What Biograhpies or Memoirs are you reading now?

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What Biograhpies or Memoirs are you reading now?

Redigeret: okt 31, 2009, 10:15 am

I know some people don't like these general topics, but I find it's a great way to get ideas of what's interesting out there. So, what biograhpies or memoirs are you reading now?

I'm reading a biography of Sergio Vieira de Mello called Chasing the Flame by Samantha Power.

I've recently finished Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur by Halima Bashir

Redigeret: nov 8, 2009, 7:19 am

I'm now reading Dreams from my Father for a book club.

nov 7, 2009, 9:55 pm

I just finished Agatha Christie's Come Tell Me How You Live, her memoir of life at her husband, Max Mallowan's, archaeological digs in Syria and Iraq, mid to late 1930s.

Funny in places, mundane in others, and very interesting to read.

nov 9, 2009, 11:17 am

I'm reading American Caesar, which is about Douglas MacArthur and Duce!(Touchstone not working properly) by Richard Collier which is the biography of Mussolini.

Redigeret: nov 12, 2009, 8:31 pm

I just finished True Compass by Edward M. Kennedy. The first half is about growing up as a kid in the Kennedy clan. The second half is a traditional political autobiography, except that he portrays himself as a man who got lost along the way and was then found. I admit I had low expectations going in, but I liked it more than I though I would.

nov 13, 2009, 1:10 pm

I'm reading Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller. This is the story of her life as a white person living in Africa. It opens with a photo of her as a 4 year old loading the rifle her father used to defend his farm in Rhodesia. Chilling.

dec 4, 2009, 6:25 pm

Hope no one minds my jumping in with have-reads, but I'd love to share some discussion on what makes a good memoir or fact-based fiction. I've posted an essay at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2457982/memoir_or_novel_tell_me_a_story... that details my plea for story above all, with most recent reference to Jeannette Walls's "true-life novel" Half Broke Horses and comparisons with The Zookeeper's Wife, The Invisible Wall, and Infidel.

Or tell me where I should have gone (where to go? hope y'all are nice around here).

dec 5, 2009, 11:39 am

I've started Thomas D'Arcy McGee: Passion, Reason, and Politics, 1825-1857 by David Wilson for a book club.

dec 14, 2009, 6:38 am

Just started After Long Silence by Helen Fremont
The premises are: the author was raised as a Catholic, but at a certain point, when she was an adult , she discovered her parent’s were jewish–Holocaust surviors living invented life, not even their names were their own. So, she, with her sister’s help , delved in her family past, to discover what was the secrets that held her family in a bond of silence.

dec 14, 2009, 7:21 am

I'm finding the D'Arcy McGee biography BORING!! It's for a book club, so I'll fininish it, but otherwise....

(My husband calls this the "tyranny of the book club")

dec 14, 2009, 9:11 am

#9 grelobe, I read iAfter Long Silence some years ago when I was asked to write a book review of a memoir by a Jewish woman; I will not tell you what my reaction was since you are still reading it, but I will be interested in what you think of it when you finish it.

dec 15, 2009, 3:29 am

#11 "rebeccanyc"
I knotted my handkerchief in order to remember your request

dec 15, 2009, 4:30 am

Reading Carra: My Autobiography by Jamie Carragher - or I am supposed to be reading it -- due to way too many travels and being almost done with it, it just stays at home. Should be back to it once I finish my current book though :)

dec 16, 2009, 11:52 am

I read primarily memoirs, maybe because I keep writing my own and am always interested in other people's stories. A few I have read very recently are Geoffrey Wolff's The Duke of Deception: Memories of My Father (5-Stars), Joyce Dyer's Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town (4-Stars), and Anne Roiphe's Epilogue (5-Stars). One of my favorites from the past year is an Iowa farm memoir called We Have All Gone Away, by Curtis Harnack, which rememinded me of another favorite memoir from a nearby Michigan farm boyhood, Ronald Jager's Eighty Acres. Both of these are 5-Star-PLUS books. There; that oughta keep you memoir types busy for a while. So many books out there, huh? - Timothy Bazzett from RatholeBooks.com

Redigeret: dec 17, 2009, 5:28 am

I am considering adding Autobiographies and Memoirs as one of my categories for next years 1010 Category Challenge. It is a category that I find compelling as people's life stories are usually very interesting to me.

It is a pleasant passtime to meet people and have the time to listen to the story of their life (or a part thereof). So, if I'm unable to meet all the people that I would like to meet ... maybe I can read their memoirs ... and have a glimpse of what it would be like to be a friend and hear their story.

My most recent memoir (started, but, not completed, as yet) is True Compass: A Memoir by Kennedy. I am looking forward to reading the rest of it, but, I had to return it to library circulation and now I'm back in the waiting list of reserve books. One of the best I've read was The Glass Castle and recently read her true life fiction book based on her maternal grandmother's life Half Broke Horses which is fiction, but also very good.

I will plan on starring this thread and stopping by every once in a while for good ideas and suggested reads.


Redigeret: dec 17, 2009, 6:06 am

Just marking up this thread for when I get round to all my lovely Xmas memoirs! (Just finished Dreams From My Father and loved it.)
Ed to close brackets.

dec 17, 2009, 6:52 am

I, too, really enjoyed Dreams From My Father. What a treat to read a memoir written long before Mr. Obama became a presidential candidate...let alone president. It is honest in a way no "spin doctor" would allow.

dec 17, 2009, 7:01 am

I'm reading Pops, a biography of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout. It's an interesting look at Armstrong's rise from poverty and segregation. But I have a hard time with the author's descriptions and interpretations of Armstrong's music. Unless you're a trained musician, those passages are meaningless -- it's like trying to describe what love feels like. Luckily, Internet music services make it possible to hear the recordings being described.

dec 19, 2009, 2:14 pm

I'm reading My Heart Shook Like a Drum by Alice Blondin-Perrin. It is about her experience as a child at a church-run Indian residential school in the Northwest Territories, Canada.

dec 19, 2009, 2:43 pm

#17 I so agree. Do you in the US realise that after decades of taking the p**s we are now rather jealous of your prez?

dec 19, 2009, 10:41 pm

(following my #7 and attempt to start a new thread, Fiction/nonfiction line) Just discussed Half Broke Horses with my 2nd book club yesterday, and managed to remember to take 2 volumes of actual memoir from a comparable character: the Letters of a Woman Homesteader that started as exactly that and were brought to publication by the friend who received them, and EPS's later, written-for-publication but just as intriguing Letters on an Elk Hunt by a Woman Homesteader. Even in first person, memoir is always partly fictional. That's what makes it fascinating to read others' memoirs of the same times, places, and events.

dec 19, 2009, 11:39 pm

Just finished The Great Western Beach by Emma Smith - an excellent memoir of her childhood in Cornwall between 1923 to 1935.

Redigeret: dec 24, 2009, 8:52 am

I borrowed George Raft by Lewis Yablonsky from the public library. A rebound book, so it apparently once got a lot of use in the past.

You probably have to be at least over 60 to remember Raft, and even then you probably wont remember any very memorable movies that he was in. When I first started seriously seeing movies in the 1940s, he had a terrible press. They would say for example, "If he's acting a gangster role, he doesn't have to act, he can just be his natural self."

And he had some "good guy" roles, including one in which he was a released prisoner who was serious about "going Straight", an intention that was laughed at by a co-releasee, who was played by Humphrey Bogart.

In the late 40s, early 60s, he was no longer written up as an actor, but got some latter day attention as one of those who was reputed to own casinos in Havana, before the Castro regime came in.

I must admit part of my reason for looking into the bio was to see if he could possibly be as bad as his old reputation.

Redigeret: dec 31, 2009, 5:03 am

Finished to read After Long Silence by Helen Fremont about two sisters who were raised as Catholic by their parents, but at one point of their life they find out to be Jews
So, they set out to discover more about their family roots
And to give an explanation why , even sixty year after the end of the war , their parents and a aunt of theirs still pretend not to be Jews and keep living as Catholic
The writing is light some times there are even funny passage and the unfold of the story is riveting, at the end of the book there’s not a clear answer about the fact the girls’ initial quest, at least I’ve got an idea but I would not spoil anything

Finished also The Latehomecomer : A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang
The Hmong is a people Wight no land they can call their own home. They used to live in the Lao , but after the secret war, they were persecuted both by the Vietnamese and by the Laotian,because they collaborated with the American, at first they took refuge in Thai camps, but after a while they had to move away from there . Most of them choose to move to USA. This story is told by a little, and then , by a teen - girl, point of view

dec 31, 2009, 8:14 am

grelobe, I'm glad you told us about your reactions to After Long Silence. Now that you've finished it, I can say what drove me absolutely crazy about the book: the most compelling parts were the ones about her parents' lives in Europe, and escaping from Europe, but these were almost entirely made up by the author who more or less imagined what they might have said, done, etc. Anyway, that was my take on it, and you're the first person I've found who also read it.

dec 31, 2009, 10:12 am

I just finished Open by Andre Agassi and I loved it.

dec 31, 2009, 11:05 am

#26 Great to hear that! It was a Xmas pressie and is now sitting patiently on Mount TBR. (How great a husband is that, to give his wife a book about the only other bloke she seriously wants to sleep with?)

jan 2, 2010, 12:30 pm

> #25

Rebecca, what was it about the fictionalized part that drove you crazy? Was it that it had to be fictionalized, though the book was "non-" or that indeed it was the most compelling? I haven't read Long Silence, but I'd love to have your take on the issue of fiction/nonfiction and story; if not here, come to my attempt to start a new thread in Writer-readers/The Fiction-Nonfiction Line.

jan 2, 2010, 12:54 pm

#28, That's an interesting question, bkswrites, and I haven't really thought about the issue in a general sense. I think what drove me crazy in this particular case was that the author felt it was completely valid to mix what she knew (not much) and what she imagined in a book that purported to be "true" -- as I recall, she acknowledged that she imagined parts of it, but it is never clear what really happened and what didn't. Since her parents must have had very difficult and emotionally complicated escapes from Nazi Europe, the very specificity of the author's story made what she must have imagined seem "true" -- and I guess I believe that people's history, and the history of the time, deserve to be grounded in reality. I guess my point is that I think there is a clear distinction between what really happened and what might have happened and if they're going to be mixed, it should be clear which is which, and maybe it shouldn't be called a "memoir," which to me anyway implies that it's true, or at least what the writer remembers, but not what the writer makes up.

jan 2, 2010, 2:02 pm

I share your desire to know just where the fiction/non line is, but what I want most is a well-constructed story, and that can make full documentability difficult (though Diane Ackerman did a great job in The Zookeeper's Wife). I'm most willing to forgive fictionalization in family memoir, where we might assume the writer knows the characters pretty well. And I'm least forgiving of a failure to tell a story in those same family memories, especially when, as in Jeannette Walls's latest, they're labeled fiction precisely because the writer is afraid to imagine even a line of dialogue in the "factual" genre. I've had more to say about this at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2457982/memoir_or_novel_tell_me_a_story....

jan 2, 2010, 3:49 pm

The thing about this being a "family" memoir is that the author's parents were not only keeping some very big secrets from her and her sister but also didn't want them to look into the past at all. So I don't think in this case the author could extrapolate from her parents' behavior as Catholic US suburban parents to Jewish children and young people fleeing the Nazis and the gulag. The other thing I didn't like about After Long Silence, I must confess, is that I found the author herself to be a bit of a whiner.

I go for what's as close to the truth as possible in memoirs about other people: two of my favorites are Two Lives by Vikram Seth, about his great-aunt and -uncle, who also endured some of the horrors of the 20th century, and Them by Francine du Plessix Gray, about her difficult but fascinating parents who also escaped the Nazis and the Soviets.

