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Browsing all posts tagged 'biography'

Lifting the burdens

What it is like to go to war (audiobook)

Title: What it is like to go to war (audiobook)
By: Karl Marlantes

A work of courage and intelligence that challenges us to consider issues most of us would rather avoid. Karl Marlantes has thought deeply about the psychological impacts and lifelong burdens of killing in war, based on his experiences in Viet Nam and subsequent self-examination. He bravely exposes his own feelings ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography
0 Comments

A tempestuous personality

River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the technological wild west

Title: River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the technological wild west
By: Rebecca Solnit

Instead of utilizing the traditional biographical format, Rebecca Solnit has chosen to delineate this remarkable man through his many self-taught accomplishments and innovations. British born in 1830, he left his homeland early on to set off to America to explore his interests and opportunities, working on the docks of New ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography
0 Comments

Artist or scallywag?

The mad potter: George E. Ohr, eccentric genius

Title: The mad potter: George E. Ohr, eccentric genius
By: Jan Greenberg

"For most of his adult life, folks called George Ohr a scallywag, a rascal, a braggart, a clown. He called himself a genius, an artist, an outsider, a mud dauber, the mad potter." Lively quotes from George Ohr and lots of color photos of his ceramic works make this book ... [Read more]


biography, kids nonfiction
1 Comment

Ineluctable

Wave

Title: Wave
By: Sonali Deraniyagala

Estragon: I can't go on like this. Vladimir: That's what you think. --Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book. I wasn't sure whether I'd review it. I didn't trust myself to "judge" it. I was right to read it. It deals with a ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography
0 Comments

Tragicomic

Are You My Mother? a comic drama

Title: Are You My Mother? a comic drama
By: Alison Bechdel

Are You My Mother? What an amazing find! I picked up this graphic narrative because the title evokes the children’s book classic Are You My Mother? in which a baby bird wanders around questioning everyone it meets. Bechdel’s cover art -- a vanity, makeup, jewelry -- is our first cue ... [Read more]


biography, graphic novel
1 Comment

Want to Be Great: Boss

Bruce

Title: Bruce
By: Peter Arnes Carlin

Bruce is a new biography of singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen by Peter Ames Carlin, author of Paul McCartney:a life. The book concentrates on the difference between Springsteen and many other musicians: from Steel Mill to E Street Band, he has been a true cultural and working-class icon, deep-rooted in ... [Read more]


biography
0 Comments

Gentle cicerone

A Romantic in Spain

Title: A Romantic in Spain
By: Théophile Gautier

Awww, Spain…I remember 1975, waking up early a.m. in the night train from Paris to Madrid, realizing I was now in the land of poor befuddled Don Quixote and the exquisite Alhambra, and feeling an amorphous affinity for the country and its people. And here in this book in the ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography, travel
0 Comments

Tipping pointers

Heads in Beds: a reckless memoir of hotels, hustles, and so-called hospitality

Title: Heads in Beds: a reckless memoir of hotels, hustles, and so-called hospitality
By: Jacob Tomsky

Living in our beautiful town, we have all been affected (infected?) by the tourism industry, voluntarily or involuntarily, for better or for worse. Maybe you've given a lost soul directions to the Boardwalk one too many times, or been late for work because you forgot about the Beach Train. Enter ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography, travel
0 Comments

Marvelous invention

My Invented Country

Title: My Invented Country
By: Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende’s moving memoir about the country she loved and left is read so perfectly by Cristine McMurdo-Wallis that I almost want to say: Don’t read this book; you must listen to it! The many voices of Allende’s writing -- irony, tenderness, humor and harshly honest journalistic modes -- are ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography, audiobook
0 Comments

Farmer's Market Will Never Look the Same After

Blithe Tomato

Title: Blithe Tomato
By: Mike Marshall

Digs below the trendy, glossy surface of contemporary small scale farming, uncovering rich soil beneath. Unlikely ever to enjoy wide distribution, but remarkably insightful and delightfully well written. Set in California's Central Valley, will amply reward serendipitous discovery in library stacks. [Read more]


non-fiction, biography
0 Comments

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle

Title: The Glass Castle
By: Jeannette Walls

At once heartbreaking and heartening, Walls describes her peripatetic childhood taking on adult responsibilities at an extremely young age because her parents, though physically present, lived mostly in their own worlds. They obviously loved their children but felt no need to parent them in the conventional sense. At the age ... [Read more]


biography, audiobook
4 Comments

But Wait! There's More!

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1.

Title: Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1.
By: Harriet Elinor Smith, Editor.

