at that time including the rise of Playboy, the sex industry and gambling. This was hard to put down and my only complaint was that times he was a bit wordy but it was still worth reading.

Much Laughter, a Few Tears: Memoirs of a Woman's Friendship With Betty Macdonald and Her Family
by Blanche Caffiere
4/5 stars

I love Betty MacDonald, author of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and The Egg and I and have read a lot of her books years ago but now with the internet I have been able to find more books about her and this book was about her and her friendship with the author. I thought this book would be just so-so but I really enjoyed this book, it was well written and a fast read. This is not just about MacDonald, Caffiere talks about her life, her family and life in Washington State. It was also a peek to what life was like during and after the depression and before TVs and computers. This book was not readily available at a lot of libraries but thank goodness for inter-library loan-I got this from a state 1400 miles away but it is also available to buy online.

69LynnB
jul 22, 2016, 2:08 pm

Starting H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald for a book club.

70LynnB
jul 29, 2016, 8:19 am

71JulieLill
jul 29, 2016, 12:20 pm

>70 LynnB: Johnson's book looks interesting. Interested in your review.

72varielle
aug 2, 2016, 10:26 am

Looking over my 2016 list, I've only managed two biographies this year, Boswell's: The Life of Samuel Johnson and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Just about as different as different can be.

73JulieLill
Redigeret: aug 2, 2016, 4:26 pm

>72 varielle: The Lacks book was interesting. My husband was working on his biology major in college and worked with her cells.

74JulieLill
Redigeret: aug 2, 2016, 7:28 pm

Betty –The Story of Betty MacDonald, Author of The Egg and I by Anne Wellman
4/5 stars

This is a biography of Betty MacDonald, author of The Egg and I and the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. Wellman follows the life of Betty from the very beginning, including what family history could be found. If you are fan, you will appreciate this biography. I gave this a higher rating because she covered a lot of information that I had never read about her. I loved the fact that she has a big fan base in England and Czechoslovakia.

75varielle
aug 2, 2016, 8:38 pm

>73 JulieLill: I heard Rebecca Skloot speak. She was really committed to go after the story of Henrietta Lacks.

76JulieLill
aug 3, 2016, 3:58 pm

>75 varielle: I bet she was really interesting.

77JulieLill
Redigeret: aug 19, 2016, 9:33 pm

The Dating Game Killer: The True Story of a TV Dating Show, a Violent Sociopath, and a Series of Brutal Murders
by Stella Sands
4/5 stars
Stella Sands weaves a horrifying tale of the true story of photographer Rodney Alcala, sociopath and sadistic murderer of girls and women across the country and still sits in prison today. Terrifying and sad.

79LynnB
sep 1, 2016, 3:16 pm

80JulieLill
sep 3, 2016, 4:41 pm

>79 LynnB: I am enjoying it so far.

81LynnB
sep 4, 2016, 2:21 pm

I'm starting The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen which is described as a "Biography/History".

82JulieLill
sep 4, 2016, 5:37 pm

>81 LynnB: Will be interested in your review of this book.

83LynnB
Redigeret: sep 8, 2016, 5:56 pm

Here's what I thought of the Man Without a Face:

84LynnB
Redigeret: sep 8, 2016, 5:57 pm

Here are my thoughts on The Man Without a Face:

This book, like many other recent nonfiction works, doesn't use footnotes. So, despite the 16 pages of notes and sources, the work often seemed speculative to me as I read it. There is nothing in the text to indicate when something is referenced in the notes. I hope this is a short-lived fad and not a “new normal”.

Another trend I've noticed in my recent nonfiction reading is evident here: this is a book which is not quite about what its title implies. The book is interesting, but doesn't shed much light on how Mr. Putin rose to power.

I think the author was very brave to write this book and her perspective is unique and fascinating. She is Russian, a journalist in a time of media suppression and gay at a time of retrograde oppression.

Putin is crude, blunt, and sometimes threatening. But for a while, this was his appeal; he was believed to be the kind of strong leader needed in challenging times. I can't help but compare his tough-guy persona to that of Donald Trump and his positions on immigration and trade. Is the initial basis for approval the same?