I'll look up your article later.

jan 8, 2010, 4:56 pm

My book club recently read Annie's Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg, which was a very factual account of a family secret his mother kept for decades. Steve is an editor at the Washington Post, and in the book he painstakingly outlines his research, and often stops to question his own motivation in pursuing the secret. There is little left to the imagination, which is the way I like memoirs.

jan 11, 2010, 10:03 am

I have been fortunate to discover a well written autobiography of a British member of Parliament named Duff Cooper. The book is called 'Old Men Forget' (1954). I started it because I recall the name from the many works that I have read about Winston Churchill. He was a member of the British Foreign Office for some time before he began his career in Parliament, and was one of the more socially well connected of the Upper Claas Eaton and Oxford 'Old Boys'. I have been pleased with how well written it is.

jan 18, 2010, 7:22 pm

I just started reading Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. She seems like a very conflicted soul. This will be a fast read; I need it after plowing through two long biographies about the James (Henry, William, Alice, etc.) family. I need to rest my brain, but I also adore biographies (and also memoirs) of writers.

jan 24, 2010, 12:07 pm

Ace of Spades by David Matthews is a fast-moving memoir about growing up biracial in America. It's a fast - and a fascinating - read. I am now finishing up STIEGLITZ: A Memoir/Biography - termed both a biography and a memoir - by Sue Davidson Lowe. I would recommend both books. Matthews' is commendable because of its readability, unique style, and subject matter. Lowe's tome is heavier stuff, but fascinating and with a great deal of family information.

jan 24, 2010, 11:27 pm

Has no one else entered My Life in France by Julia Child? I thought I must be one of the last 3 people on the planet to read it! I'm enjoying it greatly, and btw, she's managing to do a fine job of storytelling, even when she takes steps out of her timeline (well, theirs, crediting Prud'homme).

jan 27, 2010, 10:43 pm

I am enjoying the classic biography 'Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings' (1950) by Amy R. Kelly. Eleanor was born in France in 1122 A.D. and was involved in all the major events of the century as wife of Louis VII, King of France, as well as later the wife of Henry II, King of England and half of France. She was the mother of Richard I, the Lion-Hearted, who lead the Third Crusade. She herself journeyed to the Holy Land as part of the failed Second Crusade. This is a fascinating story and I can see why it was originally published by Harvard College. Amy Kelly appears to have been a professor at Wellesley College.

jan 31, 2010, 5:45 pm

I'm just starting John Steinbeck, Writer. It looks like it will be quite readable. I'm hoping so, since it's 1000+ pages. Everything I always wanted to know about Steinbeck. Heh.

feb 4, 2010, 11:19 pm

I'm reading three biographies right now:

1. A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir
2. The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac
3. Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

The John Muir Biography is extremely well written. Paul Dirac has an interesting story.

feb 5, 2010, 11:43 am

Have you always wondered about the mind behind Peter Rabbit? Try Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear. I am about halfway through it. Beatrix had a privileged but odd upbringing and reached the age of 30 without ever experiencing an attraction to any one of any gender (or so it seems). But that creative mind was always ticking. I didn't know that she was a very astute (amateur, but brilliant) scientist as well as an artist and an author.

Redigeret: feb 5, 2010, 9:04 pm

I'm probably the last person on earth to read Mary Karr's memoir The Liars' Club, but I have to say it is laugh out loud funny. Think The Glass Castle without the dumpster diving.

I have to say also, re: the discussion above about the fine line between what really happened and embellishing the story to make it more readable, I know Oprah made a big splash with the James Frey thing in A million Little Pieces, but I think it's really the norm in memoirs. In this particular one that I'm reading it's hard to imagine she could have such vivid memories about what happened to her as a child so I think her embellishment makes the story enjoyable.

feb 5, 2010, 10:54 pm

>41 brenzi: I understood Frey's writing to have gone way beyond embellishment, and that was borne out when we heard he first wanted to call it a novel, but couldn't get a publisher until he claimed it was true. Another sad comment on the state of the book industry?

feb 9, 2010, 8:20 pm

I just finished that huge tome, Me Write Book. Much better, more hipper, than Benjamin Franklin or Malcom X

feb 12, 2010, 12:14 pm

I just finished reading A Dream Within a Dream, a biography of Edgar Allan Poe. I have to say this was a bit of a disappointment, not through any fault of the author, who has done his research and has based his book on various letters to and from Poe. Unfortunately, it is the very nature of these letters, most of which are pleas for money, that create the inevitable tedium. In the early parts of the book where Poe is continually writing to his foster father begging for money I couldn't help thinking 'Why doesn't he get a job, for god's sake?'

feb 12, 2010, 10:38 pm

Booksloth, is the bio an assemblage of the letters? At least from the distance of only having your description, I would say this one sounds like another example of my complaint about sticking to the facts at the expense of story.

feb 12, 2010, 11:44 pm

" . . . couldnʻt help thinking ʻWhy doesnʻt he get a job. . .?ʻ "

I suppose to Poeʻs own mind, he did have a job -- self-employed: trying to get literary criticism published, a difficult task, and trying to get poems and stories ublished -- even harder.

feb 13, 2010, 4:32 am

#45 Not completely. The author draws largely on letters but also tells the story. It just wasn't a very interesting story IMO.

#46 I couldn't agree more. I didn't mean 'why didn't Poe get a job?' I meant that those were the words that sprung to mind while reading the many letters to a foster father who clearly did not wish to support him. That sounds like a crap distinction but it is a fine one in my mind. My comments weren't meant as an insult to either Poe or Barnes - it was just a case of my having expected something a bit more exciting (racy, let's be honest) and being let down.

feb 13, 2010, 12:11 pm

To Booksloth (47)

No, no implication intended (in 46) that your comments "were meant as an insult to either Poe or Barnes".

It struck me years ago, b t w, that one of the few novelists who addresses the question of "What does this character live on, anyway?" is Jack Kerouac
(in the Dharma Bums which Ir ead before reading his (to my not as good as "Bums") On the Road

feb 16, 2010, 8:42 pm

Just finished My Life in France by Julia Child. Now this is my kind of memoir: securely based in her letters over the years, but obviously including a lot of interpolation, and assisted transparently by a friendly hand. Of course, it helps that she's such a good-hearted character to begin with.

feb 17, 2010, 5:52 am

#48 The other one I'd like to see addressed in novels from time to time is 'how does this person's house stay clean?' One must assume that all fictional characters do not live like pigs but when was the last time you saw one doing the hoovering?

feb 21, 2010, 6:30 pm

Of course I had to grab the prequel In Me own Words because I didn't have enough of Bigfoot memoirs. Apparently Bigfoot is a lot like Gary Busey.

feb 23, 2010, 11:44 am

Now reading Wedlock, the story of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore. Pretty intriguing (and nary a hoover in sight).

Redigeret: feb 23, 2010, 8:34 pm

I am finishing up Letters of a Woman Homesteader and will then continue reading I love a Roosevelt. These are books that I have found at local Thrift store and have been enjoying the history. Always wondered if I could cut in on my own in the wilderness.

feb 23, 2010, 9:31 pm

Woman Homesteader is one of long-term favorites. I think I stumbled on it on line somehow, but then I pursued her later and almost-as-good Letters from an Elk Hunt.

feb 24, 2010, 4:38 pm

I just finished and reviewed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Sloot. It was a fascinating read.

feb 27, 2010, 11:20 am

I've just finished reading, one after the other, I'll Never Be French and Almost French. These two are reflections on what it is like to move to France when you are not French, and French is not your language. I'll Never Be is about a man who buys a small house in a village and lives part time there and part time at his US of A home. Almost French is about a young Australian woman who unexpectedly moves to Paris and ends up staying.

Both have some interessting and insightful perceptions about French culture and people and I recommend the books to any one who likes anything French.

Redigeret: mar 6, 2010, 7:47 pm

I just started reading Ben Hecht The Man Behind the Legend. I've been ploughing through Hecht's autobiography A Child of the Century and HATING it. Hecht spent about 60 pages or something telling about learning to be a trapeze artist when he was 10 years old. MacAdams puts it into perspective within a paragraph. Oh thank God. I'm on page 200 of the 600-page autobiography, and Hecht is still 17 years old. The biographer says that Hecht fictionalized everything he ever wrote about himself. I'm so glad to have someone validate that, since while reading the autobiography, I've done nothing but repeat to myself, "This guy is full of &%$#." Yet you read the reviews of the autobiography, and some call it the best autobiography they've ever read. NO IT ISN'T. Trust me.

apr 5, 2010, 11:53 am

Hi bkswrites.
I'm new to this site & blog. I also haven't read any of the titles you list here but suspect your post would make a good thread on its own. 'Story above all' is a premise I would be happy to support. My memoir, A Life Less Lost, has received feedback from people claiming to be unable to put it down, which implies a good story.

apr 10, 2010, 2:55 pm

I've just finished The Strange Case of Hellish Nell: The Story of Helen Duncan and the Witch Trial of World War II by Nina Shanlder. Amazingly, a 1735 law against witchcraft was used to prosecute Mrs. Duncan in 1944.

maj 9, 2010, 2:58 pm

I just finished Down and Out in Paris and London and now know more than I need to about tramps, dishwashers, cooks and swearing. A brilliant book.

maj 10, 2010, 10:11 am

Agreed Sandydog, the life of a plongeur was no fun. It kind of explains to me how Orwell's health deteriorated so badly later on. You wouldn't think that it would make such a compelling story, but I couldn't put it down.

maj 12, 2010, 5:23 pm

If you want to read something salacious, try 'Surrender: An Erotic Memoir' (2004) by Toni Bentley. This is not for those who prefer 'Vanilla'.

maj 12, 2010, 10:01 pm

I intend to start Titian: The Last Days by Mark Hudson in the next couple of days. It's an ER book that I should have started long ago.

jul 1, 2010, 10:20 am

My husband and I are reading The Knife Man by Wendy Moore. It's about a surgeon in Georgian England.

aug 6, 2010, 3:38 pm

Just found this group! Last night I started Diz: The Story of Dizzy Dean and Baseball During the Great Depression by Robert Gregory.

aug 7, 2010, 10:54 am

I'm reading Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist by Brooke Kroeger. It's one of those huge biographies written by someone who just couldn't deal with leaving out one single fact she found in her research.

I'd like to be reading the newish biog of Joseph Pulitzer: Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power by James Mcgrath Morris. It looks very, very good.

aug 7, 2010, 11:13 am

The father of a good neighbor discovered that my DH and I are voracious readers. He loaned us a copy of Personal History by Katharine Graham. Ms. Graham is the aunt by marriage of former US Senator Bob Graham, who I had the pleasure of working for in '81-'82, when he was Governor of the state of Florida.

As a very young boy, Sen. Graham met Ms. Graham, possibly while she was on her honeymoon in south Florida. For some unknown reason, he had developed the habit of spitting at people, and Ms. Graham was not excluded from the number of his victims. This little anecdote intrigued me, because, of course I only know and admire the adult gentleman that he became. I am looking forward to reading this autobiography soon, and will return here to post a link to my thread and the review that I will surely write.

If any of you would like to drop by my current thread before that occurs, it can be easily found right here

If you enjoy a variety of books you might find something you want to add to your TBR category. You will be welcome there.

aug 7, 2010, 1:40 pm

Womansheart, you are in for a treat! I really enjoyed Personal History. It was one of those books that a friend of mine insisted I read and she was right - Katherine Graham was fascinating. It is one of my favorite autobiographies to this day.

This same friend, by the way, insisted I read the biography of Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon. It was one of those books I never would have picked up on my own but, once again, my friend was absolutely right. In case anyone is interested it is titled Margaret Wise Brown Awakened by the Moon.

I am currently reading Newton and the Counterfeiter. Brilliance aside, I've always thought Newton was a bit of a cold fish. Knowing me, I'll end upon the side of the counterfeiter!

aug 15, 2010, 12:42 pm

I finished Diz: The Story of Dizzy Dean and Baseball During the Great Depression last night. It is a good but not great baseball biography.

Redigeret: sep 8, 2010, 10:04 am

Hello, WomansHeart - As a self-stated "voracious reader," you'd prob enjoy Booklover A One-Year Journal of Reading Reflecting & Remembering , my fourth memoir since 2004. It's filled with references to books and authors and contains a several page bibliography too. Details and early praise at my website RatholeBooks.com and also on Amazon. Hope you'll take a look. Timothy James Bazzett

Redigeret: sep 8, 2010, 12:19 pm

I just started The Reminiscences of Carl Schurz, Volume One 1829-1852. Schurz was a native of Germany, born in 1829, who took part in the revolutions in Germany in mid-19th century and eventually made his way to the U.S., where he became a general in the Union army during our Civil War. He became a member of Congress and Secretary of the Interior in the Hayes administration.

Somehow or other I came upon reference to him and realized I had his memoir somewhere on my shelves. But when I found the book, I realized it was Volume Two of a three volume set. So I found volumes One and Three online. This first volume covers his life right up until his departure from Germany to the U.S.

sep 8, 2010, 12:56 pm

i am interested to learn more about Carl Schurz because we have a Carl Schurz Park in New York City; the mayor's residence, Gracie Mansion, is located inside the park.

sep 8, 2010, 1:06 pm

#73> Rebecca, the wikipedia entry for Schurz begins thusly:

"Carl Schurz; March 2, 1829 – May 14, 1906) was a German revolutionary, American statesman and reformer, and Union Army General in the American Civil War. He was also an accomplished journalist, newspaper editor and noted orator, who in 1869 became the first German-born American elected to the United States Senate.