Dear Mr. Clemens, So nice to hear from you! As always, I enjoyed reading your recollections of work as a cub pilot on the Mississippi, and the amusing stories of life on the never ending lecture circuit. I’m so sorry about your daughter Suzy passing away; she sounds like such ... [Read more]


fiction, non-fiction, history, biography, travel
0 Comments

Oasis

The anthropology of turquoise: reflections on desert, sea, stone, and sky

Title: The anthropology of turquoise: reflections on desert, sea, stone, and sky
By: Ellen Meloy

Warning: when you discover that Ellen Meloy died suddenly in 2004, you may feel bereft. "I was just getting to know her; how could she disappear?" The consolation is her books. Call them naturalist's memoirs or personalized landscapes or eco-history or (as she did) anthropology, they add up to a ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography, travel
0 Comments

Going Home

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

Title: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
By: Rhoda Janzen

Janzen's memoir is a delightful combination of self-deprecating humor and thought provoking stories about communities. In her forty-third year, Janzen faces the traumatic break-up of her fifteen year marriage, the possible loss of her house, a debilitating car accident, and a long visit home to her parents. She weaves the ... [Read more]


biography
0 Comments

A Softer Side of Patti

Just Kids

Title: Just Kids
By: Patti Smith

What do artists mean when they refer to having “a breakthrough” and from that point, go on to create their own unique style of expression? This autobiography describes the working conditions of the poet and punk rock star Patti Smith, and her friend, the late avant garde photographer Robert Mapplethorpe ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography, poetry, photography, art
0 Comments

The Coalwood Way

The Coalwood Way

Title: The Coalwood Way
By: Homer Hickam

Homer Hickam, of Coalwood, West Virginia “Rocket Boy” fame, cuts to the bone and reveals the frustrations and joys of his senior high school days. This autobiography rivals any other in the library’s collection, due to Hickam’s extraordinary recount of intricate conversations, a format that would satisfy fiction aficionados. Unbelievable ... [Read more]


biography
0 Comments

Surmountable

Summit Fever

Title: Summit Fever
By: Andrew Greig

Most mountaineering writers are mountaineers first. Poet and novelist Andrew Greig did it the opposite way: he joined an attempt on the “unclimbable” Mustagh Tower as expedition scribe, and emerged a mountaineer. His account of that expedition is an idiosyncratic classic. Greig may have driven his companions crazy with his ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography, travel
1 Comment

Strength in What Remains

Strength in What Remains

Title: Strength in What Remains
By: Tracy Kidder

At once heartwarming and tearjerking, Kidder tells the story of Deo who arrives in New York City with $200 in his pocket after a harrowing escape from civil war and genocide in Burundi. This is a story of hope and survival in the face of man’s inhumanity to man. Deo’s ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography
0 Comments

What Makes Steve Martin Run?

Born Standing Up

Title: Born Standing Up
By: Steve Martin

Copies of this book keep passing through my hands, as I sort through the library gifts. Such is my job. I must make a quick decision; one can’t read all the books, after all. One looks at reviews, similar books, how often they check out. But this one, every time ... [Read more]


biography
0 Comments

The Petty Bringing Down the Great

Hellhound on his Trail

Title: Hellhound on his Trail
By: Hampton Sides

I am not one to read history for pleasure, but I found reading "Hellhound on his Trail" is like reading a thickly plotted novel. This engrossing tale is all the more interesting because it is based on true events. Hampton Sides shows us the little known, gritty bits about Martin ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography
0 Comments

Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack

Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack

Title: Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack
By: Charles Osgood

The book is subtitled "A Boyhood Year During World War II." It is Osgood's memoir of 1942 when he was nine years old. The war was touching lives of those at home - victory gardens flourished, scrap metal was collected for the war effort, schoolchildren memorized the silhouettes of Japanese ... [Read more]


biography
0 Comments

The Making of Modern Paris, or, the demolition of prime real estate?

Haussmann, His Life and Times, and the Making of Modern Paris

Title: Haussmann, His Life and Times, and the Making of Modern Paris
By: Michel Carmona

This is a critical biography of the ultimate urban planner, Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann. A re-evaluation of the controversial urbanization of Paris, Dr. Carmona (professor of Urban Studies at the Sorbonne) does a fantastic job of laying out the truly hideous public hygiene problem, famously described as "a choleric swamp", and ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography, art, travel
0 Comments

This House of Sky

This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind

Title: This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind
By: Ivan Doig

Doig captures a dramatic time in the history of his people settling the wilds of Montana, where growing up, he coped with the death of his mother and relied upon the hard-scrabble genius of his father. "My father had a humor unusual in a tense man, a casual gift of ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography
0 Comments

The funniest travelogue ever?