What's especially scary to me is that while the author blames Putin for Russia's backward-sliding trend away from democracy, she also shows that he is just one of a type of old guard that hasn't really gone away. It's terrifying to realize how quickly Putin dismantled the building blocks of democracy. Democracies have to be vigilant.

I'm now reading another biography, Open Heart, Open Mind by Clara Hughes.

85JulieLill
Redigeret: sep 8, 2016, 5:21 pm

>84 LynnB: I would like to know how he rose to such power also. Nice review!
Also when you click on the title it goes to the young adult book of the same title but definitely not the same subject.

86varielle
sep 12, 2016, 3:46 pm

I just finished Noa Noa, Paul Gauguin's memoir of his time in Tahiti. I found it interesting and it had his wonderful woodcuts.

87LynnB
sep 13, 2016, 10:02 am

88JulieLill
sep 15, 2016, 4:33 pm

Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
by Dava Sobel
3/5 stars
This was an interesting book on Galileo and his relationship with his daughter Virginia, later changed to Suor Maria Celeste when she entered the convent at the age of 13 with her sister. Galileo and his daughter were very close and her letters to him had been saved and make up part of this book. They remained loyal to each other through his trials with the church. The book did discuss his work and the problems that caused with the church. The only problem I had with the book was that at times reading about his work took a lot of concentration but I did enjoy his daughter's letters. His letters to her were never found or had been destroyed.

It is a fascinating look back at that time period and Suor Maria Celeste shed a light on what it was like living in a convent in that time period. Had she been born in modern ages, I could see her working with her father in his area since she comes across as very intuitive and smart.

89JulieLill
sep 18, 2016, 6:13 pm

The Annotated Alice: 150th Anniversary Deluxe Edition by Lewis Carroll, Martin Gardner (Editor), John Tenniel (Illustrations)

4/5 stars
I never quite truly understood the Alice books and so they never appealed to me and now I know why. They aren't truly children's books. In this version of the famous stories, certain lines are annotated and are explained on the side of the page. This technique really helped explain what was going on in the books and made me truly appreciate them. Another nice thing about this book is that they include the art work of a lot of the artists that ever drew Alice and the many characters in the book.

Though technically not a biography, the annotated notes talk about Carroll and Tenniel, their works and lifes.

90JulieLill
Redigeret: sep 20, 2016, 3:22 pm

Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That
Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey"
by Margaret Powell
4/5 stars
This is an enjoyable true story about the life of a kitchen maid in England. She lends a nice perspective regarding that time period.

91LynnB
okt 10, 2016, 4:25 pm

I'm going to preview Wild by Cheryl Strayed for a book club.

92JulieLill
okt 11, 2016, 4:07 pm

>91 LynnB: I have not read the book but I thought they did a nice job on the movie version.

94JulieLill
okt 15, 2016, 6:40 pm

>93 LynnB: Will be interested in your review when you are done. It sounds interesting.

95LynnB
okt 18, 2016, 1:05 pm

I'm reading another biography: How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell.

Still processing White Walls...will post a review soon.

96JulieLill
Redigeret: okt 18, 2016, 3:30 pm

99maggie1944
okt 29, 2016, 8:36 am

100JulieLill
okt 29, 2016, 4:39 pm

Here's my review- I loved this book.

Nobody Said Not to Go: The Life, Loves, and Adventures of Emily Hahn
by Ken Cuthbertson
5/5 stars

As I finished this book, what came to my mind was Dos Equis's Beer ad campaign, “The Most Interesting Man in the World". If they had to pick a female for that role it would have had to have been Emily Hahn as the world's most interesting woman.
Hahn was born in St. Louis, Missouri into a large Jewish family in 1905. The family eventually moved to Chicago, Illinois. She ended up as the only female mining engineering student at college. She and a girlfriend traveled in a Model T-Ford across the US. She also traveled alone to Africa and lived there for a few years before moving home and writing a book about her experiences. She then traveled to Hong Kong and was stuck there during the Japanese invasion during WWII and where she met her future husband and had a child. She was a writer most of her life and wrote novels and short stories. She also wrote for The New Yorker till a few months before her death at the age of 92. Cuthbertson weaves a wonderful tale of her adventures and her accomplishments. I had a hard time putting this down. Highly recommended!