His wife, Margarethe Schurz, and her sister, Berthe von Rönge, were instrumental in establishing the kindergarten system in the United States. During his later years, Schurz was perhaps the most prominent independent in American politics, noted for his high principles, his avoidance of political partisanship, and his moral conscience.

He is famous for saying: "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." Many streets, schools, and parks are named in honor of him, including New York City's Carl Schurz Park."

The entire entry is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Schurz

sep 8, 2010, 4:06 pm

Thanks, Jerry. It never occurred to me to look him up until you mentioned him.

sep 9, 2010, 11:29 am

Last night I finished Murder of a Medici Princess by Caroline Murphy. I'm not sure the prose "swooped and dazzled" as Entertainment Weekly wrote in their blurb but it was well written. What a fascinating woman and even though the book can be a little bit scholarly at times, I came to care a lot about Isabella. The manner of her death bothered me very much. That's not meant to be a spoiler as you're clued in from the title. I highly recommend this book even to someone(like myself) who isn't familiar with Renaissance Italy or the Medici family.

Redigeret: sep 16, 2010, 11:44 am

I'm reading Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet. He is telling his story about living with Asperger's, Savant Syndrome and synaesthesia.

I'm also reading Rene Levesque by Daniel Poliquin, which is part of a series on Extraordinary Canadians.

sep 17, 2010, 1:16 pm

I've finished and reviewed a delightful Hollywood memoir, My Trip Down the Pink Carpet, and reviewed it in my thread...post #129.

Packs quite an emotional wallop, despite being frothy and fun to read. He's got *superb* comic timing, and uses it fearlessly.

sep 19, 2010, 10:11 am

The Fry Chronicles - loving it!

sep 22, 2010, 8:41 pm

I finished The Reminiscences of Carl Schurz: Volume One 1829 - 1852, which I enjoyed a lot. Educational and fun to read. You can read my full review on the book's review page or my 50-book challenge thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/82681. Schurz led a fascinating life, to put it mildly. This first volume includes his participation in the German Revolution of 1848.

sep 22, 2010, 9:16 pm

I am loving reading Empire of Dreams about Cecil B. DeMille. I love reading about early Hollywood and the associated theatre history in New York City and elsewhere. I am not looking forward to reading about DeMille's right wing activities in the 1940s and 1950s but I imagine I will learn some new things.

sep 23, 2010, 6:17 am

Here in England we have two so-called 'National Treasures' who are very witty, very clever, very erudite and many people, I am sure, would think them more or less interchangeable - Stephen Fry and Gyles Brandreth. I just read Fry's second bok of memoirs which were warm, unputdownable and extremely funny and I've now moved on to Brandreth's diaries Something Sensational to Read in the Train, which came highly recommended by several friends. I'm about 60 pages and five years in so far and - although they are quite interesting in their way (as they should be for someone who has spent their life straddling the borders between entertainment and politics)- I'm desperately hoping the urge to track down the author and give him a good slapping will pass. Funny how two characters with such similar abilities can come across as so very different - one charming, generous and modest (though, heaven knows, Fry has little to be modest about); the other so smug and self-satisfied.

nov 2, 2010, 8:32 am

I'm launching into the 600+ pages of Champlain's Dream by David Hackett Fischer.

nov 3, 2010, 9:36 am

Just finished Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, I guess most of you have seen the movie, casting Wynona Rider and a young Angelina Jolie. I liked it, it isn’t a literature masterpiece of course, but I found it readable, the writing is neat and sharp , rarely gross, a few of the most famous four - letter words from time to time. The story doesn’t have a real structure, each chapter has a life of its own, only the main characters are always the same. As far as the movie is concerned, I think they made a good one out of the book, they add something and gave it a more shaped story, a certain continuity. The only slight difference , but not so slight after all, is in the movie the girl who narrates the story, Susanna , isn’t depicted as border line as in the book, in the latter , even if she is among the healthiest , from time to time she freaks out. In the end it is quite an easy and short reading, in a couple of hours you can be through with it , but I didn’t find it much informative about border line disorder, it is only the author’s experience but I enjoyed it anyway.

nov 3, 2010, 12:25 pm

The "official" name may be Border-line Personality Disorder and you may find more information about it if you use that term. I have read several books on this type of mental illness and find it quite interesting. I had a very good friend who, after many months of knowing each other, told me she'd been diagnosed with Border-line Personality Disorder and she dropped our friendship like a hot rock. It was quite sad and I still mourn the loss of her friendship but I did read that this behavior is not unusual for these folks.

nov 12, 2010, 12:43 pm

I reviewed American on Purpose by comedian Craig Ferguson in my thread...post #117.

It's a lot of fun, it's witty, it's just a pleasure to read a memoir of recovery that doesn't need only stained glass and hymnals to make it a churchgoin' experience.

nov 16, 2010, 3:14 pm

Chin Music Press is offering an extra copy of their recent ER offering, Where We Know: New Orleans as Home, by David Rutledge! Free!! I'd say run over and enter the giveaway ASAP by clicking on the first link!

nov 18, 2010, 12:35 pm

I just started Labrador by Choice: A Labrador Trapper's Autobiography. Benjamin Powell left his home in Newfoundland for a life in Labrador in 1936, at the age of 15. In 1974 he published the autobiography. My copy is a 4th printing, issued in 1994.

nov 23, 2010, 10:32 pm

nov 24, 2010, 9:47 am

I have been enjoying An Autobiography of Agatha Christie (touchstone not working properly) even though she does have a few attitudes and ways of thinking which are not admirable; but, she is a good writer and the story of her life is a good snapshot of the English upper classes during WW I and II.

nov 26, 2010, 11:11 am

I just finished Henry VIII's Last Victim by Jessie Childs. Now I'm starting Mistress of the Monarchy by Alison Weir.

nov 26, 2010, 5:26 pm

Not quite a memoir exactly but not quite not one either - I'm enjoying The Lives They Left Behind thanks to yet another LT recommendation.

nov 27, 2010, 4:07 pm

Well, I've finished both Agatha Christie's Autobiography and The Woman I Was Born To Be. Very different books. Ms Christie's life was interesting and she is writing about a great many more years than is Susan Boyle. Her writing talent came to her relatively easily and she writes about her writing career but also the two world wars, two husbands, and many adventures traveling. I really enjoyed her book.

Susan Boyle suffered some slight brain damage when born and has lived her life as a bit "different" nonetheless she has a great gift of voice. Her autobiography is a simple, straight-forward accounting of her early life, and then the craziness of competing in the TV talent shows, and being overwhelmed with attention after her tape was put up on U Tube. I appreciated the book as if gave me a slice of life in Scotland, and then a picture of the craziness she endured. I give her credit for holding herself together and continuing to develop her professional career as a singer.

dec 8, 2010, 1:03 am

Currently reading Memoirs of Montparnasse by John Glassco
Paris in the 1920's, great fun! I an half way through and enjoying this well written memoir, about a young man of 18 going off to Paris to write a book and learn about the world. Of course his parents are concerned about their well educated boy throwing away his live. The joys of youth. Good pictures too.

dec 8, 2010, 2:45 am

I'm reading "Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn: The Greatest Illusion on Earth" by Shelley Lubben. It's an amazing story of pain, redemption, hope and healing. She is brutally honest about her past and paints a vivid picture of the adult film industry that is sure to shock and open people's eyes.

dec 11, 2010, 7:01 pm

I just started The Reminiscences of Carl Schurz, Volume Two 1852-1863. (touchstone not working) Schurz was a native of Germany, born in 1829, who took part in the revolutions in Germany in mid-19th century and eventually made his way to the U.S., where he became a general in the Union army during our Civil War. He became a member of Congress and Secretary of the Interior in the Hayes administration.

I read Volume One, which covers Schurz's life in Germany, in September. Volume Two covers his arrival in the U.S. through the Civil War.

dec 11, 2010, 7:14 pm

I think I commented on this when you read the first volume, but it was very interesting to me to hear about Carl Schurz, since there is a Carl Schurz Park in New York City (the mayor's house, Gracie Mansion, is located in it) and I never knew who Carl Schurz was.

dec 11, 2010, 7:29 pm

Yes, Rebecca, I do recall that. Amazing sometimes the kinds of connections that books, especially relatively obscure ones like the Schurz memoir, can bring to light.

I hope Volume Two is as interesting as Volume One. A lot of this volume covers the Civil War years. When I was doing some research on Schurz, I found one Civil War website that had a list of all the Union Generals with a short bio of each. The fellow writing that site believed that Schurz was considered a bit of a pain by his fellow generals because he saw his role more as looking after the interests of the many German-speaking soldiers in the Union Army and as trying to help win the war. Of course I have no idea how accurate that portrayal may be, and I certainly don't expect Schurz to portray himself that way in his memoir. But it will be interesting to see if he mentions this "representative" role at all.

dec 11, 2010, 7:34 pm

How did you get interested in Carl Schurz? (If you told me this already, I apologize. My mind can be a sieve at times.)

Redigeret: dec 11, 2010, 8:20 pm

Honestly, I think I just picked up Volume 2 in some antique store or thrift store somewhere because it was a beautiful old book (I now have all three volumes, and all seem to be first or at least very early editions). I put it on my "attractive old books" shelf in my living room. Then I came upon the first chapter of Volume 2 (the chapter describing Schurz's and his wife's arrival in America at ages 23 and 18, respectively) in an anthology I was reading called Voices of Liberty and realized, "Hey, I've got that book in the house!" But what I had was Volume 2, so I had to find Volumes 1 and 3 online. So, kind of random, all in all.

dec 11, 2010, 8:48 pm

I'm reading Claire Tomalin's Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man.

I'm finding it rather frustrating. I'm about half-way through and I don't feel I'm getting any real handle on Hardy's personality and character.

To be fair, I'm not sure this is Tomalin's fault: Hardy seems to have been a very reserved sort of chap, didn't leave tracks, as it were. At least in his earlier years - I'm hoping she found more promising material for when the book gets to the years when he was more famous.

dec 13, 2010, 3:50 pm

I'm reading the new biography of George Washington (Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow. It's a big lump of a book and seems interested in telling everything that is known in detail. The writing is lackluster and I am wondering if i should put it down and fall back on the old standbys Ferling or Freeman instead. Still, Chernow claims access to many Washington papers unavailable at the time other biographies were written. So far Washington is not coming out as a very admirable character. In the meantime I am alternating with Jefferson Davis, American by William J. Cooper, which, though as detailed as Chernow's Washington, is lively and engaging, a pleasure to read. Even though Davis's personality is no more attractive than Washington's (as presented by Chernow), he is eliciting a lot more of my interest.

dec 19, 2010, 3:48 am

I finished The Reminiscences of Carl Schurz, Volume Two 1852-1863. (touchstone not working) This was a fascinating look at the U.S., with an insider's look at U.S. politics, in the years immediately preceding the Civil War. Schurz was involved in the anti-slavery movement and was a prominent campaigner against slavery and for Lincoln. Schurz's descriptions of his meetings and relationship with Lincoln fascinating. Schurz became a general in the Union Army. This second of his three-volume memoir ends immediately after the disastrous (for the Union) Battle of Chancellorville. Schurz's descriptions of his war experiences are also quite vivid.

dec 27, 2010, 6:18 am

After 3 years on LT I've just found this group!

I'm reading Robert Rubin's memoir In an Uncertain World. (Rubin was US Treasury Secretary while Bill Clinton was President.) I'm only a chapter in, but so far it's very readable and an interesting look at US politics in the mid-90s.

dec 27, 2010, 8:54 am

I think Rubin is one of the more interesting characters on the whole national political scene these days. I hope the book is a good one.

dec 27, 2010, 8:43 pm

I just started a Charlemagne: A Biography by Derek Wilson.

dec 28, 2010, 6:50 am

Reading (though not cover-to-cover) Kabaserviceʻs The Guardians: Kingman Brewster, ... (et al.). . . the Liberal Establishment. . .

The phrase "Liberal establishment" in the su b-title might make this seem, at a glance, as an ANTI-Liberal book, but it is pretty favorable to Brewster and his liberal associates* of Ivy League origins.

The book is comparative; it expands the technique of the
"Double Biography" into so to speak, "Multi-Biography" by tracing the career of not only Kingman Brewster, President of Yale in the 1960s and 70s, but those of several Ivy League contemporaries. Many of them were young WW II veterans and
died in the 2000s.