Into the heart of Borneo

Title: Into the heart of Borneo
By: Redmond O'Hanlon

Possibly the funniest travel memoir ever written, as well as an unexpected gold mine of accurate scientific information. When O'Hanlon invited his Borneo travel companion, the poet James Fenton, on a succeeding journey, the answer was an earbreaking NO! Would most readers want to accompany O'Hanlon? Probably not. But a ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography, travel
2 Comments

It's A Long Drive Down Interstate 5, or that's a lot of cotton!

The King of California, J.G. Boswell and The Making of A Secret American Empire.

Title: The King of California, J.G. Boswell and The Making of A Secret American Empire.
By: Mark Arax

This book dovetails perfectly if you happen to be reading John Steinbeck, or studying the photographs of Dorothea Lange. A biography which examines the life of a very powerful farmer (at one point owning over 200,000 acres of rich farmland) used to driving bargains across bar stools and shaking down ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography
0 Comments

Journeys of a Passionate Traveller

A Year in the World

Title: A Year in the World
By: Frances Mayes

Mayes' most well-known work Under the Tuscan Sun and its offshoots never appealed to me so I was surprised and delighted when I discovered her more recent memoir, A Year in the World. In her day job Mayes was a writing instructor, and here she shows her craft in top ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography, travel
0 Comments

From Frito Pie to Pho

Take Big Bites: adventures around the world and across the table

Title: Take Big Bites: adventures around the world and across the table
By: Linda Ellerbee

Longtime reporter, producer, TV host, and author, Linda Ellerbee calls herself "a recovering journalist who's traveled and eaten her way around the planet and lived to tell some tales." In Take Big Bites she has written a witty, sassy book about food that's also a blend of autobiography, travelogue and ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography, travel
2 Comments

Pathways to Santa Cruz County & Its People

Pathways to the Past: Adventures in Santa Cruz County History

Title: Pathways to the Past: Adventures in Santa Cruz County History
By: Alverda Orlando and 21 others

Pathways to the Past is not the first book on the history of Santa Cruz County. As a matter of fact, at the time of this writing, our library catalog alone shows 135 titles on its history from early ones like Illustrations of Santa Cruz County, California, with historical sketch ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography
1 Comment

Endearing biography of Doris Day

Doris Day: the untold story of the girl next door

Title: Doris Day: the untold story of the girl next door
By: David Kaufman

Are you a "Dayniac" too? This biography is so much more than just the usual tell-all book about America's sweetheart Doris Day with the superb voice and acting career. This book will give you the real low-down on her smarmy manager/husband, Marty Melcher. Miss Day was one of the biggest ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography
1 Comment

The Wife of a Famous Man

Song Without Words

Title: Song Without Words
By: Sophia Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy's wife bore him 13 children. He scribbled his novels in notebooks that only she was able to read so she spent all night copying in a legible hand everything he wrote the previous day...think about THAT the next time you see a copy of WAR AND PEACE. But ... [Read more]


history, biography, photography
1 Comment

Something to Make You Think

Principles of Uncertainty

Title: Principles of Uncertainty
By: Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman is a wonderful whimsical artist who has drawn many colorful covers for the New Yorker and has written several slightly wacky delightful children's books including Ooh-La-La (Max in Love), Smartypants, and Fireboat, an excellent 9-11 children's book. You don't have to have seen her art or read her ... [Read more]


non-fiction, biography
0 Comments

A Colorful History

Color: A Natural History of the Palette

Title: Color: A Natural History of the Palette
By: Victoria Finlay

Doesn't this sound like something that would be assigned in a dry history class? If you think so, you'd be wrong! Victoria Finlay, an excellent writer, has given us a history of the development of color in paint that is actually a page-turner. Extensively researched, we learn that each hue ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography, art
0 Comments

Faraway Mountains

Dog Man

Title: Dog Man
By: Martha Sherrill

A patron highly recommended this book, which I found fascinating. The author describes the lifework of a Japanese man who has been part of the decades-long effort to bring back the Akita breed of dog in Japan. During the Second World War, many dogs were sacrificed for food and clothing. ... [Read more]


biography
0 Comments

Friends in the Kitchen

M.F.K. Fisher and Me: A memoir of Food and Friendship

Title: M.F.K. Fisher and Me: A memoir of Food and Friendship
By: Jeannette Ferrary

If only it were my kitchen! I would prove to both Jeannette and Mary Frances that when I scramble eggs, or sear a pork chop, it was their advice that helped me make them turn out so "right." What serendipity! Jeannette is a cookbook writer and writes M.F.K. a fan ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography
0 Comments

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