101JulieLill
nov 3, 2016, 4:58 pm

Anybody Can Do Anything
Betty MacDonald
4/5 stars
I am a big fan of Betty MacDonald and was glad to be able to find a copy of Anybody Can Do Anything which was one of her adult books that I haven't read. Betty relates her experiences trying to get and keep a job during the depression after she left her husband. Her and her two daughters moved into her mother's house already filled with unemployed siblings and her sister Mary did everything she could to help Betty with her unemployment status. Betty's humor shines through these stories even though life was very hard for her and her family.

102LynnB
Redigeret: nov 7, 2016, 7:24 am

A cross between history and biography: History's People: Personalities and the Past by Margaret MacMillan.

103JulieLill
nov 13, 2016, 7:33 pm

Norman Rockwell Illustrator
by Arthur L. Guptill
3/5 stars
Originally written in 1946 and re-released several times, Arthur L. Guptill had been given permission and cooperation from Norman Rockwell to write this book on Rockwell's life as an illustrator. The book contains some of Rockwell's most famous paintings and provides details of his art process. Rockwell goes over how he decides on what to paint, facts about some of his most famous paintings and his use of his neighbors and family as models. While not a true biography, we get a look at his life as an artist. Very interesting!

104JulieLill
nov 18, 2016, 10:55 pm

Oneida: From Free Love Utopia to the Well-Set Table
Ellen Wayland-Smith
3.5/5
In the mid 1800's a young man called John Humphrey Noyes feels a calling to start a new faith community in rural New York called the Oneida Community. This community based on free love, equality of the sexes and eugenics takes off. Ellen Wayland-Smith, an ancestor of Noyes writes a compelling story of the history of her ancestor, the community he developed and the silver wear the community made to support themselves.

105JulieLill
nov 24, 2016, 4:05 pm

Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West
Dorothy Wickenden
3.5/5 stars
In 1916, two young, upper class women graduates of Smith College decide to travel to a rural mountain community in Colorado to teach children for a year.
Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamund Underwood had spent time on the continent and were home wondering what they were going to do. Neither was engaged to be married at the time and were at loose ends. In the meantime, Ferry Carpenter, lawyer and businessman from Colorado was looking for women to come and teach in his community and maybe even marry and stay in the community. The two women eagerly take on this commitment in a far different environment and cultural setting than they were used to in their lives and came away with an appreciation for their experience. This book is based on the women's letters and readers will experience their lives in a unfamiliar setting and feel their enthusiasm in taking on a new adventure.

I really enjoyed this book which was written by Dorothy's granddaughter who is an executive director and writer at The New Yorker.

106rocketjk
dec 4, 2016, 2:36 pm

I finished All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot. Although the accounts are fictionalized and "Herriot" a nom de plume, this book is a mostly autobiographical account of the life of an English country vet in the 1930s. But you probably already knew that. Anyway, this book, and the series it is a part of, holds up very well.

107JulieLill
dec 6, 2016, 1:36 pm

>106 rocketjk: I know I have recommended The Real James Herriot: A Memoir of My Father by James Wight on LT but I can't remember if it was to you. Well, if I haven't I recommend you read this. One of my favorite books.

109rocketjk
dec 11, 2016, 12:44 am

I've now started Madame Curie, the classic biography by Marie Curie's daughter Eve.

110JulieLill
dec 11, 2016, 6:29 pm

>109 rocketjk: I have read a book on Curie, I think it was this one. She was very interesting person.

111rocketjk
Redigeret: dec 23, 2017, 1:05 pm

>110 JulieLill: Yes, very interesting, indeed. I think that the biography of her by her daughter is the most famous one, so most likely that is the one you read.

112JulieLill
Redigeret: dec 16, 2016, 5:13 pm

113LynnB
dec 22, 2016, 11:10 am

1142wonderY
dec 28, 2016, 10:10 am

I'm reading Elephant Company so slowly that I returned the library book and bought my own copy. Billy Williams is a person to spend time with.

115JulieLill
dec 28, 2016, 12:16 pm

>114 2wonderY: That book looks interesting!