*One of them, Eliot Richardson was a Moderate, rather than
a Liberal and worked mostly within the Republican Party.
Most of the others were Democrats. Another McGeorge Bundy
was originally a Republican, and is usually considered a Conservative influence during the Kennedy/Johnson years.

dec 30, 2010, 4:50 pm

I've finished and reviewed the memoir Cleo: The Cat Who Mended A Family, in my thread...post #184.

dec 30, 2010, 5:33 pm

I'm reading a memoir by Susanna Kaysen called The Camera My Mother Gave Me. She is probably more famous for her other memoir, Girl, Interrupted which was made into a movie. I haven't read that one, but I saw the movie.

jan 4, 2011, 10:57 am

My husband and I are reading Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela on our daily commute.

Redigeret: okt 29, 2020, 9:15 am

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

jan 4, 2011, 1:21 pm

#111 Oh, that's weird - I just ordered that one this afternoon. Hope you can tell me good things about it.

jan 5, 2011, 8:10 am

Monday, I was lurking in the thrift book section and found (at a considerable discount in excellent condition) the following: Great Lives Great Deeds with an intro by Fred Eastman. This complilation of condense bios From Adams to Whitman is like an appetizer to read another work for more details. Published in 1964. Real cool! with color illustrations to boot, various authors. This would make a resourceful addition to a family library with school age children.

So far I've read: Thomas Jefferson, John Wesley, and Aristole's condensation biographies.

jan 5, 2011, 1:55 pm

I'm starting the reviewing year over here with my review of The Invention of Clouds...a fascinating book, highly recommended.

jan 5, 2011, 3:14 pm

I just finished Just Kids by Patti Smith and really liked it. She captured the last few years of the '60's in NYC vividly and made me recall much of the true nature of a generation and time long gone. -- A time that is overly glamorized, sanitized, and romanticized in a lot of popular culture. I remember how gritty it often was, and Patti saw it and tells it with clear vision. I also really liked how she articulates the creative/artistic passion she and others felt, and her description of her relationship w/ Mapplethorpe is loving and interesting. Highly recommend it, esp if you remember Filmore, Woodstock, East Village used bookstores....

jan 6, 2011, 10:50 am

I've finished and reviewed the quirky, fun memoir Reading the OED in my thread...post #12.

jan 18, 2011, 1:42 am

Tonight I began War is Beautiful: an American Ambulance Driver in the Spanish Civil War by James Neugass. Neugass was a New Orleans native and a published poet who volunteered for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. War is Beautiful is his battlefield memoir.

jan 18, 2011, 3:31 am

Just finished Julius Caesar by Philip Freeman and started Augustus by Anthony Everitt.

Redigeret: jan 21, 2011, 5:26 pm

Am reading 'THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONNECT,' about the latest temptations of the Age of Addictions and Boredom; Pocket IT. This is summed up by the following statement on page 104; "If you ever want to know what was going through Frodo Baggin's mind as he stood clutching the evil Ring over the lava pits of Mt. Doom in 'THE RETURN OF THE KING,' buy an iPhone".
We are told by some that an addiction is not a cause, but rather a symptom. This brings back the old query; "I know that that is the answer, but what is the Question?" This requires further thought. I may get back to you when I finish the book. We shall see how it relates to my theory that after physical survival, the primary goal of human beings is to 'Feel Good about Themselves.'
Reference www.CrackBerry.com.

Redigeret: jan 23, 2011, 8:48 pm

I just finished Buddha and the gritty, somewhat Burroughs-esque memoir, Dispatches.

I'm on to The Seashell on the Mountaintop, a remarkable bio of Nicolas Steno, the "Galileo of geology".

jan 23, 2011, 8:54 pm

I didn't see anything listed, although I confess I just skimmed the posts, but anyone recommend a good John Irving bio/memoir?

jan 24, 2011, 11:13 am

I'm reading Marie Antoinette: The Journey. I've read very little about her and I figure Fraser is the way to go.

jan 24, 2011, 12:20 pm

#122 The memoirs are The Imaginary Girlfriend and My Movie Business. I can't actuually give a recommendation because I haven't read either (I love his novels, don't especially want to read about his life) but I hope that helps a little. The first is centred on his wrestling days and the second on the making of The Cider House Rules, or so I believe.

jan 24, 2011, 12:24 pm

I'm sure Last Night in Twisted River is partly autobiographical.

jan 24, 2011, 10:56 pm

#125 just finished Twisted River, it's similar to his others with autobio material... discusses "his" writing method as well.

jan 28, 2011, 11:55 am

I finished War is Beautiful: An American Ambulance Driver in the Spanish Civil War by James Neugass. Absolutely amazing and horrific. Neugass' depiction of his four months supporting the Lincoln-Washington Brigade toward the end of this conflict provides a human and compelling account of the terrors of war.

jan 31, 2011, 11:12 pm

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a beautifully written memoir. It's about a woman who gets a debilitating virus and literally is completely bedridden; she can't get up at all, because her body can't regulate her blood pressure. It is about her communal with nature, via a terrarium by her bedside that has a snail in it. It's a gorgeous, short, beautiful story. My first 10 star of the year. (I might read 1-2 10 stars a year, if that).


feb 1, 2011, 5:37 am

#128 That sounds amazing. Another one for the wishlist!

feb 1, 2011, 6:39 am

I just finished Running the Books about a Harvard grad who becomes a prison librarian. It was wonderful, both funny and sad at the same time.

Redigeret: feb 2, 2011, 5:34 pm

Denne bruger er blevet fjernet som værende spam.

feb 2, 2011, 10:10 pm

If you just joined Library Thing today in order to promote your book, you are barking up the wrong tree. We do not look kindly upon folks who try to use our groups for self promotion. If not, if you plan to stay, catalog your books and indulge in book talking, well...welcome.

feb 11, 2011, 11:53 am

I just finished Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, professor, tattoo artist, and sexual renegade by Justin Spring. It's an incredible and unusual biography. I recommend it to GLBT readers, fans of sexual research (think Kinsey), those interested in tattooing, and for historians focusing on the 40s and 50s, especially.

feb 13, 2011, 6:33 am

I recently finished Learning to Bow, a heartwarming, well written, very informative and entertaining travel memoir that focuses on Japanese society. Feiler - author of Abraham and Walking the Bible - served as an English Teacher for about a year, in the Japanese "countryside".

feb 27, 2011, 8:05 am

I'm reading Tony Blair's autobiography, A Journey: My Political Life. Introduction is a love-letter to the USA. He looks sinister in the cover photo. But, I'll perservere!

feb 27, 2011, 9:22 am

#135 He looks sinister in real life too. There was a mini-campaign over here when that book came out to retrieve it from the biography shelves in book shops and re-position it in the 'True Crime' section. It didn't change the world but it made some of us feel a whole lot better.

feb 27, 2011, 9:18 pm

#136 I think that's wonderful! 'True Crime' indeed. When I read The Ghost by Robert Harris, I kept thinking, "I'll bet this is how it really happened. Cherie was his puppet master from the CIA!" It made me it little bit better to think it should be shelved in non-fiction.

feb 27, 2011, 9:25 pm

I forgot to post that I just finished an atrociously written memoir Why Not Say What Happened by Ivana Lowell. I loved her mother's writing(Caroline Blackwood) for her pitch black humor and crystalline prose. Ivana Lowell shows, all too clearly, that she was cheated of an education or simply lacks any talent. I can't believe that Knopf brought this book out.

mar 24, 2011, 9:38 pm

I love books about books, and I just finished Thomas Paine's Rights of Man. Paine was an amazing philosopher and propgandist and the irascible Hitchens wrote a wonderful, concise story of Mr. Paine's life.

mar 26, 2011, 5:07 pm

I'm reading The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life by Jasmin Darznik, which I got as an early reviewers book from LT.

mar 26, 2011, 5:22 pm

I've finished and reviewed the (misnamed) celebrity memoir Anything Goes: The Autobiography by John Barrowman. You know, Captain Jack Harkness on Torchwood? Good actor, good singer, good looking?

Well, anyway, the review is in my thread...post #182.

Redigeret: mar 29, 2011, 8:14 pm

apr 14, 2011, 5:38 pm

I'm reading "An Actor and a Gentleman, by Louis Gosset Jr. and Phyllis Karas. It's very moving: as an African American actor in 1960's entertainment industry, he encountered bigotry and racism and overcame it. Very powerful and honest.

apr 14, 2011, 7:15 pm

Started My Life in France by Julia Child. It's my book club read for this month. So far, not impressed.

apr 22, 2011, 8:07 pm

I just started Henry Plantagenet by Richard Barber.

Redigeret: apr 27, 2011, 6:20 pm

I've started reading The Pope and Me at Yankee Stadium: My Life as the Beer Man & Stand-Up Comic by Steve Lazarus. It's a self-published book and so far sort of reads that way, but is not the worst I've read along those lines by a long shot.

Redigeret: aug 27, 2011, 4:08 am

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

apr 28, 2011, 1:02 pm

Just finished The Snow People by Marie Herbert. Marie, her husband, and infant daughter spent over a year living in a remote Inuit village in Greenland. Remarkable first hand look into the culture of the Inuits.

maj 2, 2011, 1:50 am

Just started Drawn from Memory, part one of E.H. Shepard's autobiography.

maj 7, 2011, 8:47 am

I loved The Piano Shop. Did you?

maj 7, 2011, 11:26 am

I'm only 50 pages in, but I'm definitely enjoying it. It's much different than I expected it to be (though I couldn't begin to tell you what I expected), and the surprise of that is making it even more enjoyable.

maj 9, 2011, 4:27 am

I am currently reading A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. Only about 50 pages through but enjoying her family memories and recipes.

maj 26, 2011, 8:40 pm

'Almost done with The Reluctant Mr. Darwin. Quamman did a phenomenal job of fleshing out Mr. Darwin's personality, fromvolumes of various records.

maj 27, 2011, 10:26 am

Reading American Caesar, Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964 by William Raymond Manchester. Will reading this for a while. 330 pages into a 709 page book. Very interesting look and a very interesting man.

Bill Masom

Redigeret: maj 27, 2011, 5:15 pm

Just bought from B&N for my Nook, The Clamorgans: One Family's History of Race in America By Julie Winch. The review in B&N Review sounded too good to pass up.

jun 1, 2011, 10:02 pm

I read a biography of Frances Farmer years ago and remember it being a truly tragic story. She definitely was living in the wrong decade.

jun 4, 2011, 2:11 pm

I've just finished Larry's Kidney by Daniel Asa Rose and have started my Early Reviewer's book, A Matter of Conscience by Sherry Lee Hoppe

jun 4, 2011, 2:36 pm

I've just started All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. While the book is described on its back cover as a "heartwarming true story," the Wikipedia entry for Herriot claims that his books have enough invention in them to more accurately be considered fiction. Anyone have any insights on this burning question?

jun 4, 2011, 3:59 pm

I'm currently reading Boswell's Presumptuous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson by Adam Sisman. It's a biography in a biography in that it tells how Boswell went about writing his biography of Samuel Johnson.

Redigeret: jun 5, 2011, 5:53 am

#160 I wouldn't call Herriot's books biography in any true sense of the word. Although they are based on his years as a vet my understanding has always been (and I'm pretty sure he once admitted this in an interview) that they include events that have happened to him, to his colleagues, to various other vets and in his imagination. I'm not aware that he ever claimed the books were a true account of his life but they are still great fun.

ETA - He did say Tricky Wu and his owner were based on real 'people' and that the story about the bacon had really happened to him.

jun 10, 2011, 2:18 pm

I'm doing a re-read of Sixpence House by Paul Collins. I'd never heard of Hay-on-Wye, Wales before reading this book a couple of years ago.

jun 16, 2011, 12:50 pm

I've finished and reviewed a very good *professional* biography of moviemaker Stanley Donen, Dancing on the Ceiling...my thread, post #113.

Redigeret: aug 27, 2011, 4:08 am

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

jun 17, 2011, 8:05 am

No, since the major impact it had was on Loewe, the author treats it as less important information. Donen's career wasn't in any major way affected by the event, so it is glossed over.

jun 17, 2011, 8:25 am

jun 17, 2011, 12:47 pm

I've finished and reviewed my May Early Reviewers book, The Story of Charlotte's Web. What a superb book. I almost never feel the need to drop everything to finish a book, yet with this one I did. Read all about it in my thread...post #60.

jun 17, 2011, 3:49 pm

Just finished American Caesar, Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964 by William Manchester

My review of it here: http://www.librarything.com/work/38899/reviews/66508061

Do not know what I am reading next.

Bill Masom

jun 18, 2011, 9:40 pm

Richard, I was so tempted to buy that book today, but I'll have to get to it later. Glad to hear it was a good one.

jun 18, 2011, 9:50 pm

>171 maggie1944: C'mon, Karen44...y'know ya wannit...buuuyyy iiit buuuyyy iiit...

jun 18, 2011, 11:49 pm


Spent too much money today as it was, but loved supporting, with my little bits of money, my friend's independent, small, wonderful bookstore. Yes, they still exist!

jun 21, 2011, 7:05 pm

I finished another book that I (guiltily) liked: Notorious: The Life of Ingrid Bergman, reviewed in my thread...post #123.

jun 27, 2011, 12:17 pm

My Heart is Africa by Scott Griffin which tells of his two years exploring Africa in a Cessna 180.

jun 27, 2011, 2:14 pm

Yesterday finished The Good Daughter by Jasmin Darznik and began my Early Reviewers' Edition of It Happened On the Way to War by Rye Barcott. So far it's interesting and well written.

jun 29, 2011, 3:25 am

Just finished Woman in the Mists by Farley Mowat

Review here: http://www.librarything.com/work/238444/reviews/9134081

Not sure what is next.

Bill Masom

jun 29, 2011, 3:46 am

Read and enjoyed The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese this week.

jul 2, 2011, 4:26 pm

About 3/4s through It Happened on the Way to War: A Marine's Path to Peace by Rye Barcott. Well written and interesting. I'm always fascinated by people who see a great wrong, figure out a way to help and then proceed to raise the money and create an NGO and carry it all out (for many years at a time). I have sympathy and empathy and I don't have a problem with hard work, but I seriously lack the determination, vision, and drive.

jul 7, 2011, 7:18 am

I'm reading Indigo: in search of the color that seduced the world by Catherine E. McKinley, which seems to be partly a memoir and partly a history of this commodity.

jul 19, 2011, 8:27 pm

Right now I'm reading A Whole Different Ballgame: the Sport and Business of Baseball, Marvin Miller's account of his role in the establishment of the Major League Baseball Players Association and all of the changes that developed one the players began pushing back against the owners in an organized fashion. Fascinating stuff for baseball fans.

aug 14, 2011, 11:16 am

I'm reading a novel by Judy LaMarsh, but thought this quote from her would be appropriate here:

"When I wrote my memoir, everyone said it was fiction. Now I'm writing fiction, and everyone says it's fact."

Redigeret: aug 15, 2011, 3:13 pm

I'm now reading I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, and the Final Ride of Jimmy Hoffa by Charles Brandt. The book is more or less Sheeran's "as told to" memoirs. Sheeran was an organized crime muscle man and longtime confidant of Hoffa's.

aug 16, 2011, 3:44 pm

I'm listening to the latest of Laurie Notaro, "It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy." Generally enjoyable, although it's very hit-or-miss. Love her, though. Her novel "There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell" is one of my very favorites.

(The Touchstones are being cranky and won't link the book titles.)

Redigeret: aug 17, 2011, 7:11 am

I'm reading Shelley: The Pursuit by Richard Holmes, who also wrote the more recent Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science. This 1970s bio apparently was the first to finally kick PB Shelley out of the Victorian age where he had been enshrined, and place him firmly back in the Romantic era where he belonged.

aug 17, 2011, 6:37 am

I'm reading Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl

aug 17, 2011, 7:14 am

>186 LynnB: LynnB, I read that one and enjoyed it. Hope you are, too.

sep 2, 2011, 8:18 am

I did like Tender at the Bone and even baked the raspberry tart, which was delicious!

My husband and I are about to start We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals by Gillian Gill as we commute to/from work.

sep 2, 2011, 3:52 pm

I'm reading Edward O. Wilson's memoir Naturalist. Since we both grew up in the south I've found it interesting even though I have no real interest in biology.

Redigeret: sep 3, 2011, 5:24 pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

sep 6, 2011, 8:54 pm

I just finished West with the Night. I agree with Papa Hemingway; Beryl Markham is a wonderful writer.

sep 7, 2011, 6:36 am

Reading Byron in Love by Edna O'Brien.

sep 7, 2011, 9:10 am

>192 Booksloth: Booksloth, I heard a really interesting interview with O'Brien re: that book on CBC radio's Writer and Company with Eleanor Wachtel. It might still be on the website. Anyway, I would love to hear what you think about the book. I'm on a major Romantic poet binge and thought I might take a look at it.

sep 8, 2011, 6:18 am

Thank you for that theaelizabet! I''l have a sniff around the website later on and see what I can find. So far it's interesting though not earth-shattering but it's a long time since I read much about Byron so I can't really make comparisons. One biography I do have from many years ago and which I would recommend is Byron, the Flawed Angel by Phyllis Grosskurth and I'm also about to read Byron, Life and Legend by Fiona MacCarthy, which seems to be the generally recommended work. O'Brien's book is probably the most readable though.

Redigeret: feb 20, 2013, 1:11 am

Stauffenberg; the architect of the famous July 20th (1944) conspiracy to assassinate Hitler by Joachim Kramarz

More than scanning it, but less than reading it from cover to cover. Right now Iʻm reading the chapter on the Resistance membersʻ
idea of Germanyʻs future in a post-Hitler world. They figured on making peace, and that, unlike Post WW I, it would not entail
tremendous reparations by Germany. Stauffenberg --though not most of the others-- thought that the Allied leader who would give
Germany the hardest time would be Winston Churchill.

Redigeret: okt 1, 2011, 11:15 am

Sunray: The Death and Life of Captain Nichola Goddard by Valerie Fortney. Captain Goddard was only 26 years old when she died serving with the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan.

And another one: Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller. I'm intrigued by this author having read her previous memoir Don't Let's go to the Dogs Tonight twice and still not being sure how to interpret it.

I seem to be on a biography kick, as hubby and I have just started Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau: 1968-2000 by John English on our daily commute.

okt 10, 2011, 4:03 pm

Having finished Just Watch Me earlier today, I've switched sides, so to speak, and am reading Harperland: The Politics of Control by Lawrence Martin

okt 17, 2011, 1:50 pm

I seem to be on a biography kick: just finished A Soldier First by Rick Hillier. Next up will be some fiction for sure!

okt 17, 2011, 7:32 pm

I've just started a promising biography Mrs. Jordan's Profession the Actress and the Prince by Claire Tomalin.

okt 20, 2011, 2:47 am

I've just started The Reminiscences of Carl Schurz, Volume Three 1863-1869. The first two volumes of Schurz's memoir were fascinating. The third starts with the Battle of Gettysburg, in which he was a Union general.

nov 5, 2011, 2:44 pm

I finished the Carl Schurz memoir posted above. Fascinating look at Reconstruction and the decades afterward. Touchstone's not working, but the book's page, with my full review, is here: http://www.librarything.com/work/10440733/summary/64897516

nov 6, 2011, 6:16 pm

I picked that book up a few years ago in a bookstore and thought it was going to be perfect but haven't been able to get into it - did you finish? was it worthwhile? Have you read the Alison Lurie Home Cooking and More Home Cooking titles? Terrific stuff

Redigeret: nov 6, 2011, 6:27 pm

I worked in a small-town library when those titles james herriot all creatures great and small were hot hot hot and we always classified them in "636." - NF, domestic animals. The BBC series was a very comforting series for a lot of folks, tho' I never got into it as it was usually broadcast too early on Sunday evenings for me to catch. My sister, however, who was single and living alone, couldn't even answer her phone if they were on tv.

nov 6, 2011, 6:22 pm

I love Ruth Reichl. I admired her honesty in the one about her mother - they've since changed the title, but I believe it was something like - how not to become my mother :) Don't we all hope that a little bit, while being smart enough to admire their strengths?

nov 6, 2011, 6:24 pm

I'm putting it on my wishlist. Thanks for the recommendation. Really really like Edna O'Brien.

nov 7, 2011, 6:21 am

#204 Maybe not all. If my old age means being destined to turn into my mum I'd be quite honoured and I think a lot of people would consider it a huge improvement. I just wouldn't let certain people walk all over me the way she did.

Redigeret: nov 18, 2011, 3:28 pm

I'm reading another in the Extraordinary Canadians series, Louis Riel & Gabriel Dumont by Joseph Boyden.

eta: I also read Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown.

second edit: Got a new book yesterday which I've just started: A Season in Hell: My 130 Days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda by Robert R. Fowler. Mr. Fowler was kidnapped by Al Qaeda while working for the UN.

dec 6, 2011, 12:06 pm

I'm about to start The Sleeping Buddha by Hamida Ghafour for a book club.

dec 7, 2011, 12:55 pm

Lynn: I read The Sleeping Buddha several years ago and found it insightful.

Currently reading Climbing The Mango Trees: A Memoir Of A Childhood In India by Madhur Jaffrey (a fascinating cross-cultural childhood).

dec 15, 2011, 7:57 pm

I finished and reviewed the biography Twenty Thousand Roads: the Ballad of Gram Parsons and his Cosmic American Music by David N. Meyer. The book is a very good, very well-researched (or so it seemed to me) study of a talented, frustrating, iconic figure in American country-rock music. I thought it was quite good.

Redigeret: dec 20, 2011, 7:51 pm

Reading We Bought a Zoo, a memoir about a couple of years in the life of one family. Also reading The Big Burn which, though not a biography or memoir, gives lots of information on both Teddy Roosevelt and Pinchot.

Since this thread has been going since October 2009,
maybe it would be nice to start a new one in January 2012.

dec 20, 2011, 8:27 pm

I haven't picked it up yet but I'm looking forward to reading Robert K. Massie's biography of Catherine the Great.

dec 21, 2011, 9:37 pm

Me too mrsrochester!! His Peter the Great was one of the best books I have read.

dec 22, 2011, 8:31 pm

it is on my wish list, too!

dec 29, 2011, 12:02 pm

Finished the two above and started Blue Nights by Joan Didion and A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar. Both are very good, but the book about John Nash is dense, both in words and ideas.

jan 8, 2012, 4:35 pm

jan 8, 2012, 7:24 pm

Not really a biography, autobiography, or memoir but kinda like one, The Paris Wife is a fictionalized accounting of Ernest Hemingway's first wife and their life in Paris, and Europe. It is set shortly after WWI, and the Spanish Civil War, and before WWII. The author chose to write it in the first person POV of the wife, with some occasional sidebars.

I liked it. I am sort of a fan of that between the wars, in Europe, period and this filled the bill. Fun characters and more fun drinking, and bar hopping, and being on the beach on the Mediterranean shores, bull fights in Spain, and the fine homes, skiing in the Alps, all that and a nice love story, too.

If you like any of the above, and maybe you like Hemingway, too, then you will like this book.

jan 9, 2012, 8:34 am

I'm reading Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre, which talks about the revolution in Chile.

I've just finished On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini, which is part autobiography and partly a history of Canadian rock bands.

jan 9, 2012, 6:28 pm

For an upcoming two-person review of legendary figures in the early days of flight, I am nearing the completion of reading these rather recent works:

Saint-Exupéry : a biography by Stacy Schiff

The Sound of Wings: The Life of Amelia Earhart by Mary S. Lovell

Amelia Earhart: The Turbulent Life of an American Icon by Kathleen C. Winters

East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart by Susan Butler

The Tale of the Rose: The Love Story Behind The Little Prince by Consuelo de Saint-Exupery

And from my own involvement in theater and interest in the lives of those involved in the arts, I am now plowing my way through the fascinating terrain well-treated found in these two recently released works:

1) Patti LuPone: A Memoir, and 2) Robert Redford: The Biography.

And, finally, because of its relevance for the interplay of life and literature -- and my admiration for the superior writing and literary quality of this particular biographer, I am now nearing the end of:

Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) by Stacy Schiff

Redigeret: jan 14, 2012, 7:15 pm

'Finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta lacks

Currently reading The Greatest Show on Earth, which is like a biography of...life!

jan 17, 2012, 1:19 pm

I've read The Game by Ken Dryden, which has stood the test of time.

jan 17, 2012, 7:48 pm

#222> That one's on my sports shelf awaiting my attention. One of these days . . .

jan 21, 2012, 2:49 pm

I'm about to start Prison of Tehran by Marina Nemat.

jan 21, 2012, 8:59 pm

I am reading Life by Keith Richards. Very enjoyable romp through the 1960s and on up to today in the rock 'n roll and blues scenes in England, Europe, and US of A. Love the descriptions of how The Beatles were cast as the good guys and the Rollin' Stones were the bad boys; of course, unless you were into the later Beatles and Stones era when drugs were the evil of the day.