116rocketjk
dec 30, 2016, 1:40 pm

I tore quickly through the short but very moving My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk About Slavery: Twenty-One Oral Histories of Former North Carolina Slaves edited by Belinda Hurmence.

117JulieLill
Redigeret: dec 30, 2016, 10:25 pm

The Lady And Her Monsters: Real-Life Frankensteins and How Mary Shelley’s Masterpiece Came to Life
by Roseanne Montillo
4/5 stars
This was a very interesting book and it covers a multitude of topics surrounding Mary Shelley's life and her famous book Frankenstein including grave stealing, re-animation of tissue, medicine, literature and the social mores during the time period. The author even covers the strange story of what happened to the BBC's Alastair Cooke's remains.

118LynnB
Redigeret: dec 23, 2017, 10:22 am

119rocketjk
dec 29, 2017, 1:21 pm

I recently finished Washington and his Generals by Joel T. Headley. The book was published in 1875 and contains short biographies on every man who served as a general in the Continental Army. The chapters are of varying lengths and mostly cover each man's war service, but they also offer quick surveys of each person's early life and time after the revolution as well. My copy is a first edition, so it's 142 years old!

120enaid
dec 29, 2017, 5:53 pm

I'm reading Augustus by Anthony Everitt. It's very lively. I'm kind of surprised at what a military screw-up Octavian/ Augustus was when he was young. He has to be rescued after his plans go awry which they do with worrying regularity. It's an excellent biography!

121PokPok
dec 29, 2017, 9:50 pm

I recently finished Fight in the Fields about Cesar Chavez and the farmworkers movement. Very good read; I learned a lot about Chavez, (as well as others close to him including Dolores Huerta), his motivations, and the movement in general. Recommended.

122maggie1944
dec 30, 2017, 8:54 pm

I read and am leading a book discussion next week on Born A Crime and autobiography of Trevor Noah. He is absolutely evidence that environment is not the only vital factor in a child's development. His environment was horrific.

123varielle
Redigeret: jan 14, 2018, 8:10 pm

124the_red_shoes
Redigeret: jan 14, 2018, 11:44 pm

Emily Hahn is amazing!

....and I just replied to a 2016 comment, go me.

125MDGentleReader
jan 14, 2018, 11:51 pm

>119 rocketjk: wow! I was impressed with my boots from the late 19th century. Was it good reading?

126rocketjk
jan 15, 2018, 12:08 am

>125 MDGentleReader: It was interesting reading and a lot of fun in many respects. My full descriptions is on my 2017 50-Book Challenge thread. The direct link to that particular post is here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/245926#6290614

127the_red_shoes
jan 15, 2018, 11:58 am

I love memoirs and biographies. I just read Kinsey and Me, by the late Sue Grafton, which has two autobiographical essays about her upbringing/writing, and a series of very autobiographical short stories about her mother. I also read Prairie Fires, the dual biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, Wilder's annotated autobiography Pioneer Girl, and I loved the Letters of Sylvia Plath (vol 1) published earlier this year.

1282wonderY
jan 17, 2018, 9:32 am

I'm listening to Carol Burnett read In Such Good Company.

129Sandydog1
dec 23, 2018, 10:53 am

I'm STILL reading The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. It's a door-stop, yet his Civil War history is at very high level. Battles are treated with brevity. It's keeping me running off to Wikipedia.

130PokPok
dec 23, 2018, 2:53 pm

This year I read (and finally recently reviewed) Art Garfunkel's book What is it now but luminous? . An utterly unique work; not sure if I'd call it a memoir or not? It's interspersed, spoken word, poetry, reminisce, a quote here, a one line chapter there. Brilliant stuff; a true thinker.

131JulieLill
dec 26, 2018, 11:28 am

Footsteps in the Snow
by Charles Lachman
5/5 stars
Fascinating true life tale about Maria Ridulph, a 7 year old girl from Sycamore, Illinois who went missing and was later found murdered in 1957 and the trial of John Tessier (aka John McCullough) who was the last to have seen her. The trial took place 55 years after her death. Lachman does a wonderful job relating the case and the trial.

132Sandydog1
Redigeret: jan 6, 2019, 9:44 am

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.