I especially appreciated Richards descriptions of his roots in black southern blues music, and white blues, too, and how the Chicago blues movement inspired him. He also describes how up tight the white populations was when the Stones toured in the South (before they were world famous), and how welcoming and relaxed were the Black people they visited and played music with...

jan 24, 2012, 3:29 pm

Drama, An Actor's Education, by John Lithgow.

jan 28, 2012, 12:06 pm

I've FINALLY written my long-overdue review of A More Perfect Heaven, an Early Reviewers book I got two months late, but that proved to be very much worth the wait. It's in my thread...post #234.

feb 22, 2012, 10:11 pm

I just finished the way-too-short, A Man Without a Country. Vonnegut turned into Twain, in his old age...

mar 23, 2012, 5:13 pm

apr 8, 2012, 7:35 pm

'A quarter through Hitch 22, a 420-page "Vanity Fair" article.

Redigeret: apr 8, 2012, 7:39 pm

I forgot to post that I was reading Steve Jobs and I'll say that it was great, and well worth the effort to read it. He had quite a unique take on life, and I think there are lessons in his experience, and in the success of Apple, that can be helpful to most of us.
Oh, and I should add: Isaacson writes very well, was given wide access to the good, the bad, and the ugly; I think the biography is quite valuable.

apr 9, 2012, 7:17 pm

>227 richardderus: That's so weird. That's an Early Reviewer book? I think I read that book a bit ago or maybe it was something very similar. I'm reading The Talented Miss Highsmith about Patricia Highsmith. She's not a "pleasant" woman! The book is just OK so far.

apr 14, 2012, 1:37 pm

I'm now reading The Yankee Years by Joe Torre with Tom Verducci. Very nicely written and interesting (for baseball fans) so far.

apr 15, 2012, 10:37 am

'Finished Hitch-22. It took me a while to get into this sprawling, fascinating, rambling, name (and book-) dropping "memoir". Highly recommended.

apr 15, 2012, 2:47 pm

I've posted my review of Canadian media fixture Roy Bonisteel's charming memoir of a Depression-era boyhood, There Was A Time..., in my thread...post #179.

maj 9, 2012, 10:43 am

maj 9, 2012, 1:39 pm

I have started reading The Lyndon Johnson Years: the Passage of Power recently released, and written by Robert A. Caro. I have completely enjoyed and appreciated all of Caro's work, so far. This book promises to be more of the same... good research and a dedication to interpreting the past in an honest way.

maj 9, 2012, 6:29 pm

This morning I began Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis

maj 14, 2012, 12:44 pm

I finished Guadalcanal Diary, which was very interesting and well written, and began Under the Blue Flag: My Mission in Kosovo by Phillip Kearny. Kearny was a San Francisco prosecutor who was hired by the U.N. to prosecute war crimes in Kosovo. Coincidentally, he was also a neighbor of mine in San Francisco who I knew more or less just well enough to say hello to on the street. The opening pages are about Kearny and how/why he came to want and then accept the job, which is fair enough. I'll be more interested to see how well he describes his experiences with the tribunal.

maj 15, 2012, 1:38 pm

maj 28, 2012, 1:04 pm

I finished Under the Blue Flag: My Mission to Kosovo by Philip Kearny. The book is about Kearny's role prosecuting war criminals in Kosovo. Highly recommended.

jun 24, 2012, 3:45 pm

I just finished The Professor And The Madman: A Tale Of Murder, Insanity, And The Making Of The Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester.

jun 25, 2012, 6:18 am

tropics, I really liked that book. I think you would like Newton and the Counterfeiter!

jul 7, 2012, 2:04 am

I've just started reading Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright.

jul 13, 2012, 9:35 am

I'm reading Through the Glass by Shannon Moroney. She is writing about her experience as her husband is convicted of a brutal crime shortly after their marriage.

jul 22, 2012, 1:04 pm

And now, I'm about to start Where There's Smoke: Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man by William B. Davis.

jul 23, 2012, 3:00 pm

I finished Madeleine Albright's Prague Winter. It is a fine book, overall, but is much more a history than a memoir.

jul 23, 2012, 4:28 pm

Jacob Epstein Let there be sculpture... An interesting read for the period with encounters with the rich, famous and literary and artistic. Published in 1940

jul 29, 2012, 11:39 am

I'm about to start Volume II of Richard Gywn's biography of Sir John A. MacDonald, Nation Maker

aug 10, 2012, 5:55 pm

aug 11, 2012, 9:28 pm

@249 - The Jacob Epstein looks interesting, was able to find it free for Kindle on the Internet Archive. Thanks.

Although it's been a while since I read it, I'd also recommend George Grosz: An Autobiography.

aug 12, 2012, 5:46 pm

My Monster by David Darmstaedter Just starting.

aug 12, 2012, 8:03 pm

Still reading The Lyndon Johnson Years: the Passage of Power by Robert A. Caro. I am about 1/2 way through the 600 page book and felt very sad as I read about the death of John F. Kennedy. I was in college at the time; I remember the grief we all shared as the events unfolded in front of our eyes on TV.

aug 31, 2012, 6:03 pm

Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard is a wow-making narrative non-fictional account of one of the most tragic US Presidential assassinations. Not to be missed. Review in my thread...post #239.

Redigeret: sep 3, 2012, 4:49 pm

I'm reading Hashish: A Smuggler's Tale by Henry de Monfreid. He was a French nobleman in the 1920s who had all sorts of misadventures trying various get rich quick schemes while dragging his poor wife and child around to some of the most disagreeable spots on the planet. Who knew there was money to be made if you could corner the market on top shells from the Indian Ocean? Or how badly they could stink? Then he got the bright idea of dealing in the subject of his title and many trials ensue. He manages to survive, else how would he have written this autobiography? His observations of people and the attitudes of the times were entertaining and enlightening. His honesty concerning his own behavior is surprising. He had no shame about his schemes and thoughts and shares them with the reader, things like mentioning how he snuck around his Greek host's house in the middle of the night trying to figure out how to get to the pretty servant girl. He's a cad, but a charming one.

sep 23, 2012, 9:54 pm

I've written my four-star review of Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, about America's Sweetheart (before Emmylou Harris), over in my thread...post #182.

okt 9, 2012, 3:20 pm

Just finished Where's My Wand by Eric Poole, which was funny and nostalgic.

okt 9, 2012, 7:31 pm

I'm reading Turned Round in My Boots by Bruce Patterson. Patterson lives in my community, a very small town in rural northern California. He's a very good writer and I'm enjoying the book, for the most part. So far it's a memoir of his childhood, time in Vietnam and experiences over the first few years after his return from the war.

okt 28, 2012, 1:53 pm

Finished and greatly enjoyed the excellent family history/memoir, Blood-Dark Track, by Joseph O'Neill. O'Neill goes in search of the stories of his two grandfathers, both of whom were imprisoned by the British during World War Two, one in Turkey for suspected espionage for the Axis, and the other in Ireland because of his IRA activities. Fascinating and well written.

okt 28, 2012, 2:04 pm

I'm a big fan of Joseph O'Neill's fiction, and also really enjoyed Blood-Dark Track. I noticed recently it had been re-released; when I looked for it a few years ago it was out of print and I had to buy a used hardcover edition.

okt 28, 2012, 2:16 pm

A used hardcover edition is what I have, too. Glad to know that book's been re-issued, though. It certainly deserves a wide readership. Some day I will have to track down O'Neill's fiction, too.

okt 28, 2012, 6:40 pm

I just finished The Good Man of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe. Fascinating journals by the German business man who, along with several other Westerners, established the "Internatnal Safety Zone" to protect unarmed Chinese during the Japanese siege on Nanking in 1937/8. They are credited with saving 250,000 lives.

Redigeret: nov 8, 2012, 3:08 pm

Reading Howards End Is On The Landing by Susan Hill, famous British writer, author of thirty-seven books (none of which I've read). I am attracted to the premise of this book, taking stock of the volumes still sitting unread on one's shelves and endeavoring to get busy reading them before buying or borrowing more.

Redigeret: nov 9, 2012, 2:10 pm

tropics, there's an LT group doing that very thing. It's called the Books off the Shelf Challenge.

I'm reading The Man Who Forgot how to Read by Howard Engel

nov 9, 2012, 2:31 pm

Just started with Martyrs & Murderers, one of my "shelf books".

nov 9, 2012, 3:36 pm

Just finished Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie. Really enjoyed it. Tells of her archealogocal trips with her husband Max Mallowan, from the first trip they took together, to a last one just before WWII.

nov 13, 2012, 7:13 pm

I finished Hellraisers, which chronicles the exploits of Oliver Reed, Richard Burton, Richard Harris and Peter O'Toole. now I've started Jane Austen: A Life.

nov 13, 2012, 7:38 pm

How did you like Hellraisers? I've been thinking about starting it.

Redigeret: nov 14, 2012, 1:39 am

I just picked up Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage this afternoon as a beach read. Do not want to take my computer back to the beach, no I don't. I think it will be a rollicking good book for a history buff such as I.

Redigeret: nov 14, 2012, 12:32 pm

>269 varielle: I liked it a lot. The author seems to avoid commas more than he should but the writing is good, and even more remarkable is that he is able to write bios of four people that often interweave, yet each bio is as interesting at the others.

nov 19, 2012, 4:21 am

Fatal Purity the biography of Maximilian Robespierre by Ruth Scurr is an impressive and courageous contrarian account of the much maligned French revolutionary.

I really enjoyed this one.

dec 2, 2012, 7:32 pm

Hey there!
I am interested in reading a good Van Gogh biography. Any suggestions as to which one, anyone? Please reply directly to me, so I won't miss it.

dec 3, 2012, 1:27 pm

I recently finished Jon Meacham's The American Lion about Andrew Jackson, and have started his most recent work The Art of Power about Thomas Jefferson.

dec 3, 2012, 1:27 pm

Redigeret: dec 3, 2012, 1:45 pm

dec 4, 2012, 10:30 pm

Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris, part of his massive Theodore Roosevelt trilogy. I'm through the lost election and the safaris, South America was quite dramatic, and about to get into The Great War. It's not as varied and uplifting as the first book, Teddy's childhood and rise to power, but more touching and personal.

dec 5, 2012, 10:44 pm

Speaking of Roosevelts and biographies, any recommendations for a book on FDR?

Redigeret: dec 11, 2012, 12:16 am

#278> I haven't read any straight bios of FDR, but I very much enjoyed both Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage by Joseph Persico, and Robert Sherwood's voluminous Roosevelt and Hopkins, an Intimate History which chronicles Roosevelt's political partnership with Harry Hopkins from the New Deal through World War Two in great detail (especially the war years). Sherwood was inside the White House himself during those years, and the book was published only shortly after the war.

dec 6, 2012, 7:48 am

I recommend FDR by Jean Edward Smith! A very good one volume biography of Franklin Roosevelt.

dec 9, 2012, 11:27 am

I finished Time Was Soft There a couple of weeks ago, written by one of the live-ins at Shakespeare and Co. in Paris. Now I'm on My Life in France by Julia Child.

dec 10, 2012, 7:53 pm

>279 rocketjk: & 280 Thanks for the suggestions!

dec 19, 2012, 8:58 am

I'm reading Seldom by Dawn Rae Downton, which is a story of growing up in Newfoundland after WWII.

dec 19, 2012, 9:18 am

I'm reading Brainiac by Ken Jennings, the amazing Jeopardy! contestant/winner.

jan 2, 2013, 9:53 am

I'm currently reading Desert Queen about Gertrude Bell and her pre-WWI wanderings through the Ottoman Empire. Astounding how not much has changed and how she was able to navigate through areas where western women still fear to go.

jan 2, 2013, 10:10 am

She was a fascinating woman, wasn't she!

jan 3, 2013, 8:56 am

Indeed. I'd like to have been her except for the frustrated romance part.

jan 3, 2013, 9:05 am

Freya Stark also travelled those areas alone. Her book, The Valleys of the Assassins is one you may enjoy, too.

Redigeret: feb 25, 2013, 2:30 pm

First hand Knowledge by Robert Morrow

What he claims "first hand knowledge" of is

the Kennedy assassination (1963). It is

one of those conspiracy theories* that

is vulnerable to the charge: "IF THAT many

people were in on it, somebody would be

sure to have defected and blown the

whistle on it!" Not the easiest plot

in the world to follow, it generally falls

into the category of "C I A/ Cuban Exiles /

Mafia Coalition" type of conspiracy.

*I'm not, in general, a debunker of
conspiracy theories; but sometimes
I find them as hard to believe as
the "Conventional Wisdom's" "Lone Demented Gunman" theory.

jan 7, 2013, 1:11 pm

I recently finished My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson by Alfred Habegger. A strong bio, but far from definitive, mainly because Dickinson is just so elusive. My interested in her was renewed by the recent news that a new image of her, as an adult may have been discovered.

>285 varielle: Glad to hear that you liked Desert Queen. It's been sitting on my shelf for sometime and i've been meaning to get to it.

jan 15, 2013, 10:00 pm

I've reviewed a very successful read of Howards End is on the Landing, a reader's memoir through books by writer Susan Hill. Quite a lovely trip through her home library. Review is on my thread...post #263.

Redigeret: feb 8, 2013, 10:14 am

I'm reading My Life, Deleted by Scott Bolzan about a man who recovers from amnesia.

And, Treacherous: How the RCMP Allowed a Hells Angelto Kill by Paul Derry.

Redigeret: feb 17, 2013, 1:50 pm

I finished Out There in the Woods: The Day-by-Day Account of the Extraordinary 36-Day Manhunt for a Double-Murderer on the Northern California Coast by Stephen Sparks and Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman. This is a self-published, recently released work detailing the harrowing 36-day search through 400 square miles of extremely dense forest for a dangerous, mentally disturbed man who had already murdered two people. This all took place in Mendocino County, the rural northern California county where I live. I include this book here because it is to a large degree an "as told to" memoir by Allman, who coordinated the massive search.

feb 24, 2013, 8:22 pm

I'm now reading Naked to Mine Enemies: the Life of Cardinal Wolsey by Charles W. Ferguson

feb 25, 2013, 10:27 am

Working my way through Henry and June, Anais Nin's memoir of her year with Henry Miller, his wife June and her poor husband Hugo. So far I just want to pick her up and shake her for being a self-indulgent, thoughtless, ninny.

mar 3, 2013, 12:00 pm

I'm about to start an ER book, Yokohama Yankee by Leslie Helm

mar 12, 2013, 2:51 am

Apparently I was a bad, bad boy a while back, and didn't write the reviews I owed on Early Reviewers books that I read. Wicked sinful shame on me! This book, A Sense of Direction, was modestly amusing and gave me some good chuckles as its overprivileged angsty twentysomething narrator lurches around Spain on the Santiago de Compostela trail. Here's my review.

mar 24, 2013, 1:50 pm

I finally finished Naked to Mine Enemies: the Life of Cardinal Wolsey by Charles W. Ferguson. Very high marks, although dense and time consuming, this book is very well written.

mar 24, 2013, 8:11 pm

I received, via USPS, yesterday Sonia Sotomayor's My Beloved World which I cracked open right away. Will be reading it as soon as I can. I am such a fan of biographies and this one is rumored to be good.

apr 5, 2013, 12:37 pm

299> I just read My Beloved World and really enjoyed it. I suspect I am one of many who would love to have her as a friend. I may actually be inspired to write a review. For some of her story, or perhaps more accurately, her reaction to her story, I completely identified with her - there were other parts of her story where I felt that we were actually raised on different planets.

Recently I also read Tony Hillerman's Seldom Disappointed and George Takei's To the stars and really enjoyed them both. Good men, both of them. I've never read any of Tony Hillerman's books and can't claim to be a huge Star Trek fan, although Star Trek is definitely part of my cultural heritage.

apr 9, 2013, 11:36 am

I'm reading To Follow Right: A Journalist's Journey by Ewart Walters.

apr 23, 2013, 2:23 pm

I'm reading, and enjoying, A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova. It's described as "the Russian equivalent of Angela's Ashes."

jun 10, 2013, 1:05 pm

I'm finally reading Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

jun 23, 2013, 1:47 pm

jun 23, 2013, 3:47 pm

Everybody Matters
--a memoir by UN executive and former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson

jul 17, 2013, 9:35 pm

I am reading "Mollie's War" by Mollie Schaffer and her daughter Cyndee Schaffer. Mollie was in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) during World War II. This book is based on her letters home.

jul 17, 2013, 10:32 pm

jul 19, 2013, 11:07 pm

I've just finished Wrong About Japan by Peter Carey. He and his son travel to Japan to pursue their common interest in anime and manga.

Redigeret: aug 10, 2013, 4:35 pm

I'm into Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. An ER book received from LT. Very interesting. She spent a lot of the fortune constructing doll houses which were authentic to various fairy tales; and in supporting artists in France who illustrated children's books.

Redigeret: jul 20, 2013, 3:09 pm

'Finished Descarte's Bones a while back. It was a bit more sweeping, than a mere biography. 'Currently reading Joe Gould's Secret.

>303 LynnB: Now that one's been on my TBR-owned pile for a few years....l

aug 6, 2013, 4:47 am

aug 6, 2013, 7:48 am

Washington, A life by Ron Cernow

aug 6, 2013, 10:06 am

I just finished The Astronaut Wives Club and now I'm onto Marable's Malcolm X.

aug 10, 2013, 10:23 pm

'Just finished The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell. A miserable, hot, horrific war experience that is sure to turn any 20-something into a very mean-spirited soldier.

Redigeret: aug 14, 2013, 6:28 am

Always Looking Up by Michael J Fox 50 pages in. Good.

aug 31, 2013, 5:55 pm

Ear of the Heart - am enjoying it very much so far. She definitely has a sense of humor.

sep 3, 2013, 2:41 pm

I just finished The Drillmaster of Valley Forge, a biography of Barn de Steuben. One of the founding fathers that you seldom hear about.

okt 8, 2013, 8:53 pm

Given its length (528 pages), I'm Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons is perhaps just a tad bit too long for all but this poet/author/writer/songwriter's most devoted fans.

I persevered.

okt 10, 2013, 9:44 am

@320: I'm looking forward to reading it -- I am a devoted fan!

I'm about to start The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby for a book club.

okt 12, 2013, 11:56 am

I'm now reading Ashes to Boonville by Geoff Thomas. Thomas is a friend of mine who lives here in Boonville, CA, USA about 6 months out of the year. The rest of the year he lives in Thailand. At any rate, several years ago Thomas in middle age fulfilled his lifelong dream of riding a motorcycle around the world. He did it in part as a tribute to his deceased parents, whose ashes he brought along. He started in his hometown in England, took transport to Europe, then headed east across Europe and Russia, took transport again to Alaska, and then motored down the coast to Boonville in northern California, where his brother and sister-in-law (also friends of mine) were living and still live. So there you have it: Ashes to Boonville. This book is Thomas' self-published memoir. Or, I should say, the first third of that memoir. Evidently, motorcyclists who make such treks are expected to give their trips a name. Due to the paucity of Thomas' traveling budget, he dubbed his journey around the world, Poor Circulation. Ashes to Boonville is subtitled Volume 1 of the Poor Circulation Trilogy. About 45 pages in, I'm enjoying the reading experience quite a bit.

nov 2, 2013, 5:02 pm

#323: Sounds fascinating.

I recently finished The Last Resort: A Memoir Of Zimbabwe by Douglas Rogers.

Redigeret: nov 2, 2013, 5:50 pm

tropics, it was very interesting to learn about Ms. Oatman's life...kidnapped by Indians in the American West, then lecturing about her ordeal. I was intrigued by the demands society placed on her and how this affected what she said about her time with the Indians.

nov 4, 2013, 6:46 pm

The Moon's a Balloon by David Niven. He's at Sandhurst at this point in my reading.

nov 8, 2013, 9:51 am

I'm reading Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics by Michael Ignatieff.

nov 14, 2013, 3:39 pm

The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald. About the time she spent in a TB sanitarium. My grandmother also spent time in a TB sanitarium, which added interest to the subject. Despite the subject, a funny book.

Gave up on Bring on the Empty Horses by David Niven. Wasn't in the mood to enjoy folks bewing chewed up and spit out by Hollywood. I enjoyed The Moon's a Balloon, though.

nov 15, 2013, 1:28 pm

>328 MDGentleReader: My grandmother also spent time in a TB sanitarium here in Arizona.

I've just finished Bill Bryson's Shakespeare: The World as Stage.

nov 18, 2013, 7:57 am

I lived on Vashon Island where Betty MacDonald lived, and have heard about her books pretty much all of my life. Some friends bought some property which her family once owned and I was charmed by the site. I must read more about her.

nov 20, 2013, 4:17 pm

329> mine was in NC.

jan 5, 2014, 1:31 pm

I finished the astounding The War in Eastern Europe, John Reed's memoirs of his travels through Greece, Serbia, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria during 1915, as World War One was rolling over the area.

jan 5, 2014, 1:38 pm

>332 rocketjk: You might like John Scott's Behind the Urals about a post-revolutionary Soviet steel mill.

jan 5, 2014, 1:43 pm

#333> Thanks! I have that book in my store. I might take it down and read it this year if I don't sell it first.

jan 8, 2014, 8:04 am

I've just finished The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal.

jan 17, 2014, 5:09 pm

I have a couple going right now: Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey's memoirs of his summers as a ranger at Arches National Park in Utah, and Jewish Times: Voices of the American Jewish Experience, a collection of oral histories about the Jewish immigrant experience in early 20th-century America.

jan 17, 2014, 5:30 pm

Finished Catherine the Great: A Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie a few days ago. Enjoyable but with a few structural issues in the second half of the book.

Redigeret: jan 18, 2014, 10:34 am

I'm two-thirds of the way through Daphne du Maurier by Margaret Forster.

I've never, to my memory, read any of Forster's fiction, but I'm finding her writing in this so compelling that I'm very tempted to try some. It's a really absorbing read and I'm quite undecided, at the moment, whether du Maurier had a fascinating life or Forster is making it seem so (or a bit of both, of course).

Redigeret: feb 2, 2014, 8:55 pm

G. BERNARD SHAW, by Michael Holroyd. Holroydʻs biographies are unforgettable for fine details that give his subjects a way of being introduced and then known full-dressed and ready for meeting challenges -- so this biography is the envy of those who tried to write on the subject but failed. I noticed an account earlier of T.E. Lawrenceʻs Memoirs and.or Letters and wonder if anyone could tell me about the shadow boxing that the two played in their fascination and critical stances in the years that they were friends, on the fringe and off. Garrulous as Shaw was, he was tightlipped about many things personal until perhaps the very end. One Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania gave up his thesis on Shaw because the critical and creative parts of him could not be brought down together and present a generally smooth understandable presentation. Only Holroyd did and I do not know how he did it, except perhaps waiting until Shaw was less in self-control than normal. After all, he lived a fruitful and free ranging life, married, the Wikipedia account says, to a woman who refused to consummate the marriage, but lived together amicably until death (she was wealthy,of course) Shaw was always independent, including in marriage obviously, although he reportedly did not feel scrupled to not engage in amours: it cost him nothing, either way. I find this same kind of freedom so central to the decisions (and the kinds of decisions) made also by Thomas Edward Lawrence celebrated as the legendary Lawrence of Arabia.
After all his years of devotion -- sleeping, eating, riding hard on the desert, helping them fight their tribal and cross national? feuds/wars, in order to win freedom for the Bedouins, he discovered that England, his own country, for whom he had been doing the espionage and perhaps counter-espionage work with the Bedouins in various seemingly self-immolating roles -- Englandʻs own General dismissed him, without warning, as Lawrence rode with his Arab Prince, Faisal, only to find himself completely ignored by the triumphant General Allenby, marching with his own selected rule, and so dashing the hope of the Bedouins for a united self-rule. I donʻt recall if this incident is mentioned in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. But I do recall the shock at finding Lawrence back in England, re-enlisting as the equivalent of a noncommissioned officer (having turned down a commissionerd officer rank) .in the Royal Air Force, then taking himself off to the pleasures of riding his motorbikes like a speedway candidate on the country roads for which England is so famous. The Wikipedia article hints that Lawrenceʻs nom de plume, for his new assignment, was "Shaw". Shaw reportedly enjoyed writing letters to Lawrence, but the relationship seems to have been of the kind that is indefinably bonded from both being men equally conscious of their independence and the need to secure it, for themselves individually and for each other,perhaps, because keenly aware of each otherʻs value as men. And there is more than meets the eye in that. Lawrence was also a Man of Letters: he translated the Greek of the Homeric epic, THe Odyssey; he learned Arabic, while studying, for a Doctor of Philosophy, the architecture of
the Near Eastern civilizations, archeologically as well as historically; and he knew many of the then famous even to becoming close friends with Thomas Hardy, who bought a house for writers to live in, if in need, or visiting -- thus drawing into that website the most amazing persons ever voluntarily living, sometimes for months, irrespective of their social class (like D.H. Lawrence) and of their enormous fame (E.M. Forster). I do not know if
G. Bernard Shaw was among these, but he was everywhere and knew them all in much the same democratic if seemingly irascibly social way, in his criticism of their non-Fabian etc. faiths.
The Shaw-Lawrence friendship intrigues me because I do not know if anyone has written about both men and their gravitational attraction that also kept them critically independent, being exceedingly well-rounded in many fields, one example of which is the rare distinction accorded Shaw for having co-founded the presitgious London School of Economics (he was a fighter for the poor against the ravenous commercial interests that helped themselves to government resources, itʻs said). And then the equally famous New Stateman (journal), foremost for its political reviews and bold forecasts on the Shavian grounds that "a government deserves the electorate it gets" and the reverse. One can imagine how Shaw might take to that challenge, having been born, if I remember correctly, of parents who could agree to disagree and live in a single house as a Menage a Trois (threesome) with the children under the protection of all. which is almost like a parallel in Lawrenceʻs life, when scandal fell upon his father, who held a title, and who took his childrenʻs governess to live under an assumed name as Mr. and Mrs. and to whom five children were born and raised very caringly. Lawrenceʻs parents moved to Oxford, no doubt so that the children could have good educations; they did; T.E. graduated with First Honours in, I think, Classics and/or Archaeology. By contrast, Shawʻs mother left with her music=teacher/critic lover for London, taking his sister but leaving him behind, but finally having him join them, giving him money to educate himself,which he did, courtesy of the British Museum Reading Room (itʻs relatively warm there and the service courteous and helpful even when I, a total foreigner, sought verification of some art data found in a throwaway book from an Australian library that appeared in a tin box in the Kingdom of Tonga-- Marx wrote his papers in the British Museum, too, and so did other modern novelists with no money and much time. by reading in the British Museum Library, at his own pace, following his own natural curiosity and interest, and no need for a will, Shaw learned to write. Indepedent, free-thinking, fearlessly critical, unaraid, superbly talented, lucky, and alone.

The closest evidence of their mutual close friendship is in their exchange of letters, including to Shawʻs wife, who helped critique and edit at least The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It canʻt be, that is, that they were close yet wary of each other, if they were exchanging views of as intensely vivid and long, long account as is the Seven Pillars which took some years to complate. Also I donʻt know why G.B.S. should not frequent Hardy and his friends.
They were not cliques and not all were positively viewed even if renowned for somewhat suppositiously disreputable, bold behaviour. But here were two men quite above the masses yet touched deeply by their shared incidental beginnings held themselves, in self restricting ways (vegetarianism, for one, and Nature worshipping for another in place of the Church), to an excellence that was self-administered, essentially, I think, spurring them to their individual yet similar intellectual conclusions.
And curiously, even sexually experienced in chance? ways: Lawrence was abused, when a prisoner of a rival tribal group from that of his own -- and never married; in fact, he seems almost beyond interest in it. When he speaks of homosexuality in the desert, in Seven Pillars, he speaks of it with a compelling warmth. Shaw, it was said, married a woman who would have nothing to do with the subject and the act. Perhaps these divergent histories from those of the usual standard are not only the result of who they were in adulthood but who they chose not to be in order to be other, for a cause having to do with, as Shaw believed, turning history by Human Will. What Lawrence believed few, I think, ever knew; if he himself knew, it seemed of no importance; yet in the end, he did die needlessly and ever so young (not yet 50). Shaw died in his 90s and only then very likely because he chanced to fall from a step ladder intent on trimming a fruit tree.

These two lives defy being held as model for teaching the young in any sustained reasonable way. Perhaps that is the value of knowing geniuses. They die in common ways but dared to live in the most dangerous opportunity held out for them to take and defy as though they were empowered at their roots.

feb 28, 2014, 9:56 am

Fascinating books mentioned here.

mar 5, 2014, 12:15 am

I'm reading Angela Ashes :)

Redigeret: mar 27, 2014, 4:56 pm

I'm off to the airport with I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons.

It's now March 19, and I've nearly finished An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

And, on March 27, I've started Duffy: Stardom to Senate to Scandal by Dan Leger

maj 4, 2014, 5:21 am

I'm slogging thru Ataturk by Andrew Mango.

maj 11, 2014, 3:34 pm

I'm about to start My Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer, an ER book.

maj 11, 2014, 9:54 pm

God's Bestseller by Brian Moynahan

maj 12, 2014, 3:59 pm

I am reading Unorthodox, which is about a woman raised in the Hasidic community who ultimately leaves the faith . Quite interesting to read about a world I know so very little about, even though they exist right alongside many of us.

maj 15, 2014, 5:36 pm

I'm starting The Last Knight of Malta by Thomas Freller and Gabriele Von Trauchburg.

maj 29, 2014, 6:02 pm

An ER book I'd given up ever receiving arrived, and I've started Paper Tigress: A Life in the Hong Kong Government by Rachel Cartland

maj 29, 2014, 8:53 pm

I recently read the memoir A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout. It's about the author's kidnapping in Somalia. I found it very relevant considering current events, especially the recent kidnappings and violence in Nigeria. I highly recommend it as one of the better memoirs I have read.

Redigeret: maj 31, 2014, 9:43 pm

'Still reading A Long Way Gone. It's a bit the like "Forrest Gump of Sierra Leone". Young Ishmael has been in every significant battle, shows up on the rise of a hill to be reunited with his parents the exact moment the rebels attack, shows up at the exact time that history is being made, has a multitude of horrific experiences.

If half of this is true, this is a helluva disturbing story.

maj 31, 2014, 11:06 pm

William Tyndale a Biography by David Daniell

Redigeret: jun 1, 2014, 4:27 am

Tyndale! OMG! I love his translation. Decades ago, I wrote two term papers on his style and earthy humour. His name fell on semi-deaf ears in the English Dept. at Penn. So I moved back to John Donne, who was the rage. I still can NOT FATHOM that the ENGLISH EXECUTED TYNDALE for daring to translate the Bible, the first in English vernacular. So, now I must read Daniell! Mahalo, rabornj! Do tell us what you think of him. A Beacon of writing, Iʻd say. Such a warm, welcoming style! And who does not need comfort? Even in graduate school. Or especially.

Redigeret: jun 1, 2014, 4:42 am

Looking back, I can see now how the ZEITGEIST then was ABOUT SKEPTICISM, a wash over from the thriving of the sciences (and little wonder -- it WAS ExCiting, and STill Is) but irrationally against Biblical faith. We even have special bookstores for the subject -- proselytizing, we call it. But now we know: science is also based on faith (that we CAN know) until we dig up Heisenbergʻs Principle of Uncertainty (i.e. probability, not knowability). Shortly afterward, Wittgenstein threw over language as a means of knowing. Yet we are happy to understand even the snippets we manage to squeeze out of the melee. These ZEITGEIST MOODS swing, as Hegel said: from thesis, to antithesis, to synthesis. Thank God for that guide.

jun 29, 2014, 2:10 pm

I'm starting The Reading List by Linda Kay

jul 10, 2014, 11:40 am

I've just reviewed the tenth book-a-day meme title, The Fly Trap by Fredrik Sjoberg. It's a lovely little book, as an object, and also a lovely little read. The book-a-day prompt for today was a book with a memorable picnic for some teddy bear silliness...I was really stumped until I remembered this one! The review is here.

jul 13, 2014, 10:28 am

I've just finished George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I by Miranda Carter. It is a biography of the three men, set deeply within the context of pre-war Europe. Excellent.

aug 3, 2014, 7:28 pm

I've just finished The Lost World of the Kalahari, about a safari to film the Great Desertand rekindle a boyhood fascination with the Bushmen. The western-centric ignorance is profound, but the story is fascinating.

aug 4, 2014, 3:26 pm

A Spoonful of Sugar, some stories, some child-rearing advice and a few recipes from a woman who started as a nanny just before WWII and did her last stint as a nanny at 80. I enjoyed it, but I can't say it was wonderfully well-written. Spot on with the child-rearing advice, I thought. I was interested to read about being a nanny for evacuated children in one of the very first child care centers in Great Britain and other glimpses into child-rearing and housekeeping in the past in Great Britain. She trained at the the Norland Institute, whose motto was "Love never faileth" although much of the training consisted of laudering diapers while keepings one's uniform pristine. VERY different from child-rearing in Victorian times. She included some of the ratings she received that gave a very good idea of what was expected of her. Somewhat sugar coated, but if the topics appeal, I recommend it.

aug 4, 2014, 4:25 pm

>358 MDGentleReader: That does sound kind of interesting.

aug 5, 2014, 11:25 am

>359 SylviaC: She plans to write a sequel - I shall look for it.

sep 4, 2014, 4:22 pm

I'm reading Welcome to the Broadcast by Don Newman for a book club.

sep 7, 2014, 7:38 pm

I'm reading Bill Haley by John Swenson. The copy I have is an English edition. The American edition was called Bill Haley: the Daddy of Rock and Roll. Published in 1982, this biography of rock and roll's first big star is relatively brief but well written, with enough detail to be truly interesting.

sep 12, 2014, 11:00 am

I'm reading the Plague and I, a humourous memoir by Betty MacDonald

Redigeret: okt 13, 2014, 1:38 pm

I finished Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey. I loved the nature writing, but could have done without his condescending screeds against urban culture and his contempt for the visitors to the park (Arches National Park) where he was working.

okt 19, 2014, 6:25 pm

I'm reading The Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson. Very interesting and fast reading.

okt 20, 2014, 7:15 am

mstrust, I read that, too, because my son is a fan and it's one of the rare books he's read and I wanted to connect with him. It was much more interesting than I'd expected.

okt 20, 2014, 11:23 am

>367 LynnB: Agreed. I've gotten into the "fame and drugs" section, but the photos are probably the scariest part of the book.

okt 27, 2014, 1:54 pm

I'm reading the second of James Herriot's books about his life in the 1940s as a Yorkshire vet, All Things Bright and Beautiful. Of course, what was the second volume in the U.S. is the combined 3rd & 4th volumes as published in Britain. And Herriot later admitted that his accounts are somewhat fictionalized. And that his name isn't really James Herriot. I can attest with certainty, however, that I am definitely reading the book.

Redigeret: nov 4, 2014, 12:44 pm

dec 7, 2014, 1:49 pm

I finished Jewish Times: Voices of the American Jewish Experience by Howard Simons. This is a wonderful, dense, collection of oral histories covering much of the length and breadth of the American Jewish experience from immigration through much of the 20th century.

dec 7, 2014, 5:09 pm

>371 rocketjk: That sounds intriguing.

dec 7, 2014, 5:49 pm

#372> Yes, Rebecca, it is quite good. The print is small and there's a lot of information. In fact, I read it as a "between book," a chapter at a time between other books I read rather than trying to gulp it all down at once. I don't know if it's still in print, but I wouldn't think a used copy would be too hard to find online. You'll find more of my reflections on the book here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/166514#4944807 (on my 50-Book Challenge thread) or on the book's work page.

Redigeret: dec 24, 2014, 10:05 am

"Sister" the war diary of a nurse by Helen Dore Boylston an account in diary form of her time nursing during WWi. Plenty of humor, but, well nursing during WWI, pretty grim. It is an interesting, engaging account that doesn't dwell on the horror, but doesn't sugarcoat it either.

ETF: Touchstone

dec 23, 2014, 10:09 am

>375 MDGentleReader: That looks interesting.

dec 23, 2014, 10:27 am

It is interesting. Of what I have read so far, I actually like it better than the Lucilla Andrews WWII nursing stories. HDB has a more unique voice - her personailty comes through. My copy was published in 1927 and is a ILL marked handle with care. I seem to be the first person to catalog it here. The spirit of the British soldiers and the industry and ingenuity shown in providing entertainment are so simliar to WWII accounts that it takes the nursing details to remind me which World War story is being told.

jan 10, 2015, 5:38 pm

I very much enjoyed Lincoln's Men: the President and His Private Secretaries by Daniel Mark Epstein.

Redigeret: jan 10, 2015, 8:38 pm

Recently finishing reading Day Of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, And War by
Annia Ciezadlo. An engrossing perspective of the ongoing chaos in the Middle East as experienced by an American journalist 2003 - 2009.

feb 29, 2016, 10:56 pm

OMG that sounds amazing.